This has been an interesting summer. We are getting it just one day at a time. We just can’t seem to get two warm, sunny days in a row. The pike have been a bit confused; they love warm water and a steady barometer. We’ve had a lot of cool north winds and wild swings in the barometer. But on the good days, things are very good. The big fish, the pike, trout and grayling are out there, just waiting for those perfect days and we’re getting just enough. Just enough was the Week 9 story: some great weather days, some not so great. But the great days trumped the not-so-great and the big fish totals looked wonderful—the second highest trophy count of the season at 141 trophies, just slightly behind the previous week. With the lake trout and grayling seasons moving to their peak, Week 9 offered a nice mix of trophies: 101 pike, eight lake trout and 32 arctic grayling.

Big Fish: Trophy Pike and Lake Trout

Among those 101 pike were four very nice ones. Bob Noble and Suzanne Noble, Mike Thornbrugh and Jeremy Stanford all landed 45 inchers, a length we designate as “super-sized”. But the big fish of the week was certainly the massive 45.5” lake trout that Mark Graf pulled in (after a lot of pulling on the other end). This was a team effort fish. It followed Rebecca’s (Mark’s wife) spoon right to the back of the boat, something an alert guide noticed. He quickly had Mark drop his spoon down to 25 feet, using the dropping, fluttering spoon as the dying whitefish trick. It worked. The big trout clobbered the Half Wave, and the battle was on. It took some time but Mark won. It was Mark’s second huge trout—the first he nicknamed Tubby, a fish that gave him the cover of the Scott Lake Lodge Annual Report. That one was a half-inch longer but no more exciting. Cindy Bixler also got into the big trout game with a 41- inch fish that also could have been nicknamed Tubby. Mike Sumeracki landed a 39 incher. Big grayling were in abundance . Chad Stanford had a 19.25” beauty along with a 19; Gratz Peters got a 19 and Brooks Stanford pulled an 18” miniature sailfish out of the rapids.

Big Fish: Triple Trophy Hats

With all those trout and grayling trophies there must have been some Triple Trophy hats presented during the evening awards presentations and indeed there were. Mark and Rebecca Graf got their hats along with Mike Sumeracki and Chad Stanford. Mark Graf on the back on that giant trout earned entry into the 100+Club. He has 106.5 total trophy inches and he still has five days of fishing to push up that number. With “only” a 43” pike to date he has a good chance of hitting a number we haven’t seen in years. Good luck to Mark.

Big Fish Plus Luxury

Of course all the other elements of a wonderful fishing vacation were checked off: festive shore lunches, splendid dinners in the lodge, high energy camaraderie, relaxing soaks in the hot tub and contemplative moments sitting on the big deck listening to the evening loon concert. It was a good week to be in the far north.