The Off Season

The Off Season

“So, what do you do in the off-season”? It’s a question we get often. Truly, not a lot. The good news is that the off-season for Scott Lake is about 24 hours long. The day following the departure of the last anglers begins the staff shut down of the facilities, followed by a good celebration of another successful fishing season, and then the next season’s preparations begin.

Preparations Underway

While not on-site, our team has worked full-time on the many facets of a successful fishing season. The long process of hiring a few new faces by our management team is wrapping up. We don’t take this lightly and go to great lengths to find team members that we believe fit the culture of outstanding customer service and fun.  The winter and spring crews have been planning projects and procuring about 30,000 lbs of materials for flights into the fishing Lodge this winter. There are some exciting projects on tap before our guests arrive.  We have been hauling freight and plan to start making trips north in a week or two. Stay tuned for the updates from the Lodge…we will be testing a new internet system…fingers crossed!

Our staff as always are spread out across Canada from New Brunswick to British Columbia and south to Mexico, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Lots of travel, work, and ideas to bring back to the 12-acre island paradise on Scott Lake.  A lot of time in the winter for the guide team is spent in pursuit of fish. Steelhead, marlin, walleye and of course pike help feed their passion and keep them sharp for June. Until then, all are part of a massive effort in planning to get the momentum moving on countless details for 2023’s amazing fishing season.

Scott Lake on The New Fly Fishers

Watch GM Jason Hamilton chat with The New Fly Fishers Mark Melnyk about Scott Lake Lodge, the fishing, the culture and the fun. Some great videos are shown here.

How Can I Get There?

Some great news for our travelling anglers. West Jet has added new flights into Edmonton, AB direct from the US. Seattle and we suspect more notably, Minneapolis will both have direct options to Edmonton starting this spring. Along with existing direct options from Denver and Seattle we are getting back to normal travel options. You can always fly to Calgary and connect on one of many daily flights north to Edmonton. 

Ready to Book Your Trip?

Speaking with our sales manager and long-time guide Jon (J5) Wimpney, he suggests moving on the few remaining 2023 spots NOW! If you are thinking about a trip this year, get in touch right away and we can keep you up to date should any dates open up through cancellations. We are always looking for people that can travel on short notice, the fun and freedom of getting a call and being on a plane north that afternoon is something special.

Looking forward, we have had many requests for 2024 reservations already, and while we offer our ’23 guests the first right of refusal for their week, there are many eager anglers waiting to jump in.  J5 is working hard to find everyone a spot, so get ahold of him today: email or call/text 306-206-7150.

Happy Holidays 2022

Happy Holidays 2022

May All of Your Fishing Dreams Come True

Like it does every year, the third week in December seems to sneak up far too quickly. By the time all the holiday preparations are in place, it’s already time to flip over the calendar and look at what 2023 holds for you. Planning all the birthdays, anniversaries and your annual fishing trip to Scott Lake Lodge is an exciting time.

What an incredible year

A big part of the fun is the research and process leading up to any trip. That’s why we send out these newsletters, videos, information and entertaining reading material; not only to let you know where to be and when, but to make the planning process fun and a part of your trip.

Watching the last month of 2022 wind down we reflect on an incredible year…what a feeling to be back! The hugs and tears that were shared on the dock this summer speak volumes about the relationships forged in the wilds surrounding this 12-acre island on the 60th parallel. While two years off left a bit of rust to shake off, with most of our staff returning we were able to hit the ground running. A couple of years and countless hours spent improving the island’s infrastructure was a great investment in the guest experience. Our construction crew did an amazing job. With a new charter hub in Edmonton and a new float plane partner, there were lots of changes to our program. After working through a few inevitable wrinkles, the trip evaluations told us you were happy with the changes.

Despite not being on-site, there is no off-season for our crew. Planning for next year started September 17th…the day after the last guests departed! Mountains of supplies to procure, including new rods and reels, and countless details to sort out, and we will be ready to welcome you all back starting in June.

Enjoy the holidays. Spend time with friends and family, and maybe tell them about how much fun you have at Scott Lake! Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and a healthy, happy 2023!

Sport Show Circuit

Scott Lake Lodge is hitting the road this winter, but due to the amazing repeat customers, we have the sports show circuit is shorter than it has been in the past. Over 70% of our guests chose to book again for 2023…there are not that many spots to sell.

