August 31, 2010
When I was told that we were going to Loverboy to look for brook trout, I immediately had flash backs to my roller skating days in elementary school. Loverboy is not just a Canadian rock band from the 80's, but also the name for the narrows, which connect Anne Marie Lake and Burnt Lake in Labrador's Minipi watershed. Lee Wulff discovered the brook trout here while exploring the vast wilderness of this rugged land in a single-engine floatplane. Not only did he uncover the world's finest brook trout fishery, but he also sought to conserve it by promoting catch and release, a concept that was still in its infancy. Celebrated anglers, like Joan Wulff and Ed Jaworowski, have fished for and released colossal brook trout here.
On our first evening at Lake Anne Marie Lodge, Ray Best, one of the most entertaining guides that I have ever fished with and an icon around Minipi camps, arrived at the dock with a t-shirt that read "Minipi: where the brook trout are measured in pounds, not inches." This was one of those rare occasions when a t-shirt's tag line actually made me curious. As we putted the canoe across the uninhabited lake to Loverboy, the wind subsided and the green drakes began to pop. Ray stopped the canoe in the heart of the narrows next to "Loverboy rock." Legend has it that a love sick man was positioned on this celebrated stone to abandon his forlorn romance with Anne Marie and revel in the rising brookies that surrounded him.
We sculled around the rock until the fish started gobbling the juicy drakes that were emerging. Casting with my right arm, doubling hauling and swatting black flies with my left; we fished oversized flies for oversized brook trout. Eventually, the light grew dim and we could no longer make out the size 6 silhouettes of our drake imitations. I landed 5 fish that night that tipped the scale well beyond 30 pounds. These were the trophy trout that brought "Loverboy" to welcome his rock as a throne, where he ruled his kingdom as far as he could cast his fly. Now when I think of Loverboy, the lyrics to "Working for the Weekend" don't drift through my mind, but rather memories of big, beautiful brook trout that only nature could paint so magnificently.