DOG DAYS OF AUGUST? NOT!
At many lodges throughout the northern US and Canada, August is the time to go swimming, have a picnic, play shuffleboard, take a canoe paddle or just sit at the bar. August doesn’t have a good reputation for fishing. Unless you happen to be on the 60th parallel. The only dog days up here involving watching the black lab, Gozer, take incredible running leaps off the pier to fetch a tennis ball or watching the antics of Rascal, the eight-month old collie, as he tries to steal the ball from Gozer. Those are minor distractions. Our guests are fishing.
This was a memorable week for the August 19th-24th guests for three reasons:
- It was the most enthusiastic and fun-loving group of the season. From the staff introductions on the first evening to the wild cheering during the nightly trophy announcements to the laughter from the hot tub every evening, this group knew how to have a good time and they found their voice. The expression “a good time was had by all” doesn’t begin to do justice to the experience.
- It was the week that marked the unofficial but real transition from summer to fall and it happened on a single day. On the third day the wind which had been blowing from the south or west for weeks did a 90 degree turn and blew with authority from straight north. It brought thousands of geese for a free ride down to the grain fields of southern Saskatchewan and it brought a rather dramatic drop in temperature. It brought fall. At least the geese above had down coats. The anglers below weren’t so lucky. The prior day was around 70 degrees with a mild wind. No one was ready for that blow. Some people even had sandals on when the temperature dropped about 30 degrees over a 24-hour period.
- It was simply fantastic fishing with a total of 164 trophies in the books, one of the best trophy weeks of the season.
Since fishing is what Scott Lake Lodge is all about, let’s expand on that word fantastic. It was a week of superlatives. Finally, the dominance of the northern pike in our trophy mix was tempered by a surge of lake trout (40) and grayling (49) trophies. It was a perfect mix. The trophies came in bunches for many of our anglers, like for Mary and Joe Daugherty who landed eleven trophy pike or for Bill Sandbrook and Sonya Boone who landed twelve trophy lake trout or for Cheryl Massie who landed six trophy lake trout. And that was all on the first day! Our fishing started hot and stayed hot despite the intense cold front.
It wasn’t the sheer number of trophy fish (164 is a lot) that impressed our guests—it was the size of some of them. None impressed more than “EL BLIMPO”, a 44” by HUGE lake trout brought in by Bernie Heile. Just behind that trout were other blimps, a 43.5” winched in by Joe Daugherty and a 43” pig landed by Andre Lechowicz. There were 42” trout angled by Bill Sandbrook and Cheryl Massie; 41s by Bill Sandbrook and Andre Lechowicz; a 40 by Cheryl Massie; 39s by Bill Sandbrook, Darrel Massie, Joe Daugherty, Mira Lechowicz and Chris Smisek, and 38s by Jimmy Kloote, Darrel Massie, Sonya Boone and a pair of those by (who else?) Bill Sandbrook. If you’re counting along that’s 18 lake trout of 38” or better, quite a pile. Jimmy Kloote’s was even hooked right on the surface on a pike fly (the classic black bunny leech) in eight feet of water. Who knows where they will show up.
The pike story was similar—lots of trophies (75) and lots of huge fish. There were nine of the supersized variety—45” or more. Those are all memorable fish. But what could be more memorable than getting a royal flush of pike, like Peter Mhyre did, a 44, 45, 46, 47 and 48 (the four biggest in a single day). His 48 tied Joe Daugherty’s as the biggest pike of the week. Five anglers—Mary Daugherty, Susan Smith, Cheryl Massie and Len Dorr—landed 45s. Grayling joined in on the big fish parade this week. Emily and Kayla Mayfield had an amazing day way up north when they landed 17 trophy grayling and saw five herds of musk ox on the way. Grayling of 18” or better (our supersized standard for that species) were caught by Sandra Boone, Mary and Joe Daugherty.
If you are a regular follower of this blog, you know what comes next. It’s simple math: with so many big fish in all three species, it must have been a good week for the 100+Club. It was. Back in Week 13 we had a bumper crop with seven entries. That was a record number. Now we have a new record number at eight. Most interestingly six of those eight—Darrel and Cheryl Massie, Bill Sandbrook and Sonya Boone, Len Dorr and Bernie Heile—were frequent tablemates at dinner. And they all hit their 100” on the same day. The odds makers would have never hit that one but good luck (and skill) makes for good company. Speaking of odds, Mary and Joe Daugherty defined good luck and skilled angling. They became the King and Queen of the 100+Club for 2018. Mary landed at 107.5”, often the biggest number of a season, but husband Joe hit 109.5, just a half inch off the all-time record. Congrats to both for an incredible accomplishment.
And speaking of records, another big one will bite the dust during week 17. In 2017 we set the total trophy record with a huge number—1,965. As the Week 16 crew put away their fishing rods on Day 5, that number stood at exactly 1,900. Getting 66 more trophies is an inevitable as death and taxes, but a lot more fun.