Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: The truth about Chitina

  1. #1
    Member AKHunterNP's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    North Pole
    Posts
    902

    Default The truth about Chitina

    I have never been dipnetting at Chitina but have been talking to anyone I can about it. I have been asking about access points, whether or not bringing kids is a good idea, (I have a 12, 8 and 5 year old), if you can get to better spots with an ATV and how far you have to walk to get to a decent fishing spot. I have probably talked to at least 10 different people and have gotten 10 different answers. Some told me you have to walk about 7 miles to get to the beach, some say it's easier on an ATV and some say it's only a short walk and that ATV's are impossible. Can anyone tell me the real deal since I have never been there. I just want to make sure I know what I'm getting into if I drive the 6 plus hours to get there. Thanks.
    "...arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe...Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them." -Thomas Paine

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    fairbanks
    Posts
    135

    Default

    I can tell you at least that there is foot access on the west side downstream of the McCarthy bridge and that people do catch fish there. There is some parking room right beside the road and a little driveway a bit downstream of that. Unfortunately when I was there it was blown out and you couldn't reach the channel where the fish were without a super long net. I hear that's not a problem any more. I only walked about a mile up the road from Obrien but it was in decent shape and I saw folks on foot, on dirt bikes and ATVs, and pulling sleds and wagons. Most of the trails to the river I saw in that section were uncomfortably steep; I would have tied off a rope to hold onto if attempting those. There was some confusion for me about public right of way with all the private property signs, but nobody else seemed worried about it. The Chitina is a place that rewards exploration, but based on my first experience I strongly suggest getting a friend to take you the first time.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Pole, AK
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKHunterNP View Post
    I have never been dipnetting at Chitina but have been talking to anyone I can about it. I have been asking about access points, whether or not bringing kids is a good idea, (I have a 12, 8 and 5 year old), if you can get to better spots with an ATV and how far you have to walk to get to a decent fishing spot. I have probably talked to at least 10 different people and have gotten 10 different answers. Some told me you have to walk about 7 miles to get to the beach, some say it's easier on an ATV and some say it's only a short walk and that ATV's are impossible. Can anyone tell me the real deal since I have never been there. I just want to make sure I know what I'm getting into if I drive the 6 plus hours to get there. Thanks.
    First off, your 12 yr old is about the youngest I would consider bringing down the canyon. If I had a 12 yr old that would be the age I started bringing the kid, but the kid would be tied off at all times because its dangerous if you aren't careful. As far as access goes you don't have to go very far in to catch fish and you can walk if you want to. I personally ride my ATV and had no problems getting my limit of fish this year on it. As far as distance on the trail, people catch fish right there at O'Brien creek on those rocks at the charter boat pickup! So the difference in going 1/4 mile or 5 miles down to the end of the dipnet area just depends on you. There are some spots that are easier to hike up and down and that is a factor for me. Otherwise, take a atv, or walk, or dirtbike, or bicycle. Just go fish and have fun!

  4. #4

    Default

    It took us a lot of years to figure out what works best for us. We started from the sand bars and rocks at the bridge nearly 25 years ago, upgraded to a small inflatable with a 35 HP Jet which was pretty insane with the loads we sometimes carried in it. My dad finally bought a 20 foot boat with a 90 horse and named it the silt slipper since we used it mainly on the Copper and Tanana Rivers. About 6 years ago I picked up a Predator and we take both boats down with loads of people.

    It sounds like you have enough information to get started. If somebody were to warn me about bringing my children with me, I'd listen. The Copper River kills, it doesn't discriminate against kids or adults though. Start going down, figure out what works and what doesn't for you. You are getting different feedback because people figure it out on their own, sometimes with help, sometimes without. Just do it man!

    Since you are going on your first trip, I'd really suggest leaving the kids at home.

  5. #5

    Default

    More than one person would suggest sucking it up and buying the boat shuttle.

    My 2 cents.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    north pole
    Posts
    336

    Default

    or if you wana take your kid do like my dad did with me when i was young and get em a harness and some good climbing rope and tie em off a good tree ,and boy im glad he did because on my first trip i caught the biggest king i have ever seen in person and if i had not been tied off i would of been floating down the river this is one river i dont trust i was out there a few years ago on a boat and had probly a 60ft tree shoot streight up out of the water right next to the boat and then go streight fown and just dissapear.

  7. #7
    Member egreife's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks, Ak
    Posts
    148

    Default

    I've been there the last two years and I vote against taking the kids. It is work no matter how you go about dipnetting there and the river is dangerous. I think you should go yourself without the kids this year and make a more informed opinion for the kids going next year.

  8. #8

    Default

    Make sure to have your life jackets. It is a nasty river if you fell in.

  9. #9
    Member AKHunterNP's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    North Pole
    Posts
    902

    Default

    Thanks for all the input. The wife wants to go too, so the kids will be there. I guess I'll tie them off to a tree, about a foot of rope should be good...j/k. She was talking about hanging out in the parking area with them and having them take care of the fish after they are caught.
    "...arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe...Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them." -Thomas Paine

  10. #10
    Member Vince's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks most the time, Ancorage some of the time,& on the road Kicking Anti's all the time
    Posts
    8,989

    Default

    akhunter... Canyon= NO ON THE KIDS is my vote... unless your fishing from a boat.. i have fished the canyon walls and the beaches gravel bars and done it from a boat... over the years i have also lost two friends to that river that have never been recovered. both disapeared just being there not fishing... there one second and gone forever...

    there are few safe places in that canyon to be dropped off into let alone climb down into... until you have been there and tried it it is hard to express... many do it... many do it often, dont make it safe...

    if you want the kids along... take a boat ... 1,000000000% lifejacket usage even on the bank even near camp on the bank, set the rules and be ready to fully enforce them.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  11. #11
    Member Derby06's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    437

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    akhunter... Canyon= NO ON THE KIDS is my vote...
    I 100% Concur...
    This year was my first trip and I took the wife and 10yo son. We stayed in our camper at the McCarthy Bridge on the Chitna side. The other side was wide open with no wind protection and where all the fish wheels were.
    I had my 4 wheelers and there was all kinds of room for the kids to ride. I also used them to get out to the water to dipnet. It was probably 1/2-1 mile, but water levels I am hearing are higher, so who knows maybe where I camped is now under water.
    I also took my wheeler to go out and explore the river downstream so I know for future endeavors.

    That is probably your best bet in my opinion!

  12. #12

    Default

    I've been going to Chitina since my parents starting taking me when I was around 2 or 3 years old. Nearly 40 years later, I'm still going and I've taken my kids since they were about that age. Keep a close eye on them, have a good fitting climbing harness, rope and a life jacket for them and if you setup a small fire next to you and bring fixings for smores they'll have a great time and will stay warm too.

    Chitina is a dangerous place. All of us I'm sure have slipped on the rocks at least once. Those incredibly unfortunate have sadfully lost their lives to the river. But, with taking some safety precautions it is a place that you and your family will have woderful memories that will last a lifetime.

  13. #13
    Member AKHunterNP's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    North Pole
    Posts
    902

    Default

    Thank you all for the input. Unfortunately I had a death in the family in the lower 48 so obviously will not be going to Chitina. I will use your info hopefully next year.
    "...arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe...Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them." -Thomas Paine

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •