Trip Questionnaire: Please click on the link below. This will take you an electronic questionnaire form that we ask you to complete and submit to The Fly Shop®. Please be sure to click the “Submit” button at the end of the form. The information provided will help us — and the outfitter best coordinate your trip.
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If there is an emergency, guests at the camp can be notified by radio/satellite phone. Just dial the camp’s Lower 48 office at (509) 962-1060 and speak with Brad Duncan. The camp has two satellite phones to call out, in case of emergencies, though they will be off most of every day, when not needed for outgoing calls. However, each guide at the camp has an InReach device, so Brad can contact them at almost any time of the day with a text. You can also always call us directly, at (800) 669-3474. You can also bring your own satellite phone or InReach device, if you so desire.
Fishing Kodiak Island is one of the ultimate fishing and wilderness experiences in North America. The small walk and wade river fished at the Duncan’s Invitation Creek Camp is remarkable, both from a perspective of its wilderness location, and the untouched fishing to be found there. While anglers travel here for the amazing steelhead fishing, the stream also sees strong runs of silver salmon and Dolly Varden, and is just a little fish factory. And everywhere you look, there is nothing but wilderness.
Koniag Land Use Permit:
Everyone will need to pre-purchase a Land Use Permit from the Koniag Native Corporation prior to leaving home for their trip. The Koniags are requiring every person to go online and personally fill out their form, pay the $50 fee, and agree to the terms on the waiver.
You can go to their site at:
Once you open this link, check Guided Land Access Permit, then Sturgeon River, then fill out your personal information. Put Dave Duncan & Sons as your Guide and the Air Taxi Transporter will be automatically filled in. Finally, pay for the permit, read their waiver and agree, and print out a copy of the permit. Please do not forget to do this as it is very important to have this permit on you along with your fishing license while at the Camp.
There is no WiFi available at the Steelhead Camp. If guests need to have communication with the outside world during their stay, they should consider renting and bringing a satellite phone, or have an inReach device. The camp has two satellite phones to call out, and each guide at the camp has an inReach device, so they can make outside contact at almost any time of the day with a text.
There is an extensive first aid kit in camp. Anchorage has state of the art hospitals and medical professionals. We recommend medical evacuation insurance such as Global Rescue, as this camp is very remote.
The closest liquor store is many miles away, so it is impossible to purchase liquor during your stay. If you enjoy a drink after a day on the river, be sure to bring your favorite alcoholic beverage with you.
We recommend staff and guide (cash) gratuities of approximately 10-15% of your package price. Tips are pooled and may be given to the camp manager at the end of the week for distribution to the entire staff. Camp does not accept checks or credit cards.
Fishing licenses are not included. We recommend purchasing your Alaska fishing license ahead of time online at: http://www.admin.adfg.state.ak.us/license/. In Alaska you must always carry your fishing license and personal identification with you while on the water. Everyone will need to purchase theirs online prior to departing home.
On Kodiak Island, the one factor that is constant is change. While moisture laden coastal air envelops the island and typically keeps it warmer than the mainland, the temperatures can get crisp in September and October. June has the longest days of the year, and you may change your clothing layers several times during the day. In July you can be fishing in a light long sleeve shirt, relying on sunscreen to protect your face. Late August may have the first fall weather, with the tundra turning fall colors. Bring several high tech layers, a top quality outer shell, a good pair of waders, and wading boots that you love.
Invitation Creek is a beautiful, low gradient wilderness river, surrounded by the large, often treeless, grassy hills and mountains that suggest Kodiak’s moniker, the Emerald Isle. The upper half of the river runs over a rocky bed surrounded by high bluffs and spectacular mountains, and the lower half twists and turns through a low gradient coastal plain, surrounded by head high bear grass in a bed of gravel. The course of the lower river is constantly changing as the gravel banks erode.
The lower portion of the river, where camp guests fish, is perfect for swinging flies from gravel bars, providing excellent steelhead and silver salmon fishing. The river runs clear, and remains typically clear with rainfall.
Anglers headed to the Duncan & Sons Camp to fly fish for steelhead and silver salmon will find the gear and techniques similar to that used for these species elsewhere in Alaska. As always, there is no substitute for quality equipment, the value of which is immediately apparent upon hooking into your first wild Alaskan gamefish!
The Duncan’s Camp has a limited number of spare rods and reels. They are intended as emergency back-ups should anglers break their own equipment. As a general rule, you’ll need to bring all your own fishing and personal equipment with you to the camp.
Specific Gear by Species
Steelhead are the reason clients travel to Invitation Creek. They average 6 to 12 pounds, with trophy specimens in the 15-pound class.
Single-Handed Fly Rods:
For anglers using a single-handed rod, consider a 9’ or 9’ 6” graphite rod designed to cast a 7 or 8-weight fly line. Sage, Winston, and Scott produce high quality rods, built to cast the floating line you normally use here, and fight large, powerful fish.
Single-Handed Fly Reels:
A high quality, machined single-action fly reel with a superior drag system is what to look for in a fly reel capable of handling powerful steelhead. Reels should be filled with a minimum of 100 yards of 20 or 30 lb. high-visibility backing. Hatch, Ross, Hardy, Abel and Galvan reels are an excellent choice.
