The Gang is All Here
Well, most of the gang is here. Thanks to an early ice out we were able to start bringing in our staff on May 29th.. That’s the earliest date for floatplane landings over the past twenty years at least. We had a group of four, led by senior guide Paul Hamilton, on the island for nearly a month prior to the first splashdown. They came in on a chopper to get a head start on a long checklist of spring work. Now we are a dozen strong with more arrivals every day until the full crew of thirty is assembled just before our June 10 opener. The pre-season is always an exciting time. There is a lot of activity on the island and in the air. Our Otter and Beaver floatplanes are running almost non-stop trips to bring in the needed supplies for the season and set up the 20 fly out lakes scattered over nine million acres of the Northwest Territories. And there are other birds in the air – geese, loons, terns and lots of migrating songbirds, many heading much farther north. It’s a great time to enjoy the quiet of the lake before the guide team gets their boats in the water.
There has been a lot of hard work put in already. The biggest item on the list this spring was a major landscape improvement project. All the logs edging our woodchip trails have been replaced with beautifully stained logs. The logs came from a burn area so you might say that they were kiln dried. Unlike the fresh cut logs we have been using for years these will resist rotting for many years. But it’s a major job. After hauling the logs to the island, the guys need to strip off the bark, pressure wash and then stain each log. Not a small task. About two hundred were prepared and put down to make our walkways more than just a mode of conveyance – they are a thing of beauty. Of course we also need tons of woodchips. More trips to distant shores to cut standing dead trees.
The crew has been busy.
As if we needed more to do, the ice decided that we needed to rebuild one of our docks, the north dock where our Beaver is parked during the season. When wind and ice conspire, wood and rock are no match. A team of four will spend at least two full days getting the dock back to a functional status. There has been inside work too. Customers will be pleased to see a new bar and some additional dinner seating in the main lodge. Several cabins have been stained. Getting around to the twenty log-sided buildings takes both time and some cooperation by the weather.
Completing special projects is challenging when there are lots of important “regular jobs” to do: cleaning the cabins; getting the water and power running smoothly; putting fifteen guide boats in the water and servicing the outboards; rigging 168 rods/reels (each guide has twelve outfits to cover all the fishing situations at Scott); unloading load after load of freight from our planes, and doing all the little things that make Scott Lake Lodge a unique fly in destination. But everything is getting done. In just three more days the place will be ready for prime time and the first group of customers. We thank all our 2016 guests for making this wonderful summer in the wilderness possible for our staff who would rather be here than anywhere else in the world. It’s a special place.
New Chef in Town
Scott Lake Lodge has been blessed with some fine chefs over our twenty year run. After nine years of providing excellent dining experiences (both as sous chef and executive chef), Jeff Walker decided it was time to do some traveling and explore new horizons.
We know we have another winner with Jeremy Hobson, who greeted arriving staff on Friday evening with a magnificent prime rib dinner, (there will be more for guests). It was a sign of great dinners ahead. Jeremy has traveled and cooked widely around Canada, spending six years as Banquet Chef and Executive Chef at the Waskesiu Lake Lodge and Convention Center near the Prince Albert National Park and working some very high end catering jobs. He has personally cooked for some very internationally well known touring musicians such as the Red Hot Chill Peppers, the Foo Fighters and Neil Young. His most prestigious assignment though was cooking for Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister, and Francois Hollande, the French President. So he will not be intimidated cooking for our world class anglers. Rest assured, you will enjoy his culinary talents. His approach to his assignment at Scott Lake Lodge: “I see every day as a blank slate on which I create something new and exciting that will leave guests talking for days to come.” Not a bad attitude. Come on up and experience Jeremy’s creative expressions for yourself.