Here comes the sun: The Week 18 Update

Here comes the sun: The Week 18 Update



What a difference a day makes. Our intrepid anglers for Week 18 arrived on a weather-delayed changeover to find cloudy and windy conditions. After settling in everyone, of course, hit the water for a half day and they did OK. Taylor Abernathy, our 90-years-young guest, did some nice moves in the boat to get the biggest fish of the day—a beautiful 45-incher. But it looked a lot like the previous week when the sun graced the waters for just two hours. However, the next morning dawned bright and clear. That two-hour sunshine mark was eclipsed before the first boat or plane left our docks. What followed was four days of almost continuous sunshine; only the final afternoon got partly cloudy.

Great Pike Fishing

The fish followed the time-tested script: sun equals great pike fishing. After a week of resting our savage tundra sharks started hitting anything that moved. There were some fantastic days. Rebecca and Mark Graf had a five trophy day; Gerald Tiefenbach and Paul Croegaert combined for six trophies; Nancy and Marvin Wehl had their best day ever on the water, landing five trophy pike, including a 44 and a 45, two trophy trout and a big bunch of trophy grayling, the biggest at 19” for Nancy and 18.5” for Marvin; Ron Juergens, who has fished all over Canada, had one of his best pike days, teaming up with Joel Snyder for six big pike and a bunch of almost trophy-sized. But the best “big day” story belongs to the father/son team of Mike and Adam Strobel. On the second day at Scott, they had a great day, getting five trophy pike but Adam got four of them. There might have been a little trash talking there. On the third day, dad showed he still had the good stuff: he let Adam take the pictures while he put seven trophy pike in the guide’s net with one a fat 45”. Father knows best.
There was no shortage of big pike. In addition to all those mentioned above, there were a bunch of 44s caught—Eric Klein, Mark Graf, Paul Larusso, Jim Kusar and Peggy Light hit that mark on the tape. Joel Snyder, Mark Graf, Trent Kusar, and Jeff Berg put the tape one inch longer with 45s. That’s a lot of big fish. And we’re not done. What’s a fishing update without mentioning the Lake Trout?

Trout On the Move

While the trout are now moving up the water column in a pre-spawning move, the big ones are still deep. Liz and Ed Snyder, with a little help from their guide, found them. They had an epic day. There is no other word. They landed ten trophy lake trout, great but not a headline. six of them were over 40 inches long—that’s a headline. Liz got the biggest at 44 inches, one of the biggest of the season. The picture tells the story. Gerald Tiefenback landed a 38” and Paul Croegaert got a 39” lakers. Lots of smaller trout were taken while anglers were casting for pike. In just a few days the first waves of lake trout will be on the spawning reefs, visible in only two to five feet of water. Add some great grayling fishing and you end up with a great week on the water and two new members of the 100+Club–Marvin and Nancy Wehl who did it all this week.

Everything Swimming and Dancing

Fish weren’t the only critters swimming in the water. It was an unusual wildlife week with some rare sightings. How many people have seen a porcupine swimming? Jeff Berg and Peggy Light have now. We also had guests who watched swimming otters, a muskrat (quite rare in these parts), mink, pine martin and black bear. But it was a black bear on terra firma who was the big show. We had on Gardiner Lake a spectacular blonde black bear (yes black bears vary in pelage color) that did a dance right in front of Mark and Rebecca Graf and their guide Greg Hamm, who came by boat answering a distressed radio call from our Beaver pilot, Evan Barlow. Evan had been chased (in a non-threatening way, if that is possible) around his plane before he could jump in. Then the bear grabbed a coil of rope, rubbed his back against a tree and did these amazing dance moves. This was a very big bear. The video is priceless. Nothing could top that bear dance, not even the great northern lights, the Tundra Trail hike or the two evening bonfires. It was the kind of week everyone dreams about for their fishing vacation. And that’s what we do best up here: make fishing dreams come true.

