Sunday, July 24, 2011

Camp life

I know, I know - all you want is a little fish porn, but a lot more goes on between actually catching something. Here is a little scene as everybody gets their gear together, loads the boats and heads out for a day of fishing. Note the head-nets.  These became our best friend.  Don't even think of going to Labrador without one.  I wore my total coverage bug shirt, but the $1.97 head net we bought at WalMart was just as effective and easier to see through.
I thought you might also be interested to see something of the cabins, lodge and camp life.  Everybody, clients, guides, and staff, ate together in the lodge dining room.  In the morning coffee (and the generator) was on at 6AM, breakfast at 7 and planes and boats leave the dock at 8.  Return to the lodge around 5 to 6PM, dinner at 7.  Sunset (and generator off) was around 10PM and it stayed light until around 11PM- in fact it never got totally pitch dark. We could have fished after dinner, but after a long day on the water, I don't think anybody did. The most impressive thing about the lodge (other than the 8 and 9 lb brook trout adorning the walls) was the fact that everything had to be brought in by plane or snowmobile.  The cooks were sisters and one of them matter-of-factly mentioned coming into the camp in winter on a three or four day snowmobile trip of 150 miles from Labrador City.  Hardier than most of the gals I hang with!

Well, if you have hung in there through the camp BS, here is a little fish porn.  In addition to the giant brook trout, there were white fish (sort of like a fallfish, but with a smaller mouth), lake trout, and northern pike.  We caught pike as by-catch a couple times while fishing for brook trout, but there were pike all over the lakes and we targeted them a couple times. 
 One afternoon Randy and I told our guide Byron that we would knock off the trout fishing a little early and get some pike on the way back to camp.  We tied on wire tippet and some big saltwater streamers and fished for pike for an hour or so.  We had fast action and caught about a dozen, some to almost 4 feet long.  Here is Byron with an average size pike.  The pike cull the brook trout and assure that they are not over run with small fish.  Many of even the larger trout had evidence of run-ins with predators, most likely pike. I didn't take any pictures of the white fish, but I caught 4 or 5 of them over the course of the week, and a couple weighed in at around 3 pounds. They take the same flies as the brook trout, and give you that same rush when they strike, but not too many folks would make the trek to Labrador for the promise of a strong bite from white fish. H-m-m-m, on second thought I can think of a couple people that would be happy to catch a nice white fish or two as a change from their normal catch of chubs!

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