SIt tight, our daily does of island news will be posted soon. The 2018 season opens on June 9!
Yes, you read that correctly: SHORE staff retreat.
For several years the Scott Lake Lodge Guide Team has made an annual pilgrimage to a fishing destination for critical team building and a chance to be in the guest seat of the boat. The rewards of making such a trip have been innumerable. And it’s, of course, a lot of fun for the team.
Heading to Fraser River, British Columbia.
So, this year we decided to apply that model to our hard working, all-star Shore Staff Team. It was high time to thank them for their phenomenal work and commitment to our guests and our island. We collected a group from all over Canada and headed to the Fraser River, British Columbia for a couple days of preseason planning sessions and some quality time on British Columbia’s biggest river that rolls for 854 miles ending up in the Pacific right in the city of Vancouver.
The group had a blast, caught some amazing fish and came away with lots of great ideas and enthusiasm for the season ahead.
The river was high and fast but that didn’t bother the great guides of the Sturgeon Slayers, a top-notch sturgeon outfitter headed by Kevin Estrada. We thank Kevin and his guides for connecting our group with some very impressive fish. Our Head Chef, Nigel Rivera, took the honors for the biggest fish of the trip, a monster that taped out at EIGHT FEET, FOUR INCHES. On the Fraser they measure in feet not inches. Nigel had stiff and sore arms the next day but he was excited about besting a fish of that size. The wealth was spread around. Everyone landed a fish of at least six feet. We didn’t get the biggest ever off this massive river (sturgeon over ten feet and weighing up toward the 1,000-pound mark have been caught) but they were all big enough. Unfortunately some blizzards in eastern Canada kept some staff members from attending but the crew of Eli Mahoney, Rachael Basler, Clare Markle, Dawson Sawchuk, Brenna Savery, Danni Grunberg, Nigel Rivera, our new massage therapist Tamsin Both and General Manager Jason Hamilton blended business and fun in a masterful way. The group had a blast, caught some amazing fish and came away with lots of great ideas and enthusiasm for the season ahead.
While Scott Lake rests covered in snow and ice, for Scott Lake Lodge there is still lots on the go: we are securing new fly out destinations, ordering supplies, planning island-wide improvements and wrapping up construction work on the new Laker Lodge 2.0.
In short, we have been quite busy. With the help of our own ice pilots, the twin otter on skis landed on the unmarked snow of Scott Lake. Big January winds and cold made unloading the Otter a challenge but Paul Hamilton, Curt Woloshyn and yours truly, Jason Hamilton, who were there for a week, bundled up well and got a load of lumber off the plane. Going to a frozen lodge on the 60th parallel in mid-winter might sound fun, but it’s a pile of work. It goes something like this: unload plane and send it back for the second load of lumber; wade through snow and unboard cabin; attempt to start snowmobile but fail; tear snowmobile apart; attempt starting again and fail, again. Take a deep breath and light a fire to start the thawing of the cabin from -40 C (which coincidentally is exactly the same as -40 F) Now, what time does the sun set???
A blanket of snow covers the lodge and lake.
Unfortunately, its damn early this time of year; there is only around 5 hours of daylight in mid-January. Back to the snowmobile…success, finally; move gear up to the cabin. Now because the snow had covered the solar panel, there is no power. So, thaw small generator to heat up big generator, to get some juice. Wait 6 hours for power, internet, heat, dinner and a drink. That first day was hectic but after this it was time to work. The winter crew finished the electrical work and did the interior pine paneling for most of the lodge expansion. Shoveling roofs and clearing solar panels involved moving a few thousand pounds of snow but the 8000lbs of lumber provided the real tonnage. It’s how things get done though on the 60th parallel in winter. Overall, it was a good trip with considerable accomplishment. The lodge is really coming together. We think you will like it.
“Unfortunately, its damn early this time of year; there is only around 5 hours of daylight in mid-January.”
That first day was hectic but after this it was time to work. The winter crew finished the electrical work and did the interior pine paneling for most of the lodge expansion. Shoveling roofs and clearing solar panels involved moving a few thousand pounds of snow but the 8000 lbs of lumber provided the real tonnage. That’s how things get done though on the 60th parallel in winter. Overall, it was a good trip with considerable accomplishment. The lodge is really coming together. We think you will like it.
Laker Lodge 2.0
Guide Retreat 2018: Tampa, FL
This event is much anticipated and does a great deal to cement relationships within the company, fosters team work and lets the group have a look into the other side of the guiding experience with some fishing. The destination this year was Tampa, FL. Strings were pulled by the owners and prime seats were secured for the NHL All Star game. Now that’s music to the ears of a bunch of Canadian fishing guides.
