THREE-PART HARMONY: WEEK 7 UPDATE
As we approach the mid-point of the 2019, the music is changing. For the first six weeks we had one beautiful and loud note—pike. Our other Scott Lake Lodge gamefish (the arctic grayling and the lake trout) were mainly MIA. It was a lonely note. No longer! With the grayling and lakers now playing well in our waters, we have real music, with three-part harmony. As has been noted several times in these updates, it’s been a very cool summer and, while no heat wave has entered the scene, some seasonal movements (down and up) are showing up. While the warming surface temperatures are pushing the big lake trout down, that same trend is pushing the grayling up where there are a few more bugs to keep them busy near the surface. So, thirty-five days into our season, we’re catching some nice lake trout on the bottom and lots of grayling on tip. Its’ no longer a one-note pike show.
Not that pike have not been a big part of the show. They are–big time. During this week, there were probably 3,000 of the aggressive “tundra sharks” caught with 117 reaching our trophy status of 40”. With lots of big fish on the prowl, some went way over that mark. There were 45 inchers landed by Peter Myhre (he also got a 46), Gary Parzych and Dave Wallace. Eight-year-old Colton Erickson landed a fish he will remember 50 years from now—a girthy, beautiful 45.5” pike, almost as long as Colton is tall. Bruce Bush had quite an introduction to Scott Lake Lodge. On his first trip to Scott Bruce had two-thirds of the giant pike hat trick, landing 47 inchers on consecutive days. Welcome to the Scott Lake Lodge family! Steve Nicholas had top pike honors of the week, getting a monster that stretched the tape to just under 48”. The very honest guest and guide called it 47 and three-quarters. A bunch of anglers landed a bunch of big pike in a single day: Peter Myhre with seven, Dave Bensema and Bruce Bush with six, Peter again with five and Jerry Kyle with four. When the fishing is good here, it’s very good.
So, pike were still the main act, but they had to share the stage this week. Arctic grayling made a big splash (many splashes) this week. Over 50 trophy grayling were landed on the inflows or outflows of our fly out lakes. Most were taken on 4-weight fly rods, some on ultra-light spinning rigs. No fish in the north has more dramatic coloration with vividly spotted dorsal fins or a feistier attitude. If you match the tackle to the size, it’s an exciting gamefish. We had some dandies this week: 19 inchers, a very big grayling in these parts, were landed by Mark Graf, Colton Erickson and Wyatt Erickson; 18s were taken by Garth Olds, Ted Erickson and Angie Erickson. These fish, the second part of our three-part harmony, added an interesting, more contemplative, contrast to the smash-mouth pike fishing.
And the third part? Our big lake trout, after randomly cruising the cool surface waters for over a month, have finally started to drop into deeper water where they can be more effectively targeted. Some nice trophy-sized trout were taken. Trevor Myers and Mark Graf landed 38s. On the last day on Scott, James Finney got his biggest laker ever, a fat 40 incher. On a memorable day on one of Scott’s 22 fly out lakes, Mark Graf and his son, Foster, found trout heaven. They landed around 90 lakers and one was a heart stopper. Foster knew he had something big when his line just plain stopped; he wasn’t snagged, but he had just hooked a huge lake trout. About fifteen minutes later he saw the fish in his guide’s big net. He needed a big net to land this massive lake trout with a huge girth. A quick look with the tape showed 45” before the magnificent beast went gently back into the lake. Foster and Mark had been through this before. Seven years earlier, almost to the exact day, Mark landed a 46”X28” trout that he nicknamed Tubby. Well, Foster got Tubby II and the Foster story isn’t over. Earlier in the trip he landed a 46” pike and a 17.5” grayling, giving him membership in the 100+Club with a whopping 108.5 total inches, one of the highest totals ever.
It was a great week for big fish. A total of 183 trophies were taken. Everyone in the lodge caught multiple trophy fish. We almost ran out of trophy pins. The three-part harmony was very sweet music indeed.