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Thread: Kenai Canoe trail. Anyone been...

  1. #1
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Question Kenai Canoe trail. Anyone been...

    My wife and I will be taking a canoe trip in this area soon. Wanted some input on what route to take. I know little of the area, only that there are many lakes more or less connected. Curious what routes some of you guys have taken and how it went. Fishing, portage length, overall difficulty or lack there of, etc..

    Looking for a 7-10 day get away with the wife. Flyfishing and solitude are trip priorities and also trip timing consistent with when the bugs are not bad. The wife is sweet. Any particular lake or route hold more fish than another? Scenery is important of course. Photography is a hobby of mine, particularly landscapes. Wondering what type of trips you guys have done in this area. Anyone got any pics they want to share, that would be awesome of course.

    We will be renting a canoe and camping gear from Max at http://www.alaskacanoetrips.com/

    As usual, thanks for any and all comment.



    -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.

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default biased info

    I cannot comment, as I am far to biased to give a good overview of the 120 miles of connecting lakes and trails...
    sorry
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    OK,, for forum members only ,,, I will give away some secret locations that I prefer above all others..
    Certain lakes have just better fishing, and this is due to several factors, such as spawning areas with proper gravel etc to keep the species going to the PH of the water, the conductivity of the water, water depth, and also most important, is the lake land locked.. without a stream in and out..
    If you look on the maps of the canoe trails system you will see most are land locked, yes many have fish in them, but many do not have lots of fish in them, and some have smaller size fish..
    The biggest and healthy fish come from at least lakes that have interconnecting streams of at least a few lakes.
    One of the best lakes for really beautiful rainbows is actually not in the canoe trails system,but kinda on its own out in the area of the canoe trails. Its called Nest Lake, and it has 2 lakes that connect to it. its about a half mile walk off the swanson river road about 30 miles back in the refuge from the sterling hwy..
    anouther good lake to go to is Grebe Lake. it actually has a spawning salmon run that comes up thru a small stream from the Moose river. this lake is way south in the system of trails and is not listed as a lake on most maps as within the trails boundary. it is a nice lake about a mile across and I fish it in the winter too as it produces nice fish thru the ice. access is by way of an old drilling road put in back in the 1950's and is now overgrown and only a trail now. its about 4 miles or so walk to this lake.
    Now If I am going to be out for a week or so , I would pick one of two lake to lake routes to a couple of gems..
    lets go with the southern route first.. we start at Canoe lake one and go from lake to lake going south. head to CampIsland lake. The other lakes along the way are not good fishing and some of them are void of any other fish than stickleback minows.
    Campisland is exactly what is namesake says it is.. and Island with a camp on it... and it also has water coming into ,, and water flowing out of it.. this is one of those special places .. Loons, Swans, Eagles, Osprey, Moose, Otter, Beaver, Muskrat, and did I mention Fish?
    staying there at this lake for a few days may be a few days to short.. its a great destination lake and after you have run out of time, you can head back out to the trailhead, or go out the small river from the lake and down to the Moose river and to the Sterling hwy bridge. This little stream out of campisland is not a paddle stream that is easy, as it is seldom visited and not cleared. it has beaver dams, it has logs to portage over and is narrow. but its a fun adventure unless you are in a hurry.. If you enjoy wilderness travel and don't mind a little work, this is not a bad way to finish off your canoe trip.. I myself have made this a destination lake for several days and always hated to leave..
    Next would be the northern route and up to some of the big lakes.. heading up to Paddle lake as your trailhead.. then going north and making your way thru all very fishable lakes to Kuviak. then to junco and then a long portage to lost, red squirrel, woods and then Gene
    Gene produces some huge rainbows as far as lakes go,, I have caught some over 24 inches in this lake. then over to the big lake of Pepper.. or to the right is a three series lakes that is great producers of fish Elder, Olsjold, and Wonder..
    you will have none or very few visitors out at these lakes. heading back to the trail head, you can take the mile portage from Gene to Swanson lake and then to campers, berry and redpoll, then your are back at Kuviak and you have made a nice loop.. The camping is great on most all these lakes, and the further out you go, the less people,, the down side to the northern route is just a little more air traffic, as the planes that fly between anchorage and Kenai are directly overhead of the northern route.
    between the two places I suggested for canoe trails,, I guess its a toss up, and deciding if I want to break up the trip with a small creek and then a river paddle out.. both are lovely and support good populations of fish that seldom see much activity..
    the entire area of canoe trails see less than 2,000 people per year and so its not a busy place like the boundary waters canoe system.
    hope this helps..
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  4. #4
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Awesome info Max. Thanks man!! Gives me much to ponder.


