When the 17th group of the 2018 season landed at Scott Lake Lodge, exactly an hour after their chartered plane from Saskatoon landed at the float base at Stony Rapids, Saskatchewan, many, hailing from distant and warm places, were wearing shorts and sandals. They got a shock of cool air. That grab didn’t last long. It was fall here. As they looked out of the float plane on their landing, they could have seen all the signs: some bright yellow birch leaves, the smoky gold of the tamaracks, and the muted reds of the ground cover. It was fall alright. The fishing was fall as well—for pike it was what the guides call the “low and slow” retrieve for spinners, crankbaits or plastics. Fly enthusiasts were using intermediate or full sinking lines, especially on their first day of fishing when it was cold, real cold. The surface temperatures of Scott Lake and our fly out lakes had dropped several degrees over the past few days and the fish were there but deep. On that first day the fingers were cold but that didn’t stop our anglers from fishing or the fish from biting. We had the straight flush of pike of 41, 42, 43, 44 and 45 that day as well as seven trout trophies. At their cool depths the lake trout didn’t really care what was happening on the top.

On the second day things did warm up and on the fifth day the morning dawned bright and clear. The week ended with an absolutely perfect fall day. It also ended with a big milestone. On that last day, either Bill Russell or Jon Wheat landed our 2,000th trophy of the season—a record. (Since no one was looking at their watch, we can’t be sure if Bill or Jon got it). In 22 seasons at Scott, we have watched those trophy numbers rise, especially over the past five years, but hitting that mark was special for all the guides who worked hard all season to bring big fish to their guests. Big fish were certainly part of the week. Again, we hit triple digits with the trophy count, many supersized, like the 45” pike landed by Frank Saraka, Mark Readinger, Mark Graf and Scott Sheldon. Or like the one Martin Skolnick got. He came to Scott for the first time to get a big pike. He did. It was a spectacular looking 47.5” feisty, fighting fall pike.

This is the time of year for big trout as well and they made their appearance in the guide’s nets. Mark Graf saw plenty of them, a pair of 38s, a 39 and a 40. Zack Skolnick and Ron Spork admired their 38s. Bud Rector was pretty impressed with a fat 42 that almost filled a big net, but Tim Delaney was astounded by the super fat 43.5” monster that did fill his guide’s big net. That was a fish of a lifetime. Big grayling also filled the small trout nets. Tim got one of those too, an 18 incher as did fishing partner Larry Noesen. Scott Sheldon and Bill Russell did their supersized grayling an inch bigger at 19, both beautifully colored fish. Bill’s big grayling was enough to get him into the 100+Club.

There was a lot of interest in northern lights, but the heavy cloud cover kept them out of view, The group, though, did see some dramatic moonrises, especially the full moon on Day 2. There were many other memorable sights and sounds like the zinging of a reel’s drag, as well as some smells like the first plate of shore lunch, the whiff of the spruce chips on the island’s walkways or the many savory odors of the dinner hour. The group got the full fall treatment and most of them signed up for a return tour in 2019—the best compliment on the service and fishing we could hope for.