Week 17 Update: Scott Lake Offered Up a Little Bit of Everything For the Last Week of the Season.

Week 17 Update: Scott Lake Offered Up a Little Bit of Everything For the Last Week of the Season.

How does a fishing lodge wrap up a season as sensational as the one the guests and staff of Scott Lake Lodge experienced in 2017? After all this was the year when our guests landed a total of 1944 trophy fish and 40 northern pike that measured at 47 inches or better, both all-time lodge records. Well, I guess the best thing to do would be to record two monster 47 inchers on the very first day of our last group of the season. Sean Saraka and Joey Albarelli found themselves on the other end of the line from those bruiser pike who cooperated nicely by slipping out of the transparent waters of Scott Lake just long enough to pose for a few pictures. It was a smashing start to a wonderful week of abundant big fish. Add in the many wildlife sightings, over-the-top shore lunches and wonderful customer bonding and we are getting close to that closer week. With so many of our guests coming back the same week each season, it’s like mini family reunions every week. This final week had that in spades. The conversations and card games went on well after dinner every night. We had some new guests this week which made it even more exciting. As a fishing lodge, we get just one chance to make a good first impression with our new guests. I think we made it.

The big fish are always energizing and the group was fired up every night at trophy announcements. There were cheers for Peter Mancuso’s 46.5” pike; Paul Rowland’s 46; a pair of 45s landed by both Zack Skolnick and Chris Rowland; Mark Graf’s 45 pike; a pair of 40” Lake Trout captured by Joe Albarelli and Mike Albarelli’s 40” Laker. Our guests really get into sharing their trophy experiences, whether those trophies are fish or a close encounter with a loon. There were lots of fish stories. Even our small fish, the arctic grayling, got bigger this week. Todd Rosenberg pulled a fat 20-inch grayling out of the Smalltree rapids, the biggest of the season. Bill Russell wasn’t far behind with a 19 incher. Joe Parker landed an 18 incher there as well. That exhilarating “it’s a trophy” feeling was shared another 100 times during the five-day trip, despite some very strong winds that at times made fishing a bit chaotic. The thirteen Scott Lake guides though, with a total of just under 200 seasons at Scott under their belts, handled the conditions well and kept their guests on fish. Their years of experience on these waters rarely lets the customers down. The daily fish counts for some boats were off the charts. Big fish came too but there is a reason we call a 40- inch pike a trophy—there aren’t a lot of them. Don’t ask the father/son team of Paul and Chris Rowland how rare trophy pike are. For at least one day on Sandy Lake the big pike weren’t rare at all. Between them they landed a cool dozen trophy pike—all in a single day. The next day on Labyrinth Lake they focused on grayling and landed 19 trophies. Making that day even more spectacular they spotted not just a bear but seven black bears along the lake shore. One big boar was lured right into the water by the guide’s effective dying rabbit call. The guide did check the depth under the boat to make sure the bear had to swim not walk to the boat and making sure the bear, who apparently thought that he had three big rabbits to eat, didn’t join them in the boat. The big guy did wade out to within 30 feet though. He wanted that rabbit, but he needed some glasses.

As with every one of our five-day adventures here, big animals were encountered almost every day. There was a great video of a bull moose shown on the screen during the after-dinner slide show of the day’s highlights. Several moose and bears were sighted. The big non-fishing event of the week though was not terrestrial but celestial. All our guests had to do to see northern lights was stay up a bit later than normal and look up, straight up. You don’t need to look to the north when you’re on the 60th parallel. Just up. We had two nights of jaw-dropping displays of the aurora. One night the lights stretched across about a 120-degree arc. It was glorious. For many of the two dozen anglers here that light show was even more exciting than bringing in big fish. (Not talking about you Mark.) The week was more than visual. There was a soundscape too. With thousands of geese heading south, the stirring calls could be heard night and day, along with the wild calling of loons who were also starting their trip south. Of course, the zinging of the drag was probably still the favorite sound of the week. With the hard hitting and fighting fall pike on the prowl, there was plenty of that and it didn’t take a trophy pike to rip out line. But then just like the geese, it was time for our group to also head south, both refreshed by the adventure and worn out by the hard fishing and late nights—actually, a great combination. So, the crew climbed into the Beavers and the Twin Otter for the trip to Stony Rapids where they jumped in a prop jet for the journey back to Saskatoon and civilization. The 30-strong Scott team watched with mixed emotions as those last planes of the season took off. It was a fantastic season and all good things do come to an end. It wasn’t quite the end though, because coming to Scott on those same float planes were a couple of dozen participants in Friends and Family week—the parents, children, boy-friends, girl-friends or just friends of the Scott Lake staff. So, it isn’t over yet. Stay tuned.

