THE ATTACK OF THE GIANT TROUT
Some groups this season have enjoyed blue skies, warm breezes and gentle, lapping waves. This group wasn’t one of them. There were a few decent days but we had a couple that were total wash outs with fierce north winds. Generally, the sun was MIA. Fortunately, we had on the island a bunch of hardy Midwesterners who are used to tough weather and proud to handle it. We had groups from Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota and Oklahoma who just rolled with the weather punches and coped well. And even a few (but not all) of the Texans here this week kept going out in the worst of it.
But the last two days were tough duty. Our trophy count showed it. Over the first three days with OK weather our anglers tallied 78 trophy fish (a very nice average), but the last two coughed up only 9. Without any sunshine to get the big pike moving, the onslaught of huge pike that started a couple of weeks ago slowed down. There were 45 inchers landed by Paula Lee and our Chef Ross Kennedy and a couple of 46ers taken by Peter Myhre and Eric Carter, but none of the 47s, 48s or 49s showed up this time. Paula and Todd Lee gave the pike trophy totals a big boost when they teamed up for 10 trophies on a damp but productive day. Grayling were part of the news this week. At a premier new grayling destination, Ken Wollin used his light fly rod to battle some grayling with the build of a walleye, getting a season’s high 20 incher along with two 18s and a 19. Ross Kennedy paired his nice pike with a 19.5” grayling. In the fast water of grayling rivers, these smallest of our gamefish show a lot of game.
What made the week sing for many of our guests though were lake trout—big lake trout. It was by far the best trout week of the season. There were some giants, none bigger than a very fat 44 incher landed, after an extended fight, by Jacob Kippenhan not far from the lodge. The Keppenhan clan (six strong) had a memorable day on a fly out lake. (Remember a trophy trout is 35 inches.) They got plenty of those but specialized in the “super-sized” (40 inches or better) variety. Nick and Tim almost made that threshold with 39.5” lakers, but Greg and Mike made the cut with 40.5” beauties. Noah blew right though the 40”mark, getting a 43” monster along with two 40s. The Newland’s got into big trout as well. On her first day at Scott, April Newland landed a 42” laker and husband Bryon got a 40 and a 42.5 incher, all within sight of the lodge. Bryon got another 42.5” trout on a fly out. Bill Hallinan had a big day with lakers too, landing a 42” and a 43” giant. That’s a lot of giant trout for a five-day period. Seeing those big fish come up to the surface in these clear northern waters is a thrill an angler will never forget. With cooling surface temperatures, the smaller lake trout are moving up now. Many were caught while anglers were casting for pike.
They didn’t get a monster trout this trip, but Jon Wheat and Eric Jahde had a monster wildlife sighting. Seeing a wolf is a treat anywhere, but seeing a white wolf is a lifetime memory. They didn’t have time for pictures but the picture of an elusive animal like that will burn in their minds for a long time. As we get into the second half of August, we get the annual build up of migrating loons that are already heading south from more distant summer homes. Scott Lake is a frequent resting stop on their journey. This week one of our guides saw a group of 19 common loons on the lake. We’re not sure just what our resident loons think of this, but it’s a big lake and there are a lot of lake cisco to feed a big crowd.
Our own crowd was well fed too with some delectable dinners. No one plans on losing any weight on their Scott Lake vacation and probably no one did.