World-Class Brook Trout of Newfoundland and Labrador
I have been very fortunate to travel extensively across North America and I constantly have the same two questions asked of me: “What is your favorite fish?” and “Where is the best place to fish them?” Without hesitation, I say large brook trout are my favorite fish, and the only place I know that has constantly produced very large fish is in the interior of Labrador. Now when I say large fish, I’m talking about 5 pounds average with my personal record brook trout at 8 pounds. That same trip I landed many fish in the 6-pound area. Brook trout of 10 pounds have been recorded in the past.
The brook trout is one of the most incredibly beautiful creatures in the water. Their sides have spots of blue, red, and yellow, and during the spawning run the males become bright red on their sides, with the fins becoming bright red with bands of white on the front.
The island of Newfoundland itself has many streams and lakes (or ponds) that hold large numbers of smaller brook trout just right for shore lunches. But if you’re looking for the real lunker brook trout, the watersheds of Labrador are the places to be.
Most lodges now encourage the practice of catch and release, resulting in larger fish being taken each year. With this in mind, the equipment that you will need will be fairly stout rods of #7 or #8 weight with the length of at least 8 feet. The lines I suggest would be floating lines along with sinking leaders and intermediate sinking lines.
The flies needed should include a selection of minnow patterns such as deceivers, leech patterns such as Zuddlers, mouse patterns and, the best part, a good selection of dry flies with mayfly, caddis fly, and stone fly imitations being the bulk of what you bring. Any dry fly you might use on your own trout stream will work. On my last trip, 70% of my fish were taken on dry flies. Bring as many sizes of each dry fly as possible.
The brook trout is one of the hardest fighting fish you will encounter, and will take all of your skill to land. Labrador is the land of the giants. I will return.