Usually, the seasons merge seamlessly at Scott Lake Lodge. A few birch leaves start to turn yellow, the ground cover starts to turn red and the temperatures gradually start to drop. For the 2018 season that transition happened in a single day—the third day of our sixteenth group…
(August 22nd on the calendar but just Day 3 up here). On Day 3 it was a pleasant 70 degrees. Most of the staff were running around in shorts, flip-flops and T-shirts. There was even some paddle boarding and kayaking. Then early on the morning of Day 4 there were a lot of geese flying south. They knew. By mid-morning a hurricane feeling north wind changed the season in minutes. The temperature started to drop and most of our anglers on Scott headed back to the lodge. Hundreds or maybe thousands of geese headed south, taking a free ride to the grain fields of southern Saskatchewan. It was a different day: it was fall.
This trout has definitely been eating.
And that’s not a bad thing. That first shock of fall is a dinner bell for the big pike. They know that their season in the sun is over. Soon the dark days and near freezing water will put them in zombieville. This is their last gluttonous spree until their world warms up next May. Over the next two weeks the big pike will be cruising the mid-depth structure (drop-offs, deep weeds, rock piles, points) in search of that last big meal. Our anglers will be breaking out their big stuff—the huge Mepps and Buchertails, the Bulldogs and the massive Storm and Savage plastics and for the fly anglers the heavy-duty saltwater flies, some a foot long. Some of those big fish will eat.
Records Are Meant to be Broken
That’s what’s ahead. What’s behind is the most extraordinary fishing season we have had in our 22-year history. As usual, the numbers tell the story. What a story is it. How about 1,785? That’s our total, trophy count with 17 fishing days left in the season. It’s really close to our record of 1,965 set just last season. Or 1,427, the number of pike trophies this season, right next to last year’s 1,489 record. Or 151? That’s the number of pike over 45”, already beating 2017’s record of 134. How about 36? That’s the number of pike over 47”, tantalizingly close to last year’s record of 40, a record that seemed at the time a fluke, unassailable.
If we look at the real long-term, it’s even more amazing. In the 21 previous seasons, the average for pike over 45” was 48 and for pike over 47” it was 13. (Between 2000 and 2012 that average was 6.6—the last three years pushed up this number.) This is clearly a new era at Scott Lake Lodge for giant pike. The trout and grayling records are also approaching new heights. We have now landed 46 lake trout over 40”. Watch for our Annual Report in the mail or on the website late this fall for all the details. For now just enjoy the pictures of a remarkable run of big fish—not fish stories.
“That’s what is ahead. What’s behind is the most extraordinary fishing season we have had in our 22-year history.”
Now’s The Time to Book for 2019
If the thought of pulling huge trout, pike and grayling out of water clean enough to drink is making you a little dizzy, just go to your phone, tablet or PC and shoot our Sales Manager/Guide Jon Wimpney a message. Or text him at 306/209-7150. He’s guiding during the day and selling in the evening. Our WiFi service up here makes calling you back easy. Just give him a chance to tell you about our openings for 2019. Some weeks are totally full but most have a few spots—YET.
If you were up at Scott Lake Lodge a decade or more ago, there is an excellent chance you can hook up with your favorite guide. Yes, your guide from 15 years ago is probably still here. Of our 15 guides, 11 have been here for at least 15 seasons. (So, that’s why we’re getting so many big fish—these guys know the water and the game.) No other lodge in Canada is close to that depth of experience and professionalism. Tap into it.
For more general information or to get some printed brochures just call our customer service office in Wisconsin at 888/830-9525 (715/362-7031 from Canada.)
A cool quick video of the helicopter bringing in the new island side by side. Scott Lake Uber is now open!! No paved roads, no gravel roads and no ice roads lead to Scott Lake. Everything comes in by air.
From mid September the 13 acre island that houses Scott Lake Lodge is a pretty quiet place, cialispatient the silence only broken by the coming and goings of the few hardy creatures that spend their winters in Canada’s northern boreal forest, cialis and perhaps the odd trapper’s snowmobile passing by. An island that sees impressive amounts of activity in a short period in the summer gets a long rest for most of the winter; most being the operative term here. Having a fly in fishing lodge located on the border of Saskatchewan and the Northwest territories presents a number of challenges in getting people, find groceries, fuel and materials to the site. When that fly in fishing lodge happens to be one of the few left in Canada on a lake with no winter road access or runway, there are a few more considerations when getting ready for the new season. For this reason the winter trip to Scott Lake by a few folks is an important part of the system that allows us to provide our guests with a first rate fishing trip. Our motto for many years has been, constant, incremental improvement of all facets of the Scott Lake experience. For this reason each spring and fall sees new construction projects to repair, replace or build new the infrastructure that we use to host guests, now in the 20th season of operation under the current ownership. Taking into account the ice breakup period in May and early June where nothing can access the island but helicopter, all new material for spring work needs to be in place in winter when the twin otter can land on skies on the hard water out front of the lodge.
