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Thread: Little Willow - good for 1 day canoe float trip?

  1. #1
    Member Sierra Dragon's Avatar
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    Default Little Willow - good for 1 day canoe float trip?

    I have relatives comming up Mid June who would like to do a one day float trip, maybe with a chance at a King salmon while they are at it. I'm thinking one of the Parks streams would fit the ticket with putting in at the highway and takout at the Willow confluence.

    I know Willow is a popluar trip but I'm a little concerned about crowding, plus the bulk of the river is single hook lure which given the current forcast on the run could be an iffy proposition.

    The Little Willow allows bait and treble hooks and appears to be navagitable by canoe from Google earth, and I've seen a few reports that rafters regularaly do it plus it gives a shot at several confluences that are not accesible by foot. (i.e. better chance of catching fish.) and appears to be more of the day trip as opposed to the 3 hour Willow tour.

    but looks are not reality.

    hence the forum post... anyone have any advise?? thanks

  2. #2
    Member Trouthead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra Dragon View Post
    I'm thinking one of the Parks streams would fit the ticket with putting in at the highway and takout at the Willow confluence.


    The Little Willow allows bait and treble hooks and appears to be navagitable by canoe from Google earth, and I've seen a few reports that rafters regularaly do it plus it gives a shot at several confluences that are not accesible by foot. (i.e. better chance of catching fish.) and appears to be more of the day trip as opposed to the 3 hour Willow tour.

    but looks are not reality.

    hence the forum post... anyone have any advise?? thanks

    Your concerns of crowding are valid on Little Willow too, people run jet boats on Little Willow which really muddies it up. It is a day trip just like Willow. When kings are in there will be people everywhere throughout the Parks streams where kings are legal. All 4 mouths of Willow are accessable by foot and people will be at all of them, but thats king season for you.

    You would be fine to use a canoe in a day, just dont expect solitude.
    Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.

  3. #3
    Member Sierra Dragon's Avatar
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    Wink Thanks a million!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Trouthead View Post
    Your concerns of crowding are valid on Little Willow too, people run jet boats on Little Willow which really muddies it up. It is a day trip just like Willow. When kings are in there will be people everywhere throughout the Parks streams where kings are legal. All 4 mouths of Willow are accessable by foot and people will be at all of them, but thats king season for you.

    You would be fine to use a canoe in a day, just dont expect solitude.

    Thanks! Thats what I needed to know...

    I didn't expect Solitude by any means... (Jet boats??? seriously???) Little Willow is bigger than I thought if Jet Boats can manage I'm no longer worried about portaging shallows much. (I was expecting Campbell creek size of a flow) thanks for the warning I'll keep an ear out for them for certain... on the bright side at least there will be someone to help if I get swamped by one right

    regardless limiting to boat traffic will still be a better experience for them than bank fishing. The number of anglers I've seen crowd the Willow confluence get a bit on the ridiculous side.

    I didn't know the other mouths were foot accessable... I'll maybe have to try again this year. (myself not with guests) I've only ever gone to the first mouth and then only once, (bad experience) cast a few lines met the largely grumpy crowd (i'm being nice there... it was far worse than I've ever seen at Ship Creek) and went back to the Eklutna Tailrace where at least the crowd is decently good humored about it all.

    maybe I was just there on an off day last year cause no-one was catching anything.

    anyway we're more looking for a fun float than expecting to catch a king but that lure of a 30lb fish is pretty irresistable...

  4. #4
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    Not a bad day float. We did it later in the summer and went after silvers. Was hard to get your lure down through all the pinks! I didn't think the Little Willow was all that crowded. But again, it was later in the season.

  5. #5
    Member Sierra Dragon's Avatar
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    Default Water levels are a bit tricky

    Just finished the trip yesterday...

    first section not bad... we ended up tipped over but that was more do to my buddy in the bow being quite a bit less experienced than he let on.

    took the rest slow and easy and by the end of the day he was ok.

    middle section of the creek is a bit dodgy at current water/flow levels. there's a beaver dam that is splitting the stream that diverts enough flow to make it difficult to canoe around the bends. The main current pretty much undercuts the bank most of the way and of course the overhanging bushes make the outside banks one long stretch of sweepers. We ended up walking the creek for a good mile or two.

    Lower section is fine

    Jet boats are coming up from the bottom and from the parks bridge down but even they didn't attempt to navigate the middle section... creek just isn't wide enough at the moment.

    Raft would probably be fine as long as you don't mind bouncing off trees for that middle section

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