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Thread: Kasilof camping and access

  1. #1
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Default Kasilof camping and access

    been years since I dip netted the Kasilof, and at that time the wife and I just did a day trip to the south side parking the truck/trailer and off loading ATV's for the short beach ride to dip net. Is there a better place for overnight camping or are you pretty much limited to the beach areas on the North and South side?

    I have a fairly long camper (30 foot) and dont want to have to deal with jammed up parking to find (or not find) a camping spot with ATV access to the beach.

    I am actually considering camping at Clam Gulch and then riding the beach all the way to the Kasilof to dip net.... any thoughts on that?

    thanks in advance for your input.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  2. #2

    Default Clam Gulch Commute

    That would be an interesting experience riding through 12 miles of setnetters' camps. That's potentially over 50 nets 1200 feet apart.

    How about trading in your 30 footer for a camper for your truck and spend the rest on a boat and motor? Stay at the state campground and jet on down to the mouth.

    ~tr

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    There is space at the end of Coho road where you could park. That's the south side. You can park on the north side no problem. It always seems pretty packed to me when I drive through (on the south side at the end of the road). I would guess you'd have to get there early friday (or thursday) to get a spot, but they are there. I'm pretty sure everything else on the access road is private property. You could camp there and drive the atvs down the beach. That seems to be what all the RVs there do. You can only get 4 or so there before it's full. There's a couple porta johns there too.

    Soo not much help at all, sorry. I like Crooked creek campground there on the Kasilof, but that's kind of far. Maybe the run will be so strong the dept will open the river up to there ..........maybe!!

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    I`ve been camping up to Johnson lake then driveing down to the river ,campgrounds pretty full on the weekends but open during the week .
    Been doing this for the last 5 yr`s or so works out great ,clean outhouses ,quite ,15 minute drive to the south side .

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    Member TR's Avatar
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    Cohoe campground is my favorite. Private campground. Its a couple miles closer to south beach than Crooked creek. I put my 25 ft trailer in there with no problem. When the river is opened to the bridge, it has a nice back eddy to dipnet. They have a boat launch and an excellent fish cleaning table.

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    I usually stay at the Stedi campground. It is about 10-15 minutes from the north beach. The place used to be a cannery back in the day and they have a nice cleaning table setup, covered picnic area, showers, etc.

    Makes dipping with the wife and kids easier.
    Just a bitter Alaskan clinging to his guns and religion.....

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input guys, I sure apreciate it. I will see if I can find a number for the Cohoe campground and give them a call.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Member TR's Avatar
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    262-1939. Enjoy.

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Thanks TR!
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Default riding the beaches from Clam gulch

    can be a fun ride but you are dodging quite a few running lines from the commercial setnetters. Not too big of a deal on the flood but when the ebb tide hits those lines will almost take your head off if you are not watching. Never had problems with any fishermen being mad about riding by. Just be careful for high lines on the ebb tides.

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    Member madman1045's Avatar
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    Default Johnson Lake, for the money

    We stay at Johnson Lake, it's close enough, nice place for the family to be, and the price is right. We have a 32' rig and it's a breeze to get in and out of most any the state places but the real factor for us is the $$, if we needed the services of the more expensive privately owned place we would use them but since we don't need them it's like spending a lot more money just to park somewhere. Then we spend the money saved getting the $8 ribeye steak at the place across the way on the way back to Anchorage...LOL

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    When does this dipnetting open (and the Kenai for that matter) Is there a way to try and peg 'better' times to fish? Is it family friendly as opposed to the Copper?

    Can anyone give a ew good links to help me sort through the data? Have lived in Fairbanks most of my 35+ years and would like a new adventure to take my kids on.

    Thanks

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    Member madman1045's Avatar
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    A friend calls us up and tells us when to go, so I am no help there, but as for family friendly; we found it to be very family friendly. There were many kids down there, but you do have to be very aware of the ATV traffic. We went with our two year old and she found other kids to play with nearby while we fished. Older kids were helping out with the fishing. I can't wait to do it again.

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    FbxBowHunter:

    I, too, am in Fairbanks and take the family down to Kasilof every summer. It is a little over 500 miles one way, but the drive isn't bad at all, even with young children (like mine), if split up by camping at, say, Nancy Lake or Palmer overnight on the way down and back. We tend to make a five-day journey out of it and plan for a mid-week arrival at the river so we can actually find a decent place to camp while staying off the fragile vegetation on the dunes.

    I have not dipped on the Copper, but it is unanimously agreed (amongst those with whom I converse) that it is not a good location for small children....

