THE OLD MEN AND THE FRESHWATER SEA
OK, Scott Lake is not quite a freshwater sea, but it is big. And, a lot of people might resent being called “old”. Can’t be too careful these days, but we’re hoping that the Fearsome Foursome who attacked the waters of Scott Lake Lodge on Week 13 will not mind a bit. They will be proud. Because when it was cold, windy and rainy, this group hung in there and fished while many of the younger folk retreated to the warmth of the lodge and the promise of a hot meal. Eager anglers all–Dick Emens, Don Hunt, Dick Hutson and Joel Tune–came to fish, as they have all done for many years. In fact, the four have 86 trips to Scott Lake Lodge under their collective belts. Using that experience, they show the younger crowd how catching big fish is done. Leading the parade, Dick Emens, the elder statesman of the group, but only by a few years, caught not only a 45” and 47” pike but he added a monster 44” lake trout and a 19” arctic grayling, about as big as they get around here. With those top trophies out of the many that he caught, he hit an incredible 110 inches for his 100+Club total, the second highest in lodge history. Joel Tune, the younger, by a lot, of the “old guys”, also joined the Club with 102”. Dick and Don missed the 100” mark but had some huge fish: Dick a pair of 45” pike and Don also with a 45” pike. Experience counts!
They weren’t the only anglers who landed big fish. As last week’s report suggested, the fish of fall are bigger and more aggressive. In addition to Dick Emen’s 47” pike, there were two more 47s—landed by Dan Lafferty and Carol Van Brunschot. Outfishing her husband badly, Tina Walker landed just a hog of a pike. This 45.5 incher had a massive girth, measured at 20”. Not many pike are that well fed.
This week the lake trout made our Tundra Times headlines. It’s been an odd season for this majestic freshwater fish. While typically the big trout are on our fishing menu by mid-July, this season they were late to show. They sure are now. Dave Van Belleghem and Tom Simons combined for ten trophies in one day; Joel Tune and Dick Emens had nine together for their big day. We’re not talking just over the line trout either. Dave landed a 44.5” laker and fishing partner Tom got a 42.5” that day. Dick Emens had a 43.5” and his 44” to make their nine- trophy day very special. Joel and Dick had the same kind of day with grayling, combining for twenty with both getting grayling over 18”.
It was a week of extremes: some picture-perfect days where swimming at shore-lunch felt just right mixed with some ugly, cold ones where the smart thing to do was to head for the wood-fired Finnish sauna and the big hot tub on the lodge deck. Both were popular spots over a week, but the real star attraction was way up in the sky. Our guests enjoyed the first high-powered northern lights display of the year. For many it was the highlight of their trip. As the days get shorter, those displays will start earlier and last longer. Seeing the lights or seeing some musk ox as a few of the guests did are bonus gifts from the 60th parallel. The cooler days did bring a lot of smaller lake trout within casting range, another sure sign of fall. The big ones may stay deep for a few more weeks.
The important criteria for any week at the fishing lodge is simple: did people have a good time? The answer was a big time yes, helped by a healthy consumption of wine and spirits.