Chitna Dip-netting

Several hours south of Fairbanks lies the mighty Copper River. Every summer, salmon avoid fishing boats in the Gulf of Alaska only to face the avid dip netters lining the banks of the Copper. The Copper is notoriously dangerous and each year claims the lives of fisherman. I suppose it is sort of a trade: salmon for man.

Now that we are somewhat oriented, the scenery is rugged and beautiful in the traditional Alaska style. The road along the Copper is cut out of the hill, and one side climbs up in a cliff, the other drops to the River.

The road along the Copper lies on the old Copper River Rail Road. (Get more really cool rail road information and old photos of the trains in operation!) The old wooden trussels can be seen, which used to hold the trains 50 feet or more off the valley bottom (yikes). There are still a few tunnels still useable.

Once you have braved the journey, you may have to walk down a very steep and treacherous trail to get to the good fishing spots. How ever, dip a net and relax, you have to wait for a school of fish to move through before the fishing gets good. Don't go to sleep and fall in! The cold, muddy, fast moving waters will steal away your life in minutes.

Thanks to my sister Ginger for the pictures.

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