50 Days In

50 Days In

Anglers of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels

For 50 days anglers of all backgrounds (a mother with her teenaged daughter, a corporate executive with his best customer), ages (from 8 to 93) and skill levels (from several who shook hands with a fishing rod for the very first time to highly experienced bait casters and fly rod specialists) have eagerly jumped into their guide’s boat, either on sprawling Scott Lake, our fishing home, or on one of our 20 incredible fly out lakes. They all had one thing in common: they came hoping to have a great time in a beautiful place and they all left feeling that they had accomplished their goal. Everyone, in their five days in paradise, caught some fish; most caught dozens of fish, and a few caught literally hundreds. Beyond fishing, everyone who steps off the dock at Scott Lake Lodge receives personalized attention by their guide and by the all the rest of our 30-strong staff to create the opportunity for that guest to have a true trip-of-a-lifetime. While it doesn’t always happen, it happens a lot. It’s the people here at Scott Lake Lodge that make the difference, making sure that a fishing vacation includes more than fishing—it’s great dining, relaxing conversations at the bar, festive shore lunches, comfortable accommodations, thoughtful guidance by the guides and yes, lots of bent rods.

They all had one thing in common: they came hoping to have a great time in a beautiful place and they all left feeling that they had accomplished their goal.

Over our first 50 days there were plenty of bend rods and a few that bent too far on big fish. Broken rods are easier to deal with than broken dreams–we have hundreds of fishing rods here, all provided to our anglers on a complimentary basis. We not only broke a few rods but we just might this season break a few records. We are not fish accountants at Scott Lake. Unlike some fishing lodges, we don’t provide our guides with “clickers” to record every single fish. Our guides do estimates for our outfitting requirements but we like our guests to keep a bit of mystery in their day. We want people to enjoy each-and-every fish and not get hung up on a daily body count. But we do keep track of the big fish; we have for the 21 seasons of the current ownership. On that score card this has been the start of an awesome (sorry, it’s the only word that fits) season. In 2016 we thought we had set the trophy record for the ages. We didn’t just break our old records; we absolutely blew them away. For 2017 we were hoping just for a good year—lightening doesn’t often strike twice. After our first 50 days, we now are braced for a bolt. With just 58% of our year in the books we have hit 67% of our total 2016 record trophy count. So far, our anglers have landed 1,219 trophy fish, mainly northern pike. And many of those pike have been huge. In our tenth week (our “weeks” here are five days, the length of time our customers like for their trip) we just hit an amazing milestone—40,000 inches of trophy pike. That’s 1,111 yards of pike. Just picture eleven football fields, plus a short pass, with end to end northern pike. It’s almost a scary thought, especially considering pike have maybe a thousand teeth each. Some of these pike have been truly impressive. We don’t get skinny pike here but we have never caught so many long and heavy ones at this stage of our season.

Our big fish of the season (so far) has been a 51-incher caught by Joe Novicki, who just happened to have caught the biggest fish of the 2016 season, also a 51. We’ve had a bunch of pike of 48 or 48.5”, all fish of a lifetime. That group of happy anglers: Tom Tarantino, Joe Daugherty, Bob Noble, Jim MacDougall, Conner Dannewitz, John Green, Brad Sailsbury, Rhys Reece and Dan Spielman. You don’t have enough screen to handle a list of our anglers who caught the other monsters (or as we call them “supersized” pike), but there were 16 at 47”; 24 at 46” and 42 at 45”. Sometimes the big pike came in bunches for anglers. Jim MacDougall used his fly rod like a magic wand to get in a single day pike of 48, 45, 44, 44, 41 and 40 inches. One day! John Green had an even more amazing day with pike of 48, 44, 44, 43, 42, 41, 40.5 and 40 inches. For some lodges that’s a season!

