Last August I had the opportunity to paddle down Moraine creek in Katmai national preserve. I am lucky, in that, I work for a fly in fishing lodge in the area, and was able to hitch a ride out to the put in with the fishing guides and clients. We landed at a nameless lake and hiked out over the tundra to the river, instantly I saw one of the things the area is famous for, BEARS!
lots of them and lots of big ones, I stuck around with the guides while we all got our rafts inflated and ready to go, then I was off as I was moving much faster and not stopping to fish. My trip plan was to make it to the other put in we use on Moraine, down the bank from Pothole lake, and hook up with another guide and then float out with him and his dudes. I made my way down river enjoying the scenery and wildlife, talk about infestation, there were bears fishing everywhere, I nearly crashed into one that couldn’t decide where he wanted to fish. I periodically stopped to watch the bears and take photographs. The first section is by far the most interesting, there are tons of bears and one fun drop called “the falls”, at the end of a section that is known as the boulder garden. the second half has less bears and no features at all, but does have the other thing the area is famous for, monster sized trout and grayling.
I met up with the other guide and his dudes and spent the rest of the day taking pictures and watching as they caught 28" trout and forearm sized grayling. We leisurely paddled from hole to hole and fished, it was relaxing and good sunny weather. I could not have asked for a better day to be on the river. we then floated down to the take out and waited for our float plane to show up.
All in all if you ever find yourself with the means to make it out to this area do so, its what Alaska is all about in many ways.
This is the section I paddled;