I had wanted to go fishing for king salmon with hook and line earlier this year, but they’d closed it all over the state again due to poor runs. So I juggled deadlines at work with the dip-netting reports coming in from Chitina on the Copper River, and I finally threw things together and headed out on a Tuesday in late July when I could get away for a couple days and the report sounded like it was worth a chance. It was a beautiful drive – conditions were excellent. Driving as quickly as these ideal conditions permitted, I made it to O’Brien Creek just before 7:00 p.m. and dropped my life jacket in line to hold a place for the morning launch. It looked like I’d be on one of the first boats out. In speaking with folks to learn how the day’s fishing had been, things sounded so-so. A few of the dip netters had done well, but fishing was supposed to get better as the water dropped. As we spoke, one netter working the shore nearby pulled in several nice-looking fish, whetting everyone’s appetite.