Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: Float Trip recomendation

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    30

    Default Float Trip recomendation

    Guys,

    I am starting the planning for a float trip late August/early September next year and would like some recomendations and advice. My priorities are as follows:

    • 7 day trip
    • class I/II water
    • big/plentiful rainbows
    • few other people
    I am considering the Kwethluk, Alagnak, Arolik and any others that you think would fit my trip profile. How crowded does the Alagnak get during this time of year? I am planning on starting the trip out of Bethel with the beleif that there is a smaller chance of weather preventing us from getting into Bethel to start the trip than there would be for King Salmon or Dillingham. Is my thinking correct on this? Would it make any sense to start the bush flight out of Anchorage? I will need to rent a raft and all camping equipment.

    If anybody gets down to Colorado, I have guided the high country for almost 10 years and would be happy to assist. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Ketchikan, AK
    Posts
    4,076

    Default

    Check out on this site: Michael Strahans-floating Alaska's Wild Rivers. One of the best resources written for Alaska Floating.

    http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...roducts_id=400

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Big Lake
    Posts
    1,592

    Default

    My son & I floated the Alagnak 9/7-9/15/09. We saw 2 other parties on the entire river. Fishing was good - not great. lots of 16-18" grayling. Most rainbows ran 16-18", with a couple up to 22". A few dollies. Most silvers were colored up. Bear & wolf tracks on every gravel bar we stopped on. Easy float - lots of campsites.
    I can't even begin to imagine accessing this river from Bethel, when its about 15 minutes from KS. Flying weather in AK is a crap shoot, no matter where you fly from. Branch River Air runs a good package deal (transport & a raft).
    Gary

  4. #4
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,765

    Default

    The best float-fishing trip I ever did was on the Goodnews River. Fly in out of Dillingham and land on Goodnews Lake. You need a week to do this trip, but a few more days wouldn't hurt. We were there the week of July 4 and had it mostly to ourselves. I hear that when the silvers come in it gets busier in the lower river, with the lodge operations down there. Drop me a PM and I'd be happy to share the details at no cost to you (I do a paid consultation service for stuff like this, so sometimes people think I charge for advice... my wife wishes I did, but... nope.) Hope it all works out well for you!

    BTW, thanks for the recommendation, King! It's a hunting book, but much of the info in there is of great use to fishermen too. And it does contain a writeup on the Goodnews.

    Oh, one more thing... if you want to see a list of all the rivers in print or DVD, check out my river resource page on my other site (scroll to the bottom of the page for the list). I've listed 350 rivers there, together with the books or DVD titles that discuss them. Remember that some of the listings are superficial, but they are in there...
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    590

    Default

    I have floated the Alagnak and the Goodnews (middle branch). Both rivers offer good rainbow fishing when the river levels are good. When you plan your trip, have a backup plan ready to hit a different river in the event the river is high or blown out. I floated the Goodnews at low and high condition and it was tough Rainbow fishing during high water. You will need extra days as suggested by Michael Strahan in the event of wind or weather delay. The wind at the bottom of the Goodnews can blow you right back upriver.

  6. #6
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Your trip timing is good for silvers and bows on the Goodnews. I would suggest 8-9 days if you can swing it. There are many other suitable rivers of course, I can only speak of this one because it is the only SW river I have done. Rick Grant of Tikchik Airventures in Dillingham is my suggestion for pilot. Email Rick for quote and ask about raft rental at the same time. He will drop you off at the lake and pick you up at a spot near where the main fork and middle fork meet, this prevents you from dealing with the tidally influenced lower 3-4 miles of river. Alternatively, you could have Bavilla (elder of Goodnews Bay village) pick you up in a boat at this same spot and take you into the village for a wheeled plane pick up. This would be a viable back up to the float plane pick up if weather dictates. Below are pics and a trip report from my trip. PM if you want any other info. Happy to share what I know.

    http://www.alaskaflyfish.net/flyfish...pic.php?t=3376

    http://www.tikchikairventures.com/


    -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.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    30

    Default

    Thanks for the replies guys. All info is appreciated. I spoke to Brian Richardson at Alaska Raft Connection today. He was helpful and patiently answered a lot of questions. I think we are leaning towards American Creek. Does anyone have experience or general insight to this river that they can share?

    pmo

  8. #8
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Have Brian put you in contact (email) with previous clients of his that have done this river...

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...american+creek

    -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.

  9. #9
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Eagle River/ Juneau
    Posts
    5,154

    Default

    Pretty much everything out west has great fishing but a million people. Freaking float planes and jet sleds buzzing everywhere, thank god I can fish in the evenings after the jet sleds have all been put to bed and the bows still look up for mice. Basically if you are looking for solitude I'd avoid the Kvichak/Naknek drainages.

    I'd also go between late june and the beginning of august... Nothing quite like 25+ inch fish keying in on size 18 BWOs, unless you want to catch silvers then mid august is nice.

    American creek has some really tricky spots apparently, so if you aren't confident in your whitewater ability I'd avoid it.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  10. #10
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    Pretty much everything out west has great fishing but a million people.

    Dang. I had planned on floating another remote river in SW till I read that. A million people. No shet? I saw about 10 people on a 13 day float of the Goodnews and I looked at one of them twice. She was in a spiffy ADFG uniform. So really I saw 9 folks if one were to be technical. Must have been an off year. Nutmunch.


    -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.

