All the planning, all the checklists, all the float flights to this small island on the 60th parallel, all the frantic onsite preparations and all the worrying paid off.
The first week at Scott Lake Lodge unfolded beautifully.
The new deck on the main lodge was completed (about 12 hours before the first guests arrived); the expansion of the Last Cast Bar looked great (that was done at least 24 hours before the first guest saw it); all the wine, beer, pop, food was in the lodge; and, most importantly, all the new fishing reels were spooled and ready to go. In short, we were ready for prime time when the Twin Otter, Turbo Otter and Beaver all landed at our docks on the evening of June 9th. While we did our part well, unfortunately the weather didn’t feel like contributing to the fun. To be honest, we faced some ugly conditions over our first five days. It was unseasonably cool (make that cold) with some unfriendly north and northeast winds. Did that bother our first group of guests? Not really. Our customers fished and fished hard. They dined, drank, played cards, and fished some more, living by the time honored credo of “fish, eat, sleep and fish”. Did the weather bother the fish? Not really. The results? Not bad at all.
Despite some cold front conditions for part of the week, our intrepid anglers brought 92 trophy fish to their guides’ hands:72 pike, a dozen lake trout and eight grayling. While we’ve had higher numbers for our first week, numbers alone don’t define a fishing trip. We had a couple of dozen very happy anglers getting on the float planes after five full days of fishing and enjoying the many amenities at the lodge. Tom Kehoe III was especially happy. He was our first 100+Club member of the young season, landing a pike of 45”, a grayling of 17” and a very fat trout that measured 41”. His total trophy inches hit 103, easily putting him in that exclusive club that requires getting each of our three game fish in trophy size with the collective measurements of all three hitting or exceeding 100 inches. He will wear his 100+Club jacket proudly. Two other anglers, Danny Martindale and Mike Sackash, just missed the 100” mark but did get their Trophy Triple hats, catching all three of Scott Lake Lodge’s gamefish in trophy size (40” for pike, 35” for lake trout and 15” for grayling). Big fish honors of the week went to new customer Tom Tarantino who pulled a gorgeous 47-inch pike from one of Scott’s productive southern bays. Pike of 45 inches were landed by Dave Morrill, Pat Goebel, Harry Moulopoulos, Sr., Mike Kennedy, Danny Martindale, Aris Moulopoulos, Tom Kehoe III, Sam Hanna and even our Beaver pilot, Riley Epp.
There’s a story there. Riley had casually mentioned that his biggest fish ever (in a lifetime of fishing in more southern areas of Saskatchewan) was a 12-pounder that he caught when he was 6 years old. When owner Tom Klein got wind of that fact, he was determined to ensure that Riley beat his ancient benchmark this season. So during a fly out on Day 4 of week 1, Riley got in a couple of hours of guided fishing. Sure enough he landed a tank of a 45-inch pike, probably doubling the weight of his boyhood big fish. A few casts later he nailed a 44 incher. All in a day’s work.
There were lots of good days during our first week. Doug Roche Jr., on his eleventh trip to Scott, had his best day ever getting four trophies and “countless” other fish. Aris Moulopoulos got five trophies on a single day. Mike Kennedy landed a 45 and a 46 on a single memorable day. The fish during this early season were clustered in pockets of warm water, giving our anglers some explosive action when those pockets were found by our guides, a not surprising outcome considering our guide team has an average tenure on Scott of 15 years. There were times when it really was “catching” not fishing.
So our first week was by all measures (including the fact that Week 1 for 2018 is completely booked already) a success. Stay tuned for more fishing reports.