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    I am in the same boat as Alangaq, so jumping in vice starting a new thread. 28' Toy hauler behind an older (97) F350 CC longbed. Here is my questions:

    Cohoe campground: Could I 4-wheel in (ATV) from there or would I still have to drive. If I can ATV in Bring the 4-wheeler for my son to ride or don't bother?

    Stedi campground I see I would have to drive in, so I am guessing leaving the 4-wheeler at home is probably best right?

    Johnson Lake Is a freebie or just waaay cheap? Bring the 4-wheeler for my son to ride or don't bother?

    Million dollar question is, where is dipnetting best, North or south side. That could be my deciding factor between Cohoe and Stedi campgrounds. Those are the two I am leaning towards.... Unless parking on the Northside with ATV access is doable without it being an absolute nightmare. Crowded, traffic, dust, etc...

    Opens this Friday and I am thinking about headed that way Thursday. Seems a lil early but numbers aren't looking too bad....

  16. #16

    Default Kasilof: Best North or South?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derby06 View Post

    Million dollar question is, where is dipnetting best, North or south side.

    This is a repost of one I made last year:

    Please study the enclosed picture of the mouth of the Kasilof.

    The salmon come in with the incoming tide. They follow the river channel until the mouth is flooded and can be caught off of both shores as well as all across the middle with important distinctions.

    Initially, folks with start picking them up way out the south shore at the beginning of the channel. They tend to then follow the northern edge of the channel as they move up towards the point, although significant numbers still allow for good catches on the south shore.

    As the tide continues to flood, the bulk of the fish are swept past the mouth, and they turn and swim south along the beach towards the point. This is when you will see folks catching fish north of the point along the beach, and kids catching fish behind the adults standing up to their chests up at the point.

    The south shore offers much more camping room, and a nicer, gravelly bottom to stand on. People are able to back up their rigs and launch boats off the south beach. You can do just fine on the south beach, but the bulk of the fish follow the northern river channel and the northern beach on their way to the river.

    The north shore has much more muck. I have personally fished the north edge of the river channel all the way out to the second can and worked up with the incoming tide. It is treacherous, and an easy way to die.

    With the flooding tide, the muck flats quickly disappear under water. You can find yourself a long way from the beach in a short time.

    You will see the most inefficient fishing imaginable at the north shore. People will slog way offshore, catch a fish, and drag it all the way back to the beach in order to get it out of their net. In the meantime, more fish are going by and, invariably, someone moves in to take their place. Stay in place, remove the fish from your net, and put it in a web bag. They will fall off a stringer as their jaws get pretty soft after a while.

    Upriver on the north bank beyond the point, many people do fine in the little cove there. As the tide goes out, though, you've got the muck to contend with.

    My preferred method is to use a 12' skiff with a 6hp kicker. It's small enough to throw it in all by yourself, and it allows you to find where the bunches of fish are and leapfrog your way as they move towards the point. With a boat, you can always have your net basket in the right direction whether the tide is flowing or ebbing. Slack time is also fishable, once you find where they are laying, waiting for the water to move.

    As far as noise goes, both shores of the Kasilof are pretty noisy at night with ATV's and fireworks and all.

    I prefer the north shore for camping. Get there early though, as space is limited.

    Please don't get your truck stuck on the beach below high water line.


    ~tr


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    Member madman1045's Avatar
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    Johnson Lake is your standard state campground, either 5 or 10 dollars a day, but it's not really for ATV riding. When we go down with a camper we also meet a fishing friend down there that ferries us to the river in a truck. It works for us since it's me with the wife and small child, it's really quite at night. We have always fished on the south shore, we've always fished within 50ft of the truck and it's less muddy so the kid can play without being covered head to toe in mud by the end of the day. Last year we pulled two family limits in 3 tides time.

  18. #18
    Member Derby06's Avatar
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    Thanks so far...got me leaning towards Cohoe.... Can any one answer: Cohoe campground: Could I 4-wheel in (ATV) from there or would I still have to drive. If I can ATV in Bring the 4-wheeler for my son to ride or don't bother?

    Generator Module / Control / PCB Board or what ever you want to call it and automatic RV Transfer switch went out costing me big and still not 100% fixed, jeopardizing this trip...unless I reley all on my solar panels...

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default yes

    if you are fishing the south shore you could ride your 4-wheeler from cohoe to the south shore to dipnet. It is a road and not a trail so you would need to be licensed/registered etc.

    You could also ride over to the north shore, but you would have to be on the main highway for quite a while and it would be a fairly long ride.

    You cannot drive along side the river from cohoe to south side to dipnet on a 4-wheeler.

  20. #20
    Member Derby06's Avatar
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    Thanks, If I go I may not bother with the ATV this trip...

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