  11. #11
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    867

    Default

    Ak Powder,

    I kinda agree but "millions" please. The Naknek and the Kvichak are not float rivers. I grew up on the Nak and now spend my summers on the Kvichak. For me these rivers are busy but compaired to any river on the road system these waters are sparsely occupied. Many western rivers do get used for float trips but are not secret by any means. More lodges have float planes and outfitters use airtaxi's that are equiped with float planes. For the most part if you want to get away from people look for floats that are longer 6-10 day floats. If it is a two day floats more lodges will be hitting that water. Longer floats are folks like pmo or outfitted groups. There are a couple outfitters on this site that freely share some advise and these guys are in the know. Good Luck and remember no comfort better than good waders and high end rain gear if you are going to be out of touch for any length of time in Alaska.

    George

  12. #12
    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    In a van down by the river
    Posts
    2,039

    Default

    No kidding, please pack accordingly, once your out there, you really are up shet creek if some thing goes wrong. And I do agree with Mr. Riddle, the longer it takes to get from point A to B the less people you will see. There isn't millions till you get further down the rivers and I wouldn't even say hundreds. Plenty of rivers to choose from out that way, one thing is for sure, it will be well worth the money spent.

    If you want some info first hand, google Crystal Creek Lodge and call them, they can tell you what you want to know about Naknek or King Salmon area.

  13. #13
    Member jockomontana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    seward
    Posts
    336

    Default

    pmo,

    I second the Alagnak for a good float for you and your buds. I've done it twice, both times in early/mid-September; the second time down we didnt see a single soul for the entire 10 days until our pilot picked us up. If you're looking for a good WW section, put in on Kukaklek Lk, or alternatively, Nonvianut for mellower water. Either way, focus your fishing efforts on the lake outlets and when you get down to the Braids.

    we flew both times outta Soldotna with High Adventure Air... though you might want to look into renting gear in Anchorage, take a commercial flight to King Salmon, then air charter in to the Alagnak, with secondary options to fish the Naknek and Kvichak, or a dozen other options from there... whether permitting.

    something else to consider is to rent a sat phone while you're out there. this way, if plans change, you can give your pilot a call and he can get you the hell outta there in a hurry...

    good luck and happy fishing!
    ps. I may take you up on that high country Colorado invitation someday. cheers!

  14. #14
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Eagle River/ Juneau
    Posts
    5,154

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    Dang. I had planned on floating another remote river in SW till I read that. A million people. No shet? I saw about 10 people on a 13 day float of the Goodnews and I looked at one of them twice. She was in a spiffy ADFG uniform. So really I saw 9 folks if one were to be technical. Must have been an off year. Nutmunch.


    -Dan
    Jesus that river is crowded! Seriously 10 people is 10 too many for me, I like my solitude (and yeah she's pretty good looking isn't she )!!!

    Yeah I have pretty crazy standards... (ok not millions but I see less people most places I fish on the road system)

    Naknek/Kvichak drainages have a lot a fly in lodge traffic (float planes and jet boats), that that bugs me a lot when I'm out there. (Living in a tent and all)

    You had a river on your list that I'd say is a good idea and perfect for you.

    anyway I spent the last 3 summers on the Alagnak and know the river pretty well, if you want some info on it shoot me a PM

    Lastly, Mr. Riddle speaks the truth about raingear and waders (and a vast many other things)!
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  15. #15
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Just throwing some shet covered bananas at you monkey.

    I too value solitude.

    It is the main reason I fly 16-24k miles a year visiting your state


    -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.

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pmo View Post
    Guys,

    I am starting the planning for a float trip late August/early September next year and would like some recomendations and advice. My priorities are as follows:
    [*]big/plentiful rainbows
    !
    I saw that priority and just realize that even when the fish are there, and even with lots of skill, there are significant times when they do not bite and you may not catch alot of trout. You'll fish of some kind: salmon, dollies, and grayling. There are people everywhere, but not bunches, and most are respectful and don't fish or camp on top of you. Best time is to go late (early september), after most of the commercial lodges and float operations are pretty much done for the season. Less pressure and bugs, more silvers, more chance of getting washed away by antedeluvian rains - but thems is the breaks.

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by qkayak View Post
    I have floated the Alagnak and the Goodnews (middle branch). 1. ...When you plan your trip, have a backup plan ready to hit a different river in the event the river is high or blown out...2. You will need extra days ...in the event of wind or weather delay.
    Excellent points in the above posts; and to do both 1. and 2.
    1. that means sets of hardcopy georeferenced topo maps for a minimum of two rivers (different locations, river sizes, your guess); at appropriate scale, 1:60,000 or so (it's not costly or hard; you can print them free from acme mapper or other equivalent website linked to the various databases; or from a DVD of Alaska maps if you own one; or at REI for a cost) best printed on waterproof paper and kept in a waterproof map case such as made by sealine;

    2. that means not making any other activity plans back home w/in 3-5 days of the expected end of your trip; figuring out where you might need to overnight in a particular place; contacting bushpilot/guide/rental equipment outfitter before you start out to get handle on river conditions; keeping eye on weather/radar of impending storms and storm paths - but that's not the only kind of delay - there can be fog and that comes and goes without forewarning;

    Frequently (but not always) - people plan to arrive at least the night before and stay overnight upon the end of a float trip anyways.

    Finally, realize that electronic devices like cell and sat phones don't always work everywhere so those are not a substitute for a backup plans or contingency equipment (first aid/medical; xtra oar; raft/wader repair).

    As long as you have a good raincoat, patience, and a roll of duct tape, you'll be fine.

  18. #18
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stevesch View Post
    As long as you have a good raincoat, patience, and a roll of duct tape, you'll be fine.


    No kidding 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.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    30

    Default

    Thanks for the info guys. We are planning American Creek, (Alagnak backup) with gear rented from Alaska Raft Connection and transportation with katmailand. I think we now have two boats going. Looking forward to it.

  20. #20
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,162

    Default 16,000 to 24,000 miles ??

    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    ...I fly 16-24k miles a year visiting your state -Dan
    So... what's the 24K miles, a wrong turn?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •