Summertime Fishing Still: The 15th Week Update

Summertime Fishing Still: The 15th Week Update


Even though the calendar and yellow leaves on the birch trees give away the inevitable change into fall, summer is hanging on with everything it’s got. This late season it has stayed in the full summertime fishing mode with warm nights and very pleasant days. There have been a few windy days, but with the warm temperatures it just hasn’t been a big deal. The lake temperature is hovering around the 60-degree mark, only a couple of degrees cooler than the mid-summer temperature. A week earlier it looked like fall was creeping up on us, but this week we were still in summer mode and, it was wonderful. With no morning fog the fly outs were humming along like clockwork every day, and guests were eager to get into the boats for their day on Scott. Since our fishing territory covers roughly 9 million acres, we do get a variety of weather on any given fishing day. For the most part though, the rain gear stayed in the bottom of the waterproof bags each guest takes with them. With some northern lights, lots of bear and moose sightings and evening campfires as a bonus, it was simply a great week at Scott Lake Lodge.

Oh, yes and there were a few fish caught. Many hundreds if not a few thousand, but to be exact 150 of those fish hit our benchmarks as trophy fish (pike of 40”, lake trout of 35”, arctic grayling of 15”). That’s an impressive number but the size of many of those trophies was even more impressive. We had seven pike over our Supersized mark of 45-inches and nine lake trout over our Supersized mark of 40-inches. We have had just an incredible year with huge lakers. This week both Robert Watson and Brad Courvelle landed lake trout of 45-inches, ridiculously large lakers. With that pair of monsters, we are at eight lake trout over 45-inches for the season. To put that in perspective, over the previous ten seasons we had exactly that number–eight. Some years 42s or 43s were our biggest trout. This year trout that size have been routine, especially this week. Brad and his son Adam closed out their trip with three lakers over 40” on their last day, fishing right on Scott Lake, a 40, a 43 and the 45. Paul and Rebecca Sawyer also had a celebratory last day, also fishing Scott. They landed five trophy trout, including a 39 and a 41-incher. The big trout just kept on coming this week. Aubie Cambell and Mike Campbell got 39s; Todd Thorp, Adam Courvelle and Randy Dismuke landed 40s; Randy also got a 41 along with Suzanne Noble and Paul Sawyer; Aubie Campbell stretched a tape to 42-inches and Brad Courvelle put a 43 into his guide’s big net. That’s just an incredible number of big lake trout.

Big pike were also in the picture. Lots of them. There were 84 pike trophies with many over 45”. Mike Cambell, Tonya McGraw, Aubie Campbell and Adam Courvelle landed 45s, but the high drama belonged to Easton Schwalm. How many 13-year-olds can say they landed a 45” northern pike on a fly rod? We suspect not many. That’s one interesting show and tell for his school mates. Roger Evans went one inch better at 46 and Mark Bixler lead the pike parade with a 46.5” beauty. There were some grayling heavyweights as well. Brad Courvelle, Robert Watson and Roger Evans pulled 18-inchers out of the rapids and Suzanne Noble landed a 19. With all those grayling, pike and lake trout there must have been some 100+Club entries. Indeed there were: four anglers were inducted this week—Suzanne Noble, Roger Evans, Randy Dismuke and Robert Watson, a first-time Scott guest (those are rare birds around here) who hit 104 total inches, an impressive number but still way behind the 109 total inches claimed by Conner Patrick earlier in the season. That’s going to be tough to beat.

What can’t be beat is the smiles of our angles as they just enjoy being in a pristine wilderness with all the comforts of home (a lot more really—who has a personal massage therapist and chef or a wood fired sauna, a hot tub and a gym?). They were all sad to leave on a beautiful late afternoon, but many will be back next year and all will be back again. It’s just how it works up here. Summertime fishing at it’s best.

Scott Lake Lodge Living: Week 6 Update

Scott Lake Lodge Living: Week 6 Update



It’s been a month now since the first floatplane landed at our dock on this magical island in the wilderness border country between the endless tundra of the Northwest Territories and the boral forests of northern Saskatchewan. Life has now settled into predictable, satisfying rhythms. The island wakes up around 6:30 AM when breakfast service begins, and the guides start filling their coolers and getting their gear set for the fishing day. Around 7:00 AM the pilots fuel their planes for the first flyouts at 7:30 AM. The breakfast traffic in Laker Lodge is hitting it’s stride around now and the activity across the island is picking up. Between 7:30 AM and 8:30 AM our anglers are stepping into their guide’s boats for a day’s fishing on Scott Lake or it’s two adjacent lakes, Wignes and Premier, or climbing aboard our Beaver and Otter floatplanes for a trip even deeper into the empty lands to the north. Then by 9:00 AM the island rests with all the guests and guides off on their daily adventures. The kitchen, hospitality and maintenance staff members relish the quiet and begin their daily activities keeping the island running perfectly and preparing the rooms and the dinner for the return of the anglers and guides around 6:00 PM. Everyday for 95 consecutive days these patterns unfold with a crescendo of energy and excitement after the evening dining when the trophy announcements detail who caught what where. The showing of all the big fish landed that day on the two TV screens in the dining room puts a capstone on yet another day of life at Scott Lake Lodge.