    -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.

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    Thumbs up Wow, now there's some pearls there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskacanoe View Post
    OK,, for forum members only ,,, I will give away some secret locations that I prefer above all others... Max
    Wonderful info there Max. Please somebody press the star button at the lower left of his post; the system wouldn't let me (again, so soon).

  6. #6
    Member oldmil007's Avatar
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    Thanks Max, exactly the type of info that we've been getting ready to ask about.

    Talk to you soon.

    - Jay

  7. #7
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Well, I just decided who I'm going to rent gear from for my Kenai Canoe Trails trip (hopefully this fall). One of the best posts I've seen in a while Max.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskacanoe View Post
    OK,, for forum members only ,,, I will give away some secret locations that I prefer above all others..
    Certain lakes have just better fishing, and this is due to several factors, such as spawning areas with proper gravel etc to keep the species going to the PH of the water, the conductivity of the water, water depth, and also most important, is the lake land locked.. without a stream in and out..
    If you look on the maps of the canoe trails system you will see most are land locked, yes many have fish in them, but many do not have lots of fish in them, and some have smaller size fish..
    The biggest and healthy fish come from at least lakes that have interconnecting streams of at least a few lakes.
    One of the best lakes for really beautiful rainbows is actually not in the canoe trails system,but kinda on its own out in the area of the canoe trails. Its called Nest Lake, and it has 2 lakes that connect to it. its about a half mile walk off the swanson river road about 30 miles back in the refuge from the sterling hwy..
    anouther good lake to go to is Grebe Lake. it actually has a spawning salmon run that comes up thru a small stream from the Moose river. this lake is way south in the system of trails and is not listed as a lake on most maps as within the trails boundary. it is a nice lake about a mile across and I fish it in the winter too as it produces nice fish thru the ice. access is by way of an old drilling road put in back in the 1950's and is now overgrown and only a trail now. its about 4 miles or so walk to this lake.
    Now If I am going to be out for a week or so , I would pick one of two lake to lake routes to a couple of gems..
    lets go with the southern route first.. we start at Canoe lake one and go from lake to lake going south. head to CampIsland lake. The other lakes along the way are not good fishing and some of them are void of any other fish than stickleback minows.
    Campisland is exactly what is namesake says it is.. and Island with a camp on it... and it also has water coming into ,, and water flowing out of it.. this is one of those special places .. Loons, Swans, Eagles, Osprey, Moose, Otter, Beaver, Muskrat, and did I mention Fish?
    staying there at this lake for a few days may be a few days to short.. its a great destination lake and after you have run out of time, you can head back out to the trailhead, or go out the small river from the lake and down to the Moose river and to the Sterling hwy bridge. This little stream out of campisland is not a paddle stream that is easy, as it is seldom visited and not cleared. it has beaver dams, it has logs to portage over and is narrow. but its a fun adventure unless you are in a hurry.. If you enjoy wilderness travel and don't mind a little work, this is not a bad way to finish off your canoe trip.. I myself have made this a destination lake for several days and always hated to leave..
    Next would be the northern route and up to some of the big lakes.. heading up to Paddle lake as your trailhead.. then going north and making your way thru all very fishable lakes to Kuviak. then to junco and then a long portage to lost, red squirrel, woods and then Gene
    Gene produces some huge rainbows as far as lakes go,, I have caught some over 24 inches in this lake. then over to the big lake of Pepper.. or to the right is a three series lakes that is great producers of fish Elder, Olsjold, and Wonder..
    you will have none or very few visitors out at these lakes. heading back to the trail head, you can take the mile portage from Gene to Swanson lake and then to campers, berry and redpoll, then your are back at Kuviak and you have made a nice loop.. The camping is great on most all these lakes, and the further out you go, the less people,, the down side to the northern route is just a little more air traffic, as the planes that fly between anchorage and Kenai are directly overhead of the northern route.
    between the two places I suggested for canoe trails,, I guess its a toss up, and deciding if I want to break up the trip with a small creek and then a river paddle out.. both are lovely and support good populations of fish that seldom see much activity..
    the entire area of canoe trails see less than 2,000 people per year and so its not a busy place like the boundary waters canoe system.
    hope this helps..
    Max

  8. #8
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've been on the canoe lakes during what would be considered the busy part of the year, and only see a few other parties, and they're just passing through. We haven't been there for years, but it is a magical place with wonderful fishing and wildlife. I don't think you could choose a bad route. I've long wanted to do the canoe lake linkup to the Moose River and float to the Sterling highway.

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