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Thread: Preparing for Chitina-tips??

  1. #1
    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Default Preparing for Chitina-tips??

    So, we're going to Chitina to hit the dipnet fishery in a few days. First time I've done this, and I'm a little concerned about the gear. We're going to do the charter with Hem's, and he's got most of the gear covered on his list, but I've seen folks with climbing harnesses and ropes and whatnot tied off to cliffs...is that what we're going to be doing? Or does he have other places a little "safer" where he can drop you?

    Basically, I don't want to over-pack, but I need to know if I should bring climbing harnesses, ropes, and such. Any help from others who've done this would be appreciated. Anything you didn't bring that you wish you did? Stuff you brought that you realized you really didn't need?

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Don't go cheap on a life vest and make sure to use it. Hem will put you either where there is room, or where there are fish. It is up in the air whether it will be standing on the side of a cliff, or on a decent surface. I'd bring some extra rope just in case. I believe most spots have ropes that are left there, but I wouldn't rely on that.

    Make sure to have something to keep your fish strung up. We use diving bags that hold 15-20 reds each.

    I run a boat each year, so I'm not too experienced with Hem's operation and locations, but I have done overnighters on the rocks and it can get cold. Make sure to bring some warm clothes and be prepared for rain and wind.

    Good luck!

  3. #3

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    I agree with Jerod whole-hearterdly. When you go with Hems you never know where you will be dropped off. I always have a rope and a harness with me but to be honest I have yet to use it. It gets in the way and I find it to be more of a nuisance. That said however, I do ALWAYS where a life jacket. Those rocks get slimy and slippery and the more fish you get the more tired you get and it is basically is a recipe for disaster. I always take a couple of 5-Hour Energy bottles just to make sure I stay alert too. And Jerod is right...it can be downright freezing in that canyon. One thing you might consider bringing is goggles. It always seems like the wind is blowing sand in you eyes out there. Good luck. If I can get my buddy to come with me, I may just see you there.

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Alright, I went and spent a bunch of cash on some good climbing rope, some quality carabiners, and webbing for anchors. We've already got harnesses. So, we're probably not going to be going anywhere once we get roped in.

    I had hoped I wouldn't have to spend that extra money on an already expensive trip, but I'd rather not die trying to fill the freezer....


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    I doubt if most use climbing rope...probably smart buy on your part though!

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    Yeah, I could've been all Alaskan about it and braided some duct tape together to make a "rope" or something...



    Nah, I just figured as long as I'm doing it, I may as well do it right. Rope rated to a shock strength of 3100 lbs. should cover it.

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    Default slow slow slow

    make sure you call and get the the previous days average fish count. I personally know that it was not good last night and this morning. we only caught 7 in 8 hours and i watched a couple other people haul hours of empty nets. bring a mosquito net for your head they are terrible. I think they are immune to bug spray.

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    Cliffs netters
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Hmmm...I'd probably just veto that situation outright.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    Alright, I went and spent a bunch of cash on some good climbing rope, some quality carabiners, and webbing for anchors. We've already got harnesses. So, we're probably not going to be going anywhere once we get roped in.

    I had hoped I wouldn't have to spend that extra money on an already expensive trip, but I'd rather not die trying to fill the freezer....

    You don't have to buy such expensive gear. Just go to Home Depot or Lowe's and buy around 50' strong nylon rope rated around 240 pounds. Some people go lighter, but I prefer strong rope. If you need it, tie one end to the tree and the other to your harness, but make sure that you use knots that don't come loose easily, and always check the knot to make sure it's holding. The rope is there only to stop you from falling in the water. Adjust the length accordingly. If you happen to have a tree-stand harness, it should be fine for the Copper.

    I just have a heavy braided nylon belt rated to hold over 200 pounds, tied around my chest (over the armpits). This belt has a titanium ring to tie a rope to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    Hmmm...I'd probably just veto that situation outright.
    I would never hang from cliffs like that. It's plain dangerous. The outfitter usually leaves you at a flat spot or something like that. Those guys hanging on the cliff make it there on ATV's, park on the road, and walk down to it

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    The trip has been put on hold thanks to high water and bad fishing. Just going to keep an eye on things out there and hope things settle down soon.

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    Default not so fast

    don't want to argue Ray but those guys were dropped off by the boat service. We fished the other side of the river and atv'ed in. The trail is pretty banged up. The boats were dropping people off anywhere they could find space.

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    Default That pic could have been my group

    I fished that same spot two times last year. I will tell you it is not as bad as it looks in the pic. THe fishing the first trip wasnt so hot. The second time it was as fast and hot as you could handle. The BEST part of that hole was at the top it flattens out and there was a great place to lay flat and get some rest or chow.

