Minipi – more than just a fishing trip

It’s easy to forget. You know how it goes, thirty five years in the same business … thousands of brook trout photos, a million sunsets, and busy summers, it’s easy to forget why you do the things you do and what keeps you going. That is, until you stand in that Goose Bay airport and meet folks that have been coming here for just as long as we’ve been running Anne Marie.  They’re delighted to be here, and tell you that they think about Labrador and being here every single day of their lives. It is literally like seeing where we live and what we do through new eyes. And somehow it brings back meaning and purpose.

Minipi is more than a fishing trip to those that come here every year. It’s coming back to see friends and family, it’s the fresh breath of sitting in the canoe listening to the loons.  It’s that great laugh we had at Petche’s that day. And oh yes, that beautiful, beautiful 7 pounder we caught just at dusk on the second evening. It’s the whole package. If you come just for the fishing, you’re missing out on ninety percent of the fun, and that is an absolute truth.

Fun? We have had fun so far this summer. It has been one of the best fishing years in a long time … tons of big hatches, lots of moving, feeding brookies and a lot of happy fishermen. We’re having just the best time at the Little Minipi and Minipi Rivers and catching some great action in the evening at Anne Marie.  Many stories told, and many more in the making.

Easy to forget? We can’t forget. I think Labrador is the tonic that takes so many people through the long, cold winters. We’ll be back next month with a wind up of the fishing this season, and some great pictures of the brookies and char in their fall colours as they get ready to end their 2013 time with us.

Minipi Guides Report: 2013 vol.2

Minipi Guide Ralph Coles

Minipi Guide Ralph Coles

A windy July oftentimes suspended fishing, but the few calm evenings that we managed to squeeze in saw brown drake duns, spinners and casings (exuviae) and a mix bag of other species cover the water. Idiot Point’s famous big-ass caddis fly added to the mix, making this smorgasbord a tempting offer for even our avian friends. Bear Island, Pre-Narrows, and Idiot Point were areas of concentration for both bugs and anglers.

However, a scout’s report confirmed that West Bay, North Point, Lover Boy, and Burnt Lake had a similar mix bag of insect life as well as boils, swirls and porposing brookies, a sure way of getting adrenaline flowing.

Matching the hatch with drake and wulff patterns were the patterns of choice. Landings between 4 to 7 pounds were consistent with last month’s landings with one behemoth weighing in at 8 pounds.

For those familiar with Minipi’s nomenclature, Big Hairy’s bottom foam line contained lots of exuviae with this fishing hole seeming to hold up big fish.

After the brown Drake hatch, fishing and especially the catching was rather slow, “onesies” and “twosies” were very common until the green drakes appeared around Man-a-war, Lilly Pads and Burnt Lake, at which time another feeding frenzy took place for a short time. Up to this point, green drakes are still popping up with Lover Boy producing some caddis flies.

Fly outs to Minipi and Little Minipi have proven successful with the orange bomber being the fly of choice. Euphemistically speaking, larders have been discovered in fishing holes next to the holm located near the honey hole at little Minipi.

While on several trips to Minonipi and especially the caddis beds, which is a nursery for the hatching of caddis flies, one of Labrador’s many mammalian species, the moose can be seen munching on this calcium-rich underwater vegetation (potamogeton) as well.

As of now, much needed rain, especially for navigating the rapids enroute to Minonipi is a definite requirement.


Late Season Minipi Magic

Each segment of the relatively short Minipi season has something different to offer, and may call for different flies and techniques. By mid to late August, both the trout and char begin staging in specific areas prior to spawning. The guides know where. I’ve had my best fishing with colorful bucktails and large muddler minnows. I generally let them sink deep, before starting a slow, short, strip retrieve.

While summer hatches lend themselves to evening fishing, I’ve found late season fishing best during the day. An added bonus is the coloration of the fish at this time of year. There may be no more beautiful fish on the planet than a male Minipi brook trout in spawning colors. The largest and most colorful char too, are available at this time of year. On both Anne Marie and at Little Minipi, I’ve enjoyed super char fishing in early September, only a week before the snow began to fly.

Late season fishing for colorful brookies

A four-pound male in spawning colors, caught in the Foam Pool on a white marabou muddler, during the latter half of August.