The first week of the 2015 season at Scott Lake Lodge is in the books. For the Scott Lake Lodge staff is seemed like June 10 would never arrive. The planning and anticipation hit a crescendo at the traditional pre-season employee meeting on June 9th. There were many, toasts to the season ahead. The Scott crew was eager for the season to begin. Thanks to the relatively early ice out, our twelve acre island in the far north was ship shape and ready for prime time when the first anglers stepped off the float planes on the evening of June 10. It was a highly enthusiastic group. They were all primed to be the first to throw flies or lures into the inviting waters of Scott Lake and the lodge’s 14 fly out destinations. For the first time ever all but one of those fly outs were open and ready to go for the first group. Only Smalltree Lake, about 85 miles further north, still had ice. The ice was dark and broken up. Smalltree, one of our very best pike lakes, will be ready for our second group of guests. All of our guides were thinking, actually hoping, that this year would be a carbon copy of last season when the first group had the luxury of fishing in 80 degree weather with virtually no winds. That didn’t happen.
THERE WILL BE PIKE
It’s a good thing our guests were eager and hardy because it was overall a very cold and windy week; definitely not shorts and T-shirt weather. For the fly fisherman in the group, the wind was at times overwhelming. Despite the challenges of the weather, our inaugural group brought in some great fish. In the five days of fishing a total of 110 trophies were tallied, mainly pike, but also some beautiful lake trout and even a few grayling which are more active later in the summer. Things started off with a bang on the first day when Scott Smet brought a 46” pike to his guide’s cradle. With our pike trophy standard at 40”, neither Scott nor his guide had to wonder if that fish made the trophy mark: it was a beast of a fish. Over ninety more trophy pike followed that fish. One of the staff’s favorite guests, long time regular Doug Roche, was just under the leader with a very fat and healthy looking pike of 45.5”, the same tape length that Tim Van Den Heuvel saw when his guide pulled the tape on another beauty. Danny Martindale was right behind with a 45” heavyweight. Six anglers had the fight of their trip with 44 inchers: Bob Weyers, Dave Wanderer, Jim Kasier, Peter Leonivitz, Jeff Weyers and Harry Moulopoulus who picked up a pair of 44s. There were lots and lots of 42s and 43s. The fish wealth was spread around nicely. Everyone at Scott for the first week got a trophy pin for pike, lake trout or grayling and 23 of the 24 anglers got their pike pin.
During the early season lake trout, the stars of mid-season are difficult to target. They are feeding close to the surface but that surface could be two feet above the bottom or 200 feet. At this time of year with still very cold surface temperatures, they cruise the entire lake. At Scott that’s a lot of surface area, making big trout illusive critters in June. But this year we had our best ever opening week trout fishing with quite a few big trout making an appearance. Many of the really big ones found themselves at the end of Ray Johnson’s line. He was Mr. Trout of Week 1, landing lakers of 41, 40, 38.5 and 36 inches. All were caught close to the surface. Mike Roche got into the big trout game casting to a 39” fatty. One of the most exciting fly fishing experiences of the week was owned by hardcore fly guys, Bart Davies and George Virtue. They were fishing below the Kimiwan rapids and got into a bunch of hard fighting lake trout. In just over an hour they landed over twenty trout including a 36 incher. In that fast water their drags were singing and they were singing the praises of Scott Lake. Actually all the departing guests were singing the praises of both the fishing along with the great shore lunches, fine dining and the extraordinary service provided by 30 hard working men and women who have but one focus for 90 days—making every guest’s trip memorable, big fish or no big fish. They did a hell of a job to kick off the 2015 season. Fifteen more groups to go. . . who knows what will be caught. Stay tuned.