The July trout season got kicked off in a big way on July 9th when Mark Graf, viagra buy search long time Scott Lake Lodge regular, viagra usa brought a fish of a lifetime to the boat. It was struggle more familiar to salt water anglers than the typical freshwater fish fight. After about fifteen minutes and four attempts to get a massive trout within reach of guide Paul Hamilton’s waiting cradle, a lake trout of stunning size went from hope to reality. The tale of the tape read 46” in length by an incredible 27.5” girth. It was a beauty. Normally an articulate guy, Mark’s first comment on seeing the big trout by the boat was: “Holy ____ that’s a big fish”. Indeed it was. And it was a powerful moment. Eleven year old son, Foster, jumped in his dad’s arms when the fish was secured—a father/son moment that made the catch all the sweeter. The picture here is worth a thousand words but we will wrap it up with four—fishing can be fun.
Discussion of weather has been the talk of the Guide Den this season. Unlike cities to the south, viagra buy recipe it’s not been hot at Scott. It’s just been strange. A few days of warm temperatures followed by cold fronts. One day of encouraging high pressure followed by a low that just hangs over the area. We have been predictably getting unpredictable weather. At times just plain weird.
Pike are creatures that love stability. They can get used to any temperature/pressure regime as long as it’s consistent. They hate this yo-yo pattern. Our weather in June has been very un-Juneish which typically is hot and sunny. We expected a big dip in our big fish numbers. But the conventional wisdom in the Guide Den has been dead wrong, purchase well half wrong. Our total pike trophy numbers (216 in the twenty days of June fishing) are down but the really big fish numbers are up. Two dozen pike over 44” were landed in June; sixteen at 45 or bigger. Those are big fish and big numbers. Especially dramatic are the really, really big fish. Tim Buzzell has a 46 incher; Peter Mitchell a 46.5; Joe Daugherty a very fat 47 incher; Scott owner Tom Klein added a 47″ and Jack Barlo topped the list with a 47.5 inch pike. In 2011 we had thirty-one pike at 45 or over. For 2012 we are on a pace to race past that total. Why? Only the pike know and they’re not talking.
Not only have there been a lot of long pike, we have also caught hundreds of very fat ones. Our guide team, with an average tenure of ten years at Scott, have never seen such heavy pike at this time of year. Tails are sticking out of a lot of fish; big bellies are the rule this season. Large schools of bait, mainly lake ciscos, have been observed. No one knows why but fat fish don’t lie. This has been a tremendous early season for heavy fish. Just peruse through our Pics of the Day to see the proof.
Lake trout “season” starts in mid-July but we are already seeing quite a few hogs in the guides’ cradles. Six over 40” were landed in June, not a bad start. Grayling are always tough in June but this year it’s really been tough with extremely high water in our grayling rivers. When the water starts to drop down our grayling numbers will go up. So only one Triple Trophy hat was awarded in June — Carolyn Nelson captured that one.
We are still waiting for a stretch of high pressure and high temperatures. When it happens things will really bust loose. In the meantime we’ll keep fishing and catching.
Some seasons everything just falls into place. The staff at Scott Lake Lodge faced some daunting challenges as they opened up the Lodge for the 2012 season. Heavy snow knocked down the twin compressors running the walk in freezer/refrigerator. Wind driven ice pushed around two of our boat docks. And the wood chip walkways did not fare well over the winter. But put enough focused, best viagra shop recipe hard working people on jobs and they get done. Everything was repaired or rebuilt; tens of thousands of pounds of food, cialis sale search fishing tackle, fuel, motors and of course a few hundred cases of beer were flown in, unloaded and stored. It was a busy place. But on June 10 every last job was complete and the place looked like it was in the running for a Better Homes and Gardens photo shoot. General Manager John Gariepy did an outstanding job coordinating all the preparation. Owner Tom Klein did a lot of fishing.