Foggy Notions: The Week 17 Update

Foggy Notions: The Week 17 Update

Week 17 Fishing Update

We Had Anglers

In the 27 years of operations at Scott Lake Lodge, there have been some with lousy weather, but no week in our history compared to what our week 17 guests encountered. There was wind, big waves, rain, clouds and exactly two hours of sunshine (around noon on the third day). Oh, and there was morning fog on four of the five days that precluded any fly outs. Yet, our intrepid group kept a positive attitude and most fished through most of the challenging weather. They apparently believed in the wonderful quote from 60s era songwriter and cultural provocateur Tom Leher: “Bad weather always looks worse from the window”. We didn’t have window watchers. We had anglers.

Pike Love the Sunshine

We would love the happy ending here where we could say that they had the best fishing of the season, but there is no such ending when there is no sunshine. Pike and sunshine go together like ham and cheese. Sadly, the pike fishing was slow. In cold and cloudy conditions pike typically go on a hunger strike not a Mepps spinner strike. There were some notable exceptions. Steve Martin found a willing 44.5” pike and his son Justin landed a 45.5”. On the one flyout day Paul Box got four trophy pike topped by a girthy 45-incher; Susan Saraka had her best day ever bringing seven trophy pike to her guide’s waiting net, and on the last day Scott Lake offered up a fall fat 47-incher to Carl Sparks and he made sure that fish got in the net. There were some solid trout fishing days in the rain and gloom—lake trout are deep and don’t need that shot of sun to keep them active. Dick Smith bagged a 36” and 39” lake trout. Marvin and Nancy Wehl had a great day fishing trout landing six trophy trout, the biggest a very nice 39.5” fish.

The Resort was More Than Fishing

As our guest discovered this is a fishing resort. There are many diversions other than fishing. The Finnish wood-fired sauna got a real workout with some guests even doing the post-sauna plunge into 60-degree water. The hot tub was in use every day to warm up after a cool day on the water. There were card games, loon watching and even some musk ox watching on the north end of Scott. And a two-hour hike by nearly a dozen guests on the nearby Tundra Trail. There was more time to enjoy the workout room and the two bars on the island. The diner hour became more like a two-and-a-half-hour affair and the dinners were magnificent. The canoes, kayaks and paddleboards though stayed on their rack this week.

Bad Weather, Still Had Fun

The group did get a bonus of sorts. For only the third time in 378 changeovers, the charter flight was delayed to the floatplane flying conditions: they got a bonus extra night at the lodge and had a farewell dinner of slow-cooked prime rib and an evening of free drinks. Our patient and relaxed group did what everyone does on their vacation: they had a great time. And many rebooked for the same week in 2023. They all proved that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. We made sure everyone had good gear and stayed safe and warm. And we proved that even in the worst of weather Scott Lake is a fun place to be.

Better Late Than Never: The Week 15 Update Arctic Grayling Steal The Show

Better Late Than Never: The Week 15 Update Arctic Grayling Steal The Show



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.

Let the Good Times Roll: Fishing on Fun in Week 16

Let the Good Times Roll: Fishing on Fun in Week 16



Some weeks at Scott Lake Lodge it’s all about the fishing and only the fishing. We’ve had groups who turn in before dark (actually not that early up here) and hound their guides to get out early for long days on the water. They talk fishing constantly and fall asleep thinking about the one that got away. This wasn’t one of those groups. These folks came to have a good time: they certainly accomplished that goal. There was a pleasant buzz around the main lodge every night and there were several very late nights at the bar. One memorable evening witnessed most of the group hanging around the bonfire, watching the northern lights and passing around the guitar, singing duets with the local loons. Those not by the campfire were inside the lodge dancing and pretending it was New Year’s Eve. With three days of fly outs cancelled due to heavy morning fog, there was plenty of time for leisurely shore lunches which were greatly enjoyed by everyone.

A Fishing Vacation

There were nature hikes and evening card games and drinking, plenty of drinking. That’s what a fishing vacation is all about: simply having a good time. Fishing yes but fun first.

