The Spirit of Minipi

Philippe Poirier (aka: Philou) and Alan Lande recently returned home from a trip to Anne Marie Lodge. While they were visiting the lodge, they caught much more than just big brookies, they caught some great video! Take a look at their adventure with Coopers’ Minipi Lodges.

The Spirit of Minipi from Philippe Poirier on Vimeo.

Poirier is a retired pro freeskier, having competed in many events, including the Red Bull Crashed Ice competition, the US Open Big Air, and has medalled at the X-Games. He’s also a great fisherman.

“This was my third time over at Minipi and I love it. My best area to fish is the Little Minipi river because I love to walk around the river and throw my fly wherever I think there’s a fish,” said Poirier.

“The spirit there is awesome, very quiet and also very pure. I like the fact that I can bring an empty bottle of water and just fill it from the river.”

Poirier’s fishing tips & advice!

– Bring a #5 or up rod
– Get some solid tippet 8pds and up, some of those brookie attacks are vicious, and you can also encounter some pikes!
– Respect the environment
– Enjoy the best trout fishing spot in the world!!

Coopers' Minipi Lodges - fishing in the Big Land

Ride ’em Brookie!

Labrador is famous for it’s oversized Brook Trout, but I must admit I exercised an artist’s prerogative to exaggerate a little here. My nephew said he wants to go where I go to fish after seeing this. This artwork was done for a t-shirt for one of Bear Andrews expeditions to Coopers’ Minipi Lodges a few years ago. I don’t recommend the technique below however. But I really want to talk about some possibly helpful tips.

First of all, I’m a pretty good artist but not an expert at fly fishing. But when you go to Minipi you don’t have to be a pro. You are going to catch Brook Trout. Sure you have to be able to cast at least reasonably well, and my friends will tell you I am “fair to middlin” at it. You also have to have the right equipment. A good fly reel with a lot of backing and good drag system is very helpful – no problem there. An extra reel and extra spool or two, one with a sink tip line will be handy. A couple of good rods of 6, 7 or 8 weight capable of throwing big bushy flies in the wind is really crucial. You definitely need a dependable spare rod. A 7 1/4 pound Brookie jumped out of my hands and landed on my partners’ new Scott rod and snapped it in half on the last day of our trip. Luckily the CEO of Scott rods is a friend of ours so replacement on our return was no problem. But my buddy had a hard time convincing him it was broken by a Brook Trout.

There is a section on this web site with a list of necessary flies for Minipi. You also should have a little selection of smaller patterns that will work on a monster that is sipping little stuff on the surface. He oftentimes won’t take the usual large flies that are recommended when you find one doing that. It happened to us a few years ago. I was the only one in my group that had some really small caddis and other flies when we found a lunker. My buddy Bear Andrews ended up sticking him eventually, but didn’t land him. But at least he got him to eat his fly. Make sure you have wire leaders or wire leader material for your streamers.

There are quite a few Pike in Labrador and you never know when one will hit. A good digital camera is a must for me. If you have one of the small waterproof ones as well, you will find it comes in handy. I’ve fried two expensive camera bodies over the years by getting them wet. Taking thousands of outdoor photos every year is a little like combat photography – things happen. No matter how careful you are, it will happen eventually in bad weather or if you wade a lot. Labradors’ Brookies are pretty cooperative, so have fun.

Minipi’s Big Brookies

It doesn’t take an expert to see that from the smile on the face of John Dallas, my good friend and fishing partner, he has had one heck of a fine afternoon.  Two big male Brookies and an 8 pound female, one right after the other!

Our trip to Labrador in 2011 was the best of my four trips.  We caught over 50 “book” trout, making it a spectacular success measured by any yardstick.  This particular day was our last day and it was incredible.  Everyone in our party caught big Brookies… and we caught a lot of them.

I landed my biggest of the trip, a 7 1/4 pound male that was supercharged.  Labrador and Cooper’s Minipi Lodges is the place to be for fishing like this.  The first day of the trip I caught a 5 3/4 pound Brook Trout on the first cast of the trip.  A rise 30 feet from the boat and I placed my Hex fly onto the rings of the rise – luckily placed right in front of the trout’s nose.  That was exciting to say the least.

Nearly every “book”  trout we caught was over 6 pounds, with the largest Brookie of the trip, caught by Dave Brandt, weighing 8 1/2 pounds.  I don’t of any other place where you can do this, and a large percentage of them were caught on dry flies!

Labrador is full of surprises.  From spectacular sunsets and huge trout, to a variety of wildlife and beautiful scenery.  We saw Black Bears, Moose, Loons, Eagles and waterfowl.  Every day was a new adventure.  The guides and staff were among the very best I have ever had.  Meals were prepared by Justin Igloliorti, a classically trained chef.  The guides were all top notch and led by Kelly Groves.  None of them ever let us down.  No wonder Labrador is on my short list of favorite places in the world.