Many of our regular guests arriving were startled by the sight of a lake that just looked a lot bigger. After five years of drought and low snowfalls, Scott Lake was about as low in late 2011 as anyone could remember. What a pleasant surprise that very heavy snowfalls in late winter could bring the lake level back to near record levels. All the bays are flooded right back to grass and bushes. Places that have not been fished for years because the entrances were too shallow are now accessible again, as well as the big pike that spend most of the early part of the season in very shallow water. There should be a few more trophy pike pins handed out at the nightly Biff Piston Show (you need to be a Scott guest to understand that reference, but trust us: it is an experience.)
Speaking of trophy pins we did dent our supply with the first group in. Despite cool and cloudy weather, forty-four pins found new homes on hats and fishing shirts. The numbers were even better. Everyone caught a lot of fish. Ryan McPhee kicked things off well with three trophy pike on the opening morning. David Marco came all the way from Florida to catch big pike and he wasn’t going home without some memorable ones. He got three trophy pike the next day while son Michael got stuck at the 39 inch mark. But Michael returned the favor on Day 3 by nailing three trophy pike himself. Both used fly rods to capture their big fish. A Montana angler, Nate Naprstek, not only limited himself to a fly rod but he stayed with top water flies. It’s a real show to see pike turn themselves inside out smashing a surface fly. He not only caught a lot of pike: he got four trophies. Jim McPhee had the biggest fish of the week, a very fat 44.5” pike. Another McPhee, Colin, joined the big fish parade, landing a 40” lake trout.
Those are just numbers. Everyone left with great memories and a bit of soreness in their fish fighting arm. The next group though started their trip with a great first day. Fourteen trophy pike were caught. Jim Klenk who has been coming to Scott for a long time got one of his biggest fish ever, landing a 45” pike that had not missed many meals. But the fish of the year, so far, went to Jack Barko who watched as his guide slid the cradle under a 47.5” monster. That’s setting the bar. And that’s the story at Scott, so far. We’re just getting started.
The eagle has landed! (In a tall spruce by the main lodge.) And loons, best viagra cheap generic hundreds of geese and lots of ducks have been landing every day, buy viagra viagra along with Beavers of the de Havilland variety. We have taken control of this isolated birch and spruce decorated island right on the 60th parallel. It has been a wonderful set up period for the crew at Scott Lake Lodge. On June 1 the advance team landed in a small open stretch of water on the south side of our island home, purchase but not quite enough of an opening to get the plane to shore. Manager John Gariepy had to wade in ice cold water to get a lodge canoe to ferry the rest of the group and some groceries to shore. There is always drama at Scott. Now five days later the advance group is twelve strong with more staff arriving daily. Compared to many of the past sixteen seasons at Scott, this will be a wonderfully leisurely opening. It is an annual ritual of considerable magnitude: there are 28 buildings to clean up/fix up; the boats need an annual fresh coat of interior paint; the store inventory needs to be unpacked, priced and put out; thousands of pounds of frozen meats and other food items need to be unloaded stored; the spruce chip walkways need a fresh coat of chips; the office needs to be organized. And for any of that to happen the two Beaver air lodge air force has to fly trips all day long and the days are pretty long now. The whole thing is quite like starting a new business every year.
Scott is now 90% ice free with only some north facing islands holding the remnants of last winter
For this year’s opening we have had extra challenges. A heavy snow load pulled down the two compressors that run our walk in freezer/refrigerator. Fortunately we found a Saskatoon based refrigeration company that could send a technician ASAP. He got things running just hours ahead of the 1,500 pounds of frozen meat. The ice did us no favors this year.
On June 3rd the wind pushed the ice against our south dock. There was nothing to do but watch as tons of ice pushed the stone filled cribs toward shore. No one messes with the power of moving ice floes. So four guides worked two full days to rebuild the dock. It’s all part of the game in the lodge business.
