In his memorable song “Fire and Rain” James Taylor covered perfectly the story of our Week 12 anglers. Like Taylor they did see fire and rain, but they saw a lot more rain than fire. Fortunately, the fires that swept through the Scott Lake region in late July were nearly out by the time this group landed at Scott Lake on August 3rd. There were still a few isolated flames along the lake shores and some smoky areas. But the rain, both nighttime and daytime, over the first four days of the trip put out every smoldering hot spot. By the end of the fourth day, the fire story of summer 2023 had a peaceful ending. Truthfully it was a rainy, dark week with only a few glimpses of sunshine and blue sky.

But that didn’t seem to bother the fish too much. As the primary entertainment of the week, they didn’t fail, offering up just over 100 trophies. As almost always with fishing, there were slow days, hot days and days that are in-between. With “just” over a dozen trophies, the first day would land in that slow day category, considering the elevated standards of fishing here. On the second day the fishing got a bit warmer, enough to call it an in-between day. There were just under two dozen trophies including Amy Tower’s 45” pike and some huge grayling taken by Dave and Priscilla O’Donnell (more on those fish later). The fishing was building and by the third day the fishing was hot, very hot—one of the best days of our season—even though it started with a very cold morning with some rain and fog that made it feel like September. In fact, many noted that it felt like the first day of fall. While it didn’t look like a great fishing day, it was with 26 trophy pike and 19 trophy lake trout landed. The big ones were well spread out among our guests: 22 of our 26 anglers got at least one trophy that day, some very nice ones. Tina Walker used a fly rod all day and was rewarded with her first big pike on the fly. It was 44” big. Priscilla O’Donnell got a 44.5” dandy. Todd Kalish landed a pair of trophy pike, the biggest a hefty 45-incher. Big lakers though were the headlined story. Lake trout of 38 or 39 inches were caught by Mike Skogen, Mike Schiedt, Tony Trusso and Priscilla O’Donnell. The really big trout were on the prowl too. A lake trout of 42” is huge. We don’t get a lot of those, but we had three on a single day. The lucky and tired anglers (these brutes really fight) were Jeff Towers, Amy Towers and Dave O’Donnell. A day couldn’t get much better.

The next day did get better for Ryan Robbins and John Milano who both connected and “Supersized” with 40” lake trout. Tiff Skogen and Tony Trusso were just a half-inch under that mark at 39.5”. Brian Rauser got a 39-incher into the net and Mike Kelly got a 38”. It was a trout fest. Tina Walker, Mike Scheidt, Anthony Maurice and Jerry Kyle also landed trophy trout on windy and rainy day—weather lake trout seem to love. But even sun-loving pike have to eat sometime: Dan Romine found a 44” pike at the end of his line. A heavy morning fog had cancelled all the fly outs on the fourth day, but Scott Lake was in a giving mood with a total of 20 trophies landed.

For the last day the sun finally came out and blessed the lake with warmth. Many ended their trip with a blissful shore lunch in the sunshine. Others kept up a full fishing day with some great results. Jeremy May, Brian Ash and Jerry Kyle all landed lake trout in the 39-inch zone. The Tower group headed to Lefty Falls, the most spectacular places we fish, where they loaded up on Grayling. Thanks to a few grayling fly outs, a lot of Trophy Triple Hats were passed out this week. Pricilla and Dave O’Donnell got theirs and all four of the Tower group (Amy and Jeff Towers, Anthony Maurice and Ryan Robbins) left with some new head gear. Pricilla, Dave, Amy and Jeff all upgraded to the 100+Club. All have been frequent club members over their many years of Scott Lake fishing.

While the sun wasn’t out a lot for this group, on the final day they could have sung along with James: “There have been sunny days I thought would never end”. It was a wonderful ending to a great week at Scott Lake Lodge.