Impressive Trout

While not at record threatening pace, our gang has brought in a lot of huge lake trout as well. CB Young had the kind of trout day that MacDougall and Green had with pike. He landed lakers of 40, 41 and 43 inchers, all impressive trout. Trevor Myers had that kind of day as well, getting lake trout of 38, 39, 40 and 43 inches. Rich Kracum and Jake Linaberger put trout of 43 inchers into their guide’s net too. Mike Rosenberg pulled in one of the heaviest trout of the season, a 44X26.5” beauty. Bill Calabresa early in the season, about a 100 yards from our island, caught what’s still the biggest trout of the season, a 45.5” fatty. Thirty trout over the “supersized” magic number of 40” have been taken this season, not threatening our record but getting close. And our “supersized” grayling (18” or over) have been solid as well with fourteen of those posing for pictures.

So many big fish. So many fish stories. So many, of course, that got away. And so many “over 50s” pike that have been seen by guides or guests but not yet caught. Judging the length of a fish still swimming freely is difficult but having fish stories is OK. It’s in the DNA of anglers to tell stories. It’s a wonderful component of the mystique of fishing that not all fishing dreams are realized. There is always the hope that the next cast, the next day or the next trip will bring that fish-of-a-lifetime will be hooked, landed and touched, for however brief a moment, and then gently released into the darkness of the lake. It’s a dream, but a dream that every now and then is realized around here. Just ask Joe Novicki.

YOUR 2018 SCOTT LAKE ADVENTURE: NOW’S THE TIME

It’s no secret that Scott Lake Lodge sells out the lodge every season. The question is only when. Last year it was March but with the sensational fishing we’ve had in 2017 our re-bookings have far exceeded last season or any other season. Why wait? It’s time to stop thinking about your next or first Scott Lake Lodge trip and start emailing our Sales Manager/Guide Jon Wimpney. He’s on the water during the day, making angler dreams reality, but he will catch up to you by email or phone in the evening. You can reach him at j5@scottlakelodge.com  He can give you a fish story or two and book your 2018 trip. There are spots scattered throughout June and July, but there aren’t many left.

Grab your piece of the action. Don’t be a victim of FOMO—Fear of Missing Out. There is too much to miss here: the fishing of course but also the classic Canadian shore lunches, the solitude and serenity of having 800,000 acres of the private water of Scott Lake, Premier Lake and our 20 fly out destinations, the fine dining, the extraordinary customer service and the camaraderie of sharing your fish stories with like-minded anglers in a pristine wilderness. What’s not to like? Shift from reading to typing right now. Jon is waiting.

Week 12 Update – “So you got a 47 too?”

Week 12 Update – “So you got a 47 too?”

What do you get when you mix 26 anglers on a corporate trip sponsored by Nortek with 13 Scott Lake Lodge guides with a passion for creative outdoor cooking, add a big bunch of northern pike that were swimming just an hour or even minutes before becoming fillets, throw in a spectacular beach setting on an equally spectacular summer day (the not too hot/not too cold variety) and season the mix with lots of beer and wine and a primitive ten-foot long fire pit? You get an epic shore lunch, a picnic on steroids. That’s what our recent corporate group enjoyed on their last afternoon of a three-day fishing adventure. This was not your run of the mill Canadian “fish fry”. This was an extravagant feast. To be sure there was one entrée of crispy pike from the giant pans and some “buffalo jack” to kick things off. But there were offerings that this crew had never seen before at any shore lunch—the legendary Scott Lake honey garlic pike; a very interesting pike chili; mouth-watering grilled pike fillets, photogenic and delicious fish tacos, and a to-die-for ranch bake that had everyone returning for seconds. Of course, there was a small mountain of the kind of French fries that can only be done over a hot wood fire. When the eating was done, there was nothing left but scraps for the waiting seagulls and ravens. It was a wonderful capstone on three days of getting down to business—the business of having fun while accomplishing business objectives.

