Just how nice is this place?
Very nice. Considering that every board, nail, piece of furniture, every everything had to be flown in it is a miracle, a wonder of the fishing world. All the cabins are private, two person rooms with pine paneling, wood floors, custom made beds, private bath with shower and the most comfortable comforters you’ve ever experienced. All rooms have a wildlife theme (moose, wolf, trout, loon, etc) except Aurora which of course has artwork and books on the northern lights. The main lodge, Laker Lodge, is also rustic wood paneled with dramatic views of Scott Lake. At Laker Lodge there is a large hot tub for your use. Scott Lake Lodge is home to Stone Haven Spa where you can get the all those fishing knots in your back untied. Our most recent addition is a traditional Finnish sauna, right at the front dock. Fresh spruce woodchip walkways take you around the 12 acre island. It is a piece of Paradise.
What's the dining like?
Everything about the lodge is informal but elegant in its simplicity. Dinners are wonderful. No buffets with “almost” warm offerings here. Dinners are served with a broad choice of entrées and complimentary wine. One night could be prime rib or duck. The next night an exotic international dish or a fine steak. No one should plan to come to Scott to lose any weight. The made-at-the-lodge desserts are legendary. Breakfast is made to order with a daily special, but there is always the great fishing lodge standard, Red River. If you haven’t had Red River you haven’t been to Canada. Lunches are typically on an island in the middle of the lake with the best fresh fish you can imagine. Take out lunches are also available.
Besides fishing what can I do?
Fishing is the main show but we offer canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding or hiking as optional activities. Of course there is the Spa, the sauna, the hot tub and the bar to help fill the evening hours. In August the northern lights, a bucket list experience, are often on the menu.
What's the staff size?
Glad you asked. Experienced anglers will always ask this question. If the answer is less than a ratio of one to one, keep looking for another lodge. At Scott there will be 30 people to take care of 24 customers, probably the highest ratio in Canada. It takes that many dedicated people to make sure everything runs well and smoothly. We have four people in the kitchen for example to make sure that all meals are timely and exceptional. Our guides guide: they don’t fix motors after dinner. And our managers manage. This is a well run organization with clear job descriptions and NO excuses. Our staff retention is amazing. And you will have the opportunity to meet all the staff during your stay. Unlike most lodges, we have staff share the same elegant meals as customers. You can, if you like, have dinner with your guide and share a drink after dinner. It is an open, friendly atmosphere. People come the first time as customers. After that they come as friends and members of an embracing extended family. It’s one of the key things that make Scott a unique fishing destination.
It all sounds wonderful. What does it cost?
Our goal at Scott is not to be the least expensive lodge; it’s to be the best. We keep our prices competitive with our peer lodges but we try to provide the most comprehensive package available. Our price for 2017 for the five day package (that’s a five full days of fishing package that many lodges would call six days -the first evening at the lodge does not involve fishing) is $5,995 US per person plus required Canadian taxes of 3% for GST(General Sales Tax) and a very minimal PST(Provincial Sales Tax). Prices are based on two anglers sharing a room and a boat. There is an additional charge for solo anglers. The package includes the charter flights from Saskatoon to the lodge and all transfers. In addition to the standard items like a guide for every two anglers, all meals, soft drinks, we include many non-standard items like house wine with dinner, your hotel in Saskatoon on the homeward leg of your trip, complimentary use of the lodge’s quality fishing tackle and even a Global Rescue Medical Evacuation Insurance Plan. That’s a package that’s well wrapped, just like at Christmas. Optional items would be drinks at the bar, flyouts, massage, tackle or clothing purchases and gratuities—a pretty short list. The equivalent value of all these Scott Lake Lodge package inclusions, including the charter flight to Stony Rapids, is approximately $2000. Ask any other lodge you are considering just what their package includes.
What do flyout trips cost?
