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Thread: Copper River Dipnetting

  1. #1

    Default Copper River Dipnetting

    My only dipnetting experience has been in the Kenai, both from the beach, and from a raft, and boat. Between the crowds, traffic, and of course the new July 2 stroke reg, it's time to move on.

    What is the general dipnetting routine on the Copper River? I heard the stories of people tying themselves to a tree and dipnetting from the bank. Do people also dipnet from boats on the Copper? I heard the trail down the river isn't in too good shape. Can you just set up camp on the river for a couple of days and fish and dipnet?

    Is the best spot above Chitina, below, below the Canyon, on the Chitina? Do you just beach on the shore, or gravel bar, and dip from there? Are there any boat launches in the area?

    Also, does anyone ever see any GoDevil, Mudbuddy, Prodrive engines on the Copper? Thank you for your time.

  2. #2

    Default A bit more to it

    sasquatch, there is a bit more to the Copper R than Kenai. Generally there are not the huge hoards of people as on the Kenai, but that is likely subject to change now...

    The big issue on the Copper is the Native lands in the area. The Native Corporations have closed off a lot of the surrounding areas in recent years, so access is a bit of a pain. You can use a boat if you choose, but it has to be a pretty powerful one. The Copper is pretty swift and as such you have to be prepared to run up and down against the current. Most people dipping from boats in the Copper are drifting rather than the motor-drifting in the Kenai. This takes a bit more caution too as you are generally moving at sufficient speed that if your net hangs up it could drag or pole vault you out of the boat.

    Back to the access thing. There is a (or maybe more now) charter that can haul you up and down the river for a fee. They can often get you to some decent fishing spots as they know the river well. Wherever you go it is generally a really good idea to tie off to a tree, rock, etc. Again the current is pretty swift and if you net a king, slip or something bad things can happen. Tie off short too. If you did fall in and got stuck in the current it would take a pretty strong person to haul you out.

  3. #3
    Member alaskanmoosehunter's Avatar
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    Your best bet for good success it on a boat. I feel safer on a boat than on shore. (But that's just me.)

    I wouldn't see why a prodrive wouldn't work. I've had luck in and out of the canyon. There are hords of fish in the river when they are runnin'. Below the canyon is a good place cause it creates a choking point but can get pretty hairy at times.

    I wouldn't recommend the 5ft bail your probably using on the kenai, I would go with a little smaller so it's easier to use with the current there.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKFshrmn View Post
    Tie off short too. If you did fall in and got stuck in the current it would take a pretty strong person to haul you out.
    I second this advice. Tie off - Tie off & Tie off short!!!

    Last year was my 16th year dipping at Chitina and I finally made a mistake. Slipped on the wet rocks, thought I had tied off short enough, but slid down the ledge about 10 feet and rope caught me waist deep in the Copper. Any longer and I would have been in a really bad situation. As it was, I just got wet, the dickens scared out of me, and of course, I got my limit (plus the bonus 10!). This was the first time I welcomed the afternoon gale to dry me off! You can never be too safe at Chitina.

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  5. #5
    Member alaskanmoosehunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiker View Post
    I second this advice. Tie off - Tie off & Tie off short!!!

    Last year was my 16th year dipping at Chitina and I finally made a mistake. Slipped on the wet rocks, thought I had tied off short enough, but slid down the ledge about 10 feet and rope caught me waist deep in the Copper. Any longer and I would have been in a really bad situation. As it was, I just got wet, the dickens scared out of me, and of course, I got my limit (plus the bonus 10!). This was the first time I welcomed the afternoon gale to dry me off! You can never be too safe at Chitina.

    Hiker
    I second that...Never to safe at Chitina.

    A few years back we was trailering the boat and saw beer bottle with the cap still on it coming our way. So my buddy gets out the net out to catch this nice cold beer after a hard day netting. Just as he put the net out a man's head pops up out out he water. I told my buddy forget the man and get that beer...Just Kiddin'

    The guy grabs the net and we pulled him in. I'm pretty sure if we wasn't there he would have been a goner for sure. He had a rope on him too!
    He was white as a ghost. I'm pretty sure he found God that day!

    Moral of the story: Know your rope and your knots!
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