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Thread: Upper Montana Creek/Sheep Creek

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    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
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    Default Upper Montana Creek/Sheep Creek

    Has anyone ran up either of these and float hunted back down? I am considering taking my Mokai's up about 8-10 miles and taking a few days to float back. I am looking for brown and black bears in late May.

    I also would like to know about Montana creek..seems there are three arms on this from looking at Google Earth..any news on these would be great so I dont run up the wrong one. Thanks for the advice and help.

    DH
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    Here are some videos of folks packrafting each to give ya a bit of idea as to what you might encounter:

    Sheep Creek:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvJDWAT6qX0

    Montana Creek:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6hHYxN_XRc

    Hope that helps some.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    that mokai can go up river that fast?
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    Never happen, especially in Late May and extra Especially montana; on any fork.

    It definitely wouldn't take 3-4 days.

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    Please explain...due to ice flow, current, boulder gardens or what? and why any one of the 3 arms? I was referring to the 3-4 days to take our time fishing and exploring.

    Thanks
    DH
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
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    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    On Montana, not too far up from the second bridge there are water falls. Most of the water is really shallow after the bridge with fast cobble filled riffles between deep brush covered pools. Fun wading fishing. In May you will be looking at flooding rather than normal river condidtions.

    I have never been up Sheep creek, but spring flooding would also be a concern there.

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    Didnt take into consideration the melt off...makes perfect sense.

    Looks like August might be the time to run up then.. Might just head to some lakes down south and find one there this spring.

    Thanks again
    DH
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
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    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    If you go up Sheep Creek,,,,,Don't forget your paddle, or you wil be up Sheep creek without a paddle...hehehehhe just my thought

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Duck, your inbox is full.

    As for the bears up Montana. When a local filled me in on fishing the upper sections he told me to not go all the way to the falls. The salmon stack up there and fill up a pool and the bears come in for the feast. Another buddy use to hike up from the second bridge all the time chasing trout and he never went to within 100 yards of the falls just to keep out of bear trouble.

    If I remember correctly the buddy told me that the two upper forks are just above the falls. The falls do not show up on google earth.

    The local does not fish fall rainbows above the second bridge due to the bears.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Sounds like a Great place to hunt bear - they need thinned out for the salmon's sake! You might want to take a buddy to stand watch while you do your skinnin tho.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckhunter01 View Post
    Has anyone ran up either of these and float hunted back down? I am considering taking my Mokai's up about 8-10 miles and taking a few days to float back. I am looking for brown and black bears in late May.

    I also would like to know about Montana creek..seems there are three arms on this from looking at Google Earth..any news on these would be great so I dont run up the wrong one. Thanks for the advice and help.

    DH
    I've descended both from upper reaches and can say with certainty you'll not get far with anything going up. Even if you do get to flowing water of any current you'll not ascend much. Unfortunately being so underpowered (no mater the engine and inefficient hull) it is also going to be problematic on decent of any technical sense. Frankly, Moks are simply not very good boats regarding all sorts of issues and don't even pack much of a useful load... more loud vibrating toys at about the lowest end of performance for folks that can't paddle or for day-trippin'. Get on any demanding water and find out the hard way... so point being these rivers would not be the right fit.

    I see you are a Duck hunter - this would be a good niche use of a Mokai.

    Better plan on Montana Creek for a one or two nighter would be to take a small (like 13') raft, 1-person cats, kayaks, or canoes to float from Yoder Road to Sunrise (Just before Parks Highway). Good stretches of water, commonly a few trees across but not too many, and provides a good time fishing and camping. Ya said hunting and there is plenty of wildlife around... just not concentrations like whitewater sections.

    Sheep does not really provide the same kind of fun... however you could 4-wheeler a ways up but it'll get ya no better than the short shot in Mok boat.

    Consider this --- if you climb into a Mokai and put an extra person in it (hopefully she is cute 'cause it's a squeeze - legs will go numb), you'll achieve a mostly plowing hull and a top speed of 5-6 knots on flat water. Just the same, this is just not enough to get 'er done with yourself, extra gas (that you'll need plowing water), with typical camp gear and groceries for a fun outing attempting the ascents in much of any currents. Keep it to the duck flats, day-trippin', and by yourself - all is fine.

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    Thanks Brian...sounds like you gave me the information needed. The only concern I have is I know somone that went up 7 miles in the mokai on Montana Creek. I know it was during the summer..and just need to get in touch with him via email and find out what challenges he encountered while doing so.. I am sure there were many challenges he faced in doing so. Said he also went up sheep creek and most of the creeks on the highway north. Just have to get the details.

    My major concerns were falls I might have to pull it up or around..sounds like it might not be worth it in the moks....does the yoder road take you up past the holes AK Ray was talking about? IF so.. Would a 14ft selfbailing raft work? I have a brand new one of these as well I could use..frame etc. I thought about flying in up there with that..but thought the raft might be to big for that float...let me know.

