Happy Holidays 2023

Happy Holidays 2023

It’s amazing how quickly another year has passed. The holidays are a time to reflect, spend time with loved ones and celebrate the year that was. If you are receiving this email, there is a good chance tales of fishing and adventure on the 60th parallel enter the conversation.

We can just imagine the scene…a favorite beverage, the family gathered together, phones full of photos passed around for all to enjoy…maybe the globe (or Google Maps) comes into play. Scott Lake Lodge is truly a special place, the culture and relationships built here are incredible. It’s tough to explain, but so many of our guests do an amazing job. How do we know? They come back! They bring friends and their family. A trend that we are so proud of is the number of folks that come up “fishing with the guys”, and then think this remote fishing camp would be a great place to bring my wife and family. The hard work over many years to improve all facets of the lodge and make it more comfortable and inviting to all has paid off. We aren’t done.

The Scott Lake team has big plans for 2024 and beyond to enhance our offering and continue toward our goal of providing the best lodge fishing experience in North America. There are more cabins to renovate (Bear is next on the list for a nice facelift.) More pilot/staff accommodations to build, more fuel tanks to chopper in, and new boats and motors to add to the fleet. The work doesn’t stop, even over the holiday season. Our staff is a little more spread out, but we continue to work toward these projects. For 100 odd days, our team is concentrated on a 12-acre island, living and working together closely. Over the holidays they celebrate Christmas across Canada (British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick) and in the southern climes of the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Nicaragua. But the pull of the north always draws them back to Scott each spring.
As we pass through the shortest day of the year, we look forward to June when we spend the longest day of the year in 24 hours of sunlight at the lodge with you. From our family to yours, we want to wish everyone the happiest of holidays and the very best for 2024. We hope you can join us for some fishing and fun on the 60th!

Winter Plans

We have lots on the docket for this winter. First up, we will be at the Dallas Safari Club sportshow January 11-14th. Stop by and visit us at booth #2019 if you are in the area. We would love to catch up. Dani and Amelia will be hosting a Women’s Lunch on Saturday, January 13. If you are interested, email Dani for all the details.

Next up are some trips to the lodge to move fuel tanks and bring in all sorts of construction materials. These are tough but fun trips, landing the plane with skis on the frozen lake, wading through waist-deep snow, digging into the cabins, and hauling 5 or 6 tons of materials around the island.

Meanwhile, some of our hospitality team will be expanding their wine acumen and seeking out new offerings for our wine list.

Coming Attractions

Scott Lake, which straddles the SK/NWT border, sits in one of the largest remaining wilderness areas in the world. Travelling across the 500 miles from the lodge to the arctic ocean, there is nothing…well, almost nothing. As you fly north the black spruce thins, shrinks, and then outright disappears…you’ve entered the tundra. A wonderfully diverse ecosystem which holds some of the Earth’s most recent shaping by the receding glaciers, the mountains of ice left behind rocks, hills and most importantly lakes. We have been fortunate to acquire Tukto Lodge and the rights to fish some barely touched northern gems, Mosquito and Dubawnt Lakes. They are far off, full of giant lake trout, arctic grayling, and wildlife.

We have recently added a Cessna Caravan to our aviation program which will greatly enhance our ability to bring adventurous anglers swiftly and safely to these new waters.  Are you ready to explore with us?  We can’t wait to welcome you aboard.

Give the Gift of Adventure

Imagine surprising your family with a truly unique Canadian wilderness fishing trip: first-class accommodations, exquisite dining, amazing fishing, and unmatched customer service. Our team of veteran professionals are ready and waiting to provide an experience that you just need to tell your friends about. If this sounds up your alley, we implore you to get in touch with sales manager Jon Wimpney (306-219-7150 call/text) now.  There very few openings remaining for 2024 as our guests chose to rebook in record numbers. But Jon will work his magic to get you in for 2024 or 2025. We don’t want you to miss the chance to share this adventure with us.

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  J5@scottlakelodge.com 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.