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Thread: A few questions on the Little-Su

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    Member AlaskaIsCold's Avatar
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    Arrow A few questions on the Little-Su

    A few of my friends have told me that for my birthday Mid-Late June they were going to take me on a 2 day float on the little su, from the parks highway all the way down to the Little Su Public Use facility. But I have never been on this river before so I know next to nothing about it.

    Around Mid-Late June what kinds of salmon/trout are in the river at this time?

    Are there any fishing holes on the little su that I would drift past that might hold something I could catch?

    Let me know!
    A bad day fishing is still better than a good day at work.

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    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Default Little SU

    Mid to late June will be mostly King fishing. Kings will be spread throughout your float with better chances the lower you get on the river.

    There will also be a small early run of Reds in the river at that time, but they are hard to catch when in smaller numbers. My advice is do not float by the few areas that have lake drainages into the su. Reds will likely stop there and head up into the lakes to spawn, but some of the early run will stay in the main river.

    Trout will be where you find them and not in large numbers most likely they will be with the salmon.

    It is a good trip give yourself 3-4 days to do it right and have time to hunt for fish.

    Good luck, let me know if you have any other questions. I am not an expert on floating this trip, but I did grow up and guide the upper end of the river for many years.

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    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    The only way you could do that in 2 days is you will be motoring not floating. Its slow moving water and lots of blind corners to watch out for boats going up stream. Some big boats on there for as small as it is and they go fast to stay on step. I don't know what your floating in but if its a canoe, be very careful around the the corners. If your not motoring you will hear them coming.
    Time will tell how our kings are this year but if it's like last year it might be shut down during your time so watch for closers on the river.

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    Member AlaskaIsCold's Avatar
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    After reading what you said im realizing that their idea isn't nessarily the best, they wanted to go from parks highway to Lttle Su public use in 10 hours, averaging just over 4 miles an hour, while paddling. They came up with the idea of floating the Big Su from where the highway passes over it to where willow river flows into it, again all in one day.

    I don't think that is a wise idea to say the least so I am going to try and convince them to do a willow float instead. However...I am not sure if you can float Willow River all the way down to where it meets the Big Su. Have you done that before Power Drifter? What kind of -long- day floats would you suggest?
    A bad day fishing is still better than a good day at work.

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    Member Raptor_1's Avatar
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    Willow is definitely floatable but can be scary. Watch out for sweepers and dead falls. Some rough water but can be done.
    Alaska: We're all here cuz we're not all "there"

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaIsCold View Post
    A few of my friends have told me that for my birthday Mid-Late June they were going to take me on a 2 day float on the little su, from the parks highway all the way down to the Little Su Public Use facility. But I have never been on this river before so I know next to nothing about it.

    Around Mid-Late June what kinds of salmon/trout are in the river at this time?

    Are there any fishing holes on the little su that I would drift past that might hold something I could catch?

    Let me know!
    I know people who floated the little Su from the Parks hwy to the public use facility.. In September.. they took 3 days, and did a lot of silver fishing and looking for a moose.. the closer they got to the public use facility the more power boats they had to dodge...

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raptor_1 View Post
    Willow is definitely floatable but can be scary. Watch out for sweepers and dead falls. Some rough water but can be done.
    It's been years (1970's) since I ran a boat up or down the Willow... but I distinctly remember a couple log jams and one of them had what was left of a canoe in it... perhaps someone has taken a chain saw to those log jams...

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    I would do little willow. great float good camping and a few bears to stir the pot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akdube View Post
    I would do little willow. great float good camping and a few bears to stir the pot.
    I floated the Litle Willow last fall. From what I've gathered, most/all of the property on both sides is PRIVATE. Fishing is one thing (everything is done below the high water mark), shooting a bear on the bank might be something else.

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    Member AlaskaIsCold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raptor_1 View Post
    Willow is definitely floatable but can be scary. Watch out for sweepers and dead falls. Some rough water but can be done.
    I dont even know what a sweeper is.
    I was just gonna kayak down it, and if I found a good fishing spot I was gonna stop and wet some line before continuing.
    A bad day fishing is still better than a good day at work.

  11. #11
    Member Raptor_1's Avatar
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    Sweepers are logs that have fallen down across the water or tress with their branches hanging down into the water making it near impossible to cross while under oar. Have to ford around them. Think of them as a small log jam blocking the river. That's what I always knew them as anyway.
    Alaska: We're all here cuz we're not all "there"

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I had me a sweeper once - she was dark haired and brown eyed...O - WAIT - different topic.

    A sweeper does not have to go all the way across the river - you can get stuck in one that just jets out a little ways and then things get real exciting real quick.

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    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    water flows straight and when there is a bend in the river it wants to keep flowing straight and it will wash out the outer bank over time dumping the trees slowly into the river. I think of sweepers as any trees just out of the water but could sweep you out of the boat and or a nice fly rod gone. Strainers are trees that are now in the water and you really do not want to end up in either of these as your boat will most likely dump and you can very easily get stuck on one of these trees and I don't mean just sitting on top of it waiting for help. That of course is where you will want to get to if this happens,not swimming in the water stuck on the tree as that would be bad news. They really are one of the big dangers on rivers to stay out of.

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    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    SweeperRight.jpgSweeperWrong.jpgAKCold I thought you might like to see this.
    Although it doesn't feel right when you do it, the proper approach is to point the bow of the canoe directly at the sweeper, and to back ferry (back paddle). This way, all of the paddling energy is directed to staying away from the sweeper. The current in the river provides all forward momentum needed to get around the bend. Basically, you will go around the curve sideways, with the bow always pointed at the sweeper. After you clear the obstacle, you go back to regular forward paddling.

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    cold, pm sent

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