Reflections on Fall

by Tom Klein, Managing Partner

The calendar is showing September but the weather here at Scott Lake, smack dab on the 60th parallel, is showing summer. Typically, at the flip of the calendar from August to September there are blustery skies, cool temperatures and the definite feel of fall, but today the skies are clear and blue, the lake is flat and the temperature is in the mid-70s. There are signs that change is in the air—like the thousands of geese that passed through about a week ago when a north wind gave them a free ride south. Or the birch trees that are starting their turn from green to yellow. And the mosses that are turning the ground into a rich russet carpet. But it still feels like summer! Not typical but we’ll take it.

Transforming the Island

The summer work team is loving it. After a full day spent in the lake with water right on the edge of your waders rebuilding a dock, the thought of some evening fishing in warm weather is very appealing. It’s been a long summer for this crew. While there has been some fishing and fun, mainly it’s been just a long slog of hard work. So for them this return of summer has been a gift. This is the second consecutive summer when instead of guiding guests to pike, trout and grayling, many of our guides have been guiding boards and planks onto just the right spot. Led by General Manager Jason Hamilton, the team (currently Steve Yanish, Mike Demyen, Graham Coulombe and Paul Hamilton) is finally close to wrapping up the dozen or so projects that have transformed this island. A few other Scott team members (Greg Hamm, Amelia Gunn, Dawson Sawchuk and Dani Grunberg) left a couple of weeks ago. Collectively they did one hell of a job. Their accomplishments are the one silver lining of the whole Covid Catastrophe for us. Our guests arriving next June will be blown away with the improvements.

It’s wonderful here with all of Scott Lake at my doorstep. I don’t have to check “the board” to see what part of Scott Lake is customer-free. It’s all wide open, as are the two dozen fly out lakes. It’s a boyhood dream realized. Very soon thousands of lake trout, resplendent in their vivid fall colors, will rise to the shallow reefs in their annual spawning ritual. It’s a capstone of the fishing season here. The fishing is great, but the company is even better. Our team here operates efficiently and smoothly: cooking together, rolling out free ranging conversations, playing cards some evenings and the enjoying the solid satisfaction of having created a real community, even if it’s for a few months.

While this is all great, something big is missing; there is a void on the island. It’s you! This place just isn’t the same without the enthusiasm, energy, and goodwill of the guests from all over North America who fill Laker Lodge every evening with their stories and laughter. For most, it’s tough to separate their love of angling from their love of sharing that experience with like-minded people, but they all shed the pressures and pace of their urban worlds and absorb the peace and serenity of this pristine wilderness. For most of our guests their days at Scott are precious, providing memories that fuel their daydreams for the rest of the year. It’s just that kind of place.

But there is something missing… it’s you!

In a few words, WE MISS YOU AND WISH YOU WERE HERE. Judging by the dozens of emails and phone calls I’ve received over the past three months, you have missed us too. We all need to put the past two lost seasons in the rearview mirror and look to 2022 with hope and optimism. We will again stand on the lodge deck engaged in pleasant conversation, watching the lingering sunsets, staring at the deep blue water stretching miles to the south. We will again enjoy the simple pleasures of a shore lunch, the thrill of a big pike engulfing your lure, the sound of the waves lapping against the side of the boat, the taste of an elegant dinner and the absolute joy of all being back together again. We will.

Beyond Fishing

by Jason Hamilton, General Manager

A huge shadow turning into a massive Northern Pike darting across a crystal-clear shallow bay to grab your lure boat side. Saying “I’m snagged” when a giant lake trout stops your line dead in its tracks. Watching an arctic grayling sip your caddis fly from the surface in a wild northern rapid. The haunting call of a loon in the lingering twilight. The nostalgic smell of a campfire as shore lunch is being expertly prepared by your guide. These are the sensory impressions of the fishing experience here at Scott Lake Lodge. They are incredible and leave a lasting impression on our visiting anglers. Chasing our three species of fish in the wilds of northern Canada with an experienced guide is quite memorable. Actually, based on how many of our guests choose to return each year, IT’S ADDICTING! We have 9 million acres of untouched wilderness bounding 2 million (yes that’s a real number) acres of exclusive water. This is an amazing private fishing playground, a breathtaking backdrop to live out your fishing dreams. But wait, there’s more…