Our construction crew from Saskatoon puts the finishing touches on a beautiful new cabin
The new cabin, Raven, is now in the final interior phase of construction. It will be ready for guests on June 15. The lumberjack crew has cut hundreds of small spruce trees that will soon become the fragrant and soft walkways around the island. And today the sun is out and it is beautiful. Life at Scott is good. The geese are heading north in great numbers; the birch trees are almost fully leafed out and the lake has never looked more blue and inviting. And for our regulars who have been up recently it will be refreshing to see a “full pond”. The heavy snows of late winter have our lake levels back to normal after several years of very low water. This will open up a lot of small bays again that were impassable. The fish? They’re ready, willing and able to stretch your lines. (That has been recently tested as the picture included here attests.)
For 2012 we are now at 99% full. And we would love to be at 100%. If you have the itch for a wilderness fishing trip this summer now is the time to scratch it. Surprisingly we still have four spots in the prime shallow water pike week of June 30-July 5, perfect for fly anglers as well as hardware chuckers. That’s all we have left. Grab one now like a pike grabs a black leech. Email our Sales Manager Jon Wimpney or call our guest services office at 888/830-9525 to get one of the four last tickets to paradise.
Someone had to give the pike some exercise. Tom Klein with guide Chester Porteous holding one of several pre-season trophies.
News from the North: the ice at Scott is getting a real beating. It has been a relatively warm winter, sick even that far north, and right now the lake is getting 16 hours a day of sunlight, a number that jumps up around five minutes each day. It’s looking very good for an early ice out, allowing our staff to get the place ship shape before our first group lands at Scott on June 10. There will be plenty of daylight by then-sunrise on the 10th will be at 3:50 AM but what’s termed civil twilight starts at 2:25 AM. Those long days will give us time to do some painting and lots of clean up/fix up projects.
Scott Lake Lodge is really a small town with a summer population of around sixty. (There are quite a few towns here in Montana with a smaller population.)
Spring Cleaning on Steroids
Getting the entire infrastructure ready is no small job. And unloading and organizing tens of thousands of pounds of fuel and supplies does not happen without some tight organization and a lot of people power. We don’t have a lot of equipment at Scott-just a lot of hard working guides and maintenance staff who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and test their muscles. Watching a guide pick up a 40 HP Yamaha by himself is like watching one of those Ironman TV shows-don’t try it at home. The only lifts at Scott are called arms. But it will all get done. As soon as the spring melt gives us a hole of around 100 yards by the front docks, the Twin Otter and our dependable Beaver will start the hauling. Those birds will make the trip dozens of times before June 10th. It’s an exciting time for staff and an exciting time for our 2012 guests who know that anticipation is a big part of any expedition.
We Need Your Pre-Trip Info
If you haven’t already done so, please submit your travel information to us online via our Pre-Trip Questionnaire. This information is critical to our logistical planning. It enables us to meet your flight in Saskatoon and provide transfers to our Lodge charter flight.
If you are heading to Scott this summer do not forget to visit the Travel Info page of our website. It provides all of the pertinent information you need to know before heading north. It has the most recent travel related updates, a packing list, phone numbers and links to our comprehensive trip guide, The Adventure Kit.
This year in keeping with our eco-philosophy we have not distributed paper copies of the Questionnaire or Kit. However if you do not have online access or experience any difficulties in downloading the forms, don’t hesitate to call our Guest Services office in Rhinelander: 1-888-830-9525. They will be happy to fax or mail you a copy, or simply take the info over the phone.
A Little Practice
The Scott crew is doing a lot of preparation. Our 2012 guests and anyone else going on a destination fishing trip should consider some as well. It’s the right time of year to get out on the lawn and make a few (hundred) casts, especially if you are a fly caster. Accurate casting does not happen by accident. With the clear water of Scott sight fishing for pike (and sometimes for lake trout) is simply the way we fish. Being able to put a cast in exactly the right spot will not just produce more hits it will also provide the satisfaction of knowing you earned that fish.
It wouldn’t hurt to sharpen some hooks, and if you are bringing your own gear, put on some new line and add a coat of line dressing to your fly line. Dig out your tackle box and take inventory. At Scott we have a solid selection of lures but it is always fun to go to the tackle shop to talk fishing. Anticipation is a big part of your fishing adventure. Enjoy it.
