July 14, 2017 at 7:29 am #6449
Just got back from a 10 day trip to Labrador (6 days fishing, 4 travel). Its my second trip but this one was to a tidal area where the brookies and char follow the tide in and out, filling their bellies on capelin and other migrating fish while awaiting August to swim up rivers to their traditional spawning beds. On my last trip, we were in a freshwater lake that held brookies to about 8-9 lbs, and there were fairly consistent hatches of green drakes and such to match. In this coastal salt water habitat, there were NO hatches (other than mosquitoes – another story). But I’m guessing their genetic memory must encourage them to take dries any time, since they’ll likely key on them once they run up the streams, and since the young who remain in the streams will also key into mayflies/caddis/stoneflies for a while there. I caught brookies to 3+ lbs (21″ max) on green drakes, stimulators, elkhair caddis, and a few other dries (as well as some streamers). The fish would arrive at the boat with mouths so plugged with small fish there was hardly room for the dry fly. (granted, some of it was regurgitated during the fight, but they most certainly had plenty of access to submerged prey). The few we kept to eat had NO evidence of hatching invertebrates in their gut. My buddy fished almost exclusively with some white buck bugs I’d tied him in #10-#8. He caught every bit as many and as large fish as did I, and I spent a lot of time changing and trying different flies for the simple reason that I’d brought 7 boxes of flies, and I needed to justify that on a float plane trip. What was also interesting was that these fish would absolutely slash at a stripped muddler or mickey finn, but would SIP a stationary dry on the surface. You couldn’t tell if you’d hooked a 10″ or a 20″ until he started to fight.
NON-FISH RELATED: Best part of the trip: One drizzly and windless evening, while casting from the bow of the boat, I heard a gentle exhaling hiss behind me, and turned around to find a beluga whale watching me from 6 feet away. He hung around the boat for about an hour, doing large circles that would bring him about 15′ from the boat. We watched him leave with the tide. Guide said they’d never seen one there before. I’ve seen belugas before, but to encounter this one 15 km from the ocean and in the remote, rugged landscape of The Big Land was magical.July 14, 2017 at 12:50 pm #6450
Sounds like a fun trip, except for the skeeters.July 14, 2017 at 1:02 pm #6451
Well, the story of the mosquitoes is that the camp, which was a little run down to be kind, was not mosquito-tight until I and my fellow travellers got out the jumbo Red Green-sized duct tape roll and sealed a few access points. Made for restless sleep til we got it dealt with.
Truth be told, the black flies and mosquitoes (outside) weren’t much worse than they can be here at home. I’ve faced worse on canoe trips on the headwaters of the Nepisiguit and in Yukon. One guy in our party brought some home-made concoction his wife saw in Pinterest (don’t ask me, I don’t follow it). Anyway, it apparently should be labelled ‘mosquito marinade’. Worse than useless, like so much that is touted on the internet. I bet it works fine for rooftop parties in large cities. One of those ‘oil of Aphrodite; dust of the Grand Wazoo’ type of recipes.
brentJuly 14, 2017 at 10:36 pm #6452
Well, as for the duct tape, like Red says; if the women don’t find you handsome, they’ll find you’re handy.
I have always wanted to go to Labrador and fish for those monster brookies. I have seen shows on that area and it looks beautiful.
July 15, 2017 at 11:47 am #6454
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by Scotty MacFly.
Sounds like a fantastic trip – especially catching them on top. I can’t stand blackflies but it would be worth losing a little blood for giant brookies.
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