So, what did our Week 6 guests see on those screens last week? Plenty of big fish for sure. We had a good week but not a great week of fishing. It was week of unstable weather with a bouncing barometer, lots of wind changes, and precious little sunshine. Not the formula for the kind of pike fishing we expect here. It begs the question: How can a fish be some violently voracious sometimes and with some rapid weather changes become a shy little puggy dog hiding in the corner. Forget what a biologist might say. Pike act like emotional, sensitive creatures, reacting petulantly to any change in their environment. They like everything “just right” which means warm, stable and sunny conditions. Things haven’t been just right for a few weeks. Our guides had to dig deep and count on the patience of our anglers. Both did their job.

The trophy count at 99 big fish was lower than many weeks but there were some dandy pike taken. Twenty of those trophies were pike over 44”. Long time guests Peter and Kay Myhre together landed eight of those twenty. And Peter added four more at 45”, a remarkable run of big pike. Lots of our guests get into that class of 44-inchers: Brendan Ysura, Charlie Crawford, Jeff Parts, Nate Valenti, Josh Makal, Tarek Arafat found two 44″ pike on his trip as well. Nate Sonstegard had his personal best pike at 45” only to top it a few minutes later with a 45.5”. Brendan Ysursa hit his personal best with a 46-incher. At the very top of the pike parade this week was Nate Valenti who got a perfectly proportioned 47-incher on the same day he got three other trophy pike. Brian Kozlowski, Justin Philips and Peter Myhre also had four trophy days.

It was a weak week in the lake trout department. This is the transition period from cruising the shallow sandbars to their summer homes in the deep holes (70-150’) on Scott and the flyout lakes. In this in between time it’s tough to target lakers. Only Todd Phillips got a trophy laker this week. Things were quiet on the grayling front as well. Only the New Fly Fisher TV production team went after the arctic sailfish. The show hosts, a father/daughter team of Jeff and Alyx Parks, caught a bunch with an 18-incher their biggest. They also landed on camera some very nice pike including a 44-incher by Jeff. Watch for that show next winter. We will be sending out a reminder when it airs.

The week in summary: not the best week we’ve had, not the worst. We just take what the weather and fishing activity offers and encourage our guests to enjoy every fish, every meal, every shorelunch, every sighting of a loon, osprey or eagle, and every moment in this pristine wilderness. Every week is a good week to be at Scott Lake Lodge. No one gets on the floatplane back to civilization with anything but wonderful memories of an escape into a rhythm of life that only happens in the far north.That’s what lodge living is all about.

It’s Summertime and the Fishing is Easy: The Week 4 Update

It’s Summertime and the Fishing is Easy: The Week 4 Update



The famous “Summertime” George Gershwin song has been sung for eight-five years and has been covered over 25,000 times. It also became the anthem of our Week 5 group. Finally, it was summertime and the living, along with the fishing, was easy. While it was a long and sometimes frustrating wait, summer did arrive here at Scott Lake just a few days after the official start of the season. The trend line was clear: our first group enjoyed good fishing but not a single day of sunshine; the second group had one perfect sunny day with a ton of nice fish; the third pushed it up to two (maybe two-and-a-half). Then on June 25th the sun finally decided that it was time to warm up the northern world. Our fourth crew enjoyed five straight days of blissful sunshine. It was all sandals, shorts, T-shirts, sunblock and smiles. Our guests loved it and so did the fish, the fishing is easy in the right conditions. Our pike and grayling, our two sun-loving species, turned on big time. We had 195 trophy fish landed in just five days with 51 on the first day of fishing. And when guests weren’t catching big fish, they were catching lots and lots of smaller fish. The fishing was easy, and that’s just the way we like it.

Leading the big fish parade was 9-year-old Coyen Kristo. On his first major league fishing adventure he landed 17 trophy fish! On a single day, with six pike trophies, he brought 211.5 inches of pike to the boat, nearly four times his height of 56 inches. His biggest was 46” backed up by pike of 44 and 45. It sounds like a tall tale but it’s all true. With some big grayling and lake trout, Coyen also earned membership in the 100+Club as did his older brother Griffin.

