THE CASE OF THE ANGRY PIKE
After watching his third trophy pike just inhale his fly, a white whistler, Mark Baker shouted “Damn, these pike are angry”. After conversations with a bunch of other guides and guests it became clear that Mark’s comment was right on target: our pike right now are plenty mad at anything that moves near them. The strikes, often right at boatside, are savage and deadly. They don’t often miss their target. This is not an unusual late season phenomenon. We have watched this nasty angry pike behavior over nearly three decades of fishing at Scott Lake. For most of our guides fall is their favorite season. As the daylight shortens and the water temperature starts dropping, these far northern pike know that the clock for their heavy feeding is ticking down. They are on the move, putting on the feedbag. With our unusually warm water temperatures many of these pike are being caught in very shallow water. One of Mark’s fish came out of a two-foot-deep weed bed, typically a scenario for early June not the last day of August. In recent years though getting big pike on flies has become a season-long pursuit, not just a June thing. We had a dozen fly-fishing-only anglers in camp this week and they claimed 30 of the 85 trophy pike landed this week.
Adding the trophy lake trout and grayling into the mix, our Week 17 guests tallied an impressive 114 trophy fish. Maybe the trout and grayling weren’t angry, but they were still feeding. While our trout fishing bonanza has slowed down from previous weeks, (the trout are moving up the water column and can again be found in one to one hundred feet), we did have one monster lake trout this week, a fat 41-incher caught by Scott Sievert. Scott was on quite a run this week. He also got a 45” and a 47” pike. There were plenty of other Supersized pike (our term for pike of 45” or better): Mark Graf led the pike parade with a 47.5” beauty, along with a 45. Jared Sharer, Dave Delange, and Bruce Bennett all landed 46-inchers. And guide Paul Hamilton at the urging of his guest made a few casts and got his own 46. A few guests took time off from their pike quest to fish for arctic grayling. There were some dandies landed in the river segments between our fly out lakes. Rebecca Graf, Michael Bird and Mark Graf got 18s and Mark captured our biggest grayling of the season, a very chunky 20-incher.
Mark is on his second turn at Scott this season. He had already joined the 100+ Club from his stay in July but his giant angry pike and grayling pushed his total up to 108.5”, just a half-inch under Connor Patrick’s 109” from June. It’s a real horse race now. Mark still has time to hit that mark or even exceed it. Our all-time record of 110 inches is even in reach. Jeff Berg joined the elite club this week as well. Dave Dalvey and Mike Bird left the lodge with their Triple Trophy hats, getting trophy-sized fish of all three of our species. It was a week of big fish and big fun. The weather stayed mild all week with mild wind. It was a perfect week to be on the water, especially at Scott Lake Lodge.