    Bottom line is take rope, LOTS of fluids and protien (I prefer sardines and ritz). One time, when fishing was slow, the boat ran my partner back to the doc to get mroe gear to camp out.

    one other piece of gear I HIGHLY reccommend is a pair of meat shears (scissors) for cutting tails. makes clipping tails really easy.

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    I don't think my net handles are that long, either. Might be, though. I just got a new net last night, too, just to add to the other expenses...lol.

    It's a fairly big but light hoop with mono gill-netting. Looks like it'd work very well. I might even try it at the Kenai if I end up down there (God forbid...I hate that crowded place).

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeL View Post
    don't want to argue Ray but those guys were dropped off by the boat service. We fished the other side of the river and atv'ed in. The trail is pretty banged up. The boats were dropping people off anywhere they could find space.
    Wow! It's incredible that they would be dropped there. I have been a little past that point, but got there on my ATV. The trails (road) goes down to Heally Creek (?), so I make it to the sandy shore, and then walk on the shore to the rocks upstream.

    By the way, the best poles I have found are the blue-coated aluminum ones. I bought four of these four years ago, and paid around $22.00 each. These poles have a snap-type locking device, so you can join two of them giving you around 10' of pole. I cut two 4' pieces of regular aluminum pole, installed a shovel handle on each, and connected each peace to the blue poles for a 12" section. What i like about these poles is that they are very strong, won't bend, and come apart easily for storage or transportation. The only bad thing about them is that you have to pay attention to the location of the snaps, specially when drifting, since one can accidentally press one of the snaps and disconnect the pole from the net. But I haven't had a single problem so far. The net hoops I use are made of solid aluminum, and the nets are two types: a gill net, and a black-color twisted cord net that's around 72" deep. I use this one for drifting or dipping for kings because they are a lot stronger than the gill nets. The gill nets are real bad for drifting reads, since a lot get caught by the gills and take forever to remove. The black net I just flip inside out in the boat

    Another pointer: If you drift, sweep, and use the net in a strong current where there are rocks, the hoop hitting the rocks wears-out the net around the hoop. To make the nets last, I wrap the hoop with wire wrap from NAPA (the black one that's split in the middle). Then I tie around both ends of the wrap with electrical tape, and around every 12" or so of wrap. This is a real good idea when drifting, since the wrap quiets the net when it bump rocks along the bottom.

  17. #17

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    We've lost a couple nets trusting the clip pins on the poles. We always drill a hole through the net and put a bolt through them to keep them from separating.

    Another must to bring is some twine or shoestring. Some of our nets are very seasoned and have lots of colorful strings to tie up the torn parts after the net gets tangled in a rock or a king tears the crap out of it. We can usually tell who's nets are who's by the color of the strings in them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfromAK View Post
    they are very strong, won't bend,
    I agree with the blue one's being the best Ive used thus far...but they do bend...every one I own is bent, but the still work just dandy......
    ------------------------------------------------
    pull my finger....

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjm View Post
    I agree with the blue one's being the best Ive used thus far...but they do bend...every one I own is bent, but the still work just dandy......
    The non-coated aluminum ones bend very easily, even during one trip to the Copper. After four seasons the blue ones I have are in pretty good shape, except for the scratches at one side from anchoring them on the rocks. I usually anchor the side opposite to the locking snaps, just in case, so this side wears out sooner. I wish there was another way to connect them to each other, but one can't win them all, I guess. They are as straight as new so far.

  20. #20

    Default Chitina Dipnet Poles

    After giving up on various commercially available poles, I've made my own poles from the following readily available materials:


    • 10' antenna pole from Frigid North in Anchorage. Cost around $15. The perfect diameter and strength.
    • "D" handle from B&J's in Anchorage. Take a drywall bit and cut out the thin plastic lips inside the straight part.
    • 3/4" EMT. Tap this down the inside of the D handle for leverage.
    • bolt-lock washer-threaded aluminum block-spring. Got this in the electrical section at Home Depot. I believe they're used in mounting electrical boxes on rails. Drill a hole in your antenna pole and slide the threaded aluminum block with spring inside and you've got a super strong way to keep your hoop attached to the pole.

    This combination will withstand the rigors of the Copper current just fine. So far, the only point of signs of stress failure is the D handle plastic, and that's after 3 seasons in use on the Copper and Kenai/Kasilof as well.

    Last edited by gr8fl; 06-13-2009 at 15:32. Reason: add pic

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