Fly Lines for Single-Handed Rods:
The proper selection of fly lines is critical to your success and will get your fly in the best location in water column. Scientific Anglers make great floating and sinking tip lines for the various situations you will encounter. Generally speaking, you will do most of your fishing with a floater – we like the Anadro tapers for this fishing. Though the water is small, there can on occasion be a use for a light, short sinking tip, nothing more than a type III sink rate. A floater will be your go-to line.
Two-Handed Fly Rods:
Two-handed Spey rods are very effective when fishing for steelhead in large rivers, but are largely overkill for this small water. At the most, you could consider bringing a switch rod. We find single-handed rods to be the best choice here.
Leaders & Tippet:
Typically, the guides forego tapered leaders altogether in favor of straight lengths of Maxima Ultra Green Tippet in spools of 10,12,15, and 20 lb test. The guides will use this to construct your leaders as they prefer.
Flies used are a combination of standard steelhead attractor patterns for those wanting to swing fish, and nymphs and egg patterns for those preferring to dead drift flies with an indicator.
- Mini Intruder (black/blue, blue/purple, metal detector) #4
- Kilowatt #1/0
- Morgan’s Leech (pink/purple), #4
- Egg Sucking Bunny Leech, purple or black #4
- Starlite Leech, #2 black or purple
- Steelhead Soft Hackle, purple #6
- Green Butt Skunk #4
- Battle Creek Bunny #4
- Ska-Opper, skating dry for steelhead, purple #4
- Single Eggs (Peachy King, Clown Egg) #6-#8
- GB Gorman Eggs (pink, orange) #6
- Teeny Flies (Egg Sucking Black, Antique Gold), #4
- Copper John Nymph, red #12
- Jigged 20 Incher #8
- Pat’s Rubberlegs, brown #6
Single-handed rods are perfect for silvers, as casting distance is not typically critical, but actively stripping the flies back in can be. We recommend an 8-weight graphite rod, 9’ in length. Sage, Winston, and Scott produce high quality rods, and The Fly Shop’s Signature Rods are an excellent choice at a modest price.
A high quality, single-action fly reel with rim-control feature is what to look for in a fly reel appropriate to handle ocean-bright silvers. The reel should be equipped with a smooth, reliable drag system. Reels should be filled with a minimum of 100 yards of 20 lb. high-visibility backing. Hatch, Ross, Hardy, Abel and Galvan reels are an excellent choice.
Silvers are almost always found in slow-moving water or still water sloughs, and all you will need for this is a floating line.
Scientific Anglers makes one of the best, the Freshwater Titan Taper. The line makes casting large bulky patterns effortless, either fishing a weighted streamer just under the surface, or skating a Pink Pollywog across the surface.
Leaders & Tippet:
Typically, the guides forego tapered leaders altogether in favor of straight lengths of Maxima Ultra Green Tippet in 20 lb test.
Silver Salmon Flies:
This Kodiak silver fishery is a typical Alaska fall run scenario – big, chrome-bright fish in the 6-15 pound range flooding into the rivers with cold water temperatures. The fish are aggressive to the fly and screaming hot when hooked, and silvers are often as aggressive to a surface popper as to a weighted streamer fished mid-depth. Traditionally-tied flies should be on hook sizes from 4 – 1/0. Egg-Sucking leeches should be full and long, up to 4 inches in length. Flies should be tied full with lots of flash in varying colors and color combinations. Don’t be afraid to tie and throw larger flies for these fish, they love ‘em.
- Foam Top Wog – our favorite surface pattern
- Hareball Leech (fuchsia, bubblegum, orange/chartreuse, pink/orange, purple) – one of the best streamer patterns for Kodiak silvers
- Egg Sucking Leech variations using marabou or rabbit strip in black & purple
- Popsicle, size 1/0
- Sili Leg Intruder #2 pink
Recommended Personal Items
The following is a checklist written by the Duncan’s themselves, pertaining to the various and important personal items you should consider bringing on your trip.
- Sleeping bag: 20 degrees compact, with pillow
- Raincoat with hood or rain hat–good quality Gore-Tex
- 2 pair of jeans or sweats
- 2 pair long johns (Polypropylene, Fleece or Capilene type)
- T shirts, underwear and swim shorts
- 4 long sleeved flannel, fleece or Capilene shirts
- Warm vest and heavy coat
- SmartWool socks and polypropylene socks
- Warm Hat – Buff – ear/hat band
- Lightweight fingerless gloves or Gore-Tex windproof
- Towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, sunscreen, etc., etc.
- Muskol insect repellent
- Breathable waders and boots- no felt soles on wading boots
- Polarized glasses (required for eye protection)
- Alaska State Fishing License
- Travel clothes, plus camp-wear shoes or leather hiking boots, light weight coat, camp pillow, billed hat for the sun, cortisone anti itch medication. Rain jacket and pants for camp and traveling. Air mattress is provided by the camp.
Wading Boots Statewide:
Anglers are reminded that effective January 1, 2012, footgear with absorbent felt or other fibrous material on the soles are prohibited while sport fishing in the fresh waters of Alaska.
*Please do not wear felt soled wading boots in Alaska this summer*
TRY NOT TO EXCEED 60 LBS OF GEAR!
Weight is CRITICAL in the bush plane environment. Weight regulations are FAA required and enforced by the pilot in command. The 60-pound limit is approximate, but should act as a target weight to shoot for.
You are also free to contact us with specific equipment and trip preparation questions at (800) 669-3474 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are familiar with the techniques and equipment needed to best take advantage of the fishing opportunities at Invitation Creek.