Sorry I disappeared for a while. Well… sorta. We went fishing 🙂
It was our annual trip to the Copper River, a four hour drive from home. We left Friday night after work and set up camp as soon as we got there. It rained all night. After getting an okay night’s sleep, we got up early Saturday and headed for the river. It thankfully had stopped raining, and the sun came out within a couple hours. It turned out to be a beautiful weekend!
Dip-netting at the Copper River is always an adventure. The best place for catching the beautiful Red Salmon is down in “The Canyon.” The trail follows the old pre-WWII train tracks, which were pulled up during WWII and the metal was melted down. Some of the old train trestles are still there.
Clinging to the side of the mountain, the trail is often just wide enough for a four-wheeler to make it over. Occasionally, a mudslide comes down the mountain and makes the trail even more… interesting. On the river side of the trail, the mountainside plummets down 100′ to the raging river below, which goes from a wide, meandering river and is funneled into the canyon and becomes a rapid filled, boiling, raging river. If you fall in this river, you’re not getting out and there’s a very small chance of finding the body.
The fish are well worth it. Copper River Red Salmon are know all over the world as the best tasting, healthiest salmon in the world. And I agree!
Dip-netting is part of the Alaskan subsistence way of life. It is open to Alaskan residents only. Each household is allowed 30 fish (as of 2014), and Fish and Game occasionally, on really good years, allows a supplemental 10 fish.
Once in “our spot” on the cliffs, we roped off to a sturdy tree at the top of the rocks. Like I said, if you fall in, you rarely get out. The 4′ nets are about as large as you can use on this river. Larger nets are allowed, but the water is just too strong to use them. As it is, I cannot keep a net upright in this river. So the hubby catches the fish, and I haul them up to the coolers on the four-wheeler.
By Saturday evening, we had our 30 fish, and my uncle had the 22 he wanted. We’re were quite happy. My first year fishing this river with my dad, my uncle, and our neighbor several years ago, we had 90 fish in three hours. You can understand why we like fishing here!
Saturday night we cleaned our fish up, had some dinner, and slept like babies. Sunday morning was a beautiful leisurely drive home through some of the most beautiful country.
I have soooo many Copper River Alaska pictures, I’ve split up this post to share the best of them with you! Click HERE for Part 2! Subscribe below so you don’t miss the next set of pics! See them all on the Facebook Page HERE!