Dave Duncan & Sons is a family-owned and operated business that specializes in remote wilderness Base Camps – we represent their two operations on the Kanektok River, the Upper River Base Camp and the Lower River Base Camp.
Their family has more than one hundred years of combined experience guiding and supporting fishermen in Alaska’s remote wilderness; Dave’s sons and a loyal crew of returning guides and employees work together at both destinations to insure a first-class wilderness experience, and the legions of guests who return annually is testament to their success. Regardless of which operation you choose, you will stay in a very comfortable camp that has warm, dry tents, hot showers, and great fishing – right out the front door. And the Kanektok is one of the great fish factories of Bristol Bay, with more rainbow trout and sea run Dolly Varden than can be imagined, as well as heavy runs of all 5 species of Pacific Salmon.
Reservations & Rates
The cost of the week-long Duncan & Sons River Camp packages are:
Lower Camp - $5,300.00 per person
Upper Camp - $5,400.00 per person
Included in your angling package at the Duncan & Sons River Camps is transportation to and from camp from Quinhagak, meals (including beer and wine with dinners), sodas, lodging, and guiding services on the river.
Not included in your angling package at Duncan & Sons River Camps are 'round trip transportation from Anchorage to Quinhagak, a sleeping bag, fishing tackle, fishing license, and any favorite alcoholic beverages.
The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses.
• Travel Guard Insurance
Seasons at Duncan & Sons Camps
The Kanektok River is one of the very few rivers in all of Alaska that offers world-class rainbow fishing in the same water as ocean-bright salmon.
So often one has to choose a lodge located near trout water, then fly to the coast to catch fresh salmon…making this river a rare exception.
The king salmon run heats up on the Kanektok in June, and lasts well
into July. The lower river is fairly wide – spey rods are recommended - and comprised of a series of long, deep beautiful runs, perfect for swing fishing to these brutes. An average king here will be 20-25 pounds, with fish over 40 an everyday possibility. As well, the river's sockeye and chum salmon runs overlap the kings, and offer good sport for those looking for a bit smaller game – sockeyes average 6-8 pounds, and the chums 8-12 pounds. This same early season stretch will also see the river's big leopard rainbows aggressively chasing large streamers – trout in the 2-4 pound range are common, and even larger fish are routinely hooked. Look for the annual upstream migration of sea run dollies to begin in this same time period, making this is a great mixed bag time of year.
As July segues into August, two major events occur. First, hordes of chrome silver salmon invade the river, their sheer numbers inundating every slow pool and calm backwater in the river. These aggressive-to-the-fly battlers are a flyrodder's dream, averaging 6-12 pounds, and willing to take surface poppers as well as streamers. Secondly, as all of the earlier-run salmon are now laying eggs, or dying and decomposing, the river's trout populations are taking up sharply defined feeding positions; anglers can either catch big numbers of good-sized rainbows (and dollies) in shallow spawning redds behind procreating salmon, or plop heavy flesh patterns against the banks behind drowned alders in search of fewer, but larger specimens. This will remain the drill into September, when the camps close down.
Getting to Duncan & Sons Camps
Upon arrival in Quinhagak you will be met by several camp representatives, who will transfer you and your luggage to awaiting jet boats and take you upriver to the Camp you've chosen.
On your day of arrival, plan on flying into Bethel on Alaska Air flight #43, departing Anchorage at about 11:53 am., arriving Bethel at about 1:08 pm. Upon arrival in Bethel, give ERA Aviation a call (907) 543-2000, and
they'll come pick you up and transfer you to their terminal (they may already be there waiting for you, but if not, they'll come right over upon receiving your call). They'll then fly you out to the village of Quinhagak, arriving about 40 minutes later. The Camp will have already made the reservation for this ERA Aviation portion of your trip -- you'll just need to pay them for it when you arrive. The cost for the roundtrip flight (they also fly you from Quinhagak to Bethel at week's end) will be approximately $210.00, which you should be prepared to pay in cash.
Lodging at Duncan & Sons Camps
Dave Duncan and Sons actually have two camps on this remarkable river.
Their Lower River Base Camp is a short, 30-minute run upstream from the little Native village of Quinhagak, and concentrates on the lower 15 miles of river. While the salmon fishing is the largest draw at this Camp due to its proximity to the ocean, there is also more than enough rainbow fishing to keep even the most enthusiastic trout angler happy.
The Upper Base Camp is located approximately 30 miles and an hour and a half jet boat ride upriver, and is protected in a 2.2 million acre, federally established wilderness area. Access to the wilderness portion of the river is severely limited by government regulation- only a small group of anglers a week are allowed, and this is the only semi-permanent operation allowed. The camp is in the center of the trout fishery and has immediate access to the desirable "braids" section, where you can lose yourself in the small, meandering backchannels and tributaries. For those wanting to tangle with heavier game, simply walk over to the main channel, where the bulk of the salmon species are making their way upstream. If you like smaller water and more trout and dollies than you can imagine, this is the place for you.
Physically, the two camps are identical. They both feature comfortable Weatherport tents built onto solid wood, raised platforms, both guest quarters and a separate tent in which to take your meals. Well-designed outhouses round out the camps, both of which are located right on the water. Typical of most such camps, breakfasts and dinners are taken in camp, while lunches are typically served streamside.
Fishing at Duncan & Sons Camps
The Duncans use jet sleds to access the fishing grounds each day; sometimes they will have anglers fish from the boats (they have set them up to be rowed), and sometimes they will beach the boats and have guests wade the shallower runs and riffles.
The former is especially useful when targeting big rainbows in deep water, the latter when salmon fishing or fishing for trout behind spawning
salmon. Right after breakfast each day guests will be split up, two to a boat and guide, and whisked off to the type of fishing they have requested. Due to the prolific and varied nature of the fishery, it is not unusual to be catching bright salmon all morning, then spend the afternoon catching trout, dollies and grayling. The guide will work with each angler, sharpening their skills and explaining the fishing, and will stay with them all day.