From January 5-8 we will be at the Dallas Safari Club Annual Convention. If you are nearby or can make a trip to visit us, we’d love to see you:  we will be at Booth 2519. If you are planning to stop by, be sure to send J5 a text: 306-209-7150.

Your 2023 Trip to Scott Lake

Speaking of Jon “J5” Wimpney, our long time Sales Manager, he has a few last-minute spots that would be amazing stocking stuffers for your favorite angler! Spots have been going very quickly and your chance to get one for 2023 is limited.  Don’t delay – call, text (306-209-7150) or email Jon right away!

2022: A Year to Remember

2022: A Year to Remember

At Last!

by Tom Klein, Managing Partner

We’re not sure who missed the two Covid shut-down years the most. Was it our faithful guests or our dedicated staff? We had guests weep for joy when they set foot on the dock at Scott Lake. And we had staff who worked 100 straight days but still did not want to leave the island. Let’s just call it a draw.

The Most Anticipated Fishing Season

Without any doubt it was simply good to be back fishing and back on the 12-acre island in the middle of nowhere. It was a picture-perfect fall day when on September 16th the final guests of the 2022 fishing season and some of our departing staff boarded an interesting mix of floatplanes—our flagship Beaver that celebrated its 75th birthday in August, a turbo Single Otter, a vintage piston Single Otter and a sleek Cessna Caravan—to head south for the last time of the season. So ended the most anticipated season in the lodge’s 27-year history.

Was it the best season we ever had? Not by the final trophy count, respectable but not record setting. Not by the weather which swung wildly between achingly beautiful and shockingly dreadful. Not by the late ice which cancelled the fishing dreams of our week 1 guests. But by the smiles and the written evaluations of our guests it was THEIR best fishing season ever. Our guests and staff were primed to have a great time in the far north and that’s just what they did.

Fishing Expectations

Fishing is always dictated by weather, plain and simple. There were perhaps unrealistic expectations by many that after two years of not seeing a spoon, spinner, plastic pike or fly every pike in our lakes would fight to grab anything. That might be accurate in lower latitude fishing areas like the upper Midwest where fishing pressure is the determining factor in fishing action. But here in the far north with the vast, sprawling lakes and just a dozen boats on the water it’s more fundamental elements like water temperature and sunshine that dictate the fishing action. So, the two-year break from fishing really didn’t mean a thing. Sunny days with high pressure, quiet bays and some windy shorelines had incredible pike fishing. Cold front cloudy days required a bit more patience. In 2022 we simply had more of the latter than the former. (Lake trout always have a mind of their own and always bite whenever they feel like it, but we did have a great year for big lake trout.)

It was an unusual see-saw season. For example, Week 17 was cold and foggy with only 62 trophy fish; Week 18 was warm and sunny and had 129; Week 19 was back in the cold soup and produced only 53, the season’s low, but Week 20 ended strong with a lot of huge fish and 100 trophies. That was the pattern all year—no consistency. If one could predict the weather on the 60th parallel a year in advance one would always be fishing on just the right week. The right week though is any week you can be in such a pristine, beautiful wilderness while enveloped in the finest customer service experience you can imagine.

Amazing Fishing Days

There were many amazing, over-the-top fishing days: many days of 100 pike per angler—yes, in a single day, and it was a season of BIG PIKE. We set a lodge record with 21 pike that measured 47” or better–what we call the “megas”. We love to celebrate really big fish. There were also many days of multiple trophies for all our species—pike, lake trout and grayling. One angler collected over a hundred pike trophies over his fifteen-day stay. We had 31 guests join the 100+Club by landing a trophy pike (minimum 40”), lake trout (minimum 35”) and grayling (minimum 15”) that collectively hit or exceeded 100”. Do the math. In any configuration that’s a group of very nice fish. We had over 100 pike of over 45”. We had two anglers who on a remarkable day brought ten trophy lake trout to their guide’s net with six of them exceeding 40”. We had a week in mid-August with 166 trophy fish, an average of six per angler. The great fishing was spread all over the calendar, depending of course on the weather. There were days where anglers jigged for lake trout and caught many dozens each. Or threw flies or small spinners in our many fly out rivers and found grayling that never stopped hitting. And there were days when ten fish was all the waters would give up. That’s fishing, even on the 60th parallel. It’s always unpredictable.