Week 16 Update – Big Winds and Big Pike!

Week 16 Update – Big Winds and Big Pike!

Our second last group of the season got a shot of classic Scott Lake Lodge fall weather. It was a real mixed bag of some rain, some sun, some morning fog, some chilly morning, some hot late afternoons and wind—lots of wind. It’s that last element that warms the hearts of the Scott Lake guide team, a group that has seen a lot of weather here. With an average tenure at Scott of fifteen years (that’s the average) they know what turns on big fish. It’s wind, the dinner bell for big pike. Some sleeping giants heard the bell, creating some wonderful fish stories. Which ones to choose? Tough call. We’ll go with Day 3 (Up here we don’t have a clue all summer what the day of the week it is—we go from Day 1 to Day 5 in a Groundhog movie cycle). Picture yourself at the evening trophy celebration. After a great dinner, guide Mike “Nuggets” Demyen, fires up the crowd with the announcements of the trophy fish caught that day as trophy pins are handed out to our intrepid anglers. He starts with a bunch of 40, 41 and 42” pike and a couple of trophy trout. Then a 44” pike is announced—that’s a big fish, maybe the biggest of the day. Then he announces a 45.5” pike landed by Christina Walker. That could be the big fish of the day. No, he’s still on a roll. He congratulates Jim Loken on his 46.5” water wolf. Wow, that’s the big one for the day. Must be. After a dramatic pause (Nuggs is good at this), he tells the remarkable his/her day that unfolded. Jennifer and Jon Evans did something that no two anglers in the same boat had ever done here. They both landed monsters. Jen’s fish was 49.5” with a ridiculous girth. Jon’s was “only” 49”, but also a fat, feisty pike. That’s togetherness.

It wasn’t the only great story of the week. On Day 1 of his trip Terry Parks had quite a day. Terry by his own admission is not an experienced angler. His previous two fishing days ever involved a cane pole and a worm as a kid and a couple of hours of bottom fishing on a Florida vacation. After some helpful instruction from his guide, Terry threw himself into the Canadian experience. Before his first day on the water was over, he landed a very heavy 48” pike, two 45s, a 44 and a 41. There are thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of dedicated pike anglers who have never even seen a 48” northern pike. Terry is hooked on pike for the rest of his life. Another member of Terry’s group, Greg Floyd, had more previous fishing experience but otherwise had a similar thrill two days later. Greg brought to his guide’s net a 47” pike along with six more over 40”. That’s a day. Another big day was enjoyed by Conor Cappa who watched his guide’s tape go over the 40” mark five times in a single day. Fat 45s were landed by Charles Rollins and Bret Walker. They all got to know the power of fall pike, a fish very different from the bay pike of early summer. These fish are actively feeding and have been chowing down on a lot of lake cisco, burbot, whitefish and yes, other pike. Being a cannibal is just another way to order at the underwater lunch counter around here. Whatever they’ve been eating, these pike have put on some serious poundage since June and they know how to throw that weight around. They are freshwater gangsters.

Fall is for more than just big pike. Lake trout and grayling were on our guest’s menu as well. While the smaller lake trout are moving up the water column, the big ones are still deep where Scott Lake guides spy on them with their electronics. Some were brought up to pose for photographs like the beautiful 41 incher landed by Steve Creech, the 40 incher by Bill Sandbrook, the 39 incher by Sonya Boone and the 39 incher by Dexter Floyd. Arctic grayling are often overlooked by anglers who love fish with teeth, but matched with the right tackle (ultralight spinning or a 4-weight fly rod) they are a marvelous gamefish. Quite a few got into the trophy announcements. The fearsome foursome of Cheryl and Darrell Massie, Bill Sandbrook and Sonya Boone went to the rapids flowing out of Smalltree Lake to do battle with the “sailfish of the north”. They all caught a bunch and all got trophies between 17.5 and 18.5 inches, all great grayling. This week really didn’t need it, but the icing on this delicious cake was the northern lights experience that most of our guests stayed up for. There were two evenings of spectacular light shows—all part of fall at Scott Lake Lodge. If you like hard hitting and fighting fish, no bugs, northern lights and the occasional sounds of migrating Canada geese you might want to consider late August at Scott Lake Lodge. For 2018 we have added five more days to our season, August 29th-September 3rd. If that fits your interests and schedule give Jon Wimpney, our guide/sales manager, an email at j5@scottlakelodge.com or give him a call when he hits Saskatoon on August 30th at 306/209-7150. You will not regret it.