WEEK 6 UPDATE
THE RHYTHMS OF SCOTT LAKE LODGE LIVING
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.