Saturday, July 20, 2013

Oh, Salmon!

Hey readers! Who would ever imagine I will be fishing the world-known salmon at the copper river in Chitina, Alaska. I have never had salmon before just because  I don't usually eat stuff that I have never tried before but here I am going to my second fishing trip. I promised myself to never indulge ingesting the wild salmon since it has been infested with the so called anisakis parasite!(only common in wild salmon) Eww right? But they say that if you want to avoid eating the squiggly insightful creatures make sure to freeze them for seven days at -20ºC [-4ºF] or below or  for 15 hours at -35ºC [-31ºF] or below if you plan to consume them raw.(not me! I am not a sushi fan). But if you want it cooked make sure the internal part of the fish would reach 140ºF for these parasites to be killed. Are you still interested now that your salmon might have a party of these worms? =D
Anyway, my blog will cover on how to fish at the crowded Chitina and where to camp in case you guys are staying for a night or two over the weekend.
First, you have to visit this website: to determine what kind of fishing license  you qualify for. Is it commercial, sport, subsistence or personal use all depends on how you are going to catch, dispose, where you plan to fish and where you come from or how long have you been here in Alaska as a resident.
Second, go to your favorite sports store to shop for a reliable dip net, pair of scissors for cutting the gills, rope (to tie yourself unto something to hold you in place and keep from falling), club/baton-stick(to kill the fish)
Third, know which is the best route to reach Chitina.
Fourth, gather information on the web for your options where to camp you'll be amazed on how many places you can find with or without fees.
Fifth, Find the right spot to fish.
And of course you have to plan your trip with a few meals ahead. Bring any kinds of food you may want to prepare while camping (bring a camping pan along with your camping stove if you don't have a camper). In our case we always have a readily available propak which only needs water and is ready to serve. We also bring canned foods like tuna, corned beef or chili.You can also grab your plastic egg rack and fill it with eggs for breakfast. My husband usually eats oatmeal along with  any meat so a pack of oatmeal is recommended and easy to prepare. And for me as an Asian, I always go with the rice, I can never go wrong with that. And maybe just maybe cup noodles...=D
I would really advise for you to dress-up accordingly. Pack a few pair of clothes in case you might get wet while fishing. You can bring rubber boots but a sneakers will probably be alright. When fishing towards evening it tends to be cooler than usual and the breeze aren't that friendly.

My husband and I camped at the Fish and Game property on our first trip to Chitina so it was totally free of charge. The second time we didn't stay long enough to stay for the night as opposed to the 3-day fishing trip because the salmon wasn't running or should i say we weren't lucky that day. We went home with only one catch but that is alright..There are a few options to camp at, only you have to pay $15.00 each night for a group of four people. One place is so called the Liberty Falls. This offers picnic tables, amazing scenery, toilet (not sure if it's an outhouse I never used it). There is also a place to camp at the O-Brien creek for the same fee and at the Chitina Native Land Corp camp site where we always went to enter the private land for fishing at Salmon point. Some people stay in Ahtna camp sites too. Now, the best places to dipnet are Salmon Point, O'Brien Creek and right by the Copper River bridge. I also heard that McCarthy is worth the drive ( maybe 60 more miles ahead Chitina) All you have to do is be patient and don't get discouraged when people around you are catching fish and you're not. This kind of past-time/livelihood takes time and technique. And don't you ever fall into the river! the current is too strong plus you will be subjected to hypothermia for even if it's summertime here in Alaska, that glacier melting feeding the river ain't catering you to swim like in the tropics! Also if in doubt tie yourself to a rope..Happy fishing everyone!