The Gang is All Here
Well, most of the gang is here. Thanks to an early ice out we were able to start bringing in our staff on May 29th.. That’s the earliest date for floatplane landings over the past twenty years at least. We had a group of four, led by senior guide Paul Hamilton, on the island for nearly a month prior to the first splashdown. They came in on a chopper to get a head start on a long checklist of spring work. Now we are a dozen strong with more arrivals every day until the full crew of thirty is assembled just before our June 10 opener. The pre-season is always an exciting time. There is a lot of activity on the island and in the air. Our Otter and Beaver floatplanes are running almost non-stop trips to bring in the needed supplies for the season and set up the 20 fly out lakes scattered over nine million acres of the Northwest Territories. And there are other birds in the air – geese, loons, terns and lots of migrating songbirds, many heading much farther north. It’s a great time to enjoy the quiet of the lake before the guide team gets their boats in the water.
There has been a lot of hard work put in already. The biggest item on the list this spring was a major landscape improvement project. All the logs edging our woodchip trails have been replaced with beautifully stained logs. The logs came from a burn area so you might say that they were kiln dried. Unlike the fresh cut logs we have been using for years these will resist rotting for many years. But it’s a major job. After hauling the logs to the island, the guys need to strip off the bark, pressure wash and then stain each log. Not a small task. About two hundred were prepared and put down to make our walkways more than just a mode of conveyance – they are a thing of beauty. Of course we also need tons of woodchips. More trips to distant shores to cut standing dead trees.
The crew has been busy.
As if we needed more to do, the ice decided that we needed to rebuild one of our docks, the north dock where our Beaver is parked during the season. When wind and ice conspire, wood and rock are no match. A team of four will spend at least two full days getting the dock back to a functional status. There has been inside work too. Customers will be pleased to see a new bar and some additional dinner seating in the main lodge. Several cabins have been stained. Getting around to the twenty log-sided buildings takes both time and some cooperation by the weather.
Completing special projects is challenging when there are lots of important “regular jobs” to do: cleaning the cabins; getting the water and power running smoothly; putting fifteen guide boats in the water and servicing the outboards; rigging 168 rods/reels (each guide has twelve outfits to cover all the fishing situations at Scott); unloading load after load of freight from our planes, and doing all the little things that make Scott Lake Lodge a unique fly in destination. But everything is getting done. In just three more days the place will be ready for prime time and the first group of customers. We thank all our 2016 guests for making this wonderful summer in the wilderness possible for our staff who would rather be here than anywhere else in the world. It’s a special place.
New Chef in Town
Scott Lake Lodge has been blessed with some fine chefs over our twenty year run. After nine years of providing excellent dining experiences (both as sous chef and executive chef), Jeff Walker decided it was time to do some traveling and explore new horizons.
We know we have another winner with Jeremy Hobson, who greeted arriving staff on Friday evening with a magnificent prime rib dinner, (there will be more for guests). It was a sign of great dinners ahead. Jeremy has traveled and cooked widely around Canada, spending six years as Banquet Chef and Executive Chef at the Waskesiu Lake Lodge and Convention Center near the Prince Albert National Park and working some very high end catering jobs. He has personally cooked for some very internationally well known touring musicians such as the Red Hot Chill Peppers, the Foo Fighters and Neil Young. His most prestigious assignment though was cooking for Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister, and Francois Hollande, the French President. So he will not be intimidated cooking for our world class anglers. Rest assured, you will enjoy his culinary talents. His approach to his assignment at Scott Lake Lodge: “I see every day as a blank slate on which I create something new and exciting that will leave guests talking for days to come.” Not a bad attitude. Come on up and experience Jeremy’s creative expressions for yourself.
Not Too Late
We are ever so close to a complete sell out of the season. There are only six empty cabins left! Be one of the dozen to make 2016 your most memorable summer ever. Our Sales Manager is taking emails in between fighting with the damaged dock. And he has an incentive to fill that last spot.
Contact Jon at email@example.com
and do it fast. He will be even faster getting back to you (he carries his smartphone around the island.) Our satellites are up and the wi-fi is running well. But when you do start packing for your trip to Scot,t try leaving your devices at home. This is a place to unwind and disconnect. And catch a lot of fish!
P.S. No fishing reports yet. Everyone is working.
It’s now less than two months from the start of the 2016 season at Scott Lake. Along with the entire Scott Lake Lodge gang (30 strong), I am getting extremely excited. A winter’s worth of work behind the scenes is now coming together: aircraft contracts are secured; staff has been hired and trained; hooks are sharpened (that’s an important ritual for all anglers, including our guides), and tons of fuel, food and supplies have been ordered and staged for shipment to the lodge. Now mother nature needs to hold up her end of the bargain with a normal ice out and we will be all set to welcome the first group of 2016’s guests on a sunny (hopefully) June 10th evening. The ice situation is looking good right now. It was a relatively mild winter with ice depth at our last lodge visit about a month ago of “only” 40″. That’s right–that is a lot less ice than most winters. We should be fine with our June 10 opening date. There have been a lot of very mild days in Stony Rapids recently.
Speaking of staff, you will be happy to know we have a lot of the same faces on the island to greet you, including the entire 2015 guide staff. There are a few new folks we’ve added to the fold as well. Stay tuned and we will introduce them to you in the next few weeks. Needless to say we are very excited about the team we have put together and think you will be too.
