This week we welcomed a couple to the Lodge that were in Labrador for the first time. Livia Goodbrand and Corey Clarke. They are here gathering material to write an article for The Atlantic Salmon Journal.
They spent time with Experience Labrador; a Cartwright based tour operator offering a tours along the coast and around Sandwich Bay showing Labrador beauty. Tours are available of the rugged coastline, The Wunderstrand, in Mealy Mountain National Park, and offer a glimpse of the rich heritage and history along this part of the Labrador coast.
They have spent time in the Sandwich Bay Area, visiting locals and listening to real life experiences of the residents along the Labrador coast, the changes they experienced over the years.
They learned how residents moved from the headlands in the summer to fish Northern Cod and Salmon, and then back to more sheltered winter homes inland in the Bay where wood, small game and caribou were more accessible. Once the wood was cut for the winter the men would leave their families to fend for themselves, while they went for months alone into the country to trap fur to and augment their meager incomes.
After this cultural enlightenment Livia and Corey arrived at the for their visit with a much greater appreciation for the inhabitants of coastal Labrador and that way of life. They were definitely full of eager excitement to see what all the hype of the Mighty Eagle River was all about and the Jetboat ride through the Gorge certainly added to their experience.
After their first day fishing the Eagle they were awestruck at beauty of the river and abundance of fresh salmon.
That evening, after their first day fishing, we were while talking about their day and Corey excitedly says I literally had a good week's fishing on the Merimichi; in a day. Then he gets a dreamy look in his eyes and says.....
"This is a different type of fishing experience......It's just different."
Rivers in Labrador have a much different environment than most other Atlantic Salmon rivers on the North American East Coast.
They are fed by bogs and lakes in the Mealy and Torngat Mountain ranges. These mountain ranges; which typically have patches of snow year round; are now within the boundaries on the two new National Parks recently established in Labrador . Our guests this year all commented on the amazing amounts of snow that can still be seen in the mountains in August.
Environments such as this are the ideal conditions for not only Atlantic Salmon habitation, but also Char and Trout. Another major difference is the remoteness and lack of human inhabitants living on the rivers.
Most to Labrador's rivers are only accessible by boat or air which means there is much less angling pressure. This is why for years Anglers have been coming to Labrador to fish at the remote locations operated by Outfitters and why they keep coming back year after year to enjoy angling at its best.
Fear not Corey, this wasn't a dream, this is fishing on the Eagle, this just a part of what Labrador has to offer. This is what many consider to be Salmon fishing heaven.
As you said Corey ...... "It's just different."