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Dipnetting at Chitna on the Copper River

Posted by on July 21, 2017

Everyone decided to leave Summit Lake where we were ATVing and head back to town, me I decided to head to Chitna and do some dipnetting for Salmon. The reds were in and I figured since I hadn’t been dipnetting for a quite a few years it was time I did it again.

I got to Chitna and took to the road to O’Brien Creek, this is actually the road that was started by in the 60’s I think, that was supposed to connect Cordova AK to the main highway system, leave it to say it was another Alaskan Politicians blunder, no the road never got done, but it does make a great ATV trail for 15 or 20 miles, maybe more I don’t know.

Down the road about 1.9 miles you come to a steep grade and one I wouldn’t take the RV down, but heck you can only go another ¼ mile anyway and no more road. So I parked in the large turn out just near the top and as dipnetting was closed until Tuesday morning, not a sole in sight, I got my pick of parking spots, beautiful view of the Copper River.

While cooking dinner, momma moose and her baby come along and hang out for bit, kool I thought, nice scenery and wildlife, if I only knew.

So my week starts out with breakfast Monday morning, thinking this will be enjoyable, quite breakfast watching the river flow by down the hill and just relaxing for the day, fishing opened at 12:01 AM Tuesday, so I had a day to just do nothing. My breakfast is made and I’m sitting at the table, all I need is my orange juice, so as I get my cup and turn around to eat, what should be watching me with his noise pressed on the dining area window, a black bear. He kind of looked like he was trying to figure where his plate was, I make noise and he walks to the front of the RV, stand on my cooler and then looks in the front of the RV. Dang pest, after he figured he wasn’t getting in, he walk off to the trash can about 50 feet away and tried to find a snack there. Good thing to, because by that time I had the sawed off shotgun in hand and a round jacked in, ready for him to break a window or door. Well this guy hung around for a day or two and then when went on his merry way.

Dipnetting Chitna July 2017

Dipnetting in Chitna for Reds

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Monday afternoon folks started showing up for the early opening at midnight and I meet a couple of real nice guys, young’un in the military and we talked for a bit. I had decided to wait until I woke up Tuesday morn and not make the midnight opening, hey lots of fish and few people. Anyway, we were supposed to join up around 7:00 AM and I’d bring coffee as they were going for the opener. They fished and landed two Reds and I tried dipnetting all morning with no luck, so we did get a few fish Tuesday morning, but not many. They landed 11 by Tuesday evening.

Steve E shows up Wed and we go dipnetting at another spot I heard about, this one at 7.25 mile of the road and it was steep. We used 200 feet of rope to hold onto while climbing down to the river bank and to get back up. The tide was supposed to come in at 6:00, so we figured leave camp then and get to this new spot around 6:30 or 7:00, nope, Steve loses the ball hitch to his ATV and we spend an hour trying to find it and fix it so we could continue down the trail with the little trailer hauling the ice chest for fish.

We finally make it to the spot and as I said it’s steep, but we find a spot and land 11 nice Reds in 2 hours. I even got a two-fer which was really nice. At 10:00 PM we decide to head up the hill and back to camp, so I’m carrying/dragging 100 pounds of salmon, my right pant leg is soaked in fish slime and what not and I know I’m leaving a trail of fish as I walked up the hill. We get to the ATV’s and start to load and as I turned to look back what do I see but a nice Cinnamon colored black bear following that fishy smell I was leaving, here we go again, holler, make noise and he just stands there. Well he finally left and we hit the trail. About 300 yards down is Mary and Bob, some other dipnetters camping next us. Mary is there by herself why Bob is hauling their fish up in multiply trips (they got 25), so as I stop to say hi, and here comes that Cinnamon bear again, more hollering noise making and 44 come out of holster this time. This guy is just too stubborn about getting our fish.

Well he finally leaves and all is good, back to camp, have dinner and leave Thursday for home, actually I was lazy so I only drove back to Summit, spent the night and made it home Friday morning with a pile of Reds to fillets for the freezer.

Now it’s home bound for a bit, per the wife I’ve been gone for to long, so its yard work and birds, time to start putting some of these chickens and turkey’s in the freezer.

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