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Thread: Willow Float this sunday

  1. #1
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    Default Willow Float this sunday

    I'm planning on floating the willow this sunday with my father and neither of us have done it before. I'm looking for any info anyone might have. Time it takes, correct routes to take, places to make sure and stop, any sort of valuble information regarding floating the creek. We plan on flating from the highway to just past the mouth to the takeout by the tree hanging over the river. Thanks in advance.

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    Member Rocklizard's Avatar
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    Default

    Im interested in any responses as well. I recently acquired a 2-Man Mckenzie Drifter and the last thing I rowed on moving water was a driftboat back in 2002. I heard that this is a good first float, but yet to find someone who has done it. I need to knock the rust off so Im not playing bumper boat on the upper kenai after the opener

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Where do you plan to put in and take out?
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Default O.P

    Its in my original post, put in at the bridge (parks hwy) and take out just past the mouth, where the tree hangs over the river.

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    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    We floated it yesterday. We were in a 14' raft, paid the $10 and put in at the burned down lodge on parks highway. Takes about 2 1/2 hours on the water. Takeout to the launch was about 4 miles on a road bike = 15 minutes.

    There are a few tight spots like this one:


    We used the takeout below the campground, when you hit the su (silty water) you float a couple hundred yards until you see the cut off trees:


    There's no way I was going to take my trailer to the water, it's steep and rutted.
    Here's the makeshift ramp:


    There's a sign just before the confluence that says raft takeout. As soon as you pass it I think you can go up the little canal to the left and it should put you close to the campground, but I didn't have time to explore it yesterday. When you get to the state park entrance the road splits, if you hang a left down the dirt road it will take you to the ramp I showed in the photo.

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    Did the float a couple weeks ago. Campground on north side of bridge (opposite burned building) runs a shuttle service for $20 (includes $10 launch fee). The owner, Farley, is a super nice guy...he will follow you in his truck to the campground where you drop your vehicle and he'll give you a ride back to the put in. We used the other take out that I was told allowed a trailer to get in a little closer and wasn't as steep as the one pictured below. Make a left turn at the campground gravel bank as you enter the Su and following a slack water canal about 100-200 yards. The day we did it the water was low and we had to drag the raft for a short distance. Once at the ramp we could get the trailer about 30 yards from the water and had an easy incline to carry the raft to the trailer. Hope this helps, PM me if you need more information. Have fun, Craig

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    Default Mid Point

    There is a log jam mid way down the river. The river splits at the jam. It looks as if you should go right but I find the left to be the better route. Other than that it is a nice float and one that I do several time a year.

    Take a grill and stop mid river. BBQ and have a cold beverage. I was across the bridge Tuesday and the river is high and stained. You should have no issues with dragging you boat and it should be fast. 2-3 hours of float time. Enjoy.

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    Default Done

    Floated sunday and started off a bit cloudy but ended up in the high 60's probably 70+ at some points. Only got a little sketchy in one spot but was an awesome float. Thanks for all the heads up! Caught a few fish, nothing to brag about. Did see a guy with a trout all gutted and headed though.

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    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    So I assume that this person that killed the trout was down stream from the bridge.
    For those that don't know that is closed to killing them. What does one do when you see people out there being stupid?

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by power drifter View Post
    So I assume that this person that killed the trout was down stream from the bridge.
    For those that don't know that is closed to killing them. What does one do when you see people out there being stupid?

    Not alot you can do. Troopers or Fish and Game wont ever make it there in time. I like to let them know just how stupid they are. Inform them of the rules and just leave it at that. most of the time it is some Jagoff with an attitude. My wife and I deal with it all summer and fall with the red wranglers on the kenai. Dragging bows and dollies up the gravel, yanking the hook out and kicking them to the river like a field goal. As Ron White says "stupid is forever"
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by power drifter View Post
    What does one do when you see people out there being stupid?

    While Chuck gives more responsible advice, I recall as a child being slapped so hard my ears rang for an hour. Can't think of any reason why it would be less effecient on an adult.

    Try the old "hinged switch" method of communication


    -Dan
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  12. #12
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott_rn View Post
    We floated it yesterday.....

    Scott, thanks for the pics man.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Default Easy enough

    I'm sure all he was doing was dropping and dragging too, he had a big ol' spinner with something on it and it was a really deep hole he was fishing, we just flaoted by and left it at that. Main reason i think it was shady is because right after we floated by, him and the people with him left right away.

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    Member Michael's Avatar
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    Hahahahaha Dan,

    My ears still ring. Guess I didn't listen too well the first few times. Now I get it. HA! At least my dad was patient.....only one wack at a time. Hahahaha RIP Pop

  15. #15

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    I would like to float this and I am new to the area. Would you describe the directions to put in a little better? You can email me if you'd like. What river is it you put in?

  16. #16
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    Put in at Wilow Creek campground and away you go! Its pretty self explanitory once you get going down the creek. I was nervous at first about making all the right turns and such but its pretty straight forward. Like others have said when you get to the real large log jam and it looks as though you should to right, go left. The path is a bit narrow but I only bumped one log . Scout your routes a bit first too....I almost went around a jam and ran into a stream crossing log but made it to the bank and hiked back up a bit to go the other way. Nice easy float, very fun.

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    Default Another note

    Just something to add,

    The camground take-out was really easy. The make-shift ramp is a little ways up the canal but it is nice and gradual for a raft take out. Only draw back is you can't get a truck/trailer right up to it. You only have to carry your gear and raft about 50ft though to the truck so it was perfect.

  18. #18

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    Thanks Bowdy, I will have to try this float when I get a chance!

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    I would like to take this float on my 9 foot personnal pontoon if possible??? Also, if I were to do this float solo, does anyone know of any services (taxi or shuttles) that would bring me back up to the bridge to get me back to my truck. Also, are there any kings in Willow right now?? One more question, does the willow branch off anywhere where I could find myself going down the wrong way??? Sorry for all the questions, I was thinking about floating it Sunday.

  20. #20
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    Not to be an ***hole but all your questions are answered below just take a look.........All the answers are yes, and just go left when it looks like you should go right. Its easy to do. Nice and slow, and the sweepers and such are easy to spot. I did it in my 12 footer.

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