Still Time to Book a Trip
If you don’t have your Scott Lake Adventure locked in yet there is still time, but not much. A month ago we still had some spots in the Parent/Child August 4-9 trip but that week is now full. There are scattered spots around the calendar. Give Jon Wimpney a call at 306/520-4007 if you have the urge to head way north this summer. We have had a few cancellations and there are some deals to be had… four spots for June 30-July 5; four spots for July 5 to July 10 and eight spots for July 20-25. Give Jon a call and see if you can grab one of those.
SPRING INTO ACTION
March is upon us and spring is just around the corner. If your thoughts are turning towards summer and a fishing trip don’t think too long – book now! Scott Lake Lodge has had several consecutive, viagra sale prescription fully booked seasons and with the recent surge in sales we don’t expect it to be any different this year. If you have dates in mind, best viagra call our sales manager Jon Wimpney direct at 306-520-4007 to ensure availability for 2012. If you want dates in June or July call today. There are just a few left.
As the US economy has rebounded, Scott Lake Lodge has extended its season right back to the pre-Great Recession days. We are open for anglers for eighty-five days in 2012, a big jump from the shortened seasons of the past two years. We are fishing right into September with the last trip running from August 29 to September 3rd. That’s not late summer on the 60th parallel-it’s fall, complete with color change, cool nights and aggressive fish with an attitude.
So grab your calendar, check out the Trip Schedule on our website and give Jon a call or email today. Then start counting down the days until your fishing dreams become reality!
SPECIAL OFFER: PARENT CHILD WEEK 2012
After a well received and successful 2011 parent/child week, Scott Lake is offering another special week in 2012. The parent or grandparent pays full price and the child comes at 25% off. This deal is offered only for the week of August 4th to the 9th. It will save you almost $1300.00 for a unique bonding experience. And there are no restrictions on the age of the anglers. We would love to see some 60 year old “kids” jump on this deal. Or the kid can do the trip for their parent. Contact our sales manager Jon “J5” Wimpney direct at 306-520-4007 or call the Rhinelander guest services office at 888-830-9525 to book this offer soon. We still have room for a dozen anglers.
2012 ADVENTURE KIT ONLINE
Our official “everything you ever needed to know and then some” trip guide, The Adventure Kit, is now online. The Kit is a comprehensive guide to packing, planning, and enjoying every minute of your Scott Lake trip.
This year in an effort to reduce paper consumption, we will not be mailing Adventure Kits or Pre-Trip Questionnaires to guests unless you call our Rhinelander office (888-830-9525) and request a copy. Rather guests can use our online form to communicate their Saskatoon itinerary, fishing license info and fishing preferences to our staff. This system will allow us instant access to the information from anywhere and ensure that no detail is overlooked. Visit our Travel Info page for all of the links and most up to date information.
You can also read online or download the 2012 Adventure Kit as a PDF document. It contains packing lists, check lists, phone lists, Customs information, fishing and tackle details, even the most up to date info about our flyout lakes. Don’t head north without checking it out. It is a good read and will get you prepped and pumped for your trip.
SANDMAN INN, SASKATOON
We are pleased to announce that Scott Lake guests will again be staying at the Sandman Inn on the southbound leg of their trip to the Lodge for the 2012 season. It has been a favorite haunt for many Scott customers throughout the years. (We think the adjacent Shark Club is part of the reason.)
As part of your package, the cost of your overnight stay in Saskatoon on the way home from the Lodge is included. If any of our guests opt to arrive a day early (prior to their Lodge charter flight), we have negotiated a special rate with the Sandman. Our Rhinelander office will be pleased to make your reservation and guarantee that special rate. Talk to Shirley or Michelle at 888/830-9525. (For Canadian customers call 715/362-7031.) If you chose to stay at an alternative hotel in Saskatoon prior to your trip, please do let us know so that we may coordinate with you to reach our charter terminal on time for our 3:30pm departure to the Lodge.