The big fish came in bunches all week, both on Scott and on our flyouts. Cam Godden who is a bit taller and quite a few years older than Coyen also had an incredible trip with a dozen trophy pike, including a six-pack of trophy pike on the same day his son, Andrew, landed five. There were big fish in abundance: pike of 44 inches were taken by Cam Godden, Andrew Godden, Joe Novicki, Rich Kracum, Tom Kristo and, of course, Coyen Kristo; pike of 45 inches were landed by Mira Lechowicz, Andrew Godden and Susan Saraka; pike of 46 inches were landed by Andrew Godden who got a pair, Coyen Kristo (again) and 13-year-old Kai Boland. The bruiser of the week though was a gorgeous 47-incher caught by Bill Calabresa who, after a stellar performance the previous week, added to his season-leading 100+Club standing, reaching 106 total inches for his biggest pike, trout and grayling. That’s a number that will be hard to beat but the season is young. Bill’s long time fishing buddy, Joe Novicki reached a 104” total. All three of Joe’s trophies were taken on a fly rod, perhaps (our records on that are fuzzy) the first time that has happened. Lake trout are tough to land on a fly rod, but Joe subdued a 39.5” laker, a great angling feat. And it was within sight of the lodge. Other big trout were caught by Mark Mataczynski and Rich Kracum, both getting 39-inchers. That 39-incher for Rich put him into the 100+ Club. He had an epic day on a flyout to the far end of Wholdaia, our most distant flyout. He landed two trophy pike, two trophy lake trout and two trophy grayling on the same day—that earned him a rare “double” Trophy Triple. Rich’s son, John, also bagged his Trophy Triple that day.

Our group left with a lot of memories of both an exciting and relaxing fishing vacation. There were lingering evenings on the expansive deck overlooking Scott Lake, cornhole games, leisurely shore lunches and some late nights at the Laker Lodge bar. To put it simply it was a perfect week: going 5 for 5 on both sunshine and fishing is easy is something this group will long remember.

A Great Average: The Week 3 Update

A Great Average: The Week 3 Update

In baseball going 2 for 5 is a pretty good day, sporting a .400 average. So should it be in fishing. Not every day is great. For our Week 3 guests they batted .400, having two days of wonderful sunshine over their five-day trip. Add the last day of a little sun and no rain (call it a bunt single) and you have a week of decent weather. As we have often reported in this blog, sunshine and great pike fishing are inseparable. Never has that been more evident than over our June 19-24 adventure. We had for the first two days a hangover from one of the epic cold fronts of our history: a massive front that sat over the Scott Lake area for the first 12 days of the 2023 season. The fishing for the first two days was tough. Let’s put some numbers on it. Our total pike trophy count for Week 3 was 66, a respectable but not sensational number, but 56 of those big pike were landed during the two-day window of bright sunshine. This was the solstice week, the longest days of the year and the most intense sunshine. And when that sun came out our pike really turned on. It’s like a big switch in the sky. It was flipped ON.

We had a two-day bonanza of great pike fishing. Rachael Bandt thought she had a career day last season when she landed a 47” pike. This year she topped that big time. On a memorable day on Selwyn Lake, she bagged five trophy pike, including a trio at 44, 45 and 46 inches. Now that’s a day of great pike fishing!. Another long-time guest, Jim MacDougall, had the biggest fish of the young season. On Odin Lake armed with his fly rod Jim gently guided a 48.5” beautiful pike into his guide’s big net. He had two other pike trophies that day. Greg Larson had a four-trophy pike day on Ingalls Lake. Patrick Lynch had a impressive day on Wignes Lake, along with Premier Lake a body of water connected to Scott and accessible by boat. He landed three big pike, a 42.5”, a 44” and a heavy 46.5” beauty. Other dandy 44.5” pike caught in the two-day spree were taken by Hunter Larson and Steve Bandt (AKA “Big Dog”). Those were two days our group will remember for a long time, clouding out the memories of the two days of rain, wind and cold that opened their trip.

But that cool weather seemed to help the lake trout fishing. With the pike fishing slowed by the cold temps and dark skies many Scott guides just shifted to trout with good results. Lake trout don’t need sunshine to go “active”. Many were landed on Scott Lake, a fabulous trout lake, over those two days. Greg Larson got a gorgeous 40” laker that brightened up his day. Bob Mason ended up with three nice lakers, topping out at 38.5”. Dave Thome got a 38.5”.

The trout story and fishing story of the week though happened on a distant flyout to the east end of Wholdaia Lake, a massive lake about 100 miles northeast of Scott. Joe Novicki and Bill Calabresa had a day most anglers could only dream about. They both entered the 100+Club in dramatic fashion, the “Done in One” by getting all three of our gamefish in trophy size that hit 100 total inches. It’s quite a fishing feat. Bill got a monster lake trout of 41.5” to go along with a 41.5” pike and a 17.5” grayling. Joe landed a 42” pike, a 39.5” lake trout and a huge 19.5” arctic grayling. Quite a day and quite a week. The group enjoyed some great pike fishing, great lake trout fishing, great grayling fishing, great shore lunches, the fine dining at the lodge and the joy of sharing this unique wilderness setting with good friends, new and old. For most of our crew they simply hit it out of the park.

TCO Flyshop Article: Mark Yocum

TCO Flyshop Article: Mark Yocum

This past September Mark had the opportunity to sample the trophy northern pike and lake trout Scott Lake has to offer on the fly rod.

Flyfishing for these fish in fall can provide some amazing moments!

TCO Fly Shop Article

For more information on catching Lake Trout on the Fly have a look at this Video

Want to be in the boat for one of these coveted September spots? Find out all the info you need to book right HERE