This may have been the capper of the trip but not the highlight. That would have been the encounter at a shore lunch two days earlier. As with most big groups some friendly wagering went on for the biggest pike and lake trout. Well, Tim Prasoloff and Dan Walters were fishing in the same area of Scott Lake Lodge’s 200,000 acres of pristine water and had plans to meet up for lunch. They arrived at lunch with aces up their sleeves: both that morning had hooked and landed huge 47” pike, fish that on a three day trip even with 26 anglers were pretty sure contest winners. One can imagine their mutual surprise when the greetings and small talk about the morning ended up with something like—“so you got a 47 too”. The odds that two fish like that were caught the same morning on the same part of the lake by two guys who had planned to meet for lunch? Way too low to compute but it does make a great fish story (and a true one). Tim did take his catch a bit out of the “just luck” category by landing another giant pike, just a half-inch smaller, the next day. For the trout bet? Even more bizarre. Again two anglers, Brent Snider and Ron Pierce this time, tied for the biggest lake trout, but they did it from the same boat and within minutes of each other. Both got fat 38 inchers. Another great fish story. Nearly everyone of the group caught a trophy pike or lake trout, but everyone did leave with a collection of fish stories and a trophy experience. Maybe they even closed a deal or two.

Week 11 Update – The Big Ones Keep On Coming!

Week 11 Update – The Big Ones Keep On Coming!

What a week! Great weather, great company and fantastic fishing! The group from week 11 were fraught with luck right from the start of the week, clouds parted and a nice summer high pressure system settled in to kick the pike and trout into overdrive. It was a week where we had our season’s youngest and oldest guests; nice to see that the fishing bug continues to catch amidst all the other things grabbing attention these days. Fishing wisdom was being passed both up and down the years last week and the group seem to thoroughly enjoy their time shared on this island.

Now to the fishing! There was a grayling bite on day 1 on the Dubawnt River north of Ivanhoe Lake, the Marks (Mark Lackner and Mark Heine) caught grayling on dry flies, wet flies…and just about everything else they threw. Both caught 10 trophies that day on the rapids with 18.5” and 18” being their respective biggest. Jeff Towers took pike honors on the first day with a fat 46.5” trophy northern. The second day was highlighted by a couple of beauty 44 Magnums. Mark Velligan got to sight cast his fly to a big 44.5” pike. Tosh Craig (son of head guide Cory) pulled in a jumbo 44” as well….he wasn’t done yet and added a day 4 giant of 46”. On the trout troll Loren Larson managed to battle a 40.5” laker from the depths of Scott. Loren was lucky enough to catch another half dozen lakers from 35-39” …. his arms must have been sore after that day!

The third day had the ladies in camp joining in on the big fish. Priscilla O’Donnell and Betty Chadwell both notch 44.5” trophy northern pike. Tonya McGraw added a 46” as well. On a calm sunny day what more can you ask for from a fly in fishing trip to Canada? Bryce Tharp was doing some pike fishing on one of the flyout lakes in the Northwest Territories and landed a beauty 46” northern pike. A couple anglers were lucky enough to catch all 3 species (northern pike, lake trout and arctic grayling) in trophy size. Ryan Robbins hit his Trophy Triple with a 41.5” pike, a 36” trout and a 15” grayling…at 14 one of our youngest trophy triples this season. Perhaps the Trophy Triple caught by our eldest angler was completed this week by Gus Ruetenik Sr. At 93 years of age Gus has learned a few things about catching big fish at Scott Lake, he got a 40” pike a 39” laker and a beauty grayling from outflow of Sandy Lake to receive his hat! We had 1 angler hit the coveted 100”+ mark this week. Fishing with Jan, Amy Towers caught a mammoth 48.5” pike on day 4, on day 5 she added a buzzer beater 37.5” trout and a 16” grayling from the base of scenic Lefty Falls on the Grease River. Amy ended up with 101” of trophy fish! Congrats Amy and all the anglers on week 11. Let this be a lesson to all of you folks that think fishing isn’t as good as it is the first week of the season….just ask the week 11 group what they thought of fishing in the dog days of summer!

