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Thread: couple questions for you experienced guys on the copper

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    Default couple questions for you experienced guys on the copper

    I have dippnetted many times down there on the rocks with a dropoff from hems.. always limit within a few hours so give them a A+. But this year I have a couple extra kids I don't want to pay for as it adds up way fast. I have also don't the beach thing which is ok but not really my think with all the other people. I have four wheelers and a side by side so I was wondering what that trail down the river was like? From what I can tell on maps and google earth it looks like there is little elevation change.. but that doesn't account for real world conditions as I know...

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    First time by ATV is a real learning experience. Trail condition across the slide area is unknown until reports come in. Knowing where to find a producing hole on your own isn't easy, especially if you are hoofing up and down cliffs to get there.

    As a first time on-your-own trip, be aware that your success rate will not likely match that of taking the charter, and the exertion level is many times more.

    Also be advised that it is a very dangerous environment, and unknown how safe your kids are going to be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gr8fl View Post
    First time by ATV is a real learning experience. Trail condition across the slide area is unknown until reports come in. Knowing where to find a producing hole on your own isn't easy, especially if you are hoofing up and down cliffs to get there.

    As a first time on-your-own trip, be aware that your success rate will not likely match that of taking the charter, and the exertion level is many times more.

    Also be advised that it is a very dangerous environment, and unknown how safe your kids are going to be.
    Thanks for the advice. How far down is the "slide" area from the creek? And the kids is now down to one 14 year old. So I'm comfortable with her going. oHow far have you ridden down that trail? It looks like it goes for many miles... And does the trail ever get closer to the river in elevation?

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    The trail through the slide area was pretty easy last time I went (7 years ago) but could change each year with more erosion. The main slide is after Obrien creek about a mile, there were a few other challenging off camber areas but not bad. The trail is through the canyon and only comes back down to the river past the tunnel at Haley Creek, it was about 14 miles in if I remember right. Clearly the steep canyon area is the better shore dipnetting as the back eddies help your net to stay open. The last 20 yards to the water are steep rock and can be slick. Make sure you bring good plenty of quality rope to tie off with. I dipped there by wheeler once and decided for the sake of my family I'd go by boat if I go dipping there again.

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    The slide is fairly close to the beginning of the trail. Once past it, you can ride almost all the way to Haley Creek.

    Again, the slide is definitely a choke point. Seems like someone dumped their rig off the edge a few years ago.

    Most of the trail is a ways above the river, and it's a brutal climb to some of the best spots.

    Years ago, we found a spot in the canyon that we had to descend to with ropes. That was scary enough in itself, then fished from a ledge against the cliff, absolutely slaying them to the tune of 90 in a matter of hours. The real challenge was packing those fish up the cliff.

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    well I think I will stay on this side of Obrien creek then. I will either do the drop off or I will fish the beach like everyone else... Its not worth it if its that difficult to get to the water. Im not concerned about going up or down with ropes(lots of experience on ropes) but it just sounds like its not worth dragging 4 wheelers all the way from Wasilla..Although it would be cool to run the trail.

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    The trail had a slide a couple years ago that made getting to Haley Cr. tough, if not impossible. Every year the trail deteriorates more based on avalanche activity. I wouldn't take a side by side very far- it's likely wider than the trail in spots. The first few folks down usually make some decent reports on what it's like.

    There are some good holes but the pack out up the cliff can be a real pain- the hole I fish is at the end of a 1/4 mi trail that climbs something like 500'...with 80lb of fish on a pack it's quite the challenge.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    I took the trail last year late August. In general in was not too bad by atv. You can't quite get to Haley creek anymore with an atv. There is a major slide on the slope down to Haley creek. Easy to walk down that slide but not getting an atv down there. The trail is about at river level at eskalida creek. That is a good place to dipnet if you like to sweep, but there are no back eddies. The good news is there isn't much competition for space there like up near obrien creek or the bridge. Another option you could try is salmon point. Park your pickup and walk a few hundred yards to the point. It is just through the rock cut on the McCarthy road just after you leave Chitina. There is a 10 dollar access fee to fish there as it is privately owned. Either Ahtna or Chitina native village I think. The fee is reasonable and the fishing is good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by safari View Post
    I took the trail last year late August. In general in was not too bad by atv. You can't quite get to Haley creek anymore with an atv. There is a major slide on the slope down to Haley creek. Easy to walk down that slide but not getting an atv down there. The trail is about at river level at eskalida creek. That is a good place to dipnet if you like to sweep, but there are no back eddies. The good news is there isn't much competition for space there like up near obrien creek or the bridge. Another option you could try is salmon point. Park your pickup and walk a few hundred yards to the point. It is just through the rock cut on the McCarthy road just after you leave Chitina. There is a 10 dollar access fee to fish there as it is privately owned. Either Ahtna or Chitina native village I think. The fee is reasonable and the fishing is good.
    Well now that idea of useing native land sounds promising! I will definatley research that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by shayno View Post
    Well now that idea of useing native land sounds promising! I will definatley research that!
    Be advised that Salmon Point is thee most famous secret fishing hole in the world. You will have company. There's easy access and a ton of people that know about it.