After a hockey overload and maybe a few beverages, the group hit the inshore waters of Tampa Bay to try their luck. A mixed bag of species bent rods, Pompano, Permit, Mackerel, Snapper, Cobia, Jacks were landed, lessons were learned, and the guide team concluded that it was a great way to officially kick off the 2018 season.
The group left ready to guide NOW, but of course the five feet of ice on Scott will have everyone waiting a couple months to start that game.
Top 10 Gifts for the Traveling Angler
With the help of our guide team we put together a list of ten essential items that every wandering angler’s gear should include. These must-have items will help your favorite fisherman be comfortable, efficient and effective, which all add up to having more fun and catching more fish! (Recommendations for brands are subjective since we are not sponsored by any. In our part of the world we simply need to use what works.)
So without further ado here it is the 2017 Scott Lake Lodge approved gift guide:
#10 Good Quality Rain Suit
We are constantly shocked to see guests arrive on a northern Canadian fishing trip with low quality, ineffective rain gear. Gore-Tex and Toray are the fabrics you need in your suit…yes a suit (bibs and a parka.) The difference between catching fish while being comfortable or miserable is an extra few bucks. Rain gear is the place to treat yourself and a good suit will last you a lifetime. Retreat it with Revivex which maintains the water repellent coating. Simms, Patagonia, Cabelas, Bass Pro Shops and Helly Hansen all sell the good stuff.
#9 Waterproof Duffel Bag
A bag like this will save you grief traveling the world over. They are easier to pack on small planes and protect your gear from rain, unplanned dips and everything else an adventure might throw at it. As you trek to remote parts of the world chasing fish baggage carousels tend to be replaced by patches of gravel beside the plane. Simms, Patagonia, North Face and Cabelas all make solid versions.
#8 Waterproof Camera
Everyone wants to snap a photo on their phone. We love the idea of making your friends and family drool over that big pike that came flying out of the weeds and almost ripped the rod out of your hand! But your phone is not waterproof. A good point and shoot camera will have a better flash to cut through shadows on sunny days, greater zoom to get up close and most importantly, let’s you capture that underwater shot. FUJI XP and Olympus Stylus Tough are tested and approved by our guides.
7. Waterproof Hard Case
Pick something that fits your needs but as small as possible (such as Pelican 1040 or 1060.) They are just the right size to store your phone, camera, fishing licence and medication in a crush-proof, waterproof home.
6. Quality Polarized Sunglasses
In fact, get 2 pairs. Find a frame you like and buy a back up! Squinting your way through a week of fishing or being frustrated with poor fitting ones is not cool. We strongly recommend glass lenses. They have quality polarization and protect your eyes from flying lures. To test if your glasses are polarized find a digital LCD display (car radio, watch, gas pump, ATM machine), take them off, hold them out in front of your eyes. You should be able to see the display through the lens. Then turn the frame slightly to an angle and the display should be blacked out. Our guide team loves Costa Del Mar shades with mirrored green lenses – perfect for sight fishing. The rate of success in casting to a fish goes up immensely if you can see it and are not just guessing!
5. Gaiter or Buff
This amazing tube of fabric has endless uses. It keeps sun, wind and bugs off your face and neck. Plus, it looks pretty cool. Lighter colors work better for sight fishing. Think of a fish looking up from underneath the water… light colors blend into the sky, while a bright pink Buff might just catch its eye while you are trying to stalking it.
4. Multi tool
A good multi tool is an indispensable accessory for thousands of uses. Look for scissors and a file as fishing – friendly options. Leatherman is the standard.
3. Travel Mug
You likely have a couple of these in the cupboard at home already but splurge on a good quality one for your angler. Having a vessel to carry your coffee in the morning or a cold drink at night is never a bad thing. If you are visiting Scott Lake, you can even experience the the rare pleasure of dipping it over the edge of the boat for a drink of cold, pristine water right from the lake. YETI makes a great series of these products.
2. Powdered Drink Mix
Water tastes different everywhere, but adding a bit of flavor can make it more enjoyable so your angler will drink enough. Products with electrolytes can keep you hydrated and can even help shake off the effects of the night before. Gatorade, Crystal Light and Mio are all good options.
1. All-Inclusive Trip to Scott Lake Lodge
What better place to test out your new wares then Scott Lake Lodge? Trophy pike, giant lake trout and arctic grayling all set to a backdrop of 15 million acres of unspoiled, exclusive use fishing area. Not to mention the private accommodations, luxury lodge, spa, gourmet cuisine. We are certainly proud of our fishery and facility but mostly of our staff, who we know without a doubt provide the finest level of customer service in the industry.