Lake Trout Trophies

Of course, good times up here mean fishing as well. Even without many fly outs, there were a lot of big fish caught. The trophy count was just over a hundred, not bad for a bunch of party animals. The group from Wisconsin was all business went it came to lake trout. On an amazing day six that group landed sixteen trophy trout. Joanie and Scott Peterson got half a dozen; Bob Chadwell got six by himself including a 40,42 and 44” monster; Larry and Shanna Bohac only got four that day, but Larry got a 40-incher and Shanna won an epic battle with our biggest trout of the season, a whopping 46-incher with a massive girth, so heavy the guide begged them to take the picture quickly. While they didn’t score any trophies at the outflow of Kimiwan Lake, Mike Diaz and Jeff Woods really got into nice lake trout on flies. Throwing streamers into fast water they hooked and landed 32 fat lakers, all bigger than the biggest trout caught anywhere in Montana or Wyoming.

Great Graylings

Grayling fishing was on the mind of several anglers. This is the time of year when the rivers at their lowest levels making wading our rivers easier, and when grayling are primed for taking dry flies. Wading in a wilderness river with no company but your fishing companions, your guide and maybe a musk ox is heaven for many of our guests. (Speaking of musk ox, we had several sightings this week but one of them was south of our lodge, the furthest south we have ever seen one of these prehistoric beasts.) When we could fly, grayling were often the target. Joanie and Scott Peterson got a bunch with a fat 18” as their biggest. Peter Santry, Charlie King, Chris Maybury and Marty Cannon attacked a river with vengeance, all getting numerous big grayling in the 18”+ range. Jeff Woods and Mike Diaz also put 18s into their guides nets.

… And Pike are Still Big

Pike fishing for this group was good but not great. We didn’t have the sunshine we like to keep pike actively feeding. While there were plenty of trophy pike landed, we didn’t get as many of the giants as we do in a typical week. Scott Peterson and Dave Ellis landed 44-inchers. Dave Tenney had the best big pike day getting a 44 and a 46.5” beauty.

Ending With an Ovation

Did this group have a great time? The evidence was clear. After the final night’s awards ceremony and fish du jour pictures, the group gave a rousing standing ovation for our staff who have now worked for 80 consecutive days without showing even a hint of fatigue. Their efforts to make these fishing trips enjoyable were deeply appreciated by this wonderful group of anglers. Not the most or the biggest fish were caught this week, but enduring memories were formed as well as many new friendships. Not bad for a foggy week.

Sun, Fun and Lots of Fish – Week 14 Update

Sun, Fun and Lots of Fish – Week 14 Update



Some weeks at Scott Lake Lodge it just all comes together. In this space we attempt to celebrate the time our guests spend at the lodge, but we also try to tell it straight. The straight dope: it’s been the absolute worst weather year here in our 27 seasons. Lots of rain, clouds, and cool or cold north winds. Then finally in mid-August the sun comes out for five straight days (just a few storm cells—one big one—mixed in) and the Scott Lake world becomes a fishing paradise. So, lots of sun with several totally cloudless days mixed with lots of fun. Jamie and Kevin Hassett witnessed three wolverines swimming across a lake and saw a herd of muskox. Yes, that’s fun and rare. There were many guests enjoying the hot tub, sauna, a bonfire, northern lights viewing, cornhole tournaments (heavy action from the Bill Rau group), a scenic trip to spectacular Lefty Falls by the Warner group and traditions continued by many including Joel Tune and Dick Emens who have fished together at Scott for nearly two decades. We had father/sons and father/daughters and tight family groups. It was the right group at the right time: the week we had been waiting for, the lots of fish week!

Record Breaking Number of Trophy Fish

And fish? Yes, lots of fish. There was a record season total of 166 trophies landed, nicely mixed between pike, arctic grayling and lake trout. And many whoppers—fish of angler’s dreams. Six anglers entered the 100+Club, another season record: Dick Emens, Joel Tune, Bill Rau, Kevin and Jamie Hassett and Cooper Allen. Cooper’s dad, Graham, didn’t quite make the club but did get the Trophy Triple hat and he could not have been happier about that outcome. So many big fish!

