Obrien Creek Road-Copper River
How far can I drive my 4x4 truck down Obrien Creek Road to access the Copper to dipnet? It looks like the road goes to the river, but I know there's been problems with the road washing out too. How close to the Copper can I get before I have to hoof it to the dipping area?
To O' Brien Creek
You can take a truck down to the O'Brien Creek where the fish cleaning stations are. The bridge across O' Brien is only big enough for ATVs, and the trail beyond is not suitable for vehicles.
tim, what do you mean by "the dipping area"?
you can drive a vehicle to obrien creek, 3 miles from chitina. this is where the charter takes off from.
you haven't gotten many responses I think because your questions are somewhat confusing. What strategy are you planning to use to dipnet? I would be happy to help you if I know more about what you are planning.
People dip all along the copper above Haley creek. This fishery is absolutely nothing like the kenai or kasilof. Hope you're expecting that Might want to connect with someone who's been there before, and can show you their way of doing it, or else take the charter and you'll probably do well. Charter leaves from obrien creek. you can drive there (limited parking, especially if you have a trailer) or park alongside the road about 1/4 of a mile before there.
I was planning on dipping apparently where the charter picks up--at the bottom of the hill or a little further down the trail. Might dip by the bridge (to McCarthy too). Want to get away from the Kenai crowd.
have talked to people who've dipped at the edge of the copper above obrien creek, though I think there are only a few access trails, and also near the mccarthy bridge.
I like going down the trail past obrien creek to dip, but it is a lot of work without an atv, the access trails are steep, alder choked and rocky, and if you get down to a small hole and it's occupied you've gotta sweat your way back up the cliff to the road, head for a different access point, and do it all over again. You really can't see any of the holes from the road so you have to check all of them out to know what's down there, and if it is being fished or not.
Best advice if you've not been is to plan on polking around for a while, checking out different spots. Be willing to commit to a spot for a while, but also be willing to not committ too long if things are slow.
The thing i don't like about dipping up there (above obrien creek) is the river is so wide that you can't reach a very large percentage of the fish compared to the constriction near/in the canyon. However, especially if the run is strong, you can probably do ok most anywhere if you put in the time.
Below obrien creek the ratio of people dipping to holes that produce lots of fish is probably more in your favor. However, without an atv you have to enjoy hiking with a dipnet, and with a pack loaded with fish (because you've got to believe that you'll limit out or it won't happen). You definitely have to earn it, but there are some holes that aren't too far of a hike, and the scenery only gets better the closer you get to haley creek. If you are willing to hike with a load then I would recommend going below obrien, but apparently some folks think I'm crazy to do this, so I guess you have to be crazy like me. I don't take the charter because I have had some very negative experiences with Mark on the river, in my opinion he acts like he owns the place and he's tried to chase me off a hole twice so he could drop his clients there, even though I was already there. Not a guy I am willing to give my money to based on these experiences, but I know he provides a good service to many.
No matter where you dip, I recommend bringing some crushed ice to the fishing hole to cover the catch as they lay on the bank, helps to pre-chill them before you hump them back to the cooler, especially if your cooler is a ways away. I have great results preserving fish this way.
I still think the $100 charter to your own hole, pretty much all of which produce because Hem's knows where they all are, is the best deal on the planet. It saves a ton of work from hiking and hauling fish and gear. If you're on ATV's and know where to find your own good holes down the trail, more power to you, but for us non-ATV owners I think it's the only way to go for a speedy limit.