First,my condolences to the family.
After that I hope any greenhorn, cheechako, newbie that searches copper river comes across this. That river us DANGEROUS! Do not go there without a lifejacket, do not go there without tying off (with a back up tie line). it its not a matter of pride or being comfortable, it is about being able to get your fish home to your family. I am born and raised Alaska and this was the first year i dipped the Chitna, My very first impression was "I'll never come back" we killed fish, 80 reds and three kings in 6 hours of dippin, but i'll never risk it again. We were in a boat, but it wasnt worth it. we LOST three nets and broke another. There were two guys on the shore about 500 yards apart, I drifted the boat between them and we got fish. they were only able to fish within 10 feet of the bank and didnt catch sh^T.
PLEASE HEED THE WARNINGS IF YOU GO.