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OUTDOORS

MARK PAPOUSEK

SPECIAL SPECKLES:

the ones we remember best

In life, it is always best to have someone to

share with. The same can be said about experiences in the great outdoors. Whether it is just a couple of hours hunting

or fishing close to home, or a week-long fishing excursion in the bush, spending these moments with my son and best friend Stephen, 27, doing what we both love, is a wonderful thing. Stephen has been my fishing buddy since he was old enough to cast a bobber off a dock. When I suggested he join me for a once-in-a-

lifetime fly-in fishing expedition into the wilds of Labrador in early August, you couldn’t stop his excitement with a four- bearing Shimano bait caster with the drag locked down . Our adventure started the first week of

August with a flight from Ottawa to Deer Lake, Newfoundland, where we rented a car and headed to one of the most beautiful parts of the island, Grosmorne National Park. We stayed in the fishing community of

Rocky Harbour, where we experienced clean and inexpensive accommodations overlooking the ocean. We were tourists for the first three days of our trip with outings to the Grosmorne and a Western Brook Pond Boat Tour. After a 20-minute stroll down a board walk, the tour took us to a huge freshwater lake that is actually used for a television commercial to promote Newfoundland and Labrador. (It is an awesome, affordable tour.) On our third day we headed out of the beautiful

Grosmorne Park and on to Springdale where we met our pilot, host and guide Rick Adams. We flew from Rick’s airbase outside of

Springdale for about two and half hours to the St. Paul River system, 100 miles south of Goose Bay, Labrador. As we flew over the northern peninsula of Newfoundland, we could really see the ruggedness of the land and the reason there are six moose per square mile here. We saw a half dozen moose and a couple of black bears as we flew and Rick buzzed a few to get a closer look. On the Strait of Belle Isle there were still a few small icebergs. (Remember, this was the first week of August.)

58 BOUNDER MAGAZINE

After arriving at the camp and unloading the

fishing gear and grub, Stephen and I were chomping at the bit to get into some Labrador brook trout. A 20-minute boat ride on the St. Paul system took us to a spot where the water emptied into the next lake. We started throwing red and white daredevils to see what would happen. On the second cast Stephen hooked into a beauty trout about two pounds. Rick immediately took the fish to enjoy for dinner, and the fishing continued. On that afternoon, we boated and released probably 80 trout, ranging from 1 to 5 pounds. Needless to say, the excitement was unbelievable. That night we shared the beautiful speckle for dinner while enjoying the great Newfoundland hospitality of Rick Adams. The next morning we took off and flew to a

special speckle lake 100 miles north of our location in Labrador. The moment we tied up the float plane and had a chance to get ashore and cast into the fast water of the river that entered the lake, it again was non-stop action with these native trout, fighting each other to grab the lure or fly. It didn’t seem to matter what you threw at them. The aggressiveness of these natural (non-stocked) speckle trout was just wild. We spent two to three hours walking up and down the river system, continuing to catch trout all the while. By the time we took off for another location, we

probably caught upwards of 150 trout. We kept two for the frying pan. Our next stop was for large pike. Upon our

arrival we hooked into a nice seven-pounder using a spinner bait on light tackle. Needless to say, it was quite a thrill for Stephen and for me as well, seeing my fishing partner having the time of his life. Off we went to the St. Paul camp for dinner and

a card game and hit the sack. On our fourth day we got up, packed the plane

and flew for home .We figured we probably caught upwards of 500 speckles ranging from one to six pounds .Of those we ate four and took five home, releasing the rest to wait for us to come back again. On the flight back we saw dozens of moose and bear.

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