LODGING: There is only one wilderness fishing lodge on Igloo Lake so unless you choose to “tent it,” it’s your final destination. Igloo Lake’s main lodge is 1,440 square feet of floor space with four twin bedrooms and two full bathrooms, which can accommodate eight people. The lodge’s newly built Labrador Room has over 1,000 square feet of space, two large bedrooms with full ensuites, a large game or meeting room (for business gatherings), kitchenette, and a covered veranda offering a sweeping view of gorgeous Igloo Lake. Solar panels and a diesel generator provide the entire complex with electricity, and there is high-speed Internet and telephone service. The food is fantastic, but if you desire alcohol, bring it with you from Goose Bay. For more details visit www.igloolake.com.
GETTING THERE: You can fly to Goose Bay (YYR) from St. John’s, Newfoundland via Air Canada, Air Labrador, or Provincial Airways. They all have daily flights connecting with international flights in St. John’s (YYT). You can get to St. John’s from anywhere in the world, though most travelers venture through Toronto (YYZ) or Montreal (YUL). There are some direct flights to St, John’s, from Orlando and London for example, depending on where you live.
You can drive to Goose Bay if you feel so inclined. There’s a ferry from St. Barbe, Newfoundland to Labrador, but then there’s 375 miles of mostly gravel road. On the bright side, the drive is very scenic. You can easily trace the route to St. Barbe, on the Great Northern Peninsula, using Google Maps or other mapping software.
The last leg of the journey is from Goose Bay’s Otter Creek seaplane base to Igloo lake via a Twin Otter or Beaver float plane.
LICENSES: A non-resident trout license is just $8 and you can pick one up at any number of commercial vendors, sporting goods retailers, service stations, or a Provincial Government Service Center. For more information visit www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca.
GEAR: A 6-weight rod is perfect for Igloo Lake, but bringing an additional stick, either one-rod size heavier and lighter would also make the grade. I’ve used a 4-weight before but it’s on the light side. You will need waders and rain gear. Bring a wading staff if it makes you feel more confident, though know wading is generally either easy or unnecessary. Quality polarized glasses are essential, as is a hat to shelter you from the sun. Don’t forget sunscreen and bug repellent. Standard tapered trout leaders terminating to a 6-pound tippet are fine. I like fluorocarbon for wet flies, but I’m not sure if it makes a difference to the fish. For tossing big leech patterns, I use level 8-pound leaders, just to be on the safe side.
FLIES: Tying my own flies gives me the added pleasure of catching fish at Igloo. That said, the guides tie flies and will provide you with what works at a reasonable price. Olive and black leech patterns worked best for me in autumn. Salmon bombers have also produced at times. During the mayfly hatch you will need dries in black, brown, tan, and olive. I also caught trout on various beadhead nymphs in sizes 8 to 12. A standard Hare’s-ear and Pheasant-tail nymph would be fine choices, though if you bring an array of standard dry and nymph patterns, you will surely catch trout.
CLOTHING: Labrador’s northern weather varies, so never visit Labrador without thermal underwear. Then again, some days might be “very hot,” like in the ‘80s, so it pays to plan for warm weather too, depending on the time of year. There’s frost on both extremes of the fishing season, so just be prepared for anything, including a little snow.