Our Man In Canada
June 30th, 2003

Brook Trout

By Ken Robins

Fly Fishers should be constantly observant. As well, they should not always stay with the routines of camps into which they go. Vivid in my mind is a late August trip that a friend and I made to Minipi River many years ago. The routine was to get up leisurely for breakfast arund 7:00 A.M., then canoe from camp to the section of river we were to fish. We carried a box lunch and fished until late afternoon when everyone returned to camp for supper. The evenings were devoted to tying flies, relaxing and telling tall tales.

We saw few flies over the water and dry flies were not effective. We did catch what we thought was of share of big brook trout - two or three each day - but for such a remote haven something was missing. One day I noticed some of the back eddies were matted with caddis shucks - empty skins of the pupa stage. I knew that caddis hatched early in the morning and laid their eggs at dusk, so we were obviously missing both activities. The guides had no idea what happened at dawn or dusk because they had never been on the river then!

Fly Fishing Canada

Bill and I convinced our guide to eat supper early and head back down for the evening fishing. What occurred was an experience that I do not expect ever to repeat. We went to the most likely pool for this kind of activity. A riffle poured over a gravel bar into the left side of the pool, and then the water became slick and glided in a semi-circle past big boulders and left the pool at right angles to the way it entered. The evening sky was heavily overcast when great numbers of caddis adults in three different species came out early to lay their eggs. Trout started rising everywhere.

We gave our spare rod to the guide and asked him to join in. The fish were not selective, so we all ended up using a Royal Wulff dry fly. Its white wing made it very visible on the dark water in the dull light. It was absurd! Rising trout everywhere - fighting, big fish - and us upset that they fought so long because we wanted to get our flies back onto the water to catch another giant. When darkness set in after almost two hours of frantic fishing, the three of us had landed 24 brook trout that were all 18-22" (45-55 cm) long. ~ Ken Robins

Credits: From Fly Fishing Canada, From Coast to Coast to Coast, By Outdoor Writers of Canada, Published by Johnson Gorman Publishers. We appreciate use permission!

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