Time spent at Scott Lake isn’t limited to fishing. Investing some time to experience the flora and fauna of the far north on a guided hike around our Tundra Trail is a great way to get a feel for this unique landscape. The trail follows an esker, a glacial formation, around a small lake with some amazing views of Scott Lake. About an hour circuit provides you the opportunity to see the northern boreal forest, evidence of our local animals and maybe even glimpse a moose, marten or wolf. Ask owner and in-house naturalist Tom Klein and he will make this just a genuinely cool experience. Plan it before or after your fishing day. With the seemingly endless daylight, an evening hike is a perfect cap to a Scott Lake day.

Another way to get the blood pumping is our fitness center. A variety of cardio machines, free weights and a Smith machine appoint the best stocked gym on the 60th parallel. Loosen up for a day of fishing, keep up on your healthy lifestyle or make room for tomorrow’s shore lunch. Our wood fired sauna is a guest favorite: throwing some water on the hot rocks will bring on a good sweat and leave you refreshed. Think you might be up to a polar plunge? Head out of the sauna and straight into the lake. Your guide can radio ahead we will have the sauna hot for your return to the island. The hot tub on the Laker Lodge deck is another great place to relax and soak in the scenery. A hot tub under the northern lights? This mid-August to early September tradition is not one to miss.

Being in a near constant tug of war with the fish on Scott and our 22 other flyouts lakes can take a toll. An easy way to keep in top fishing form is a visit to the Stone Haven Spa, where our resident massage therapist will loosen up those tense muscles from fighting too many fish. Deep tissue, hot stone and Swedish techniques are all employed to help you stay limber and relaxed for the next day’s adventure.

Many of our guests relish their time on the water. There is a lot of it to see! If the nine-hour fishing day isn’t enough, explore the coves and islands surrounding the lodge in our fleet of canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards after dinner. It’s a quiet way to enjoy the wonders of Scott Lake. The many islands and points offer great protection from wind and waves.

Sitting right on the 60th parallel, the Scott Lake landscape includes trees, but we are near the northern limits of the forest in this part of the world. After a short flight north you encounter the tundra, the “land of little sticks”, a unique ecosystem that is incredible to visit. Our popular Tundra Tour involves a sightseeing flight north for an aerial tour across this seemingly endless landscape. Caribou and muskox are frequently seen on these flights as they live on the lichens, moss and dwarf willow blanketing the arctic floor. A picnic lunch on an esker with views for miles is followed by some of the best walk and wade grayling fishing anywhere. Flowing from Rennie Lake, the Elk River (no there are no elk there, but an early explorer called caribou “elk”) offers incredible scenery and grayling fishing to match. This is a bucket list experience.

What else can you do besides fishing? Ask your guide, owner Tom Klein or General Manager Jason Hamilton. They are ready and waiting to make this a trip of a lifetime. Want to learn to prepare shore lunch? Hike to the top of that hill? Learn to mix craft cocktails with our bartender? We want your Scott Lake Lodge experience to be unforgettable in every way. Our goal is for you to hook fish and for this place to hook you, so that you make a trip to Scott Lake an annual affair.

Now Is The Time

If the above sounds interesting, you should get going. We have just completed “resettling” our 2021 guests. In an amazing demonstration of Scott Lake loyalty, 95% opted to roll their trip into 2022 rather than taking a refund.

But there is still room for you. To absorb the demand we have added a new week for 2022 at the end of the season and are ready to take new bookings. We currently have openings scattered throughout the season, but they will not last long. Make 2022 the year that you discover the Scott Lake Experience.

Give our Sales Manager and guide extraordinaire, Jon Wimpney, a call at 306/209-7150 or email him. Jon has spent two decades at Scott and will help you find just the right week for your fishing interests. No customer ever leaves our lodge disappointed. We make sure of that. So, what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone!