What a difference a day makes. Our intrepid anglers for Week 18 arrived on a weather-delayed changeover to find cloudy and windy conditions. After settling in everyone, of course, hit the water for a half day and they did OK. Taylor Abernathy, our 90-years-young guest, did some nice moves in the boat to get the biggest fish of the day—a beautiful 45-incher. But it looked a lot like the previous week when the sun graced the waters for just two hours. However, the next morning dawned bright and clear. That two-hour sunshine mark was eclipsed before the first boat or plane left our docks. What followed was four days of almost continuous sunshine; only the final afternoon got partly cloudy.

Great Pike Fishing

The fish followed the time-tested script: sun equals great pike fishing. After a week of resting our savage tundra sharks started hitting anything that moved. There were some fantastic days. Rebecca and Mark Graf had a five trophy day; Gerald Tiefenbach and Paul Croegaert combined for six trophies; Nancy and Marvin Wehl had their best day ever on the water, landing five trophy pike, including a 44 and a 45, two trophy trout and a big bunch of trophy grayling, the biggest at 19” for Nancy and 18.5” for Marvin; Ron Juergens, who has fished all over Canada, had one of his best pike days, teaming up with Joel Snyder for six big pike and a bunch of almost trophy-sized. But the best “big day” story belongs to the father/son team of Mike and Adam Strobel. On the second day at Scott, they had a great day, getting five trophy pike but Adam got four of them. There might have been a little trash talking there. On the third day, dad showed he still had the good stuff: he let Adam take the pictures while he put seven trophy pike in the guide’s net with one a fat 45”. Father knows best.
There was no shortage of big pike. In addition to all those mentioned above, there were a bunch of 44s caught—Eric Klein, Mark Graf, Paul Larusso, Jim Kusar and Peggy Light hit that mark on the tape. Joel Snyder, Mark Graf, Trent Kusar, and Jeff Berg put the tape one inch longer with 45s. That’s a lot of big fish. And we’re not done. What’s a fishing update without mentioning the Lake Trout?

Trout On the Move

While the trout are now moving up the water column in a pre-spawning move, the big ones are still deep. Liz and Ed Snyder, with a little help from their guide, found them. They had an epic day. There is no other word. They landed ten trophy lake trout, great but not a headline. six of them were over 40 inches long—that’s a headline. Liz got the biggest at 44 inches, one of the biggest of the season. The picture tells the story. Gerald Tiefenback landed a 38” and Paul Croegaert got a 39” lakers. Lots of smaller trout were taken while anglers were casting for pike. In just a few days the first waves of lake trout will be on the spawning reefs, visible in only two to five feet of water. Add some great grayling fishing and you end up with a great week on the water and two new members of the 100+Club–Marvin and Nancy Wehl who did it all this week.

Everything Swimming and Dancing

Fish weren’t the only critters swimming in the water. It was an unusual wildlife week with some rare sightings. How many people have seen a porcupine swimming? Jeff Berg and Peggy Light have now. We also had guests who watched swimming otters, a muskrat (quite rare in these parts), mink, pine martin and black bear. But it was a black bear on terra firma who was the big show. We had on Gardiner Lake a spectacular blonde black bear (yes black bears vary in pelage color) that did a dance right in front of Mark and Rebecca Graf and their guide Greg Hamm, who came by boat answering a distressed radio call from our Beaver pilot, Evan Barlow. Evan had been chased (in a non-threatening way, if that is possible) around his plane before he could jump in. Then the bear grabbed a coil of rope, rubbed his back against a tree and did these amazing dance moves. This was a very big bear. The video is priceless. Nothing could top that bear dance, not even the great northern lights, the Tundra Trail hike or the two evening bonfires. It was the kind of week everyone dreams about for their fishing vacation. And that’s what we do best up here: make fishing dreams come true.