It’s summertime and the fishing, at least most of the time, is easy. Well it was easy most of the time, except when cold fronts creep into the 60th parallel. We had three days of cool and windy weather when our sixth group of the season was at the lodge, but they still caught a lot of trophies. Despite the often unstable weather over this early to mid-summer period, the fishing has been very stable, as in very, very good. Our spring fishing over the first fifteen days (June 10th to June 25th) of the 2016 season was sensational with intense action and some impressive trophy counts—so many huge pike, eleven over 47”. Fishing like that can’t be sustained over an entire season. Can it? You could ask the 130 anglers who fished between June 26 and July 20th. They would tell you that indeed it is possible. They landed 566 trophy fish with a staggering number of real hogs. The 25-day breakout: 358 pike, 148 lake trout and 60 grayling. Those are big numbers and they reflect some amazingly big days.
Over the past few weeks we have had some single day fishing experiences that will race the pulse of any Canadian angler right to the edge. Days that most anglers will only have in their dreams. How about a day when dad and his eleven-year-old son go after big trout for the first time after several Scott Lake trips of focusing on pike. Dave and Jackson Wanderer headed to the east end of Scott Lake to an area well known by all Scott guides. It always produces trout but rarely like it did for Dave and Jackson. While they caught only seven trout in their morning at Chester’s Hole, six of them were trophies. Jackson nailed a pair of 38” lakers, a 39”, a 40” and a 41.5”. Dad took a lot of pictures and contributed a 39” and 40” trout. That’s a good morning. Another father/son team, Gary and Garek Peters, had a very similar trout fishing experience. On a fly out lake Garek tied into a pair of 38 inchers, a 39”, a 40”, a 41” and a real hog of a 43”. Gary, like Dave, contributed a pair of dandies, a 36” and a 40”. You can’t make up fishing stories any better than this. The fishing stories just kept coming. Fishing buddies Ken Hartem and Rhys Reece had an even better day. Ken got five trophy trout with three over 40 inches. Rhys got three with two of them over 40. And together they added five trophy pike. That’s a DAY. Phil Nutt had one of those days too, getting trout of 39”, 40”, 40.5”, 41” and 44.5”.
JUST PLAIN BIG FISH
Typically, big fish don’t come in bunches. You earn them spending hours casting or trolling before you latch onto a big one. We had plenty of days where one magnificent fish made the day. Anglers who landed lake trout of over 40” (our standard for a “super-sized” trout) included Dave Bensema and Nicholas Kippenhan who both got a pair over 40. Ken Williams, Bob Noble, Greg Kippenhan, Gale Hamilton, Don Hunt, Doug Howard and Glen Perkins all had glorious memories of landing a trout over 40”—a true fish of a lifetime.
Pike were definitely part of the Big Fish story. They dominated it. In our 20 years of operations on Scott Lake we have never seen so many huge pike. We call pike of 47 inches or better “megas”. Over the past twenty-five days we added nine more megas to our season’s total. There were mega smiles on the faces of Bob Tiegs and Dan Jacobi who landed 49 inch girthy pike. The biggest smile though may have been on the face of Tamra Lee who early on her first morning of her first ever pike fishing trip she gets her first pike, a modest one. Then she lands her second pike ever, a ridiculously fat pike of 48.5”. You could hear the sobbing of grown men all over the north who have fished a lifetime without ever catching a fish like that. No crying though for Al Williamson, Tom Donaldson or Jerry Richardson who landed 48s. Nor from Dan Spielman, Ken Williamson or Harry Wilson who got 47 inchers. What a parade of pike!
HALF WAY TO A RECORD YEAR?
We are now at exactly the half way point of the season. It is on track to be our all- time trophy fish season. With 936 total trophies in the bag beating the record 2014 season of 1,542 is well within reach. We have already beat our all-time record for pike over 47”. Our record years were 2014 and 2015 when we had 13 pike over 47. In just a half season we have 20 over 47”. We are also looking at a trout record. We are sitting at 38 lake trout over 40” in the books, well on our way to a record. In 2014 and 2015 we had 30 trout over 40” for the entire season. So many big fish. We can debate the causes: more fly out lakes now numbering 18 spread over nine million acres of Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories, better anglers, more experienced guides, better equipment, etc. But who needs to analyze fishing. It’s just fishing and it’s just fun. People quantify because it’s easy: it’s just counting.
BEHIND THE NUMBERS
There is no way to quantify the precious experiences of traveling miles over pristine waters to reach your guide’s “secret spot”, hearing the zing of your drag, watching an eagle take flight out of a spruce tree, hearing the enchanting loon calls at night or enjoying that first taste of really fresh fish at a shore lunch. The Scott Lake Lodge experience is certainly about fishing but much, much more. It’s about sharing this wilderness with like-minded people, watching the nightly “fish of the day” photographs together, enjoying a fine meal and yes, telling fish stories. All part of the adventure. And the story for 2016 is only half told.
THINK ABOUT 2017
If you are getting tired of just reading about fishing adventures, it’s time to send our guide/sales manager Jon Wimpney an email at firstname.lastname@example.org While most of our anglers rebook for the following year before they leave the lodge, we do have a few spots open in our 2017 calendar. Camp opens on June 9. Check out the 2017 schedule and details on our website. But don’t think too long. You want to be part of the Scott Lake Fishing Adventure for 2017. Grab your phone, I-Pad, computer or any device you want and email Jon today.