SO IT BEGINS: WEEK 12 UPDATE
We’ve seen this before. The skies get heavy; the first birch leaves start to turn yellow; the ground cover of mosses turn russet and the northern lights fight to get through the clouds. Even though it’s early August, the change of season is at hand. You can see it and feel it. The big pike feel it too. This is the time of year when they make their move; it’s time for them to feed like there’s no tomorrow. For cold blooded creatures, that’s not just an expression: it’s an order from Mother Nature. As the season turns, the water temperatures drop, and the prospect of a long winter ahead stares right at them. So, they feed—heavily.
On Scott Lake and the many fly out lakes the lodge fishes, the big gals took their cue. Our 12th group of anglers braved some nasty weather to put six “mega” sized pike (our slang for a northern pike of 47 inches or better) in their guide’s big nets this week. That’s a number as healthy as those fish look in the accompanying photographs. There were another four over 45”. It was a week of monsters and this is just the beginning of our fall fishing action. It’s time to grip the rod tightly. And time for small pike to look over their shoulders. There were a lot of “T-bones” this week where a hooked pike becomes the lure when a bigger one sees a fish in trouble and grabs it right in the middle of its body. It’s exciting but probably not for the fish on the shorter end of the T.
The week started with some heavy action. There were 55 trophy fish taken on the first day (years back that might have been a decent week). If you’re name was Williamson, Day 1 was a good day. The three anglers carrying that name landed 13 trophy pike with Ken Williamson Sr and Ken Williamson Jr each getting a fat 47 (Ken senior did up the ante the next day getting a 48). That first day also produced a 47.5” pike, the first of many huge pike caught by Jim Heinmiller, who caught a 45.5 that day as well and 46 incher a few days later. Despite the rough weather, everyone seemed to find angry pike on the first day out. Jamy Paterson and Zelko Barac had one that took, at almost the same time, both their lures. That fish was hungry: it knew fall was around the corner
The good times continued the next day with an amazing 66 trophies. And again, there were monsters: a 48 and a quarter inch (that’s a tight tape) pike taken by Greg Scott and a 47.5 incher by Jason Loughran who got a 45 a couple of days later. The grayling were active to say the least over those first two days. On the first day, in addition to a bunch of pike trophies, Jim Heinmiller landed ten trophy grayling. Jason Loughran had ten trophy grayling and Ken Williamson, Jr got twelve on the second day. Grayling aren’t for everyone, but those that love light tackle fishing can’t get enough of these acrobatic fish. Five anglers—Jim Heinmiller, Jason Loughran, Ken Williamson Jr, Jeff Klein and Matt Miller—landed grayling of 18” or over, the kind that barely fit in your hand. After those first two days the action did slow down a bit but there were still 66 more trophies to log in the Scott Lake Lodge website. There were many heavy pike, showing girths that we always see at the turn of the season, like the 45.5” taken by Kim Wright and the 46.5” fatty taken by Darin Waggoner. As is common when fishing is hot, it’s hot. Jim Williamson landed five trophy pike in one day and Jon and Jim Heinmiller combined for seven in one day as did Mike and Nick Manship.
What about lake trout? Enough with the pike and grayling. Of course, there are lake trout in this story. Lots. One was impressive—a 44 incher with a girth more than half its length. At the other end of the line was Todd Rosenburg, a very happy and proud angler. He and his guide trolled deep and worked hard for that fish. Big trout don’t come easy. Damon Rao also got a monster trout, 42 inches from tip to tail. Mike Manship and Jim Heinmiller each landed 40-inch lakers. There was great action in deep water for smaller trout. Some guides get their anglers into jigging for lake trout, a very effective method for small to medium sized trout. Jigging for numbers or trolling for size; it’s a wonderful choice. It was a couple of big trout that put two anglers in the 100+Club. Ken Williamson Jr hit the magic number with a half inch to spare. Jim Heinmiller with his 40” trout, 47.5” pike and 18.5” grayling hit a big number—106 inches. In any normal year that might have been the top of the heap but this year we have had some huge numbers including a new lodge record of 111 set by Amy Towers.
And there is always the choice for guests to just have fun. The quest for more and bigger fish controls the narrative for many of our Scott Lake guests, but some just want to have fun. We had a few of those this week. They caught plenty of fish but found time some days to come in early for a massage, spend time at the Last Cast bar and enjoy the company of our staff and other guests. There was even a late evening sing-along by the indoor fireplace. Ron Kenison bravely took the lead. The beautiful spruce chip walkways took quite a beating with the heavy rain during the week, estimated at around four inches. The sun came out at the end of the week. The chips will be raked, and they will dry and offer the sweet smell of Christmas again, but the big lake loved the rain which after a summer of low water is now back to its full capacity. The season is winding down with just four more groups in camp. Watch this space to see if the monsters of fall keep coming to the net.