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Thread: swanson river canoe trip

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default swanson river canoe trip

    Hello all I'm planning to do a Swanson river canoe trip this year. Going from the swanson river road launch. to cook inlet. I have a few questions though.

    1. I have a 17 ft smokercraft alum. canoe would this canoe be allright to use?
    2. im thinking of doing a little hunting and fishing along the way, are there some good spots?
    3. what types of supplies would you recomend for the trip? I have a good list going but would like to pick others brains.
    4. how are the camping areas along the route?
    5. when is a good time to go for optimal water height, fishing, weather, and hunting.
    6.What do you think about 6 days would be ample? or is that too many?


  2. #2
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Swanson river

    Your canoe will do you fine, later in the year as during the moose season the river can be quite low, but you can stilll make it. I have seen it rain so much in August and Sept that it was pretty full and easy to dodge the rocks. Hunting is usually pretty good, I suggest you take a gps and a good map and plan on hunting away from the river a bit, lots of small meadows and lakes off the river itself. As far as camping spots go, it is limited next to the river itself to just a few places along the 27 mile trip. If you don't mind getting off the river a hundred yards or more, you can find some spots. It is a popular float, but if you get a half mile from the river, you will seldom have any competition, use calling for Moose, this is about the best way, as it is dense and hard to see for long distances.
    the last part of the hunt will produce the best results for larger bull willing to come to the call. good Luck.
    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.

  3. #3


    I think 6 days to do the Swanson is a really long trip for a short distance. You can do the Swanson in one day if you really want too. If you are moose hunting then a six day trip is a different story. Like Max said there are really only a couple good camping spots close to the river and you'll know them when you pass um and there is a very good chance they will be taken.

    If I was going to plan a camping/fishing Swanson trip I'd make it a one or two nighter at the most. I think the best camping spot was one right after the really long slow section, there used to be a rope swing there.

    Also if you have access to a canoe that can take more abuse, use it instead. The Swanson when low can be brutal on canoes.

    Sorry I don't have any fishing advice, I'm not very good at that (hard to admit but true). During the fall there are a ton of silvers but I can't ever catch um.

  4. #4
    New member fishingis4play's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Wasilla, Alaska

    Thumbs up September

    Silvers can be caught with eggs under a bobber just above the grass, or a #5 Vibrax spinner are real good there also. LOTS of Brown Bears along the river when the Silvers are in too so be prepared to fish and hunt with them! Good Luck and Happy Hunting/Fishing

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Kenai, AK


    Your canoe will be fine but and you're bound to hit rocks no matter what. Trout fishing is good throughout the summer, more than likely you'll not find anything huge in the river. Silver fishing is awesome at the lower end of the river in August two. The camping spot mentioned before doesn't have a rope swing anymore that entire tree is gone. But it is above the river on a small bluff and you can't miss it its on a bend in the river where the river takes a right hand turn. If you camp here or below you're well over halfway done so be sure to take your time finishing the trip. 6 days is a long time unless your moose hunting, I've always found bigger trout at the beginning of the river also. Water leval is best in the spring and in August. Otherwise you'll be dragging but it's not bad just adds to the trip. It is an easy trip and I would definetly reccomend it, I've done it at least once every year since I was 6.

  6. #6


    The swanson river can be a blast. I usually do it two nights, so I can enjoy the trip (less paddling/more fishing). Your canoe will work just fine. Fishing does not open on the river until June 15th, so plan on or after this date. Whatever you decide to pack with you is kind of a personal choice. However, I highly recommend putting anything you want to keep dry in waterproof bags, not trash bags as they tear too easily. A firearm for protection is a good idea too.


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