It’s an exciting trip up to Scott Lake in the winter, even early (early) spring, the long milk-run flight stopping at all points from Saskatoon to Stony Rapids, some frenzied running around in Stony securing the last few items needed for the trip and a ski plane flight into the lodge…all in the shortened daylight hours of the North at this time of year. Getting off the plane one never knows what will be found, memories of a squatting bear still fresh in the mind. Now comes a whirlwind of activity that the crew seems to fall into with no planning. The plane is unloaded and a weeks worth of food, gear, beer, snowshoes and fuel to keep things running. Shovels are donned and the process of digging into cabins and the solar room are early priorities. Start a fire, get power going, kick out any unwanted bears, dig out the snow machine (hope it starts) and toboggan, haul gear, start the ice auger and bore a water hole trough almost 4’ of ice, pour a cocktail, check Facebook. After the initial flurry the crew falls into a few days of dawn to dusk work, moving a few lifts of lumber that the ski plane drops off, cutting dead trees fro firewood and for wood chips come spring. It’s a busy time but always a fun time with a portion of each day set aside to check on Scott Lake’s populations of northern pike and lake trout, we want to ensure there are still a few big ones around.
A week seems to fly by in no time at all and then there is a hurried boarding of doors and piling into the plane always thinking there is no way we are going to make the flight south from Stony Rapids in time. What do we have in store? Well, we aren’t going to let on just what improvements are on the docket for his winter and spring, you will have to come see for your self!
Book now or forever lose your spot for 2016
We are very proud to announce that Scott Lake Lodge is over 85% booked for the 2016 season, this is no small feat and we must thank the continued support of you our customers for your business and loyalty to the place. Sales manager Jon “J5” Wimpney has again done an exceptional job matching people with dates to make sure no one misses out on their fishing trip this year. He is doing such a good job filling spots we thought it was only fair to warn you. Book now to make sure you have a place in the boat for the 2016 season! As we mentioned above there are good things brewing and we want to show you what we’ve been up to.
It’s been hot, incredibly hot for May, on Scott Lake. In our twenty years of operations we have never had the lake open in May. But it just could be this year. The lake is just one windy day away from breaking up. What a contrast to last May when the temperatures were hovering just above freezing for most of the month. Our island in the north has been basking in temperatures in the high 60s, even 70s for a couple of weeks now. An intrepid crew including guides Paul Hamilton, Cody Mychalyshyn and Jan Phoenix flew in by helicopter on May 12th to start the process of getting camp ready for the 2015 season. Instead of wearing down coats as our early-in crew last year did this year the appropriate apparel has been flip-flops, shorts and T-shirts. You can follow their exploits, including an interesting version of a “northern bath” by checking out our Face book site (www.facebook.com/scottlakelodge). At least we have a season when we will have a leisurely and enjoyable opening. After the drama of 2014 we’ll take it and enjoy it.
The crew has a lot to do yet before we are fully ready for our June 10th opener. The gang is putting the finishing touches on a new quadplex staff dorm. We have been increasing our staff numbers over the past few years and now have a lot more elbow room in Guideland. Also on the agenda are the many routine but time consuming tasks we do every season: take down all the plywood boards on all the cabins; connect all the water lines and install the large submersible water pump; unload thousands of gallons of Jet fuel for the Otter, AvGas for the Beaver, unleaded gas for the boats and diesel fuel for the two generators. This year we are also setting up four new 18’guide boats for Scott and four new 16’ boats for the fly out lakes. Of course there are the fourteen fly out lakes to set up as well. We have nearly forty outboards motors to check out and service. And a few hundred spruce trees to cut down, haul to the island, run through the municipal-sized wood chipper and then spread over the quarter mile of island trails. And unload and store several tons of food and supplies. And inspect, clean and maintain the 28 buildings around the island. And the list goes on and on and on. This season all those “ands” will require about 2000 hours of what can only be called what it is—hard labor. But ask any of the Scott Lake crew: it is a labor of love. And the early birds love every minute of their work, especially with warm temperatures making everything just a bit more pleasant.
One guy not working very hard is our Sales Manager, Jon Wimpney. His work is essentially done. We have had very few cancellations this year (a tangible sign that the economy really is back to pre-2008 levels) and he has only a handful, a small handful, of open spots to fill. Call him at 306/209-7150 if you have the itch. If the dates work he can scratch it.
Three groups are now in the books at Scott Lake Lodge and the fishing is still red hot! The bitter cold of the Northern Canadian spring is a thing of the past! Weather has been outstanding with temperatures regularly exceeding 30 degrees Celsius (86 F).
The only thing hotter than the weather has been the fishing! At this point last year our world class guide team had boated an amazing 261 trophy sized Northern Pike, Lake Trout, and Artic Grayling. However, this year there has been an astonishing 481 trophies caught! Highlighted by our first 100+ club member of the year Stephen “Big Dog” Bandt with a remarkable 105” total (46” Pike, 43.5” Trout, 15.5” Grayling), guided by J5.
It has been the year of the 46” Jack! To date there has been fourteen 46” Northern Pike caught, six of which all caught on June 24th, what a day! It’s been a great start to the year already with our best Trout fishing still to come so stay tuned! Be sure to keep an eye on our website for regular blog updates, and daily additions of the Tundra Times and Pic of the Day. Also if you have not already done so, like our page on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/scottlakelodge