Week 10 Update – Changing Tactics Keeps The Success Going

Week 10 Update – Changing Tactics Keeps The Success Going

The 10th week of our season highlighted the flexibility required to continue the trend of great fishing our guests have become accustomed to. Ever changing weather conditions, sun, rain, smoke, and wind…mother nature threw just about everything she had at this week’s group of anglers. This week the guides were kept on their toes switching the patterns to chase pike on rocks, weeds, drop-offs, and in bays! Big fish have started to set up on windy shores and summer weed beds, having veteran guides pays off in pike; big ones! They have a mental catalogue of milfoil, eel grass cabbage and 100’s of different addresses of big pike on Scott and the 20 odd flyout lakes we fish. Week 10, they fished them in the weeds when it was raining, on the shorelines when the wind howled and right back in the springtime bays when the sun shone. Anglers were treated to a full gamut of our big pike tactics, including the coveted sight fishing action of the shallows. 99 trophies hit the nets or cradles this week. The pike charge was led by John Borden with a 47” trophy northern pike. John and guide Jan didn’t rest on their laurels and added and big trout and grayling to the total to enter John into the growing ranks of the 100+ Club. Nick Tallman split his time between pike and trout, Graham found the right trout spot and put Nick on a monster 41” laker. A hike to the grayling rapids on the Dubawnt River netted Nick a bevy of big ‘lings; then back in the boat a 43” northern pushed Nick’s trophy total over 100”. Jeff Hoskins made his first trip to Scott Lake memorable with a Trophy Triple. The Olsons (Tom and Tim) along with guide Biff, put on a day 4 pike clinic finding big fish hunkered down in Smalltree’s famed cabbage beds. The duo caught an astounding 13 trophy northern pike between 40 and 45” …. truly a testament to what managing pressure on our network of lakes can do. How can you beat it, a flyin fishing trip to the border of Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories at the end of July and fishing for big northern pike? That’s not the end of the story for this week though…

As summer progresses and trout become concentrated in “the holes” opportunities to do battle with the true giants of the northern lakes comes more frequent. Each year Mike Scheidt comes up to fish with guide Paul Hamilton, the pair are a terror on trout. Boating numbers and size the team were successful on many trophies with the biggest a girthy specimen of 39.5”.

A milestone was passed this week, on day 3 Chuck Webster caught a 42” northern pike, that put the total number of inches of just our trophy size pike (those 40” and bigger) over 40,000!!! In Canadian measure that is 1 Kilometer (0.6 miles) of trophy pike caught in 2017. A true testament of the successful pairing of great guests and a guide staff that can take just about any curveball the northern summer can throw at them and hit it out of the park! There is no reason to sit at home and reminisce about the good old days of Canadian fly in fishing…. they were not as good as things are now at Scott Lake Lodge, strict catch and release and fish handling rules and a plan to manage (even the limited amount in a summer) fishing pressure means there are more and bigger northern pike, lake trout and grayling in our systems. What are you waiting for? The time is now!

Week 9 Update – The Week of 100s

Week 9 Update – The Week of 100s

What is the significance of 100? As most Scott Lake anglers are aware, this number represents a
lofty goal of angling success for a week. While everyone catches fish and most everyone catches
big fish, to put together a near perfect week for 3 species on a number of waterbodies and
under a variety of conditions is special indeed! The 9th week of our season proved to be electric…energy and anticipation of the week ahead was at near fever pitch in the lodge, as
many first timers were welcomed to the Scott Lake family; wondering just what was in store for
them. Further to the electric week, there was quite a few brilliant lightning shows that, while
enjoyable from the lodge window, were less than welcome while our anglers and guides were
running for cover. Sometimes major weather events can shut the fishing right off, sometimes
they are a catalyst to some great things…lucky for the week 9 group it was the latter.

With raingear on, dry bags packed, the anglers and guides set out to prove the weather couldn’t
stop them. Guide Paul Hamilton had 2 sisters in the boat and they got into great fishing right
away…Debbie Blue and Susie Trzos were both on fire this week. Debbie got into a number of
great pike and lake trout then finished off her Trophy Triple with a beauty grayling from Sandy
Lake. A gracious host, Debbie let Susie get a few casts in as well; it didn’t take her long to shake
the rust off her fishing skills under Paulie’s tutelage…Susie hit the Trophy Triple with a 42.5”
northern pike, a monster 42” laker and a 17.5” grayling…for you math buffs out there that adds
up to 102 total inches, making Susie the first entrant into the 100+ club for the week. A big
trout (42”) and big pike (44.5) helped John Kracum reach 104.5 inches. James Kracum, caught
and released some beauties on the way to his entrance into the Club. Waiting until the last few
minutes of his trip Rich Kracum took the lead from his son with 105”!! Punctuated by a buzzer
beater 43” magnum lake trout!! Way to go Rich and guide Greg! Dick Witwer found something
special on the end of his fly line this week. Casting the shallows Dick was lucky enough to latch
on to a 47” giant northern, he added a grayling and trophy laker to secure his 100+ Club jacket
as well. The last entry into the Club this week is by a gentleman that may need a separate closet
for all his 100+ Club jackets…Joe Daugherty, a Scott Lake veteran, hit 101.5” total with some
beauty fish and great guiding by Jan. This pair has teamed up for more than a few beauties in
their careers here at Scott. Congrats on another one Joe!!

