One Hundred Minipi Brookies!

When you are from Michigan you are quite used to catching 6 to 12 inch Brook Trout. Occasionally, but not often, you will catch a 15 to 16 inch “monster.”

I’m still waiting for my monster Michigan Brookie. My personal best was about 13 inches. Mind you, I’m not complaining.  Each and every one of them is a jewel! In my opinion, the prettiest trout in the world. I especially like looking at parr marked Brookies. I enjoy catching Brook Trout in the AuSable or Manistee Rivers or any of a number of smaller rivers or streams.

My first trip to Labrador was a revelation. No one even counts the “little” Brookies that we would consider trophies in Michigan. At Minipi Lodges only 3-pound trout are “book” fish. It’s easy to lose ones perspective.

The Brook Trout in my painting above is a Michigan trophy… but not in Labrador. Unless you consider that ANY such beautiful fish is a trophy, and I do. But Minipi is a world treasure, managed carefully and protected by the Coopers. You simply can’t take this precious resource for granted and the Coopers don’t.

On one of my trips to Minipi the water temperatures went up to dangerous levels and it put every trophy trout hooked in jeopardy. So guide Kelly Groves took Bear Andrews and me on a hike. We went over the mountain behind the lodge and down the other side to a place where a cold, spring fed stream entered the river. There the trout had a safe place to wait for temperatures to go back down.

There weren’t any “monster” trout in that spot but Bear and I fished for hours there and I know we caught at least 100 Brookies. All of them 7-to-15 inches long. Trophies one and all in my book. It was the highlight of my trip.

Minipi Fly and Tackle

The Beaver is in the water, the staff is ready and the Lodge is being prepped. It’s a busy week at Coopers’ Minipi Lodges so finding a moment to speak with our head guide Ray Best is pretty difficult. We managed to snag a minute or two for some quick pointers on what you should take in your tackle box for your trip to Minipi.

 Ray recommends:

–   8lb test tippet is a good start

–   Dry fly floatant such as Top Ride Floatant and Desiccant

–   Bug spray

–   Split Shot

–   A few small caddis, between size 6 and 12

–   Muddlers and bombers

–   A wooly bugger

–   Irresistibles

–   Polarized sunglasses are a must have

–   Sunblock and Chapstick (cherry flavor optional)

–   A mini-first aid kit

–   If you’re on a fly-out, take a boat bag. Take only what’s really necessary.

–   Definitely keep a collapsible wading staff with you.

–   Treats for the guides

Gotta love Ray’s sense of humor.