    I spent alot of time in them last year and agree with the weight issue..the only cutie I have to ride with me is one of my twin 5y/o daughters..and they both love riding with me and mom.

    Duckhunting..yepers..going to try this in the fall...was taking to many people this past year and could not get the time to do this with just two or myself.

    Thanks again..

    DH
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
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    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Richardson View Post
    Better plan on Montana Creek for a one or two nighter would be to take a small (like 13') raft, 1-person cats, kayaks, or canoes to float from Yoder Road to Sunrise (Just before Parks Highway). Good stretches of water, commonly a few trees across but not too many, and provides a good time fishing and camping. Ya said hunting and there is plenty of wildlife around... just not concentrations like whitewater sections.
    Is a one-man cat a safe option? I'd be interested in packing mine up a few miles and coming back down, but from the look of the video, I'd be asking for an upside-down boat and a wet, cold fisherman.
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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    Yoder Road is the second bridge. First bridge is the Parks.

    I am wondering if your friend went from the Parks all the way up to the falls above Yoder Road?

    Looking at the MSB trails map 7 miles would be about the distance from the Parks to the falls. And looking at the map I never walked up from Yoder as far as I thought I did. So I was no where near the falls when we started running into bears and headed back down.

    This link goes to the MSB trails website. Down at the bottom click on Map 10. It is a huge 8.76Mb file and may take awhile to open. "Trail" 75 is Yoder Road, trail 79 is Luthman trail that takes you along the creek to the base of the falls. Trail 80 is the Montana Creek falls trail and will take you to the top of the ridge overlooking the 80 foot tall falls. These are multi-use all year trails. There will be folks on ATVs waiting for you at the falls.

    Hmmmm....just popped into my head that since the area appears to be an established MSB recreation area, can you hunt there? I don't have time to read through the trails website for you, but you might want to check into that.

    I have been fishing along the Sunshine area of Montana when a 16 to 18 foot cat-raft came around a corner and we had to duck the oars. It was mid June and the water was still pretty fast so the raft had little choice but to blast through us. We were doing "agressive" wading and I was struggling with my wide butt on some of the crossings. Even the knee deep spots were taking our feet out with the current.

    Fishing above Yoder bridge in July a few years ago and it must have been a drought cause the riffles had less than a foot of water in them. It was my first sandle and shorts wading the water was that warm. The bears ruined the fun though.

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    Ray...yeah I see on the map where yoder road bridge is. Looks like a great spot to put in and float back down to the parks. I see above Yoder road bridge the river splits..is this where the falls are at and you had the bear issus.

    Thanks for the information..looks like there would be some great trout fishing up along this route..plenty of room to get out and stretch the legs.

    DH
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
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    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Where Trail 79 ends in that canyon is where the falls are supposed to be. There is a spur trial off of Trail 80 that goes to an overlook. It looks like it is about 3 miles above Yoder along the river. I might have been only 1.5 miles up stream from Yoder when we started running into bear tracks, fish in the trees and, things moving in the brush off the side of the creek. Kids decided they had had enough.

    There are quite a few folks that put in at Yoder and take out at the Parks. You could take out in Sunshine but that would require some brush busting to get to the road out of the creek bed.

    There are lots of trout and they get picky with all the food. Not as picky as the Russian fish though.

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    Member icb12's Avatar
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    You can't put in at Yoder and take out at the Parks with anything bigger than a packraft. There's 4 big jams, and plenty of super skinny water. The falls are 3 miles up the South fork, and the south fork requires a lot of portaging to raft out it. The middle fork gets way too small to raft. The north fork is jammed up hard 2 miles up from yoder. Not much room to walk around. It's thick, brushy, and skinny water above yoder.
    A 14' raft will not work on upper montana.
    Yoder to Susitna in a packraft is 12 hours, fishing along the way.
    Never had ANY bear trouble anywhere along Montana, From the headwaters of the north fork to the susitna. They are there, but hunting them would be a PITA

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    I bet..the thicker the better....might just take a knife and stab em in the eye..lol

    Thanks. Looks like the journey continues to find a river or stream to take them up and find a bear sitting on the bank with a fish in his mouth.

    DH
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
    http://akwaterfowl.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alask...78020265619952
    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    Hmm I looked all over the website and only found a few trails described. I sure am interested in #184. To get that close to the mouth of the north fork of the Kashwitna it would definitely have to follow part of the gated road Wards own/control. The main Kash from the NF to the parks is full of bears and is floatable in any decent raft

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    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icb12 View Post
    You can't put in at Yoder and take out at the Parks with anything bigger than a packraft.
    Have things changed that much in the past couple years?...

    I've regularly floated that section since the mid '90's in a 16' cataraft with 26" tubes with a solid frame that was 6'x10' and 10' oars....my rowers seat and stripping basket stick up a couple feet above the frame...

    there was one jamb that would take 2 guys about 15 minutes to get the thing over the 2 big cottonwood trees, but other than that no biggie...

    here's one from '98
    ------------------------------------------------
    pull my finger....

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