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How do you know where the take-outs are?

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  • How do you know where the take-outs are?

    I have many years with power boats (kinda a theme this spring) and I have rowed for fishing my boats (16' flat bottom). Last year I rented a two man cat and floated from the bridge down to the take out on the Willow. There was a log jam with a shoot on the river left that I didn't recognize until too late. Was able to pull to the middle of the jam/island and portage fine but could have been spooky if I had gone right.

    I found handling the craft fine and wish to get into it with the wife but viewing the river from water level and from Google Earth or topo maps are not the same. I have a concern that I would blow past a takeout I wanted to target. Best case would be to float with some that has experience but that is not always available.

    Any advice for the uninitiated?

    Thanks, George

  • #2
    Don't you leave a car at the takeout? Or did you hitch it back to the put in? Mark it on a GPS while you are there.

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    • #3
      Well I rented from the lodge/resort and they picked us up. Missed the last left and had to row back up stream for a bit. Glad I had fished the mouth to reconize where I was or I would have ventured out into the Big Su and that wouldn't have been good.

      Thought about the GPS, are you then married to watching it so you don't pass the take out.

      Oh well, just need to get a friend or what ever.

      George

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      • #4
        George I did the same thing...
        I accidently went past my take out in my drift boat on my first trip down the Kasilof. I didn't realize the takeout was so close to the put in. Luckily for me there was another "improvised" take out just before the end (otherwise I would have been in Cook Inlet)

        Familiarity makes it easy, go with someone who knows the river, word of mouth helps, maps are great (and an excellent back up), but now I have my Garmin GPS Rino, which will give me a audible alert when I am approaching a waypoint. No need to watch so diligently, but you still need to understand where you are on the river.
        To bead or not to bead, that is the question... :confused:

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        • #5
          Mad Dog,

          I like the idea of the audio alert. Thanks for the respnce.

          George

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          • #6
            George, I'm also a big fan of the Garmin Rino GPS. It sure helps the first few times down when you are learning the river. The GPS will give you some great info, like avg speed, estimated time to your takeout, distance to go, etc, etc. You can even save your track, then follow the same route again the next time. Now I just need to find a clamp that I can use to attach it to the raft frame and I'll be set.

            As cool as the GPS is, it's still no replacement for paying attention to the river. That big log jam on the Willow was new last year, and there will probably be some new ones this year. That's part of what keeps it interesting, it's a little bit different every time.

            Rob

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            • #7
              Rob,
              Thanks, I couldn't agree more on paying attention. Seeing something for the first time on a new river/water and understanding currents just up stream is a good skill.

              As far as the GPS holder, check out some of the Sit-on-Top Kayak form and vender websites. They got all kinds of cool gadget holders. I am looking for a way to hold my new flyrod to my single cat whilst I row. For trolling or just getting into position.

              Softwater season is getting close...

              George

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              • #8
                The Alaska River Guide by Karen Jettmar is a pretty good resource. It covers over 100 rivers and gives a fairly accurate description of put ins and take outs.

                http://www.amazon.com/Alaska-River-G.../dp/0882404970

                Joe

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                • #9
                  The Alaska River Guide

                  Originally posted by Legospam View Post
                  The Alaska River Guide by Karen Jettmar is a pretty good resource. It covers over 100 rivers and gives a fairly accurate description of put ins and take outs.

                  http://www.amazon.com/Alaska-River-G.../dp/0882404970

                  Joe
                  Hello Joe,

                  You are correct about Karen's book. Excellent resource. You may not be aware that we carry that book in our online bookstore on this site. You can find the most current edition of the Alaska River Guide AT THIS LINK.

                  Thanks!

                  -Mike
                  Michael Strahan
                  Site Owner
                  Alaska Hunt Consultant
                  1 (907) 229-4501

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Finding take-outs and such

                    Hello George,

                    One tool that has not been discussed is Maptech's Terrain Navigator software. I have this program, and it's pretty slick. All you need to do is locate the take-out on the mapping program and it will show you the coordinates. Simply enter them in to your GPS and you're good to go. If you don't want to spend the money, Google Earth also shows the coordinates, however it may not offer the detail you need, depending on the area.

                    Alternatively you could physically go to the take-out before you put the boat in the water and take a GPS reading. Not a bad idea, actually, and it gives you a visual on the area, so when you get there you'll recognize it. You could even take a few pics of it with your digital camera if need be, and take the camera with you on the river. You could look at the pics when you get close if you are not able to easily identify the area and have forgotten what it looks like. On longer trips in remote areas, I frequently photograph the take-out from the air on the way in, and take a GPS reading so I can find it on the ground. Some take-outs are not obvious from the river and you can easily over-shoot.

                    In the case of Willow Creek, that one is a bit different, because you have to take a side channel to get in there. But no worries, even if you end up in the Susitna River, there's a take-out just below where everyone fishes. In the image below, you want to take a hard left at #1. This puts you in a slough where you will have to drag your raft in a couple of places. The take-out is at #2, which is a dirt trail from the campground parking lot to the slough. The trail is blocked off with posts, so you cannot back a trailer down in there, although there is room for a trailer up to the posts and there are several parking places long enough for your rig and a trailer (if you are trailering your raft). If you miss the turn-off to the slough, no big deal. Just float out to the mouth of Willow Creek, into the Susitna River. You'll float past the gauntlet where everyone fishes from the bank, and the next take-out is on your left. The current rips along pretty good in there though, so you have to really be on top of it to pull in there. If you miss it, you're in for a longer ride... the next take-out is at Susitna Landing, several miles downstream.

                    Take care,

                    -Mike

                    Michael Strahan
                    Site Owner
                    Alaska Hunt Consultant
                    1 (907) 229-4501

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks Mike,
                      Good info and suggestions, I think I need to get a GPS with an alarm. Last year I missed the hard left you talked about and went down to the 2nd takeout where everyone was fishing. I had been there in the spring so did reconize it but it had changed with water level, people and looking at it from a 180 degree prespective was different. I ended rowing up the side channel to the #1 take out for pick-up.

                      I just don't have the time to spend in the summer to mark alot of these. I will try to do what you suggested and visit some take outs and log into my GPS.

                      Thanks Mike this was what I was looking for.

                      George

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