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
Return of the Trout: Week 11 Report

Return of the Trout: Week 11 Report



In last week’s highlights we gave the abundant lake trout of Scott Lake and our many fly out lakes a clear ultimatum: they had just a few more days to figure out where they should be! Apparently, they listened. While only sixteen trophy lake trout were caught in the prior fifteen days, our Week 11 anglers in just five days slid an impressive 23 trophy trout into their guide’s waiting net. These were not a bunch of barely over the line trout either. Nearly all were in the high 30” zone and many were monster trout; there were ten that broke the 40-inch supersized mark. Incredibly five of those 40s were landed by one angler on one day. That lucky and quite skillful angler was Rod Pace. He totaled seven trophy trout that day, his biggest a whopping 44.5” with two 42s, a 41, a 40, a 38.5 and a 36 backing it up. Now that’s a day of lake trout fishing. His son, Austin, added three more for a boat total that hit double digits. That is a day the Pace team and their guide will remember for the rest of their lives. Another big trout that the angler will not soon forget was on the end of the line of Kim Brown. On the last day of her trip, she tied into a brute of a 42-incher that put a 100+Club jacket in her future. She ended up with a very impressive 106 inches with that trout, a 45” pike and a 19” grayling. The big trout parade wasn’t over: Ron Spork got a pair of 41-inchers; Win Scott laned a 41.5- and a 40-incher. Dana Albright almost hit the 40-inch mark but was very happy with her 39.5” beauty. So, from typically being buried in the last paragraph of our reports, lake trout made the headlines for Week 11. Lake Trout season at Scott is late but officially ON.

Terrific Trophy Pike Fishing

There were some big fish besides trout. Pike trophies did outnumber trout trophies by over two to one, but the lakers were more impressive. Down from the prior week, pike trophies still were in the bragging range at 73, so big pike weren’t exactly sleeping, especially the big ones: we had eleven pike over 44 inches. Ron Spork got a pair of 44s while Austin Pace, Rod Pace, Win Scott, Aris Moulopoulos, Levi Rosenberg, Lonnie Thompson and Eric Davis all got 44-inch northern pike. At one more inch, we term our pike supersized and we had a few of those. Aris Moulopoulos landed a pair of 45s; the father/son team of Todd and Levi Rosenberg got theirs on the same day, and Kim Brown brought a 45 to the boat. It was by many anglers’ accounts a sensational week for those “almost” trophy sized, the 38s and 39s that typically are the hardest fighting fish in the lake. Let’s just say it was a terrific week for both lake trout and pike.

Arctic Grayling Trophies

We can’t forget Arctic Grayling either. They had their moment in the sun with 24 trophies, five in the supersized category of 18” or better. Dana Albright pulled a pair out of the rapids, a 19 and a 19.5”, tied for the biggest of the season. Bill Russell and Kim Brown landed 19s. Scott Sheldon caught an 18. Now that’s enough big grayling to produce some hats and jackets. Indeed, Trophy Triple hats were earned by Todd Rosenberg, Dana Albright, Win Scott and Kim Brown. In addition to Kim, Dana Albright and Win Scott entered the celebrated 100+Club where the total inches of all three of our trophy species hits or exceeds 100”, not an easy feat. Congrats to them and to all the Week 11 guests for hitting the trophy FUN mark. Everyone had a great time, as reflected in the bar tabs for the week. The abundant sunshine certainly had something to do with it. After many less than sunny weeks, we had four and a half days of glorious sun and pleasant breezes—just a perfect week to be in the far north.