Looking to avoid jet boats...



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  • Looking to avoid jet boats...

    Can anyone tell me a few places to try out in my airboat...I have ran the Knik and the Big Su..Love both of them. I am wantin to expand my horizons. I don't want to run real rocking rivers for obvious reasons. I don't have the time this year to head up to and north of Fairbanks. So, I am left with trying to find new areas here. My boat burns about 8 gallons an hour and if anyone can give me an idea of how much fuel to take on certain trips that would help out as well. Just as an example I burn about a tank (24 gallons) going up to Knik glacier on windy days. I operate on the 1/3, 1/3, and 1/3 principle. 1/3 to go, 1/3 back, and 1/3 contingency/emergency. Just a little programmed that way, and so I like to have some idea up front to ease the tension.

    Also, if anyone knows where to find a marine header gasket please let me know.


    Advice from a River: Slow Down and Meander, Go with the Flow, Stay Current, Beauty is in the Journey...

  • #2
    My Favorite Runs

    20 Mile River by Portage has been my long time favorite run. Unfortunately, the good fishing holes were closed off years ago and I lost interest. I caught the largest king, dolly, silver, chums and red salmon that I have ever, personally, seen on this river. All being in the trophy range. This river can be tricky though, especially when you are close to the beaver dam overflows about 15 miles upriver. But it has been about 5 years or so since I have been up this river, it has probably changed some. Friends with jet boats would often follow us up river, but would never make it. On the glacier river side there are many low level water falls and tricky canyons that I have heard stories of. High powered inboard jet boats make it up this section though. If a jet boat can make it I am sure an airboat can.

    Placer River is a good run too, and the final 2 miles before Spencer Glacier are hair raising but we managed this run numerous times in our 14' airboat. The rooster tails and white water I conquered were worthy camp fire stories. Invigorating to say the least, what a challenge. You have to watch out though, many times we found ourselves coming out at the overflow and not the launch.

    Matanuska! If you unload your boat at the new Glen Bridge you can head towards the inlet and up the Mat. Most dont know it and maps dont show it, but the main channel of the Matanuska River runs into Knik. The Mat is also accessable by this main channel. But I know which section the fish travel. :-)

    I always wanted to run Eagle River. Mainly because its there and I wanted to check out new terrain. I never attempted this river because of the mainly floaters, and I have never seen a power boat on this river. I stayed away.

    I always wanted to run the Talketna river, but it was far away and I had a hard time traveling the distance when I could catch trophy fish within the Anchorage bowl.

    The airboat I ran would only burn 4 gallons an hour. I forgot the exact size of our tank but we always carried spare tanks. I am reaching out on a limb here but I believe it was a 20 gallon tank. The only time we reached into our spare tanks where on the Big Su traveling down to and up the Yetna.


    • #3
      If you plan on running up 20 mile, make sure you do it before or after the silver run. It gets way too crowded with other boats. Ive been going there for over 20 years but got fed up with all the boat traffic and sold my jet boat a few years ago and went for an ocean only boat. Beautiful river and lots of nice scenery. Great fishing also.


      • #4
        griff chances are we have crossed paths at one time or another. During my time on 20 mile river we saw very few boats though. There would be plenty of vehicles parked at the launch but we would almost never see another boat in our fishing holes and not many on the river itself. On this river airboats plan their trip around the tide. Mid to low tide is the only time to travel down river to hit the boat launch. A cage will not fit underneith the bridge during high tide.

        About 20 miles or so up river on 20 mile river (yes, weird I know) there was a beaver dam off to the right that was fed by clear water. There was another beaver dam downstream that was not fed my clear water, maybe 200-300 yards downstream. This area was still as a pond and we only witnessed two outboard jet boards get to this area in just over 10 years of fishing it. One day we saw fish and game trying to drag a boat upriver, next year that area was closed between certain dates. They claimed people were set netting upstream. I have never seen it myself, bunch of bull if you ask me. The next year someone demolished the dam and the fishing was ruined. In the many water sheds I have fished there has not been a single body of water that has triumphed 20 mile river as far as fishing is concerned.

        On another note. While we were sitting waiting for the tide to go down. I watched two men in what appeared to be a coleman bath tub (being sarcastic here) with a small yet old outboard motor, no more than 5hp, jump into this contraption to head upstream. The man in the rear appeared to weight around 200 lbs, the guy in the front I could have sworn topped 350 lbs. The bow was noticably heavier and the front was pointing towards the water. Even against their odds they fired up the old outboard and gave it full throttle. They inched their way upstream with the water only inches from the top of the boat not fit for a child. Some people have some big cahoonas.


        • #5
          we might have seen eachother. it was only in the last 5 or 6 years that the boat traffic has increased. We would always came on the gravel bar and hit the fishing hole at 4 in the morning, get our limit within an hour or two and then get back to camp before the people leaving anchorage got to the river. It was fun, but a little disapointing when there were 10 boats crammed into one of the holes that are only good for 3 or 4 boats. Now theres guides going up there, jet boat safaris...it was only a matter of time I suppose.


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