Mulchatna River

(Click on the thumbnails below for larger images.)

Sun setting to the west. The Goose needs ... A Photo of a 1944 Widgeon Early morning fog. The Mulchatna caribou herd...

No matter how, or even where, you choose to access the mighty Mulchatna River, you will undoubtedly have a very successful trip. Large caribou and moose are present throughout the entire area. Accessing the Mulchatna is easy - deciding where is the tough part. Imagine rainbow trout in staggering numbers swimming in pools or arctic char and grayling eager to feed on a carefully placed fly.

Imagine yourself surrounded by mountains with weathered faces, spotted with patches of snow, blue lake water, and the feeling that wildlife is feeding just out of sight. Maybe you can even imagine leaving Twin Lakes drifting toward the mighty Mulchatna River down the Chilikadrotna, and the only sound you hear is the river and the wildlife.

The Chilikadrotna is roughly 65 river miles down to the Mulchatna. The Chilikadrotna River is an excellent fly fishing river with a lot of spruce trees and some sweepers reaching out from the shore and into the river.

There are plenty of clearings along the upper Mulchatna where glassing for just the right Caribou is made easy.

Twin Lakes is not the only lake from which to access the Mulchatna. Turquoise Lake is also an option, but the water from that stretch of river for about 45 miles is easily muddied and seldom, if ever, runs crystal clear.

The terrain surrounding this stretch of the Mulchatna appears to be marshland and is inhabited by beavers. This is evident by the number of dams and ponds along this 40 mile stretch.

Red Bluff is approximately 25 floating hours from Twin Lakes. If you choose to start your trip at Red Bluff, you won't miss a thing. The fishing is still mind boggling and there are signs of big game nearly everywhere you choose to stop the boat. If the mighty Mulchatna River is your choice for fishing, hunting or both, consider spending 8 days on your trip, 6 full days of recreation.

As you float down the Mulchatna, you will pass hundreds of streams and tributaries feeding the river. If you float the Mulchatna in early spring before the salmon run, you'll discover rainbow trout at the bottom of these streams and tributaries. They go crazy for number three and four silver or gold bucktail mepps. If you are a fly fisherman, the rainbow trout at times go crazy for various patterns of the egg fly.

As you continue down the Mulchatna River you will come to Koktuli River. The Koktuli drains into the Mulchatna from a large area to the east.

Should you choose to start your float from Koktuli, you will find it to be an easy one with no white water or boulder fields and only a few sweepers to keep you on your toes.

You can be picked up on the Mulchatna at the bottom of the Koktuli River or just float on down to the next big attraction, the Stuyahok River, which also flows into the Mulchatna from the east. The Stuyahok River drains in from more area than is possible to access by float plane.

You can access most of the floatable river from a fairly large lake. Unfortunately, the tiny, windy stream that runs out the end down to meet the main river is only suitable for boats with six foot beam or less.

Moose signs are evident even from the air, and in late September caribou wander through constantly. This is one of the least expensive Mulchatna River hunts.

We know riverboats run up the Koktuli and Stuyahok Rivers during hunting season, but how many and how far we don't know yet. Rest assured our research isn't over. Fresh Water Adventures Inc. spends hours in the air all spring, summer, and fall gathering information from all types of fisherman and hunters to share with interested people like yourselves. We will continue to expand our horizons in search of that special stream, river, or lake out by itself with large northern pike and excellent hunting. Or how about climbing rock faces never before scaled by a fellow climber?

One thing is for sure, when we find that special spot you'll be the first to know. Just ask!

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If you choose to access the Mulchatna River from above Koktuli, check into charters out of Anchorage, Port Alsworth and Iliamna before choosing an air taxi out of Dillingham.