by Tom Klein, Owner

For 24 consecutive summers, I have stared into the transparent waters of Scott Lake, always looking for those dark shadows that turn into streaking, savage northern pike.
For most of those seasons, I arrived in our vintage Beaver, GQD, when there was just enough open water to make a safe landing. I usually stayed on until the first snows of late September signaled the bitter end. In between those chilly arrivals and departures were summers packed with memories: engaging dinner conversations with guests who became friends; the lingering June sunsets watched from the lodge deck; the thrilling laughter of Scott’s resident loons; the transfixing beauty of late season northern lights; the sight of hundreds of lake trout swarming the shallow spawning reefs in September; the smells of shore lunch on sandy beaches; the kayak excursions on hot July days; and, of course, the adrenaline pumping shock of savage pike strikes, literally thousands every summer. These countless memories of two plus decades have layered into a single impression of summer in the far north—contentment, being in the right place at the right time.

Well, that string of summers, the pearls of my life, has been broken. Despite having a work permit, a long history in Canada and a good attorney, there was no way to beat the border closure this summer. When heard recently that even the Toronto Blue Jays could not play their home games in their own country, I did feel a little better. Yes, Canada is serious about Covid. My sense of loss about this Summer of Covid is shared by most, if not all, of regular guests, many who have called just to talk about how much they miss their annual trip.

The summer of 2020 will be remembered and discussed for generations. It is a marker like D-Day, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Moon Landing or 9/11. In context against the immense economic, emotional, and physical pain, along with now nearly 160,000 deaths this pandemic has wrought, the loss of a summer in paradise or a fishing trip pales, but it’s still real. So, we all just been making the best of it: keeping on keeping on.

How can any place compare to Scott Lake?
For me and my wife Pat the loss of living on a lake has been the toughest; we’ve had 35 consecutive summers on a lake, either Scott or our previous home in northern Wisconsin. We don’t have a late at our home in Montana. Since we are living adjacent to public land that stretches over 60 miles from our backdoor all the way to Yellowstone, I don’t expect crocodile tears from anyone. It could be a lot worse. After living here for 21 years, this has been our first full summer in Montana. We have tried to get our taste for water satisfied by renting a home for a month on Flathead Lake, the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi, about the size of Scott, in northwest Montana. It was nice but it wasn’t Scott. Located less than an hour’s drive from Glacier National Park, there were just way too many people. But how can any place compare to the privacy, purity, and serenity of Scott Lake?
I attempted to get my pike fix there. The area has a reputation for producing some huge fish. I tried. Four times, twice with a guide, I went into fabulous looking pike habitat—six to twelve-foot cabbage patches, thick lily pad bays and sharp drop-offs. I tried floating, intermediate and full sink fly lines, all kinds of flies, fast strip, slow strip, in between strip. I tried it all and landed exactly one pike, a massive 12 or 14 incher. Boy, do I miss the real north. My fishing for predator species will have to wait until this September when I will travel back to my home ground in northern Wisconsin to take on, I hope, a few muskies. I did just fine with cutthroat trout on the Flathead River, but really isn’t that kind of fish just bait? (I do like fish with teeth.)

What Did You Do This Summer To Get Your Fishing Fix?

Write a short description of your best fishing day this summer (with photos) and email it to Jason Hamilton, our General Manager.  We will select what we think is the best fishing tale and give the winner a fly out to any of Scott’s two dozen fly out lakes on their next trip to the lodge.

Seriously, that’s worth a few minutes of your time to share your summer of 2020 fishing stories with all the Scott Lake regulars!

No cheating: All contributions must be within the limits of all angler’s stories—a little embellishment but no outright lies!

We’ll be watching for your entry.


There will be a gap of 21 months without a customer on the island, but all I can focus on right now is the 2021 season. The prospect of a Covid vaccine by next spring now appears to be more than a hope. The campaign to get an effective vaccine and treatment is the Manhattan Project of our time: it will happen. We know one thing for sure. The Scott Lake team and infrastructure will be ready. We have assurances from the entire staff of their return for 2021. And our island will be transformed. Just keep reading—details ahead. We are not allowing the opportunity of summer work season to slip by. As you are reading this there is the wonderful sound of hammers hammering and saws sawing—something we never do when customers are present.

