2022: A Year to Remember

2022: A Year to Remember

At Last!

by Tom Klein, Managing Partner

We’re not sure who missed the two Covid shut-down years the most. Was it our faithful guests or our dedicated staff? We had guests weep for joy when they set foot on the dock at Scott Lake. And we had staff who worked 100 straight days but still did not want to leave the island. Let’s just call it a draw.

The Most Anticipated Fishing Season

Without any doubt it was simply good to be back fishing and back on the 12-acre island in the middle of nowhere. It was a picture-perfect fall day when on September 16th the final guests of the 2022 fishing season and some of our departing staff boarded an interesting mix of floatplanes—our flagship Beaver that celebrated its 75th birthday in August, a turbo Single Otter, a vintage piston Single Otter and a sleek Cessna Caravan—to head south for the last time of the season. So ended the most anticipated season in the lodge’s 27-year history.

Was it the best season we ever had? Not by the final trophy count, respectable but not record setting. Not by the weather which swung wildly between achingly beautiful and shockingly dreadful. Not by the late ice which cancelled the fishing dreams of our week 1 guests. But by the smiles and the written evaluations of our guests it was THEIR best fishing season ever. Our guests and staff were primed to have a great time in the far north and that’s just what they did.

Fishing Expectations

Fishing is always dictated by weather, plain and simple. There were perhaps unrealistic expectations by many that after two years of not seeing a spoon, spinner, plastic pike or fly every pike in our lakes would fight to grab anything. That might be accurate in lower latitude fishing areas like the upper Midwest where fishing pressure is the determining factor in fishing action. But here in the far north with the vast, sprawling lakes and just a dozen boats on the water it’s more fundamental elements like water temperature and sunshine that dictate the fishing action. So, the two-year break from fishing really didn’t mean a thing. Sunny days with high pressure, quiet bays and some windy shorelines had incredible pike fishing. Cold front cloudy days required a bit more patience. In 2022 we simply had more of the latter than the former. (Lake trout always have a mind of their own and always bite whenever they feel like it, but we did have a great year for big lake trout.)

It was an unusual see-saw season. For example, Week 17 was cold and foggy with only 62 trophy fish; Week 18 was warm and sunny and had 129; Week 19 was back in the cold soup and produced only 53, the season’s low, but Week 20 ended strong with a lot of huge fish and 100 trophies. That was the pattern all year—no consistency. If one could predict the weather on the 60th parallel a year in advance one would always be fishing on just the right week. The right week though is any week you can be in such a pristine, beautiful wilderness while enveloped in the finest customer service experience you can imagine.

Amazing Fishing Days

There were many amazing, over-the-top fishing days: many days of 100 pike per angler—yes, in a single day, and it was a season of BIG PIKE. We set a lodge record with 21 pike that measured 47” or better–what we call the “megas”. We love to celebrate really big fish. There were also many days of multiple trophies for all our species—pike, lake trout and grayling. One angler collected over a hundred pike trophies over his fifteen-day stay. We had 31 guests join the 100+Club by landing a trophy pike (minimum 40”), lake trout (minimum 35”) and grayling (minimum 15”) that collectively hit or exceeded 100”. Do the math. In any configuration that’s a group of very nice fish. We had over 100 pike of over 45”. We had two anglers who on a remarkable day brought ten trophy lake trout to their guide’s net with six of them exceeding 40”. We had a week in mid-August with 166 trophy fish, an average of six per angler. The great fishing was spread all over the calendar, depending of course on the weather. There were days where anglers jigged for lake trout and caught many dozens each. Or threw flies or small spinners in our many fly out rivers and found grayling that never stopped hitting. And there were days when ten fish was all the waters would give up. That’s fishing, even on the 60th parallel. It’s always unpredictable.

2023 Fishing Season

But what was predictable in 2022 were the good times in the boat and in the lodge; the fine dinners with friends; evenings by the bonfire; before fishing hikes on the nearby Tundra Trail; the haunting calling of loons at night; hot tub and sauna relaxation sessions; morning workouts in the gym; canoe paddles after dinner;  wildlife sightings, like the herd of musk ox right on the shores of Scott Lake, and a simple enjoyment of being with friends, old and new, in such a spectacular place.

It’s why more than half of the 2022 guests have already rebooked for the 2023 fishing season. It’s why you should consider doing the same: it’s a predictably wonderful experience, whatever the weather. Give our Sales Manager Jon Wimpney a call today at 306/209-7150 or send him an email. It will make your 2023 summer one to remember.

Blowin’ in the Wind: The Week 19 Update

Blowin’ in the Wind: The Week 19 Update

WEEK 19 FISHING UPDATE

“BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND”

Over the 2022 season we’ve had spectacular sunny weeks, some rainy weeks, some foggy weeks but this was the first really, really windy week. Our anglers had an inauspicious start when strong winds delayed the changeover, forcing an extra night in Edmonton. But if you’re at the Renaissance Hotel at the Edmonton Airport you don’t suffer at all. The group arrived at Scott on a warm and pleasant late morning and started their fishing trip with great optimism and enthusiasm, missing only a few hours of their five days of fishing time.