2023 Fishing Season

But what was predictable in 2022 were the good times in the boat and in the lodge; the fine dinners with friends; evenings by the bonfire; before fishing hikes on the nearby Tundra Trail; the haunting calling of loons at night; hot tub and sauna relaxation sessions; morning workouts in the gym; canoe paddles after dinner;  wildlife sightings, like the herd of musk ox right on the shores of Scott Lake, and a simple enjoyment of being with friends, old and new, in such a spectacular place.

It’s why more than half of the 2022 guests have already rebooked for the 2023 fishing season. It’s why you should consider doing the same: it’s a predictably wonderful experience, whatever the weather. Give our Sales Manager Jon Wimpney a call today at 306/209-7150 or send him an email. It will make your 2023 summer one to remember.

April 2022

April 2022

Up And Running

by Jason Hamilton, General Manager

The Lodge was still cloaked in its winter mantle when our team made the first (human) tracks on the island in six months. There was evidence of a busy winter around the boarded-up cabins and lodge: marten, ptarmigan and even a wolverine left their trails in the snow. The crew was checking in on the place and moving in yet more material for improvements in the spring.

Update from the Island

It was a quiet winter according to the local trappers around Scott Lake, with hardly any caribou hunting traffic. The local community members south of the lodge hunt the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq caribou herds on the southern end of their migration from the Barren Lands. This year these herds stayed far north of Scott.

A total of four turbo Otter loads of metal roofing and materials, ranging from fly reels to plywood, were moved into camp. The aching backs of the winter work crew can attest that all 8000 pounds of those supplies made it in. These winter trips are greatly anticipated and appreciated, the silence and beauty of the far north in winter are stunning and always justify the hardship. But there is no shortage of work to be done immediately upon arrival, since all systems shut down and covered in feet of snow. After much effort breaking trails, shoveling, removing bear boards and the inevitable mechanic work, most basic systems were up and running on the first day.  While we had two full seasons to work tirelessly on the place, the job is never complete (it is a small city) and we refuse to rest on our laurels. The goal is to provide the best lodge fishing experience in North America, and we will continue to do everything in our considerable, collective powers to make this goal a reality for our guests. The summer of 2022 is coming: we will be ready and waiting!

As the calendar pages keep flipping at an alarming rate, we find ourselves already in mid-April, with less than 60 days until the first anglers of 2022 will step off the floatplanes onto our brand new docks! The excitement in our team over these long-awaited first steps is nearing fever-pitch. So many preparations and details in every department: from centerpieces to fuel filters and everything in between… we are on it.

We do have a few items to ask of you, our first guests post-pandemic, to be prepared for your Scott Lake Lodge adventure.

The Answer Is: YES

You will be required to present proof that you are fully vaccinated against COVID19 to cross the border into Canada.

(Check out the questionnaire on Travel Canada’s website for up to date info: “Find out if you can enter Canada”)

If you are on our guest list for 2022, we are asking that you let us know as soon as possible if you will not be able to meet this requirement and need to cancel your tripAfter May 1, we will be unable to issue any credits or refunds on 2022 reservations.

Arrival in Edmonton

There is a lot to be excited about: a new season, a new departure city. While there are few direct flights from the US to Edmonton, the good news is that almost every major US city flies direct into Calgary, and there are several daily flights between Calgary and Edmonton.

While travel is slowly returning to normal, we strongly recommend arriving the day before your Lodge arrival date to relax and explore Edmonton as an added protection against any unforeseen travel delays. We don’t want you to miss a single cast of your trip.

While we are excited about exploring a new city, one thing we will all miss is the smiling face of Donna Hill, our expert Saskatoon concierge.  As a consolation, our recommended Edmonton hotel, the Edmonton Renaissance, is conveniently located right at the airport.  Also there is a free shuttle service from the airport to our charter provider, North Cariboo Air, where the welcoming smiles of Paulette, Karye and Janice will ensure a personalized customer service experience for all of our Lodge guests.

Review all the reminders, including travel links and important info, in our Guest Portal.  

So, You’re Saying There is Still Hope to Come to Scott?