    Also be advised that it really matters at Salmon Point where you fish. If you're not there at the right time and get the sweet spot, it can be really frustrating to watch someone else nail 'em left and right while you just get a few.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gr8fl View Post
    Be advised that Salmon Point is thee most famous secret fishing hole in the world. You will have company. There's easy access and a ton of people that know about it.

    Also be advised that it really matters at Salmon Point where you fish. If you're not there at the right time and get the sweet spot, it can be really frustrating to watch someone else nail 'em left and right while you just get a few.

    Watching someone else slay the fish while I don't is the story of my life!!!

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    All the things people have said are true! But I think there are a few points to consider in favor of taking wheelers down the trail. If your 14 year old likes that kind of stuff she'll have a BLAST. The views are AMAZING and it's quite the experience. Also the train tunnel at the end of the trail is awesome.

    Now many of the areas really are hard to get to and do require ropes and climbing. But there are quite a few areas that have a nice trail going down with trees all around. They are often are not as good as the best holes but still WAY better than the beach..and not as crowded.

    Anyway if taken with the attitude of experience and safety 1st and fish 2nd your 14 year old could have an amazing time.

    Let us know how it goes!

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    Obvious point, but if you go during the middle of the week, you will have a lot more options as you weed out the weekend warriors.

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    We have a side x side and tried the trail last July. The slide area is too narrow for side x sides ( IMO). If there wasn't a 200' drop to a raging river I wouldn't have thought twice about going down the trail.

    Four wheelers are a little different because they are narrower and you can jump off and ditch the machine.

    We only made it far enough down to realize that it wasn't safe and that we HAD to go a little further to safely turn around. Needless to say once we were turned around and my wife was on the cliff side she said **** this and walked behind me until we past the slide.

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    I agree with outofajam. We've been going for over forty years, and frequently take wheelers. The ride alone is worth dragging the bikes from Wasilla, plus you can take as much food, water, and gear as you want. You can also stay as long as you want. There are hundreds of little holes the last mile or so before Haley Creek where there is not much of a climb, plus little or no company. It's also pretty satisfying to step into a hole 30 seconds after Hem's picks up one of his clients and it cost you $1.00 in gasoline to get there. Either way, I hope you and your daughter have a great time. My daughter is grown now, but will be joining us dipping this year, as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jktimm View Post
    I agree with outofajam. We've been going for over forty years, and frequently take wheelers. The ride alone is worth dragging the bikes from Wasilla, plus you can take as much food, water, and gear as you want. You can also stay as long as you want. There are hundreds of little holes the last mile or so before Haley Creek where there is not much of a climb, plus little or no company. It's also pretty satisfying to step into a hole 30 seconds after Hem's picks up one of his clients and it cost you $1.00 in gasoline to get there. Either way, I hope you and your daughter have a great time. My daughter is grown now, but will be joining us dipping this year, as well.
    I think I have a plan... I will take the 4 wheeler and not the rhino.. I will also take the meat trailer with so I have some where to put gear. So I will go the first day on the wheeler.. Then If I don't do well or basically failed I will go to hems...I also wanted to ask, is there any really big hills or swampy areas on that trail? The 4 wheeler with her and me on it AND the meat trailer is a load.. so I don't want to big of a hill..

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    Default couple questions for you experienced guys on the copper

    She'll be walking some. You may have to wrestle the trailer over some lose rocks if your route isn't ideal or something bounces wrong. Everything needs to be well tied down. The trail is smooth road to begin and in many places. There are also numerous rock piles to cross farther down.

    Plenty of hills. Nothing too bad. No swamp. Awesome views.

    This trail is one of a kind recommend you maybe just ride it once nice and slow on a scouting mission. With no trailer just the two of you...

