possibly the world’s best brook trout waters
Though his passion for Atlantic salmon is well documented, many anglers don’t realize that the late Lee Wulff was responsible for discovering and developing what is probably the world’s finest brook trout fishery: the Minipi watershed of Labrador. Lee spent many weeks exploring what was then, and still is, an exceptionally remote region. His single-engine float plane enabled him to land on virtually any body of water he wanted to explore. Minipi was his type of place.
After his discovery of the Minipi, Wulff’s next problem concerned conservation. He didn’t want this fragile fishery exploited so he kept it a secret until he found a camp owner who would operate under strict catch-and-release guidelines. Although the camps have changed hands several times over the years, these same strong conservation ethics still apply, and most would probably agree the trout fishing remains as good as any other place in the world.
How good is the fishing? On any given day, from opening day in June, through mid September, an average angler has an excellent chance of tangling with several three-pound brookies. Five pounders are frequent, but only cause for mild celebration. Boat an eight pounder and you’ve accomplished one of the pinnacles of angling. The camp record stands a shade over ten pounds.
Early weeks of the summer produce prolific insect hatches, and trout are eager risers. Anglers probe both the weedy bays of the main lakes as well as the river sections which connect one watershed to another. As the summer melts away, hatches will diminish and although the trout continue to rise. A well-placed Muddler is sure to be considered by a trophy brookie eager to fatten up for the long winter ahead.
Landlocked Arctic char are also inhabitants of these same waters. Like their sea-run cousins, these char begin to turn bright crimson as their fall spawning period approaches, and there’s few fish more spectacularly beautiful. The same applies for the brook trout. In some areas, large northern pike are plentiful. More and more anglers find taking an outsize pike on a big streamer to be great fun, and a nice change from the trout or char fishing.
Jack Cooper’s Minipi Camps offers a number of different options. Cooper has operated these camps since 1978. At present, there are three different camps under Cooper’s knowledgeable hand. The Anna Marie and Minonipi camps are smaller, and more rustic, with comfortable accommodations in a single main lodge building, along with dining and full bathroom facilities. These two lakes are reserved for fly-fishing only.
The newest camp, Minipi Lodge, features an attractive, cedar exterior, large picture windows and modern accommodations for up to 20 anglers in ten double occupancy rooms. Singe hook, barbless spinning as well as fly fishing can be practiced at this camp.
No matter which option you elect, a trained guide is included for each pair of anglers. All are licensed and have completed a comprehensive 26-week guiding course that covers everything from fishing to first aid to brewing a good tasting pot of Labrador coffee.
Full week trips originate in Goose Bay, Labrador, which is easily reached via Montreal and Halifax. Charter flights to each camp, by float plane or helicopter are included in all packages, plus meals, accommodations and guided fishing.