Wild Trout Up to Eight Pounds. And That's Before You Exaggerate.

I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to fish for giant brook trout in Labrador four times in the past decade. Each trip was the trip of a lifetime and each trip produced the fish of a lifetime. Where else in this world can you catch brook trout – on a dry fly – so big the guides don’t count them until they’re over two pounds? The rivers are big, the currents are strong, and so are the trout – eagerly rising to dry flies from a size 16 Blue Wing Olive to a size six Royal Wulff. You should leave your five-weight rods at home. You’ll be under-gunned with anything less than a six-weight rod that will easily cast a weight-forward seven floating line.

The fishing is only part of the wilderness experience to be had in Labrador. The lodges are clean, the food is as good as it gets, the lodge owners and managers make every effort to ensure your comfort and safety, and the guides are all expertly knowledgeable. They know where the fish are, what flies are apt to be productive, and they are excellent flyfishers. Don’t be afraid to ask, they can help you with any casting problems. Most importantly, their boat and canoe handling skills are second to none.

There is a vast area above Labrador’s 50th parallel that offers some of the finest fly-fishing in the world. This is one of the last areas on the planet that contains pure raw wilderness, much of it never fished. On my last trip to Labrador, my first cast brought a six-pound brookie to my dry fly. My guide gently netted the fish and as we released it, I felt both blessed and a little sorry that I had intruded. But I kept on fishing!  Before the day had ended, I had landed brook trout from four to nine pounds!

Access to most lodges is by aircraft and the fishing is reached either by large freighter canoes (you can stand up and fly cast in many of them!) or float plane. Midday shore lunches are provided and if you wish to have a small libation at the end of the day, you’ll have to either bring it yourself or make arrangements with the lodge owner or manager to purchase it for you.

Bring a camera because many lodges will not allow you to kill a brook trout. The resource is precious and the season is short. Pack some clothes to layer in case the weather changes, and a book to read just in case. I’d also strongly advise bringing lots of flies, extra spools of 3x and 4x tippet, and a backup rod. Fly-fishing in Labrador is as good as it gets and anyone who enjoys fly-fishing should make this trip at least once. You’ll never regret it or forget it!
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