    I expect others will agree with this advice, assuming you aren't tagging along with someone who has experienced the trail.




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    thanks for the info. That's a great idea.


    Quote Originally Posted by andweav View Post
    She'll be walking some. You may have to wrestle the trailer over some lose rocks if your route isn't ideal or something bounces wrong. Everything needs to be well tied down. The trail is smooth road to begin and in many places. There are also numerous rock piles to cross farther down.

    Plenty of hills. Nothing too bad. No swamp. Awesome views.

    This trail is one of a kind recommend you maybe just ride it once nice and slow on a scouting mission. With no trailer just the two of you...

    I expect others will agree with this advice, assuming you aren't tagging along with someone who has experienced the trail.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by shayno View Post
    thanks for the info. That's a great idea.
    Bears are around, do not forget about it. Last time I left my wheeler on the trail and went down to the river, usual routine. Couple of hours later upon my return with some fish, I saw a pretty good pile of fresh bear droppings just a coupe of yards from the wheeler. Quite serious caliber, by the way. I had no food on my wheeler, just gear, and it was not touched. But still. It was midweek and I was practically alone at that far end of the trail. Had my 44 on me though.

    A coupe of years ago, I witnessed a real performance across (fortunately) the river. Mother bear and two her cubs spent an hour or so there, fishing, playing, kidding around on a small creek. I had binos with me and it was fun.

    I suggest to have plenty of bags of different sizes for fish and a large backpack. You might need both of your hands climbing up. Rope, plenty of it. Tie it to a tree on the trial and use knots on the rope to assist your climb back. I cut my fish on the river using cutting board with a clamp (just cutting, no washing, I clean fillets later at O'Brien). It saves on my load quite noticeably.

    Charters used to have family discount.

    Have fun!

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    I rode my 4wer down the canyon road for years, but stopped several years ago because I felt it was getting too dangerous, and I wanted to add a little more detail here, as well as a few suggestions. In my opinion, the slide area itself is not the area of main concern. Sure, you can get in trouble there, but mostly it's just rough, and if you pay attention you should get through just fine. The issue, in my opinion, is with several other spots: the first really dicey spot is past the railroad trestle a bit, where a small creek flows across the road. Erosion by the creek has dug out the creek bed a bit, creating a nearly vertical shelf of bedrock with about a 2 foot drop as you approach from Obrien creek. Going in, I have jousted my dipnet poles into the ground and bent them beyond use, so (suggestion #1) it might be a good idea to carry your poles past this spot and then lash them to the machine again once you are past. My issue with this spot is not going in, but coming out. If you are bringing out a full load of fish, and are not a very experienced rider, it is very easy to flip your machine in this spot, and given the character of the spot, it would likely flip over backwards and land on top of you. Suggestion #2: arrange your load going out so most weight is on the front of your machine, making it harder to flip the machine over backwards when you try to climb that little ledge of bedrock. The other two spots that gave me pause are further down, and also where erosion has come into play, though the spots are only run-off creeks that are otherwise dry most of t he summer. In both these spots, the creek erosion has cut into the road making it just barely wider than your machine, with a steep and extended fall into the river if you are off a bit. The second of these narrow spots is on a tight left-hand turn and is sloped strongly toward the river. Not only do you need to hug the hill side of the trail (staying as far from the river side of the trail as you can), you also need to take that turn at just the right speed, accelerating through the turn. Any mistake there, and you and the machine are heading for the river. Suggestion #3: tie your dipnet poles to the left side of your machine going in (the side closer to the river). This will allow you to hug the machine to the hill side of the trail without jousting your net pole into trees that would hang you up. Also, if your machine does start to roll over sideways toward the river, the net pole won't block you from jumping off the machine...on the way out, tie your net pole to the right side of the machine, again, the side closer to the river.

    Those last couple spots were the deciding factor for me. Can you take a machine down the canyon road? Sure, lots of people do it. It's guaranteed to be more work and a harder trip. That didn't bother me...I've packed fish up the canyon wall many times, and like being on my own schedule, to come and go without waiting for the boat. What finally convinced me to stop taking my machine down the canyon road was that any mistake doing so was associated with extreme consequences. Making a mistake in any of the tight spots on the canyon road pretty much means "game over." If you are thinking about taking a machine down the canyon road but have never done so before, I STRONGLY encourage you to follow the advice of the previous poster who suggested riding it without gear to check it out first. If you do take a machine down the canyon road to fish, be safe and keep your wits about you...it's not a place to make a mistake!

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