Giant Brookies of the Minipi River
This is simply the best dry fly fishing for large brook trout
in the world. It's a special environment which produces
hatches that defy the imagination and is home to a
special strain of brook trout.
From the west coast of the USA, it’s not easily accessed.
The only reason that warrants the travel hassles (and the
variable weather of Labrador) is the opportunity to take
large, native, brook trout of over five pounds on a dry fly.
My son and I have had this on our “to do” list every other
year for almost ten years and 2006 complete our fifth trip.
Some of us are old enough to remember the old outdoor
adventure TV series, The American Sportsman. Probably
the most famous of their TV shows was the one in which
Lee Wulff flew Curt Gowdy into an isolated river system in
Labrador. They would take video of Lee and Curt catching
these big, beautiful brookies on dry flies. Several times
during the series, they featured this river system and it's
tremendous brookies. What made this particular series so
fascinating was Curt Gowdy and the entire show staff were sworn to secrecy and not allowed to divulge the location of this river. Lee Wulff had vowed not to let the location be known until the Canadian government had set up a method of protecting the uniqueness of these fish and their habitat. Today, this is one of those special places that fishes "the way it used to" because of the protections that have been established and enforced by Lorraine and Jack Cooper, who operate three lodges on the system.
We have experienced drake hatches that were so intense that they covered the water as far as we could see. At times, it has been an incredible experience! During one particular hatch, I tried to count the number of drakes sitting on my fly line and got to 27 before losing track of where I was! In addition to the drakes, there is a large variety of other mayflies and caddis. Timing is the key issue if you are going to hit the hatches right.
The catch/release totals of our (two fishermen fishing together) last four trips may be the best way to illustrate just how unique this fishery is:
Total pounds (all fish over three pounds are weighed before release) of fish caught: 687
Number of fish over five pounds released: 71
Number of fish over seven pounds released: 19 with two topping 8 pounds
The great majority of these fish were taken on dry flies.
This is a "Jack London type" experience in an area that is isolated and only fished by the clients of Cooper's Camps. The primary challenge is getting space during the "prime hatch season," and often making reservations over 12 to 24 months out is necessary for the key times.
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Fly Fishing Adventures