I took out a new AIRE Super Duper Puma raft on the upper 11 miles of the Kenai River on Saturday, from the Kenai Lake Bridge down river to Jims Landing. Although the recent rains and snowmelt water had the rivers level a few inches above many of the gravel bars that are routinely exposed, the water was more clear than I had ever previously saw it. Apparently, at only 53 degrees there wasn't any significant amount of glacial melt and glacial silt and the Kenai River has not yet taken on its traditional Kenai River "blueish" color, yet.
And with no fisher-people and no tourist boats it was a great day to get a new boat wet and to pull & push on some oars for the first time this year. If one can tune out the trafffic noise on the highway, it was like being on a wilderness river, almost. I did see a few Red Salmon porpoise out of the water a few times, so hopefully that is a sign of a good upcoming fishing season.
Soon enough, too soon the river will be choked with fishermen, which I also really do enjoy, and tourist boats and the river will resemble more of a party than a wilderness river. But the weekend solidute float was pleasant.