Jon Wimpney did an incredible job contacting our 2020 customers. Since nearly everyone (all but eight customers) rebooked for 2021, we are completely full now for the 2021 season, EXCEPT for the trip we’ve added to the end of our typical season. Next summer we will have a new five-day trip on September 5-10. That should be smack in the middle of the trout spawn where the vast numbers of lake trout in our lakes move onto rocky reefs of one to two feet in depth. It’s an amazing experience. On clear, sunny days they are spooky but long casts generally end up with a spectacularly colored lake trout on the end of the line. According to Jon, at this point it’s wide open except for one late season veteran (Andy, you know who you are) who jumped at this opportunity. There are still pike to be caught in early September and they will be fat and heavy, but the Troutfest is reason alone enough to make this trip. By the way, it is the only time when fly anglers can effectively target lakers. Yes, you will use floating lines. The lake trout spawn is temperature driven (50-degree lake water is the magic number) so, like all fishing, there are variables and no guarantees. Over the past decade though these dates have produced exciting fishing for the staff who were hanging around, shutting down the lodge.

Get On The List

Lock in your own 2021 lake trout experience in shallow water or get on the wait list for any cancellation for 2021. Every year we get a few, but with the uncertainties of travel these days we may have more than normal. It’s a first call/first serve program to fill cancelled spots.

With a full season of rest for all our fish, 2021 will be a memorable year.

Be there, call Jon today: 306-209-7150


by Jason Hamilton, General Manager

What to do with a full summer on Scott Lake without a single guest on the island? The first answer from our group of a dozen staff members was, of course, FISH!  Well, they got to do some but just a little. The objective for the summer was to condense five spring, fall and winter construction seasons into a single three-month period. The long daylight and absence of inclement weather make that ambitious goal possible, but that timeline didn’t allow a lot of time for fishing. This was a summer for work. We are extremely fortunate that our staff has a level of dedication unrivaled in this industry. This group came to work and work they have been doing. It helped that we had a quite a few team members with solid skill sets in construction. All had an incredible hard work ethic made this tall task easy for me to manage.

Hitting the docks later than normal this season (we had a late ice-out), we noticed one thing immediately—the ice had been particularly hard on two of our permanent docks. In fact, the ice was batting .500 on destroying docks. So, the group donned waders, and made our finest dock effort to date. Back on land, there were countless jobs refinishing, staining, repairing and building. By the time our next guests arrive on June 9, 2021 five of our thirteen cabins will sport major face lifts or be brand new (not counting Ptarmigan which debuted last summer). Major upgrades to our water and electrical system have been made. Thankfully, we have in Greg Hamm a licensed electrician. Since very department on the island wanted more storage, we have been building storage areas. (This is like a small city.) One of the biggest jobs that’s still on our agenda is a new, state of the art walk in cooler and freezer. It will be finished before we leave the first week of September. Every deck on the island been has water sealed. And there a couple of big surprises you are just going to have to wait and see with your own eyes once you step on our dock next summer.

It’s been a great summer: productive, fun, sweaty and weird. Despite the shared camaraderie our team has badly missed sharing this place with our visiting anglers. It’s a strange feeling to be in the lodge in the evening without the buzz of fishing stories and the excitement of who caught what. The blood, sweat and sometimes tears that went into this busy summer of improving the place will be completely forgotten though with the smiles and excitement of our guests seeing all the changes next summer. Scott Lake Lodge has always been about continual improvement, but this summer made a quantum leap.

Now, don’t think for a minute there hasn’t been a bit of fishing and some shore suppers up here. We need to keep the fish exercised and the fireside cookery skills sharp. We look forward to seeing the  entire extended Scott Lake family next June. Until then stay safe and stay tuned to our media outlets as we let some previews out!