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Thread: Down the Copper to Cordova

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    Member c-bolt's Avatar
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    Default Down the Copper to Cordova

    Has anybody ever gone all the way from Chitna to the Million Dollar Bridge? It looks like a pretty good trip. I know there is one section of rapids (Abercrombie) and the ever present braided sections to look for. I guess the rapids can be pretty big (Class III) if the water is high.

    I know many people float it in rafts, but how many have done it in a boat? Thinking it would be a fun over-nighter with some awesome scenery.

    Joe
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    Member captaindd's Avatar
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    I had a friend who did it about 20 years ago in an inboard river boat. He said it was really dangerous and that he would never do it again. The guys flys an air plane so he does alot of extreme things.

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    Good Luck!! A friend who guides hunts in that part of the world tried it in his jet rig, all he did was try to figure out how to get off the bars he was constantly stuck on, turned into a real nightmare. He flew the river before trying it and thought aww no problem.

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    I have talked to people who have done this trip in reverse with airboats. I've spent my fair share of time in Chitna and I sure wouldn't take an airboat on those windy waters myself.

    If your plan is to hunt Cordova look into a fairy ride, may be they have a launch or two at the mouth?

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    What? People do this in canoes. Yes, its dangerous. Yes, you have to know what you are doing.

    Perhaps the problem is people don't know how to go slow. It takes restraint and the ability to relax and enjoy the trip, not try to break speed records.

    For more info..... http://www.nps.gov/wrst/planyourvisi...er%20Float.pdf

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    Member halibutcollier's Avatar
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    C-bolt- I'm down if you need or want company, I have talked to people in Cordova that say the boyscouts do it in rafts. I always thought it would be an awesome trip.

  7. #7

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    If possible do a search of this forums older posts from several years ago. Some of the members had jetboated down the Copper and back Chitna. They arranged to have someone bring them fuel and meet them at the bridge. SeaULater

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    I work with some people that make the trip several times a month in the summer for the last 7 years anyway. From our conversations Abercrombie can be exciting and they do occasionally spend some time on sandbars. I have gone from the bridge up a to Baird Canyon a few times but I haven't gone past Baird Canyon. It is a nice trip.

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    Member c-bolt's Avatar
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    I spoke with a buddy of mine who has actually made this trip a few times. He said the wind can be nasty, and visibility can be difficult with all the sand bars. He mentioned the rapids at Abercrombie, but wasn't too excited. I think he said the trip was around 75 miles.

    As far as being a suicide mission...I highly doubt it. Some peoples idea of extreme are far different than others. I would only wish the trip started for me at the bridge, and going up river. Its always easier to get unstuck on the downriver side

    I know I am not the best navigator, but as I get more and more time on the river, I think it will be ok. The key is staying off of all the bars and making sure the water is plenty high. I know my boat will run some good rapids, and the 2 stage stays hooked up well in aerated water. Pausing to scout sketchy sections always helps too.

    Maybe we can have a trip sometime with a few forum members.

    I appreciate all your help though. Keep the comments coming. I also did a search, but cant really find anything useful in the search. If anybody could help me out, Ill thank ya later!

    Joe
    09 River Wild, 3 stages, LS power

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    Quote Originally Posted by c-bolt View Post
    I spoke with a buddy of mine who has actually made this trip a few times. He said the wind can be nasty, and visibility can be difficult with all the sand bars. He mentioned the rapids at Abercrombie, but wasn't too excited. I think he said the trip was around 75 miles.

    As far as being a suicide mission...I highly doubt it. Some peoples idea of extreme are far different than others. I would only wish the trip started for me at the bridge, and going up river. Its always easier to get unstuck on the downriver side

    I know I am not the best navigator, but as I get more and more time on the river, I think it will be ok. The key is staying off of all the bars and making sure the water is plenty high. I know my boat will run some good rapids, and the 2 stage stays hooked up well in aerated water. Pausing to scout sketchy sections always helps too.

    Maybe we can have a trip sometime with a few forum members.

    I appreciate all your help though. Keep the comments coming. I also did a search, but cant really find anything useful in the search. If anybody could help me out, Ill thank ya later!

