Another gorgeous week at Scott Lake Lodge. For the third straight group summer made a visit to the far north. And when the sun shines on the lakes and forests of the border county between the Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan there is not more beautiful place anywhere on the planet. Perhaps there’s a bias there but it’s what we keep hearing from our guests. And we believe them. We know one thing for sure about sunshine up here: it really turns on the arctic grayling. Often overshadowed by the heavyweights of our lakes (the northern pike and lake trout), the grayling is clearly the iconic species of this part of the world. You will not find them in the lakes of the upper Midwest, not even in Michigan which has a city named for them. Our most visually stunning fish, the grayling’s dramatically high dorsal fin is its calling card, but its coloration—a bluish/silver accented with a dash of pink/purple iridescence—is a feast for the eyes. With appropriate tackle (ultralight spinning or a 4-weight fly rod) it’s a worthy gamefish, often putting on an acrobatic show. And sun on the water makes them crazy as many of anglers discovered this week.

Arctic Grayling: Showtime

Two of our gang, Andrew Troop and Paul Barth, put on a grayling clinic on a remote river about one hundred miles from the lodge. No one watched it but the eagles, osprey and loons, but they had an incredible grayling experience landing twenty-five of trophy class with seven over eighteen inches. Taking off some time from their pike quest, Darrell Massie and Bill Sandbrook landed three over eighteen. Michael Hammes and Greg Limback landed a dozen trophies and Armond Arci caught a pair of 18s, our supersized designation. It was time for this remarkable fish to come out of the shadows.

Pike and Trout Trophies

It is Scott Lake; pike and lake trout are still the main show. Our home lake kicked out two 47-inch pike on the last day. John Kreiling and Bill MaGraw were on the other end of those lines. Tracy Kreiling and Tony Madonia had a big day on a fly out lake bringing in nine trophy pike. Darrel Massie landed a 45; KelseyGilbert-Kreiling and Maureen O’Leary caught 44s. There were some of the other heavyweights in the mix this week. Jay Kreiling got a 40-incher; Tony Madonia landed a 41 and Maureen O’Leary had the top trout of the week with a very heavy 42-incher. That big trout with her 44 pike and a 18” grayling earned Maureen admission into the 100+Club with a very respectable 104 total inches. Congrats to Maureen on joining the exclusive club and getting the jacket. Bill Sandbrook and Armond Arci just missed the 100+Club but did leave with the Trophy Triple hat and lifetime memories.

Beyond Fishing

With the beautiful weather there were many relaxing and leisurely shore lunches enjoyed. The Kreiling group added some special blends of margaritas to theirs. Why not? The evenings featured great dining, some poker games, cornhole throwing and just lake watching from the big deck off the main lodge. The annual Massie/Sandbrook fishing contest tradition was continued but ended in a tie, each group getting exactly the same number of fish, something that’s hard to do; but the ladies did have the biggest fish. Scott Lake was again visited by the herd of muskox that have taken up residence near Scott Lake. Jim Bourgeois and ______Hutchinson watched this remarkable ice-age relic cruise the shoreline in the far northwest corner of the lake.

Beautiful weather, plenty of big fish (119 trophies to be exact), great dinner conversations, the evening serenade of loon calls, eagles soaring, and just the sheer pleasure of being in a remote, pristine landscape—just another week in Paradise.