You bet!  But definitely hurry and reach out to Jon Wimpney, our Sales Manager and long-time Scott guide. Jon will get you on the cancellation list, ready for any spots that open up.

We have had a few openings in recent weeks and they are typically filled within the same day.  Make sure to touch base so we can do our best to get you to Scott in 2022.  Give Jon a call at (306) 209-7150 or send him an email.  

March 2022 – 100 Days till Fishing Season

March 2022 – 100 Days till Fishing Season

In Just 100 Days

by Tom Klein, Managing Partner

In just one hundred days our first guests in thirty-one months will land on the pristine waters of Scott Lake and taxi to our dock. They will get quite a reception from the Scott Lake Lodge crew, showcasing nearly three years of pent-up energy and good will. There will be a lot of familiar faces on the dock. Remarkably, nearly every one of our 2019 crew will be there to greet the 2022 guests. It will be a homecoming for the entire Scott Lake Lodge community: staff and customers. 

The State of the Lodge

In terms of the lodge infrastructure, things could not look better; we certainly did not waste our opportunity to make improvements while the sun was shining over the last two Covid summers. The list of enhanced and new structures on the island is way too long to list here. Since we love surprises, we’ll just allow the island to do the talking. Suffice to say that the place will be ready for Prime Time on June 9 when our first group lands on Scott Lake. Since the last customer left in September of 12019, there have been many positive changes. We welcome a new float plane operator, Wings Over Kississing, with a large fleet of Beavers and Otters and many decades of experience flying the far north, to the Scott Lake Team. And we welcome a new charter operator, North Cariboo Air out of Edmonton, Alberta, our new hub. North Cariboo also offers a wealth of experience in the north and have the perfect planes for the two-hour 500-mile flight from Edmonton to Stony Rapids– beautiful Dash 8-300s, a wonderful upgrade in comfort and convenience compared to our prior charter aircraft. North Cariboo also will be providing a spacious and very pleasant lounge in their terminal, just a mile from the Edmonton Airport Main Terminal, for your pre-flight relaxation.

The island will be ready for you.

Covid Update

Well, there isn’t any big news yet, but by the time our season rolls around we are expecting a relaxation of current requirements. At this time visitors are still required to have been fully vaccinated (but not boosted) and present a negative test for entry into the country. BUT RECENTLY CANADA HAS AUTHORIZED AN OPTION OF A 24-HOUR RAPID ANITIGEN TEST INSTEAD OF THE 72-HOUR PCR TEST. This will be a very helpful change for our guests. Also, you will need to download and fill out the ArriveCan prior to your flight. There will be additional information on Covid requirements as we get closer to the season. Recently Saskatchewan has dropped all Covid regulations which will allow life in the lodge to be just like it’s always been, in a word–wonderful. Our team is committed to enhanced cleaning procedures and any appropriate precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip north. We will monitor and report any new developments as they happen.

Getting to Edmonton

Another major change, and yes very positive, is our move to Edmonton, a city five times as large as Saskatoon with a significantly larger airport and many times more flights. At this writing flights are still not back to pre-Covid levels of flights, but we’re getting close. Currently, you can fly non-stop to Edmonton on United from Denver; on Air Canada from San Francisco, and on Alaska Airlines from Seattle. We expect that a non-stop from Minneapolis on Delta will be added within the next two months. Even without these direct flights, it’s an easy city to get to. Multiple US airlines fly into Calgary, Alberta and there are 22 daily flights from Calgary to Edmonton. We strongly encourage arriving the day before your Lodge arrival date.  It is cheap insurance in case of any delays. Check out our recommendations – there is a lot to see and do in the Edmonton area.

Pre-Trip Information

Now is the time to get excited! Book your flights, buy that new lucky lure or tie some new flies. Your trip is coming up and we need some info from you. Please take a moment to fill out the Pre-Trip Planner in our Guest Portal. We appreciate your help in getting everything ready for your arrival.

Last Chance

While the place is full, this season has seen more cancellations and date movements than a typical year. Many of our 2022 guests booked way back in 2019 so some changes are expected.

Make sure you give our Sales Manager and guide extraordinaire, Jon Wimpney, a call at 306/209-7150 or email. He can definitely get you on the list in case one of those coveted spots become available.