We are excited about this! Like can’t sleep at night thinking about it excited. After some lengthy discussions and consultation with the Northwest Territories government, we have secured fishing access to four very large new lakes. This brings the swath of Canada’s north for which we have exclusive fishing rights up to nearly nine million acres. Nine million! That’s a bigger area than nine of the US states. Our plan early this season as always will be to focus on Scott Lake and our established network of sixteen fly out lakes. As soon as these are set up and running, we will be exploring, mapping, and moving boats into the new lakes. The 2016 season will be one of exploration of these new waters with limited client fishing. Given that these lakes are much further north than our existing fly out lakes, we are expecting ice out to be late June or even early July.
Did I mention that to our knowledge two of the four lake have never been fished in modern times and never with an outfitter? Want to be on the front end of the exploration of these untouched subarctic lakes? You have to get up to Scott! Securing these new lakes is part of Scott Lake Lodge’s management plan to rotate lakes and keep pressure spread out and low on all our fly out lakes. We are committed to making our fishing experience better every year.
Without further ado the newest additions to the Scott Lake Lodge exceptional flyout destinations are: Wholadia Lake, Flett Lake, Firedrake Lake and Rennie Lake. Have a look online at a NWT map and start drooling. Our sales guy Jon “J5” Wimpney will be ready to take your call. He has the cure.
Now that the news is out about the new waters, (not to mention many new boats and motors on Scott and other fly out lakes) it’s time to talk to Jon to make sure you don’t miss out the exciting 2016 season. There are a few spots scattered throughout the season still available, but not many. We are 95% full! Don’t delay. If you are thinking about it, stop thinking and grab your phone. Just book it! There’s a giant fish up there with your name on it. Do you want someone else to hook it? Contact Jon at 306-209-7150
See you all up there!
The crew were welcomed by warm weather…temperatures up into the 40’s were settling the snow and starting to give things a spring-like feel. Paul, Georgie and Aaron (Paul’s brother) went north to move some material, check out the snow vs. roof interaction and try their luck on a few lake trout.
The report is as follows: no snowmobile traffic apparent on the lake, also no caribou tracks (perhaps a correlation!) 2.5′ of snow on the level. 36-40″ of ice on the lake around the lodge. Lake trout proving adept at avoiding the frying pan.
Have a look at these photos, what a beautiful place to visit in the winter. That said its even better in the summer. Haven’t locked in your spot?? There’s still hope! Get in touch with J5 our sales guy and make sure you don’t miss out on 2016! firstname.lastname@example.org
From mid September the 13 acre island that houses Scott Lake Lodge is a pretty quiet place, the silence only broken by the coming and goings of the few hardy creatures that spend their winters in Canada’s northern boreal forest, and perhaps the odd trapper’s snowmobile passing by. An island that sees impressive amounts of activity in a short period in the summer gets a long rest for most of the winter; most being the operative term here. Having a fly in fishing lodge located on the border of Saskatchewan and the Northwest territories presents a number of challenges in getting people, groceries, fuel and materials to the site. When that fly in fishing lodge happens to be one of the few left in Canada on a lake with no winter road access or runway, there are a few more considerations when getting ready for the new season. For this reason the winter trip to Scott Lake by a few folks is an important part of the system that allows us to provide our guests with a first rate fishing trip. Our motto for many years has been, constant, incremental improvement of all facets of the Scott Lake experience. For this reason each spring and fall sees new construction projects to repair, replace or build new the infrastructure that we use to host guests, now in the 20th season of operation under the current ownership. Taking into account the ice breakup period in May and early June where nothing can access the island but helicopter, all new material for spring work needs to be in place in winter when the twin otter can land on skies on the hard water out front of the lodge.
It’s an exciting trip up to Scott Lake in the winter, even early (early) spring, the long milk-run flight stopping at all points from Saskatoon to Stony Rapids, some frenzied running around in Stony securing the last few items needed for the trip and a ski plane flight into the lodge…all in the shortened daylight hours of the North at this time of year. Getting off the plane one never knows what will be found, memories of a squatting bear still fresh in the mind. Now comes a whirlwind of activity that the crew seems to fall into with no planning. The plane is unloaded and a weeks worth of food, gear, beer, snowshoes and fuel to keep things running. Shovels are donned and the process of digging into cabins and the solar room are early priorities. Start a fire, get power going, kick out any unwanted bears, dig out the snow machine (hope it starts) and toboggan, haul gear, start the ice auger and bore a water hole trough almost 4’ of ice, pour a cocktail, check Facebook. After the initial flurry the crew falls into a few days of dawn to dusk work, moving a few lifts of lumber that the ski plane drops off, cutting dead trees fro firewood and for wood chips come spring. It’s a busy time but always a fun time with a portion of each day set aside to check on Scott Lake’s populations of northern pike and lake trout, we want to ensure there are still a few big ones around.
A week seems to fly by in no time at all and then there is a hurried boarding of doors and piling into the plane always thinking there is no way we are going to make the flight south from Stony Rapids in time. What do we have in store? Well, we aren’t going to let on just what improvements are on the docket for his winter and spring, you will have to come see for your self!
Book now or forever lose your spot for 2016
We are very proud to announce that Scott Lake Lodge is over 85% booked for the 2016 season, this is no small feat and we must thank the continued support of you our customers for your business and loyalty to the place. Sales manager Jon “J5” Wimpney has again done an exceptional job matching people with dates to make sure no one misses out on their fishing trip this year. He is doing such a good job filling spots we thought it was only fair to warn you. Book now to make sure you have a place in the boat for the 2016 season! As we mentioned above there are good things brewing and we want to show you what we’ve been up to.