Most guests love to explore new water. Fly outs are popular at Scott but they are not required to get into good fishing. Prices are set each spring based on the highly variable US/Canadian exchange rate and the cost of fuel but will start at around $400 per person for the closer lakes and go up with distance from the lodge.
Where is Scott Lake Lodge?
It’s really in the middle of nowhere which is what makes it special. Find a map and look for the 60th parallel. Then find the middle of Saskatchewan. Let those line intersect and you will be very close to Scott which should be named on almost any map you have access to. We are right on the border of Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. You will probably fish mainly in NWT waters but you will have the option of going south into the very northern part of Saskatchewan. The border bisects Scott Lake. The lodge is 550 miles almost straight north of Saskatoon, the distance we fly you as part of your package price.
How do I get to Saskatoon?
Our trips start in Saskatoon. You can reach Saskatoon with daily non-stop flights from Minneapolis on Delta. Most major Canadian also offer non-stop service into Saskatoon and have connections to major US cities. Our customer service office can help with information on commercial air travel. We do not provide booking services but we do work with an agency, TravelEx (800-882-0499) in a northern Chicago suburb, that can find the most efficient and least expensive flights to Saskatoon.
How big are the planes I'll be on after Saskatoon?
Your charter flight from Saskatoon is on a Saab 340, a very comfortable commuter prop-jet. It has a bathroom and offers cabin service. Yes, that means free beer coming and going. This plane has a capacity of 40 people but to accommodate your gear and our fresh food we limit the flight to our lodge capacity of 24 guests. The flight from Saskatoon to Stony Rapids, Saskatchewan, our float base, is just under two hours. At Stony you will be taken less than a mile to the water base where you will board either an Otter or Beaver floatplane for a gloriously scenic flight to the lodge. The Otter flight is about 15 minutes; the Beaver flight about 25.
So what am I going to catch?
The fishing menu at Scott Lake Lodge is limited but satisfying. On Scott Lake the daily choice is simple: northern pike or lake trout. On many of our fly out lakes you can add arctic grayling to the list.
How many fish will I catch?
That’s a loaded question. Your catch rate will depend on many things, like the weather, water temperature and importantly your skill level and experience. And probably most importantly how well you listen to your guide (wives are much better at this than husbands). Let’s put it in this way: even if you are a terrible angler your guide will make sure you catch a dozen fish a day. A really good angler during ideal conditions (warm temps, sunshine and moderate winds) can bring 70 or 80 fish to the boat. Yes, that’s per day. We have had customers catch well over a hundred fish a day. The pike fishing can be fast and furious and the lake trout fishing is usually slower but more consistent. Anything under ten fish a day will push our guides to the edge of a nervous breakdown. We catch a lot of fish here.
Everyone wants to catch a lot of fish and a lot of big fish. We don’t claim to have the biggest pike or trout in Canada but we are in a perfect location to have huge sizes in both species. To the north there are bigger trout but the pike are typically smaller. And to the south the pike may be slightly bigger but the trout are usually smaller. Just like in the fairy tale at Scott everything is just right. Our top end on pike is 51”. Nearly all of our pike have very large girths and for trout we get a few around 46 or 47 with top weights in the low 40 pound range. In a good season with a full house (400 anglers) we get over to a thousand trophy pike in a season and around four hundred trophy trout. (Our trophy pike are 40” and trout 35”.) We catch a lot of pike in the 35-38” size, probably the hardest fighting size slot.
What about sight fishing for pike?
At Scott the water is as clear as gin but better tasting. Most of the pike on Scott are seen before they are caught, creating a tremendous level of excitement. On some of the fly out lakes the water is less clear but we have sight fishing conditions whenever the sun shines and sometimes when it doesn’t. It’s a big reason why so many experienced anglers keep coming back to Scott.
How long is your fishing day?