Windy Fishing Weather

But a wicked west wind kicked up for their second and third days on the water. The determined group did fish and they caught plenty of fish but there was some rock and roll moments in the boats contending with the wind and waves. Our experienced guides found protected waters and kept everyone safe and reasonably comfortable. We had a resilient group of anglers. On their fourth day everything calmed down and our floatplanes took to the skies. It was a terrific day of fishing. Even though the final day reverted to some big wind, the “net results” (pun certainly intended) were pretty good, especially considering that many decided to spend extra time in the sauna, hot tub, workout room or the quiet comfort of their cozy rooms.

The 100+ Club New Members

Dan Spielman and Peggy Light didn’t allow the weather to stop their march to the 100+Club membership. It’s a case where luck and skill merged to provide some great results. Dan Spielman and Frances Sun had a great day on a fly out landing six trophy pike and five trophy arctic grayling. Jim MacDougall, who is no stranger with collecting Scott Lake trophy pins over the years, had his best grayling day ever. His fly rod vanquished a big bunch of big grayling (too many to count) with his biggest being the biggest of the season—a 20.5” grayling in the shape of a football. His fishing partner, Brian Ermer, had equal success with his top trophy hitting the rare 20” mark. Big pike were in the mix too. Rebecca Graf and Dan Spielman had 44-inchers; Cody Gutherie got a 45-incher and Frances Sun had the top pike of the week at 46 inches. Big trout were taken by Dan Speilman, a 39-incher, and Tess Rowland, a 38-incher.

For a week that was indeed wind challenged the results were great. We always fish the week we have not the week we want.

Shallow Water Lake Trout on the Fly

Watch the New Fly Fisher’s visit to Scott Lake Lodge last fall. Shallow Water Lake Trout on the Fly is an extraordinary experience only possible during a couple of short windows during the year.  This is only a small portion of the footage and amazing fishing we had. Cannot wait for more shallow trout!

Find out more about Lake Trout Fishing at Scott Lake Lodge here https://www.scottlakelodge.com/canada-fishing/lake-trout/

 

 

Fly Fishing for Pike at Scott Lake Lodge

Very soon some lucky anglers are going to feel. the boat slow as they roll into a shallow bay on Scott Lake or one of its many flyouts. The wake fades and your guide starts pointing out submerged logs that he assures you are big northern pike. A fly is chosen, tied onto a titanium bite leader and a cast is made. Strip, strip, strip, pause, BOOM. The log comes to life and in a flash, your fly is gone in a puff of silt and huge boil. The fight is one and your line on the casting deck is taken in a hurry.

Whether fly fishing for pike is a lifelong addiction like many of our guests or you are picking up a fly rod for the first time. Scott Lake Lodge is a great place to do it. Lots of opportunities, our guide staff are great teachers and the chance to hook into something truly special.

Sight fishing for giant northern pike on the fly. It doesn’t get any better.

 

Learn more Northern Pike Fishing at Scott Lake Lodge

Spring Pike Fishing Tip Video

A great Spring Pike Fishing tip video from Philip Rowley’s visit to Scott Lake Lodge.
Whether the bay is south facing, wind direction, bottom colour and other attributes all dictate a bay’s prevailing water temperature in spring. Find the right temp, find big fish willing to chase flies. While all shallow bays will hold fish at some point in the early part of the season, understanding these nuances and fish movement is what makes the guide team at Scott Lake the pros they are.

2021 Angler Gift Guide

2021 Angler Gift Guide

Do you know what anglers love almost as much as having a huge fish at the end of their line? Anything that helps them get that fish at the end of their line, naturally. Take a look at the Top Ten Angler Gift Hints put together by the Scott Lake Guide Team. You will find just the right gift to put under some lucky angler’s tree. Or your own.  

Happy Holidays from the entire Scott Lake Lodge staff. We are all looking forward to an exciting 2022 season. We’ve all waited long enough. 

#10 Waterproof Duffel Bag

A waterproof bag like this will save you grief traveling the world over. They are easier to pack on small planes and protect your gear from rain or snow, unplanned dips or anything else an adventure might throw at it. When float planes are involved, luggage weight limits are too. Why use up your allotment with a heavy suitcase? Simms, Patagonia, North Face and Cabelas all make reliable waterproof bags.

#9 Glasses Cleaning Kit

Nothing is worse than dirty glasses. (Well, maybe a sharp stick in the eye.) You won’t be able to see your smiling face on the screen after dinner at the lodge. Even worse you might not be able to spot that big pike your guide is frantically pointing out! A small travel kit with a couple of microfiber cloths will take care of both your shades and your devices.

#9 Glasses Cleaning Kit

Nothing is worse than dirty glasses. (Well, maybe a sharp stick in the eye.) You won’t be able to see your smiling face on the screen after dinner at the lodge. Even worse you might not be able to spot that big pike your guide is frantically pointing out! A small travel kit with a couple of microfiber cloths will take care of both your shades and your devices.

#8 Xtra Tuff Ankle Boot

There is no reason to pack winter boots or even full size rubber boots. The key here is efficient packing, 50-70lbs should not be the norm, 30-50 is our goal for keeping weight down on the float planes. These ankle boots will take up less space and weight in your bag and keep your feet dry. From rainy days to that step off the boat for shore lunch, these are all you need.