    Joe
    Where you going to go once you get to the bridge? Running from the bridge to Cordova can and will be another nightmare of shallow water and sandbars. Believe me it all looks the same.

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    Member c-bolt's Avatar
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    I just want to make it to the Bridge. Ill head back after that. I looked at the mouth of the river on Google Earth....NO THANKS I think the rest is possible, It just depends how much time I want to spend on a sandbar. I think full on goggles would be required in the afternoon since the wind will be picking up, it may be a good time to camp.

    Joe
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    Luke Boorer has a sled w/ twin 454's and 212's that he hauls 6 people on that run daily all summer long. I've done it twice in a wooly w/ a 200 yammy, no problem.
    The whole Kokenhenik gillnet fleet (about 15 boats) Used to run from the bar up to 27 mi every closure w/ our jet bowpickers but the forest service nixed that because we weren't allowed to park the boat at the bridge for more than a couple hours. I've known guys that have actually run to 27 mi from the bar w/ 330 mercs w/ lower units, then again i've know one guy that ripped his unit off

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    Luke Boorer has a sled w/ twin 454's and 212's that he hauls 6 people on that run daily all summer long. I've done it twice in a wooly w/ a 200 yammy, no problem.
    The whole Kokenhenik gillnet fleet (about 15 boats) Used to run from the bar up to 27 mi every closure w/ our jet bowpickers but the forest service nixed that because we weren't allowed to park the boat at the bridge for more than a couple hours. I've known guys that have actually run to 27 mi from the bar w/ 330 mercs w/ lower units, then again i've know one guy that ripped his unit off
    BUT most of those guys grew up on the river?? didn't they?? That river just plain scares me!

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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    BUT most of those guys grew up on the river?? didn't they?? That river just plain scares me!
    Oh heck yeah it scares me too! It scared me then, I'll be the 1st guy to admit I don't read water as well as some, thats why I was more of a follower when it came to running up to the bridge. The 1st time I was ever in kok, me and my dad were drifting the bar and we noticed the kok fleet coming in and heading to the tender. We wondered what was up because there was like 5 hours left in the opener (before the dipnet craze when we got two 36 hr openers from the git-go), anyway it was high tide and we were rookies so we didn't know any better. Before you know it the fleet is heading west and towards the grass banks and my dad goes "this would be the time to follow them so we can learn the inside route back across the delta", (we ran to kok in the ocean out of egg Island). So we pulled in the gear and got behind them and off we went, behind about 15 boats. Right above Grass Island they take a hard right and disappear into the grassbanks, so we followed long story short we ended up at 27 mile w/ all our fish still onboard We're waiting for the boats to park above the bridge so we're hanging there not knowing that we drifting down w/ the current and we drifted onto a pea gravel bar. This was back when a Hamilton 1031 had the clamshell bucket, well we packed the jet w/ peagravel and had gravel packed so tight against the clam shell (in reverse) that I couldn't raise the bucket. It was a disaster, I ended of whittling my 10 inch impeller down to about 6 inches and packing my heat exchanger w/ gravel, melted my exhaust hoses and eventually warping my manifolds . Did I mention everybody left and we were there alone w/ our fish from the opener still onboard? We got ahold of my mom and she drove the truck out and we hand mucked the fish into totes and took them to town. I missed the next 3 openers and when the sound opened I didn't look back! Oh yeah I brought the trailer out to the bridge and pulled the boat back to town.

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    Took a newbie last summer down in his new boat. Turned around at bremner. Just a quick afternoon jaunt. The water was just right so the gravel bars were barely hidden under an inch or two of water. He still made it all the way upstream with very little hints from me. I've gone thru abercrombie once. Don't even remember doing it. Miles was chock full of icebergs so we could see the bridge thru the fog but couldn't get the boat to it. This was 24 hours before the 2006 flood hit. Sure glad we left when we did. Another trip we had to stop and wait out a sandstorm at cleve creek. Don't care to suck that into the motor. Even when it died down enough, I still had to hold the wheel almost full turn in the crosswinds.

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