Over the past few weeks at Anne Marie Lake the evening fishing has been spectacular with rising trout in every cove. With fish up to 8 pounds sipping green drakes until the moon rises and dark settles on the hills around Loverboy, Petches Pond, West Bay and Man O’ War Key. While the wind has reached gusts of 50 to 70 km/h in recent weeks, it calmed off after supper allowing clients to enjoy the sight of rising fish! Evening fishing in stream areas such as The Pantry has also been productive, giving up a fish of 7 pounds caught and released on an orange bomber. Big Harry Outlet has also produced some great action on the orange bomber as well, giving up a 7 pounder and multiple 5+ pound brook trout; surprisingly the area also produced an 8 ½ pound fish thought to be a hybrid arctic char/brook trout. Labrador certainly is the land of opportunity for both angler and fish alike.
Wildlife around Anne Marie Lake has been prevalent with frequent moose sightings, various waterfowl, spruce and ruffed grouse, a black bear or two and even two woodland caribou seen at Little Loon Pond!
The beginning of August sees the end of the green drake hatch, and time for large flies to be tossed to willing trout throughout the Minipi watershed. Large brook trout and char of dark red and orange line the pools, streams and inlets eager to take whatever passes by! Large bombers, wooly buggers, muddlers and even deer hair poppers will trigger a powerful strike that will leave your line tight and a big smile on your face.
Trips to Little Minipi and Minipi have been highly successful with a few fish being caught weighing in at 8 ½ pounds on dry flies! Talk about bucket list experiences! A few arctic char were caught and released by the clients of Minipi Lake Lodge on nymphs such as copper johns and pheasant tails. It surely has been an eventful summer so far with another month of outstanding brook trout and arctic char fishing ahead!
When Bear Andrews first asked me to go with him to Labrador, he enticed me with descriptions of the big “Hex” fly hatches and spectacular rises by monster Brookies. It worked. I couldn’t wait to see that. Brook Trout have always been my favorite trout and a chance to catch a true leviathan was too much… I HAD to go.
Well, the hatches materialized and so did the Brookies. Bear wasn’t pulling my leg. Labrador turned out to be everything he said it was. At one point, I was crouched down in the boat with my camera lens focused on a big Hex just a couple of feet away. Fish were rising all around us, but I wanted a photo to commemorate the occasion. I was waiting for a big Brookie to come along and snatch up that fly right in front of my camera. I don’t remember how long I waited but it was several minutes.
Meanwhile, those trout were still rising and I was getting antsy. Finally I couldn’t take it any more. As soon as I stood up a huge Brook Trout rose right in front of me and that Hex I was watching disappeared. The “Hex” fly of Labrador is a fly they call the Green Drake. It’s actually a close relative of Hexagenia limbata, or what fishermen in Michigan call the “Michigan Mayfly”. It’s considered the to be the filet mignon of trout flies by most trout. Fishing the Hex hatch in Michigan is one of the major highlights of our fishing season. This is when the big boys come out of the woodwork to play… especially at dark.
The photo accompanying this story is a Green Drake or Hex fly. I like the photo because my wedding ring had turned upside down and the image of a mayfly matching the one on my hand can be seen. No… I didn’t plan it that way. Just a happy accident. One of my best friends made our wedding rings for my wife and I, and since I’m a fanatic fly fisherman, and so is my friend, I naturally asked for a Hex fly on it. My wife chose a Dragonfly for hers. At the end of our wedding ceremony my wife and I walked beneath a row of crossed fly rods held by my fly fishing buddies. It’s my favorite photo from our wedding. Our minister understood, he’s a fisherman too.
Oh by the way… the crossed fly rods was my wife’s idea! She’s a keeper.