Living in far northern Manitoba has its pros and cons. Long, cold and dark winters are bearable to endure due to the monster brook trout we get here in the summer and fall.
My wife and I are lucky enough to live on a Hudson Bay tributary that these sea run brookies use to travel from their spawning rivers to the Bay and back. Every fall roughly two-thirds of the brookies leave their spawning rivers and winter in Hudson Bay, returning the following summer. Around mid-July is when the sea runs start showing up again to their spawning rivers.
These fish are piscivorous, meaning their main forage is sculpin, smelt, shiners and other small fish. During August we target them in rapid sections or holding areas as they make their way upstream to their final destination. Casting 4 – 5-inch streamers or double bunnies in the seams, tail-outs and behind every big boulder does the trick. Average size is about 19″ – 22” but even smaller 16” fish readily inhale the larger flies.
The season closes in September for the spawn and October 1st is what we really look forward to all year long. They’re done doing their thing they stack up with mega appetites. Still casting the same large streamers sometimes to 10 -20 fish stacked up on the same spot we’re sometimes able to pick our fish and only hook the larger 20+” fish we’re really after. The first couple weeks of October is absolutely lights out with 20 fish days easily achievable with half of them over the magical 20” mark. It’s truly world class fishing, the pictures speak for themselves!
Dillion Beck is a fly fisherman and photographer out of N. Manitoba, Canada. Check him out on Instagram @dbeck17!