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Thread: Arolik or Goodnews ?

  1. #1

    Default Arolik or Goodnews ?

    Planning on doing a float this Summer. Thinking of either the Goodnews or the Arolik. Wondering if anyone has an opinion or recommendation on which on to go with.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Sent you a PM. There is a good article in this months Fish Alaska magazine on the Goodnews.


    -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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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Bear in mind, the Park Folks just closed the application process for Commercial Guiding Permits on the Goodnews.....Winning appicants will be running trips there this Summer...

    Which for some is GoodNews...For others..NotSoGoodNews.....
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Which for some is GoodNews...For others..NotSoGoodNews.....
    you funny guy!!!
    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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    i have floated the arolik three times and it can be great. the reason it is not floated much is because the first day usually requires you to drag your boat about 5 miles down one of the forks of the river to the main stem. you land at arolik lake then "float" down to the main stem. this is the only way to access the upper river. from there it is a normal float trip but the first day usually sucks. this last summer however the river was the highest i have seen it. we actually floated down to the confluence that first day hardly ever getting out of the raft which we should have realized was a bad sign. the river was high, brown and fast. most gravel bars were under water which made finding campsites difficult. we had planned on getting picked up at bessie creek after a week but wound up floating to within about a half mile of the ocean after six days and humping all our gear a half mile over the tundra to a spot on the beach where someone from the village of quinahagak could come pick us up in a truck with a trailer. on other trips the trout fishing has been fantastic but was only so-so last summer. we dont normally see anyone until we get down low on the river where locals and guided clients from alasak west come upriver on jetboats. i think there are some other threads on this forum about the arolik that you could get some information from. we have always used freshwater adventures out of dillingham for air taxi and raft rental but their service has dropped off some since the binghams sold out. i think you can also go out of bethel as well.

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    Hippie,

    How will that affect non-guided float trips like what I am talking about?

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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    From what I understand there will be assigned float dates assigned for each commercial permit. The intent being to stagger the commercial floaters out and avoid having them stacked up, for non-guided folks this may mean that they'll be seeing more folks than what they envision on a "remote" Alaskan river....
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

  8. #8

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    Mid July would probly be less busy though, right? Regardless, though it sounds like the Arolik offers better fishing with fewer people. Just gotta suck it up that first day....

    How is the bear situation on either of those rivers? Anybody have experience or an opinion with bear fences?

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaHippie View Post
    From what I understand there will be assigned float dates assigned for each commercial permit...

    Any idea how many permits were issued?
    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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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    Any idea how many permits were issued?
    Application period ended Monday. I'd have to check, but in addition to the 2 permits already in place, I believe there are 6 more planned for issuance. I could be mistaken tho'.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Chuck Ash only runs one trip a year on the Goodnews. Assuming the new permit holders are allowed one trip, that is not much traffic for a 60 mile river over the course of a 2.5 month fishing season. Granted, we would all like to be the only person on the river. But as for fishing in general, this hardly sounds overcrowded to me.



    -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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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Again, I'd have to look, but I believe the plan is to allow 18(?) trips divided among 6 permits. I'll ask Oz, he applied for one, and get back with the specificities.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Default Here Dan (sorry for the hijack btw)

    Found a link with some info:

    http://alaska.fws.gov/nwr/planning/togpol.htm

    Saw this and thought it relevant, part of the above linked info.

    "Unguided float use on Refuge lands in the Goodnews River watershed would be limited to one group every other weekday (Tuesday and Thursday) and one on each weekend day. Guided float use on Refuge lands in the Goodnews River watershed will remain at one trip per week but commercial operators will have the option to float the North or Middle forks. In the past, guided trips were limited to the North Fork Goodnews River."
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

  14. #14
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info man. Gives me a good excuse to float the Kisaralik
    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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    twozero,
    i have floated the arolik three times and usually only see one or two bears a trip. on one trip i was fishing a small braid by myself when another guy in our party spooked a small bear and it tore off down my braid and ran right by me in a few inches of water. i didnt have time to get all the way out of the water and probably could have reached out and touched him. i also didnt take a picture of my undershorts much less the bear.
    if you are considering the arolik also consider that the pick up is more complicated than most river trips due to land issues with the local native village. there is another thread on this forum that covers the options. if you use freshwater adventures for your air taxi they can put you in touch with someone who can pick you up by various means and bring you to the airport in quinahagak. they want to be paid in cash so be prepared to bring a big wad.

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    Goodnews is a fun float. We went with FWA a few years ago. Quite a few bears but no problems. Portable electric fence works well. Fishing was excellent for silvers and dollys. (early Sept) Also lots of bows and a few grayling. If you use FWA, they can arrange pick up at the confluence area. It makes it a lot easier. This was our first float trip and was not especially challenging...except for repairing a 3 foot rip in a pontoon. Overall a good trip.

    FWIW
    MFH

  17. #17

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    Due to scheduling conflicts, it looks like we are going to have to do our float the last week in June. Does anyone have experience floating that early?

    Any rivers out of Bethel that would be better than the rest that time of year? I figure the right river should have kings and some reds by then, right? So probably need to make sure there is a good population of 'bows.

    Thanks much in advance.

  18. #18
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I looked at doing a repeat trip on the Goodnews last week of June last year. After talking with the pilot, Rick Grant, and Jim Teeny, I decided not to go. Timing is the issue, especially for kings. Going in late June there is a chance you could be too early for kings. At least from what info I got. Spring run off and swollen rivers could be the case as well, although on a river like the Goodnews, not likely a safety issue. However, it could cut down on suitable gravel bars to camp/fish on. I wanted to go bad, had time off the last ten days of June, but just couldn't do it after what I found out. Generally speaking, based on what I have found out, the first two weeks of July are prime time. Other rivers in the area could certainly vary. What I learned was based solely on the Goodnews. You might want to contact the guy that runs the Goodnews River Lodge. He would know better than anyone about conditions. Whether he tells you or not is a different matter. He was nice to me a few years back when I talked to him and knew I was not a potential client. Speaks well of him and his lodge.


    -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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    Twozero, what about the Alagnak or Branch River (same river). The end of June the lower half of the river should have a lot of kings the upper still should be fishing trout well. Only down fall I can see would be other fishers. Give Branch River Air a call for particlars they have been in business for years dropping off and picking up and would have gear if you needed. If you do call them, tell them George from Blueberry Island Lodge sent you.

    George

  20. #20

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    Dan and George,

    Thanks for the advice. As far as a different river is concerned, I have already sent a deposit into PapaBear Adventures so I am locked in to the rivers that they service. It looked like the Arolik and Goodnews would be the best bets that early in the season.

    I've got a couple of references that I need to contact who floated a couple of years ago about a week later.

    I understand that with those rivers timing is absolutely everything. I may just have to cross my fingers and hope for the best....

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