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Thread: Chitina Info

  1. #1
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    Default Chitina Info

    Hello,

    I've been going down to Kenai for the past several years to dipnet. I may not have that kind of time this summer and am looking for info on Chitina. I realize that Kenai's probably a walk in the park compared to how it can get down on the Copper, i.e. less difficult, more consistent, compared to pretty dangerous and less consistency, etc. I've looked at the Chitina dipnetters website and it has a lot of good info on there. I would although appreciate hearing from some of you. I don't have a 4 wheeler, nor a boat. I realize that some of these questions may sound pretty remedial and/or silly to some of you folks, but i have to start somewhere; my dipnetting experience being limited to kenai and all. Here's what I'm interested in finding out:

    -will my 5ft hoop net work? I've heard otherwise, especially when fishing from shore, due to the current.
    -logisitcs. how do i get to where i need to be if i don't have a boat or an atv? i've heard of a boat shuttle up to o'brien, but that's all i've heard.
    -timeframe. although i know that this is a tough one to answer, perhaps somebody has some guesstimates?
    -definitely a 2 man (or more) operation?

    and anything else anybody would like to add?

    would greatly appreciate any advice, suggestions you may have.

    thanks,
    chris

  2. #2

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    As far as first-time trip, your best bet is to go with Hem's charter and get dropped off to fish a known producing spot. You will gain quite a bit of experience on your first trip and have a better idea of what it takes to do the trip by yourself.

    Search the archives on this site and you'll find tons of outstanding advice.

    As far as timing goes it all depends on whether you want to get a king or not. Check out my website below for historical perspective of run timing.

  3. #3
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    http://copperrivercharters.net/packing.htm
    This is Sam McCallister's webpage and his "Dipnetter Essentials" link.
    Gives a pretty good idea of what one would need. Chartering is easiest for 1st timer. Can drive directly to O'Bryan Creek, park, get in line. And then dropped back off at O'Bryan Creek, which has a fish cleaning station.
    Downside of Chartering is you are on their schedule 6am-around 6pm with no Sundays. Also they can get overwhelmed and have long lines (have heard of 2 day waits to get out). One can avoid the weekends, if possible, and 4th of July weekend and anytime there looks to be especially lots of fish coming (from Sonar counts or when F/G allows a Supplemental Harvest).
    Other than that you could find someone who has been down a few times and team up with them. And there are many ways to go with that. People go out in boats, or if they are dipping from shore there are different places where people fish, from the Upper Border of the Fishery to going past O'Bryan Creek (4 Wheeler or even with bicycles).
    I have seen this site used as a place to find someone to team up with.
    But other than finding someone to team up with the Charters are the best and easiest way for someone new to Chitina.
    Paul Holland
    Board Member Chitina Dipnetters Association
    chitinadipnetters dot com

  4. #4
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    Congrats on making the decision to try the copper. Once you dip there you will never go back to the Kenai zoo. You will need to get a different net. I recommend something in the 36 to 42 inch diameter. Definitely not more than 48 inches in diameter if you intend to fish wood canyon which is where the best fishing is. Definitely use the charter from obrien creek. Mark hem and Sam Mcallister run the operation jointly. They are great guys and will put you on fish. Charter price was 110 per person last year. To avoid the crowds and still have great fishing, go in mid August and skip the June and jly rush. Ice and fuel are available at Chitina one stop along with basic groceries so you can pick up supplies if you forget something at home.

  5. #5
    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    Suggestions for the Copper...You should wear a life jacket and tie off to a solid object ( rock or tree ) with good rope, tie the rope up around your chest and armpit area, not around your waist, have enough rope to get to the edge, no further. The Copper River is unforgiving if you happen to fall in. Where the river funnels through Wood Canyon, it is one of the strongest currents in Alaska. One false step and you're a goner. You can dip net without safety precautions...I would consider this similar to jumping out of a plane with no parachute.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq_enLlCsdI&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKXn8SLxCbU
    "Grin and Bear It"

  6. #6
    Member Bob the fisher's Avatar
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    Looks like a couple awesome days on the river. Any opinions on the correct type of net to be used? Big round with gillnet (Kenia river type) or a smaller type with long hande (landing net type). I have seen both. Which is bettter? thanx... "fishon"
    "Fisherman for Life" and "Phantom owner Forever"

  7. #7
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    If fishing in the strong currents of wood canyon, I very much recommend stout nets of a medium diameter. Definitely no bigger than 48 inch diameter and 36 or 42 are better. You will want a heavy duty aluminum handle or a fiberglass handle. I prefer the fiberglass but they are harder to haul since you can't take them apart.

    If you intend to fish the less violent waters above the canyon, then I think there is advantage to a 48 inch net so you can strain more water. On the copper you are either fighting very heavy current or sweeping for fish and either way you don't want a monster Kenai net.

  8. #8
    Member Bob the fisher's Avatar
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    Kool... thanx for the info... "fishon"
    "Fisherman for Life" and "Phantom owner Forever"

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by safari View Post
    If fishing in the strong currents of wood canyon, I very much recommend stout nets of a medium diameter. Definitely no bigger than 48 inch diameter and 36 or 42 are better. You will want a heavy duty aluminum handle or a fiberglass handle. I prefer the fiberglass but they are harder to haul since you can't take them apart.

    If you intend to fish the less violent waters above the canyon, then I think there is advantage to a 48 inch net so you can strain more water. On the copper you are either fighting very heavy current or sweeping for fish and either way you don't want a monster Kenai net.

    I have to disagree on this one with a few qualifications.

    I've got a spot that I like to go that's between 1.5 and 2 miles in from Obrien creek and using a 36 inch net never hit more than one fish every three or four hours. My last trip down I brought the Kenai net and finished filling my permit (~22 fish) in six hours. This was after lower run numbers than the previous times I'd been out there.

    Fishing from shore - I'd find a good little crack between two rocks under the water to help prop it up in the current and just sit there waiting for a bump.

    I am also a big guy. And I took a long time to heal from using muscles I never knew existed fighting the current.

    But that said, I'll struggle with a big net if it cuts my fishing time down. Unless it is one of those blue bird days that just happened to elude me each time I was there. Then the fishing can be as slow as it wants to be.

    I will agree that if it is your first time, try the smaller net to get a feel for things.

    Wear a life jacket and tie yourself off.

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