WEEK 7 UPDATE
SUMMERTIME FISHING UPDATE AND THE CASE OF THE MISSING TERNS
First, the terns. The Common Tern is a striking beautiful and elegant bird: sleek in design, graceful in flight, wearing a smart black cap and sporting a very sharp red bill that leads the bird’s watery plunge to capture small fish. They are often seen flying with their small, silvery trophies. Just a very cool bird. We have been graced at Scott Lake Lodge with a colony of Common Terns within sight of our island. Every year they arrive and depart (early June and mid-August) on the same day. This has happened for the three decades of current ownership and probably for countless decades before. Except for this year. They arrived on time, and everything was normal with their excited vocalizations and aerial dances delighting our guests and staff. Then one day just over a week ago they were gone. All gone. Not a feather could be found on their breeding site, a non-descript exposed cobble reef perhaps sixty by ten feet and only a couple of feet above the water line. They had prospered there for years. Avian influenza? Their sworn enemy, the herring gulls? A parasitic jagger wandering by from it more northerly home? A mink, pine marten or wolverine that swam to their home? Only questions. No answers. A Scott Lake mystery. Our terns will be missed and remembered.
What’s not a mystery is why so many of the homo sapiens species return every year to their summertime fishing home. It’s obvious. They love the fishing, the food, the world class guiding and customer service, the serenity of our pristine wilderness backyard and of course the warm companionship of like-minded people. Our Week 7 guests had all of the above. The summertime fishing was wonderful. The catching wasn’t the best of the year, but it wasn’t the worst either. Sometimes good is simply good enough and it was. There were 99 trophy fish brought to the boats with plenty of heavyweights led by Nick Manship’s 46” pike. His dad, Mike Manship, on the last day weighed in with a fat 45. Other 45s were taken by Don Mewhort, Russ Gesme and, of course, Peter Myhre who continued his torrid run through the Scott Lake Lodge fly out lakes. Peter loves climbing into our vintage (but trusty) De Havilland Beaver, GQD, and exploring some of the nine million acres of northern Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories that we call home. What a week he had. On his first and second days of fishing he landed seven trophy pike (yes each day). On his third he got six. Then he had to rest on the fourth due to the wild storm that shut down for a day not only our fly outs but nearly all of the fishing on our main lake. Over his three five-days trips to Scott this season Peter has landed 47 trophy pike, an astonishing number. And he is coming back for more later this season. Tom Granneman and Russ Gesme were also into the multiple trophy game, getting nine trophy pike on a single day. Ron Donnall and Alan Carney had plenty of big pike also, each landing a 44-incher.
The lake trout summertime fishing action picked up considerably this week. It helped Tom Kehoe with his quest to join the 100+Club. Tom landed a 39” laker that with a big pike and grayling gave him 100 total inches from those three fish. His fishing buddy, Mike Sackash, had trophies of all three species and got the Trophy Triple hat but just missed the 100” mark. Other big trout were taken by Mickey and Randy Moret. The Kings of the Trout for the week though were two first-timers, the father/son team of Mike and Nick Hylant. They really got into vertical jigging for lake trout, a technique preferred by some guides. It worked. On a single day they landed 101 lake trout. Mike ended up with two trout trophies at 36 and 37 inches. Both anglers enjoyed a trophy experience with almost constant bent rods. They also had plenty of pike action.
The summertime fishing excitement wasn’t limited to fish. On a fly out to Smalltree Lake, all four of the visiting anglers—Tom Kehoe, Mike Sackash, Tom Granneman and Russ Gesme—watched a lone bull muskox swim across the Dubwant river. When the huge animal hit shallow enough water to walk he was a raging bull throwing a “bow wake” comparable to their boats. Check out this National Geographic quality video .
Lot of fish. Lots of fun. Wonderful memories were made. We expect most of our guests will return to our island next summertime fishing season, just as we hope our terns will come back to their rocky home.