Fishing

Most of the time, depending on the period and type of water being fished, a variety of flies will allow you to catch Brook Trout form 2 to 8 lbs, Landlocked Atlantic Salmon from 4 to 10 lbs, Northern Pike from 5 to 20 lbs, Lake Trout from 4 to 15 lbs and Lake Whitefish from 2 to 7 lbs.

Our experienced and knowledgeable guides and staff do the very best to help guests enjoy their trip to this magnificent territory and world class fishery.
There is always trophy fish to catch and bring memories to last a lifetime.

… The angler forgets most of the fish he catches, but he never forgets the streams and lakes in Which they are caught …

Charles K. Fox

Ethical and responsible fishing policy.

In order to preserve this spectacular fishery for future generations and to protect and abundant natural habitat, we practice catch and release in our waters. Only fly-fishing with single barbless hooks is permitted in the rivers. In the lakes, light tackle with barbless hooks is permitted.

… We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children …

David Brower

Brook trout

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Beautifully coloured, hard fighting river fish. Our Brook Trout average 2 to 5 pounds, but trophies up to 8 lbs are released each year. The camp record is 9 lbs 4 ounces.

Landlocked Salmon

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Or Ouananiche as they are called in eastern Canada. These hard fighting acrobatic fish average 4 to 10 pounds. Trophies up to 16 pounds have been released.

Whitefish

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This is abundant and often neglected by anglers. Averaging 3 to 7 pounds, these beautiful salmonids have small delicate mouths. Hard fighters they offer a great challenge on small dry flies or nymphs.

Lake Trout

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Present in the river early in the season, they readily take streamers or stonefly nymphs. These powerful fish are the apex predator of the North, averaging 4 to 15 lbs, they are also abundant in Andre lake where trophies of 15 to 25 lbs are caught each year trolling large streamers with sink tip lines.

Northern Pike

pike

Abundant in Andre Lake or slower currents and bays of the river, they range from 5 to 20 lbs. Strong and aggressive predators they provide great sport on the fly. They avidly take large streamers, poppers or mouse patterns.

What to bring

Flies

Flies : Labrador Brook trout are rarely selective, and will take a wide range of patterns. However the McKenzie river has abundant aquatic insect populations (mayflies, caddis flies, stoneflies , giant stone flies, choronomids) and bait fish ( Mottled sculpins, northern red bellied dace, sticklebacks , white suckers, baby brook trout and salmon parr). At times they will key into a food source and matching the hatch becomes the strategy of the day. Brook trout and landlocked salmon are taken on dries and streamers. Lake trout, which can be found stacking up at the river mouth and narrows early and late in the season are taken most often on streamers.

Flies are available for sale at the lodge but we recommend that you plan to bring a good assortment with you. The growing season is short in Labrador and Trophy fish like big meals. Large flies will catch less fish but trophy fish. Although as the water drops we sometimes switch to smaller patterns for continued success.

Dry flies : usually work best if matching the hatch, but attractor patterns work well also.

Orange Caribou bug sizes 4-8; Elk hair caddis # 10-16 or Cdc, orange, beige, olive body; Wulffs # 8-10, white, grey, Ausable, royal; Mouse patterns # 4 and deer hair poppers; Irresistible, Stimulators #6-10 yellow, olive and orange; Tchernobyl ants, Humpy

Bring some of your standard trout flies in case you have to match the hatch # 8-16, Adams, Pale olive dun, Grey drake, Black gnats, Klinkhammer, parachute Adams,etc.

Fishing Gear

Note: The McKenzie is a relatively new fishery. We’re sure this list will expand or change as more people fish the river and try new flies and methods.

Rods : A 7-8 weight fly rod will handle most fishing situations and all species. However, Available species include Whitefish to 6 lbs, Brook Trout to 8 lbs, Landlocked Salmon to 16 plus lbs, Northern Pike to 20 plus lbs and Lake trout to 30 plus lbs. We recommendYou bring several rods according to the species you are targeting. As a rule of thumb, a 6 & 7 weight rod will cover brook trout and whitefish and 7, 8 & 9 will cover Landlocked Salmon, Pike and Lake Trout. Bring at least one spare rod.

