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Thread: Copper River boat

  1. #1

    Default Copper River boat

    Can you get by with a propeller driven motor on the Copper river in the Chitina dipnet area? Or do you need a jet drive?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    The copper is a deep fast moving river, also it has alot of silt in it, so you can't see obstructions.

    I believe the charters somehow have exclusive access to O'Brian creek, so you have to put in upriver of the bridge and motor down.

  3. #3

    Default

    To answer your question, you can use both but I think a jet would be best due to floating debris in the river that could take out your prop and you don't want to be motorless on that river!

  4. #4
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    Default careful w/ prop

    I''ve used a prop from O'Brien Crk down and it is fine. However, if OC is "guides only" now, I'd be real careful taking a prop up to the bridge. Many times I have misjudged the depth of the braids going up there and nearly skimmed with a jet.

  5. #5
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    Default

    The charter group (apparently the groups merged) have "exclusive rights" to O'Brien creek as a launch site. Not sure how the legalities play out on this etc. etc. and I'd probably prefer the bridge site anyhow since it'd be easier to drag a larger boat to. My own opinion it wouldn't be worth getting into an argument about.

    There is a guy setup in Chitna now, across from the tavern, that operates a dip from the boat charter. $150 gets you a six hour charter and supposedly it goes pretty good. At least you wouldn't be standing on a pile of rocks with a 80' cliff behind you if the weather turned bad If I'd been by myself this last time I'd probably have went with him just out of curiousity (planning to get a Sabre or such next year, if I get sold out, and would love to learn the river).

  6. #6

    Default A friend just got back with his 18ft Zodiac prop

    he said it was fien.
    We also talked with a F&G biologest that had just dipped it for his use. he said that props were fine. I was headed over there with my Achilles/50hp OB when the Kenai opened last Friday- we messed up and headed for the kenia- it was SLOW.
    Rob

  7. #7
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by leahy View Post
    he said it was fien.
    We also talked with a F&G biologest that had just dipped it for his use. he said that props were fine....
    We've done it with props from the bridge. The only problem was at the launch site. The place is filled with cables and other such crap left from fishwheelers.

    Actually, as fast as the Copper moves, it isn't as difficult to read as slower rivers that silty.

    But if you ever lose propulsion, you might lose your boat, or worse.

  8. #8

    Default Large jet boat

    What about a 25 foot jet boat, ok to run there? How do you dip net out of boat on that river? Anchor on the edge of the river? Run up and drift down? Go to a spot and dip from shore? How do the guides do it on the copper?
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  9. #9
    Member Stogey's Avatar
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    Default 16ft v-hull, 25 hp

    I've ran this boat from the Deshka landing to Deshka river (and a few miles up-stream on the Deshka - until the water is too shallow). Also ran it up to the Willow once or twice.

    I'm willing to give it a shot, as long as it isn't considered suicidal.
    I'm hoping to play on the Copper this summer.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

  10. #10

    Default

    I've seen similar setups on the Copper above Woods Canyon, but never in the canyon and they never seem to have a passenger. Personally I'd get the subsistance permit and stick to the area above the bridge.

    I about soiled my undies coming out of the canyon with my 16' 40/30 tunnel jet. That was a white knuckled experience for sure. That boat just didn't have enough power for a couple guys, gear, and a load of fish to be running in and out of the canyon.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wildog View Post
    What about a 25 foot jet boat, ok to run there? How do you dip net out of boat on that river? Anchor on the edge of the river? Run up and drift down? Go to a spot and dip from shore? How do the guides do it on the copper?
    Shouldn't be a problem with a boat that size - I see folks fishing all of the ways you mentioned. Most of the guides I have watched drop the people off to dip in the canyon and pick them up later.

    The river can be intimidating and in my opinion not for the inexperienced - Although it amazes me what types of boats people use on the river. I have seed lots of prop boats running the river from the bridge down as well.

  12. #12

    Default That was you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Gremlin View Post
    I've seen similar setups on the Copper above Woods Canyon, but never in the canyon and they never seem to have a passenger. Personally I'd get the subsistance permit and stick to the area above the bridge.

    I about soiled my undies coming out of the canyon with my 16' 40/30 tunnel jet. That was a white knuckled experience for sure. That boat just didn't have enough power for a couple guys, gear, and a load of fish to be running in and out of the canyon.

    I'd swear you were in my field of vision for over 20 minutes trying to get through that canyon!

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  13. #13

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    Could've been me. This was in 07.

    Story behind the soiled chonies.

    Sunday evening we were at the head of the canyon. My boat had a load of fish, two nets, and two passengers. A wicked sand storm kicked up and I couldn't see more than a couple hundred yards in front me. It was time to head back to the launch, we loaded up, shoved off, and I gave it full power. The motor didn't have enough power to get on step. This was my first jet boat and I had no idea what was wrong.

    I decided to do the best I could to drive the boat back to the launch at half step. This literally took FOREVER! Just after the canyon a sudden uprise by a point stopped all forward movement and was pushing us downriver. I don't panic easily but at this moment I lost it and headed for shore. Half way to shore my boat got hung up on a tree stump cemented to the river bottom. After some creative rocking the boat was free. Every wave, every pass through the main channel to stay away from the extreme shallows scared the living death out of me. That was the last and only trip for that boat on the Copper.

    After trailering the boat and inspecting the outboard I couldn't figure out the problem, and we had one more day left to dipnet. We scraped the day and went home the next morning. Come to find out the bushings fell out of the bucket posts and oblonged the post holes. The bucket was hanging over the pump.

  14. #14
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default

    I just skimmed all the post. but if your going to run the canyon you need a motor strong enough to push a 22-28 mph current. lots of guys go down and get in trouble with heavy boats and not enough horsies. behind them. you also need to remember that sweepers and snags are running that same channel on the way down ( at 22-28mph) as your trying to push up.. and if you do not have the power to maneuver out when it pops up in front of you... your hit..i have witnessed trees 2-3 foot around screaming down that river only to stand on end and somersault over and disapear....
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