Lots of Big Pike

First all the pike. Marcia Hunt whose last trip was twenty years ago got a pair of 44” pike while dad, Don Hunt, landed a 45. Richard Emens had an incredible pike trip with three 44s and three 45s. Tim Fierbaugh, Johnny Powers, Joel Tune and John Bennett all pulled 44s to the guide’s waiting net. Jamie Hasset, Bill Rau got 45s and Dave Anderson got a pair of 45s, our pike supersized standard—one was an absolute pig of a pike. Tim Fierbaugh had the top pike of the week at 46 inches.

Lots of Big Lake Trout

Then the big trout bonanza—the best crop of the season. A lake trout is one of the strongest freshwater fish. A 40” lake trout is a freight train. We had plenty of those this week. Bill Rau, Jamie Hassett and Kevin Hassett brought in 40s. Kevin added a 42. Chris Fierbaugh got a 41.5” and Tim Fierbaugh got a 41 and a 42.5-inch laker. On the last day Cooper Allen scored a fat 43, but the biggest trout of the week was Joel Tune’s 43.5” monster from Smalltree Lake which is a new lake record there.

Lots of Big Arctic Grayling

Fishing buddies Joe Tune and Dick Emens really got into the big grayling. Joel got 18 and two 19.5-inch beauties. Dick used his fly rod to get our first 20-incher of the season and added an 18 and three 19s.
When the sun hits the water of Scott Lake and our 24 flyout destinations wonderful things happen to the fish and the anglers. It was just a great week. Thanks to all our guests who enjoyed the sun, fun and fish.

The First of Many – Week 13 Update

The First of Many – Week 13 Update


REMEMBER WHEN (Fishing Memories)

Most anglers remember, even if it’s vaguely, their first fish or their first fishing trip. For nearly all that first fish would have been a six-inch bluegill, crappie or maybe a twelve-inch black bass. Lachlan Williamson has a different story. The fourteen-year-old had his first fishing trip with his dad, granddad, and other family members. So far that’s typical. What’s not typical is on your first ever day of fishing catching, not one, but five northern pike over 40 inches long, the biggest at 43”. The first came on his second or third cast of his first day of fishing…ever! Just where do you go from there? Well, you might add two days later three more trophy pike with a fat 45 at the top of the list. The next day you get a 37” trout and on your final day of your first fishing trip you fly to a pristine river that a handful of anglers have ever seen and get a bunch of big grayling. The biggest is eighteen inches long and put you in the Scott Lake Lodge 100+Club, something usually reserved for older, more experienced anglers. But that’s exactly what Lachlan did. Where do you fish after an experience like that? Back next year to Scott Lake Lodge of course. On the other end of the experience spectrum, Gus Ruetenik, our eldest angler, at 98 years has caught and released many trophy pike at Scott Lake, his last day 43″ being the latest.

Hundreds of Fishing Memories

Lachlan wasn’t alone in making memories. His dad, Bill Williamson, also entered the 100+Club, catching a 46” pike and a 41” lake trout on his way to the Club. Karen Flynn got her Trophy Triple hat with a monster 41” trout as part of her catch of all three Scott Lake Lodge trophies. The group had as most groups have some sunny days and some cloudy days, but the fish were there with just over 100 trophies bagged. Big fish were all over the board: 45” pike were taken by Ketta Robertson, Matt Thomas, Jason Loughran; 46s by Bill Williamson, Jim Williamson, Leland Williamson and Eli Coleman; 47.5” pike by Leland Williamson (same day as his 46) and Jim Flynn who had two other trophies on that memorable day. Like the previous week we’re seeing a lot of big pike and lake trout. It’s been the pattern here for decades: early season has huge numbers of fish, but the late season produces the huge fish.

Another pattern is clear. People have fun at Scott Lake Lodge. This week had some fascinating highlights (yes a pun). The northern lights showed up and on an entrancing final evening most of our guests sat around a big bonfire by the main lodge and watched the supermoon rise while northern lights danced. That’s the way to close a wonderful fishing trip. All part of August at Scott Lake Lodge.

August 9