Thursday, July 10, 2008

BiPower Brooks monsters

I always read that the world record of Brook Trout will be fished at Labrador or at some place in Argentina... Now I don't have any doubt about it. Today I received an email from my friend Blake Prescott with a great review of his last trip to Labrador for Brook fishing. The best for me is that he was using one of my CFH806BP 8' #6 Hollow Build BiPower Series


And this is what he have to say:

"Dear Marcelo,
With apologies for the poor photography, I'm sending you evidence of your rod's performance. We just returned from Labrador which sits to the east of Quebec in Canada, and, while part of Newfoundland, reaches to the far north above that island. It is sparsely populated. Our Inuit (sort of an Eskimo) guide came from a town of only 50 where the only mode of travel was by outboard motor boat.
The fishing was for brook trout. The attraction of this particular area (the Minipi Lake system) is that the trout feed almost exclusively on insects but they have such an abundance of these insects that the trout grow to exceptionally large size. They are not easy. We went 2 and 1/2 days without a rise, and when you do get a rise, it may be your only chance so you have to be ready with a rod which has a tip that won't yank the fly from the fish while still responding precisely in setting the hook. One experienced fisherman caught only one fish in a week.


To further complicate matters, the winds are notoriously strong. Indeed, at the camps on the larger lake, it is not unusual for fishermen who have only one week of fishing to give up a couple of those days due to the wind being too strong for the boats to go out. Obviously, the casting can be extremely difficult under these circumstances. We were at Little Minipi which is not so little. It has miles and miles of convoluted shoreline, and it has a river that, even though small (about two casts wide in most places), has very large trout. There was a difficult 1/2 hour ride through white caps to get to the area where your rod got its special testing. Winds were blowing upstream, blasting us in the face and causing us to lean into them just to keep our balance. We were using dry flies almost exclusively, and I had an 18 foot leader on; so the rod had to have tapers and power to hold a fly in the wind and set in down without a bunch of curls. Your rod did just that. I used a 6 wt floating line, a Wulff Triangle Taper; this is similar to a double taper and gives a delicate presentation but needs a rod to combine precision and power to punch it out any distance. Your bi-power rod did the trick. Now most folks were using 7, 8, and 9 weight rods to fight these winds, and - to play the large, very hard fighting fish for a short time in order to get them back into the water as soon as possible. They are very serious about conserving this wonderful stock of large brook trout; so when one is landed, it is quickly weighed, revived, and released. This is my excuse for the photos. There was little time, and my ability to get shots that did justice to the fish and rod was limited. Fortunately, I had a waterproof casing for my camera which allowed me to even take it out under those conditions.
As you know, brook trout are in a different family than brown trout, rainbow trout, and salmon. I don't know how well acquainted the people in Argentina are with this kind of trout; and even those brook trout that they are familiar with may be quite different than those in Labrador. Indeed, the brook trout in different parts of Labrador have their own special characteristicsl. Those that we caught on this trip were not only larger than our past Labrador trip for brook trout, but they fought much harder. Some would run into the backing, and they all showed tremendous strength, snapping leaders and even breaking stout hooks. While these char with tiny scales and beautiful colors usually don't develop their startling reds and blues until the fall (at our spawning time), these in the Minipi system are different in that they get their colors early, and develop a big hump just before the dorsal fin at spawning time. The record brook trout did come from eastern Canada many years ago, but, now, bragging rights can go with any brook trout over two pounds. A brook trout over ten pounds is practically unheard of, and any exceeding 5 pounds are few and far between. Well, they keep a log at Little Minipi, where they limit the entries to those over three pounds. There were only 4 pages to the log for last year. Many experienced fishermen feel fortunate if they get into the log; and those with more than three or four fish are infrequent. Trust me, there were very few trout logged in over 5 pounds last year, and only a handful of those over 7 pounds.
OK. That's the background that you can pass on to others. Now for the action.
I'll confine the story to one catch.


The trout pictured with your rod weighed 7 and 1/4 pounds. He rose just once, in heavy winds, and he took a dry fly (a "Goddard Caddis" that you may see). Rapid setting of the hook was necessary, and there were about 70 ft of line (and leader) out. Not only did your rod perform the casting necessities well in these windy, adverse conditions, but responded ideally to the hook setting. We brought him up to us a couple of times before he sent the reel screaming again and put the bipower in "U" formation, going well into backing. Steering him with the rod was also a pleasure, The bamboo ferrule gave precise control from butt to tip, and we were able to keep him away from a series of hazards before he went into his dogged fight where he showed off his strength. Had we tried to bring him in more quickly, we surely would have lost him. Finally, he yielded enough to be netted, but the fight had been long enough where we wanted to revive and release him as soon as possible. Thus the excuse for the poor photos. I caught 8 fish over 3 pounds during the week (including four between 6 and 8 pounds) and this one fought the best. The guides not only admired the fine craftmanship and artwork in your rod, but also, and especially, the way it performed."

Thank you, Marcello.

Best regards from Vermont, USA, your friend and admirer,


Thank you very much Blake, reviews like this one always draw a big smile into my face.

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