So, by the numbers week 9 had 105 trophy fish brought to the boat, 31 of those came on the
second day when incoming storms set the fish on the feed. 7 lucky anglers caught the Trophy
Triple and 6 of those made 100” or better for entry into our 100+ Club. What the numbers don’t
convey is the fellowship, friendship and excitement this island on the 60th line of latitude
breeds, drinks were share, cigars smoked, old friends caught up about the goings on in the last
year and many first-time guests were welcomed into the family. The small details that our
world class (a quote from many week 9 guests) staff consistently deliver on, a quick glimpse of
the sunset on a stormy evening, big fish that were caught (or almost caught!) and time spent
with friends. These are the memories that drive Scott Lake Lodge and the experience here. If
you haven’t made the choice to visit us for your fishing vacation we suggest you do so quickly,
in order to make sure you have a front row seat for 2018.

Week 8 Update: The Week of Our 1000th Trophy of the Season.

Week 8 Update: The Week of Our 1000th Trophy of the Season.

It would have been a great week for kite flying or windsurfing. There is no way to paint the picture other than conditions were tough, an arctic cold front came sweeping down to chill the water and with it came the wind…. lots of wind. The 25 intrepid anglers gave it their all, casting, trolling and jigging up catches under close direction from our guide team. This is where a professional team of guides really shines, prime conditions and easy fishing, can make anyone look good at the tiller, what sets our group apart is their ability to produce when things get tough. Day 1 (the nice day!) showed a promising start to the week with 23 “overs” hitting the nets, pike were shallow and soaking up the sun, Lakers were ready biters down deep and gave the lucky guests a work out. Joe Velas led the pike charge on the first day with a giant 45” pike, caught while fishing with his long-time guide Biff. The sunny skies unfortunately didn’t last into the next few days. Big fish were hard to come by but the crew worked tirelessly to make great days out of nothing.

Everyone caught fish, bears and moose were sighted and even in one case decided to join shore lunch with Nuggs and his anglers Pete and Pat. The trio decided lunch was best shared from the comfort of the boat while the bruin ate his share on the beach. Through the wind and waves some big fish came to the net. Jon Wolfe was the lone Trophy Triple recipient, hitting the mark with a 41” pike, a 35.5” lake trout and a beauty 17.5” grayling. Jon and Warren Sekino enjoyed some phenomenal grayling fishing on the Dubwant River with guide Cory under sunny skies on day 5.

Now in the midst of trout season, the guides have their sights set on these denizens of the deep. On day 4 Paul Hamilton put his guests on some giants, Mike Rosenberg was forced to release a beauty 38” with little fanfare because his boat mate Ralph Russell had something serious on the line. Ralph battled, gained line, lost some and eventually brought to net a MAMMOTH 44x 26.5” trout. The trout crew got some great photos and sent her back to be enjoyed by another angler. Day 4 also had the lodge hit a milestone for the year. Ken Williamson Sr. was kind enough to land our 1000th trophy for 2017, a 41.5” northern pike. Halfway through the season and 1000 pike, trout and grayling exceeded our trophy specs. A job well done by both the guides and anglers.

As we move into the second half of the season it is exciting to wonder what is in store for the anglers in July and August. The cold weather should keep some big fish shallow, stay tuned for next week’s report. Better yet, come visit us and see things first hand!