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Thread: Kwethluk Portage - how bad is it?

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    Default Kwethluk Portage - how bad is it?

    Planning on the Kwethluk in a week. Are worried about that portage from Boundary Lake - how tough is it? How great is fishing? We have already done the Kennectok, Kisarelik, Arolik, Good News, Togiak and Eek. Really would like to do a new one every year but some in our party are afraid of the portage. How did you like this river?

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    Default Have fish from lower braids down...

    Quote Originally Posted by clamqueen View Post
    Planning on the Kwethluk in a week. Are worried about that portage from Boundary Lake - how tough is it? How great is fishing? We have already done the Kennectok, Kisarelik, Arolik, Good News, Togiak and Eek. Really would like to do a new one every year but some in our party are afraid of the portage. How did you like this river?
    Magnificient rainbow, king, and chum fishing!! I prefered jigs for the rainbows as their is lots of woody structure and many braids... Hammered the Kings in backwater and side channels throughout the briads on fly's and very little weight (floating lines!).... Whatch out for four legged friends as there is an abundance of them up there and u are likely to get a visit in the middle of the night.

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    If you survived the upper end of the Arolik (an eight mile drag in low water)....I'm sure it is doable if your people have any physical ability. BUt, I'd call your float pilot....they'd have more info than most or all of the folks here on this forum (me included).

    And as far as people being scared of stuff....the biggest thing to fear is weather and doing something unsafe with your rafts (sweepers, rocks, etc). I deal with folks coming up quite a bit and most of the fears are based on the discovery channel....and are largely only concerns to me (bears, bugs, whitewater...which there is none in BB to speak of) Stay dry, stay warm, stay alert and everything will be fine. If the Portage looks like a grind....take your time, you can always make up time on the water if you really have to.

    Also, if this is only a week out....perhaps you should have looked into it before booking....that said, if the pilot booked you, they are not in the business of throwing people under the bus... so call him, get reassured, and enjoy your trip.

    If you use your head, the bush is safer than many downtown areas.

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    Default FYI...

    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    If you survived the upper end of the Arolik (an eight mile drag in low water)....I'm sure it is doable if your people have any physical ability. BUt, I'd call your float pilot....they'd have more info than most or all of the folks here on this forum (me included).

    And as far as people being scared of stuff....the biggest thing to fear is weather and doing something unsafe with your rafts (sweepers, rocks, etc). I deal with folks coming up quite a bit and most of the fears are based on the discovery channel....and are largely only concerns to me (bears, bugs, whitewater...which there is none in BB to speak of) Stay dry, stay warm, stay alert and everything will be fine. If the Portage looks like a grind....take your time, you can always make up time on the water if you really have to.

    Also, if this is only a week out....perhaps you should have looked into it before booking....that said, if the pilot booked you, they are not in the business of throwing people under the bus... so call him, get reassured, and enjoy your trip.

    If you use your head, the bush is safer than many downtown areas.

    The USFWS folks that did this float in 2005 not only had a bear punchure a raft during the night... The same bear was licking the bug screen on one of the campers tents... These folks where all very experienced in AK wilderness and these where some of the more memorable bear encournters that they have had in the state.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post
    The USFWS folks that did this float in 2005 not only had a bear punchure a raft during the night... The same bear was licking the bug screen on one of the campers tents... These folks where all very experienced in AK wilderness and these where some of the more memorable bear encournters that they have had in the state.
    ah another story to strike fear into the hearts of folks who would otherwise not spend a week looking over their shoulders....

    nice work.

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    Default Hey look..

    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    ah another story to strike fear into the hearts of folks who would otherwise not spend a week looking over their shoulders....

    nice work.
    That is not what this story is about at all.... Having camped for three consecutve summers in this region, for a total of 11 months I only really had a couple bear encounters and they where nothing like the previously mentioned one's... Obviously, anywhere in the state u can have encounters like this and no need to mock me for passing on some past experiences in this area. ITo not be constantly aware of your surrounding in bear country, is very very unwise. Bear encounters can happen anytime anywhere (quote from well known bear expert and wildlife tech Larry Lewis).

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    Default portages and bears

    Thanks for the info guys.

    Yes the drag down the Arolik was interesting especially falling in the deep holes while walking the raft but the hardest part of the Arolik was the portage to the beach for pick-up. The portage to the Eek from the pond the plane landed on was quite a bit of work as well. Sort of had to build the trail first. So I imagine we will survive whatever the Kwethluk portage throws at us.

    As far as the bears go, we saw 11 on the Kennectok last summer including one bluff charge in camp. This year we have bear fences. On all our other rivers we would only see 2 - 6 bears so the Kennectok was quite something. Good bears so far though. Even the bluff charge was just to get us off his fishing hole and he took off as soon as we started yelling.

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    no fish there I wouldn't bother
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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