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Thread: Willow Float

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Willow Float

    Going to be passing thru Willow on the way to Talkeetna on August 27th. I was thinking of renting a two man raft from Willow Creek Resort for the 6 mile float down to the confluence. Has anybody done this? What can we expect for Rainbow and Silver fishing? Rainbow fishing is the priority. Many sweepers? How are the crowds on that stretch?



  2. #2
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    My wife and I did it last year so don't know how it is this year. There were sweepers and one all the way accross. This wasn't bad as it was a big gravel bar on the side we portaged. About half way down the log jam came up (stay left) if it is stiil there. It looks like you go right but the little shoot on the left is where you want to go. If other has up to date info that would be good.

    The wife and I were just on recon so floated straight through. She fished whilst I rowed. Took about 4 hours and it was a nice day nice trip. Last year it was $100 for the rental and that incluced a pickup at the other end.

    Lots of nice looking water, didn't get the chance this year as my time in the Big village was busy. Might give it a go in October whent I get done at the lodge...


  3. #3
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Eagle River/ Juneau


    Its a good float, not very busy either, rainbow fishing and silver fishing is usually pretty slow by that time of year however, especially on that section. I usually float from deception to the mouth as you don't have to pay a launch fee at deception, just carry the raft a bit further. Lots of sweepers etc. that you have to avoid but nothing like the giant log jam on the upper river that has killed people.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Chugiak, AK


    Floated the Willow 2 days ago in a 14' PAC 1400 (similar to a Super Duper Puma). The river is floatable but extremely low. A two man cat would be much lighter than our heavier raft (especially since I had 4 adults and 2 kids). I had to jump out and drag maybe 8/9 times. The hardest part was the slough at the pull-out. Long drag/portage at the end due to low water.
    The fishing for Pinks and Chum was spectacular. Caught fish til my arms were sore and so did my kids and inlaws. Black, rubberleg wooly bugger seemed to work the best. Threw some flesh and beads at the trout but the low, clear water, coupled with high temps has them a little skittish. I didn't fish during the float as I was on the sticks but you might have better luck in the deeper holes.
    If Silvers is your game, I recommend the last 2 miles to the mouth. Saw only a couple of Silvers upstream. More downstream towards the mouth with low light times being the best.
    I recommend lining the raft through the big logjam on the left fork about 1/2 way down the float. It's extremely skinny w/ a couple of switchbacks. I made it almost all the way and then got caught from below by a submerged log. Had to do a precarious dismount into the deep hole to line the rest of the way.
    Have a great float.


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