Typically boats leave the dock between 8 and 9 in the morning and return between 5 and 6. Most customers love their fresh fish shore lunch so there is usually a mid-day break. But this is your vacation and the pace of the day will be set by you. Guided evening fishing is available for a $100 per boat fee but most anglers have a hard time leaving the lodge after an extravagant dinner.
What kind of boats are we in?
The lodge has 18.5’ custom Alumarine boats with 40 HP Yamaha outboards. All are equipped with sonar, life jackets and a lot of safety and communication equipment. On fly outs the boats are 16” custom Alumarines with 25HP electric start Yamahas.
Are flyouts available?
Yes, we have a lot of fly out destinations, 18 to be exact. They are optional because the fishing on the home lake system encompassing a quarter of a million acres is great. Many of our customers just love to get in a floatplane though and explore a distant lake. Many of our fly out lakes are part of a major river system which makes them more productive (more vegetation, more forage fish, etc) on the numbers side. The biggest pike and trout every season still seem to come from Scott and Premier. Even if all 12 boats stayed on Scott, a fairly rare thing, there is still around 20,000 acres per boat to explore. We have a lot of water.
How many other lodges fish Scott and Premier?
None. There is one private cabin on Scott that is used only a week or two a summer but you will have a level of exclusivity and privacy that just doesn’t exist in many places these days. You will rarely see another boat. You just can’t find more exclusive or private fishing anywhere.
Can I take fish home?
The short answer is no. We take small pike and trout for shore lunches but all the big fish go right back where they belong. It’s been that way on Scott for 20 years and it shows. We still have a lot of huge fish!
What type of tackle should I bring?
You don’t have to bring a thing. Unless you really love your own rods and reels leave the tackle to us. Each guide has an arsenal of gear: open face spinning, baitcasting, 9 weight and 4 weight fly rigs, trolling tackle for big trout and even ultra-light spinning for grayling. This is all good stuff, top end St. Croix rods and Shimano reels. Using our gear will make your travels a whole lot easier and it doesn’t cost you a cent. It’s all part of your package. Ask any other lodge what kind of gear they provide.
How about lures and flies?
We’ve learned the hard way that providing terminal tackle is a no-win situation. Most anglers have their special lures or flies. Bring what you have but remember that simplicity is the rule. For casting a few Mepps or Blue Fox spinners (size 4 to 6), a couple of Johnson Silver Minnows in the one and a quarter ounce size, a variety of Rapalas, a few Sluggos for the inactive ‘sleeping” pike and a bunch of the Storm plastics will fit the bill. We have a tackle shop with these and many more along with leaders and all the odds and ends you will ever need. Your guide may well pull out some of his favorites as well, but that’s between you and the guide. For fly fisherman it’s very simple—lots of leeches, black for sure and a few other colors with a size 1/0 hook, some Deceivers, Whistlers and a top water or two. And yes, we have these and many, many more flies at prices far less than your local fly shop. We do provide complimentary flies for our grayling fly outs but your standard stream trout selection will work fine for these opportunistic but exciting gamefish.
How long and rough are the boat rides?
Many anglers who have been to Canada grind their teeth just thinking about the poundings they have had on some of the huge Canadian lakes. While Scott is big, over 100,000 acres, and Premier is a sizable lake as well, none of this water has an open expanse of more than 5 or 6 miles without islands or points to break up the “fetch”. Scott is really five distinct lobes with connecting channels and over 500 islands. The result is a watery wilderness without the huge five foot waves that can be encountered on lakes like Wollaston, Kasba or Reindeer for example. With no competing lodges the boat rides to fishing spots can be quite short. Our best lake trout holes on Scott are five minutes from the lodge. Typically you will be fishing within fifteen minutes of leaving the dock. Our longest boat rides are just over an hour but your guide will discuss your daily “fishing plan” and allow you to decide just how far you want to travel. On the fly out lakes the boating distances are all quite short. In short we will not shorten your spine and the guides are quite attuned to your comfort. A trip to a fishing lodge should be fun not painful.