Reels : Large arbor, medium to heavy duty reels with a good quality disc drag and 100 plus yards of backing are required.

Lines : Floating lines are used most frequently. Have with you an intermediate sink tip for high water and deeper pools and rapid sink tip for Lake trout. Bring a spare line and backing.

Leaders :  Maxima Chameleon with an 8 – 10 lbs test tippet, is a favored materiel when prospecting waters that might produce a mix of species. For dry fly fishing specifically to brook trout and whitefish, scale down to 6 -4 lbs. tippets of more subtle materiel. Leaders of 7 ½ – 9 feet in length are fine. For Pike or large lake Trout you will need heavier leaders and a shock tippet of fluorocarbon, wire or Kevlar.

Leader materiel, tippets, backing and nippers are available at the Lodge.

Streamers : size 2 to 6

Wooly buggers is the single most effective wet fly. Like Mr. Ford and his cars, any color will do as long as it is black! But olive and brown can be good also. Muddlers: standard, white, yellow, orange and Spuddler* (grizzly hackle wing). Very effective as it imitates a mottled sculpin Orange, yellow, white marabou or rabbit strip muddlers or McKenzie sculpin; Darren Dicks special, Zonkers, Neptune streamer, Black nose dace, Baby brook trout, Thunder creek, Saranac Ghost, Ballerina; Large black strip leeches, G3s, Brook trout strip leech; The DW special, two patterns designed by guide Danny Winsor is a top producer during the entire season. Clouser minnows are excellent early and have the advantage of hooking in the top of the mouth rather that the gills.

Nymphs : size 8 to 14

Hares Ear, Prince, Pheasant Tail, copper john, red fox squirrel, 13A; Wooly Buggers # 8 – 10, black or black /olive; Stoneflies Kauffmans # 4 – 8, golden # 8 -10.

Egg patterns have been effective early in the season during the white sucker run. A small nymph dropper below a dry fly is deadly for whitefish early and Brookies later in the season.

Big flies : 2 – 2/0

If you tie or own any saltwater flies, I’d bring some sizes 2 -2/0 in orange, red/yellow, red/white, blue/white. These work well for pike but also may temp some of the large Lake Trout at the river mouth, and we’ve known hungry 5 lbs Brook Trout to gobble large deceivers in other watersheds. Pike will take a wide variety of big flies, deer hair bugs, deer hair mice, Dahlberg Diver and poppers. The Lodge has a good selection of flies available for Trout and salmon as well as large streamers from Enrico Puglisi in stock for Pike and Lake trout.

Please refer to our web site and visit our “Fly Box” or read guide Burt Gillis’ notes for additional information.And don’t be afraid to try something new or different, you could be rewarded with a True Labrador Trophy.

Clothing and accessories

Waders : Chest waders are recommended. Stocking foot waders with a good quality wading shoe or brogue will provide better support, comfort and mobility than boot-footed waders. Good quality Gore-Tex waders with a polar fleece pant will keep you dry and comfortable. Felt Soles are an absolute must! Screw in carbide studs, a wading staff and belt are highly recommended.

Carbide studs are available at the Lodge.

Clothing : Your clothing list should include: long underwear (polypropylene and or polar fleece for wearing under waders), wool socks, warm shirts, Patagonia style pullover or hooded sweat shirt, good quality wind and water proof wading jacket, hat with visor, warm gloves.

Be prepared for a broad range of temperatures (45 – 80 degrees F). It is best to dress in layers.

Accessories : Bug repellent, sun cream, lip balm, vest, clippers, leader materiel, split shot or lead weight, polarized sun glasses, dry fly floatant, forceps, pocket knife, flashlight and a small waterproof pack or bag for carrying personal gear, camera, clothing  etc.

Be sure to bring any and all personal medications you will need.

Please try to keep your luggage weight to 55 lbs. Soft sided luggage is appreciated.