7. Battery Power Pack

Keep your phone, camera, music or whatever you need rolling with a rechargeable power pack. These can be charged in your cabin and keep you powered up for video action of wildlife or a big fish.  We use the Goal Zero Venture 30.

7. Battery Power Pack

Keep your phone, camera, music or whatever you need rolling with a rechargeable power pack. These can be charged in your cabin and keep you powered up for video action of wildlife or a big fish.  We use the Goal Zero Venture 30.

6. Pliers and Snippers

Invest in a good set of pliers (with a lanyard so they don’t become structure on the bottom of the lake!) and good quality snippers that will cut light wire, braid and heavy leaders cleanly. Your guide will have similar options but it’s best to have a set for the cabin for rigging rods in the evening or as backup in case your guide’s pliers become structure.

5. Multitool

This is a gotta-have for every angler. With a knife, pliers, small scissors, awl and more there are infinite uses: in the boat, cutting wood for shorelunch fires, or opening a nice bottle of Cab Sav. Some of the best are made by Leatherman and Gerber.

5. Multitool

This is a gotta-have for every angler. With a knife, pliers, small scissors, awl and more there are infinite uses: in the boat, cutting wood for shorelunch fires, or opening a nice bottle of Cab Sav. Some of the best are made by Leatherman and Gerber.

4. Gloves

Fingerless, waterproof, insulated.
Gloves for fishing in Canada need a 1-2 punch. In the north the weather can change in an hour. You need a couple of options: fingerless lightweight sun gloves for those sunny days or just cool weather and for the really cold and wet days a waterproof glove to keep you warm and dry, yet still able to reel in a fish.  We like the Catalyst Soft Shell Glove from First Lite.

3. Lifeproof case for your Phone

It’s true, most newer smart phones are waterproof to some degree. However not totally and more importantly they are not drop proof. As there is a greater emphasis each year at Scott Lake and around the fishing industry to take better care of these amazing fish we try to keep up with the science surrounding this. It’s clear, less time out of the water the better for the fish’s health. We strive to take more underwater and in water photos at the lodge, making sure your phone is watertight is key. The Lifeproof cases also have a lanyard that is key to not turning your phone into new structure. Win for the fish and win for you with new, exciting photos and video.

3. Lifeproof case for your Phone

It’s true, most newer smart phones are waterproof to some degree. However not totally and more importantly they are not drop proof. As there is a greater emphasis each year at Scott Lake and around the fishing industry to take better care of these amazing fish we try to keep up with the science surrounding this. It’s clear, less time out of the water the better for the fish’s health. We strive to take more underwater and in water photos at the lodge, making sure your phone is watertight is key. The Lifeproof cases also have a lanyard that is key to not turning your phone into new structure. Win for the fish and win for you with new, exciting photos and video.

2. Polarized Sunglasses

This is a perennial #2 spot in our gift guide. In our professional opinion, a quality pair of polarized sunglasses should be at the top of your gift list (you can give a pair to yourself you know). Costas are probably our Guide Team’s top choice, but Maui Jim and Oakley make great glasses as well. These companies make different lenses for varied conditions, the percentage of light transmission needed to see on an overcast day or morning is different from just after shorelunch on a sunny day. Having a couple options gives you a backup as well. Copper lens with green mirror for sunny conditions and Silver Sunrise for duller light is what our Guide Team choose. 

1. All-Inclusive Trip to Scott Lake Lodge

Of course, you need a place to use these items. Why not go for the best: there is no better place to test your toys and skills than Scott Lake Lodge right on the border of Saskatchewan and the vast Northwest Territories. You or your very lucky friend will have over two million areas of exclusive water spread throughout our fifteen million acre outfitting territory. It’s doesn’t get any more exclusive than that. Enjoy world class customer service and over-the-top amenities like elegant private cabins, a hot tub, sauna, spa services, gourmet cuisine and naturally cooperative fish. Our guides average twenty seasons at Scott. They will take great care of you.

There are just a handful of 2022 spots yet open. Put one in your Christmas stocking today. Call or text our Guide/Sales Manager Jon Wimpney at 306/209-7150. Or send him an email. Yes, today.

1. All-Inclusive Trip to Scott Lake Lodge

Of course, you need a place to use these items. Why not go for the best: there is no better place to test your toys and skills than Scott Lake Lodge right on the border of Saskatchewan and the vast Northwest Territories. You or your very lucky friend will have over two million areas of exclusive water spread throughout our fifteen million acre outfitting territory. It’s doesn’t get any more exclusive than that. Enjoy world class customer service and over-the-top amenities like elegant private cabins, a hot tub, sauna, spa services, gourmet cuisine and naturally cooperative fish. Our guides average twenty seasons at Scott. They will take great care of you.

There are just a handful of 2022 spots yet open. Put one in your Christmas stocking today. Call or text our Guide/Sales Manager Jon Wimpney at 306/209-7150. Or send him an email. Yes, today.

Give a gift that will make memories for a lifetime