SUN, FUN AND FISH
For our ninth group of the season, the fun in the sun just kept rolling on. Like our last group, they were singing the song of summertime. When anglers make the trek to the 60th parallel, they generally aren’t thinking shorts, sandals and T-shirts. Or swimming or paddle boarding. Yet for five straight blissful days, this group enjoyed perfect summer weather. With the abundant sand beaches around Scott Lake, if we could have transplanted palm trees for the black spruce, we could have convinced our guests that they were in the Caribbean. Except this water is sweet, clear and clean enough to drink right out of the lake, really. Weather-wise, it was as good as it gets.
So, what did the fish think of this? Apparently, they liked it. The northern pike, lake trout and arctic grayling were eager dance partners with our anglers, grabbing with abandon the Mepps and Blue Fox spinners, the plastic Turbo Pike, McRubbers and Havocs, even a few old-school Doctor Spoons and Dardevles, along with lighter furry or feathered-fare like bunny leeches, deceivers or whistlers. It was summer: why not have a picnic? Of the several thousand fish landed over the five days (the numbers were great), there were 202 that made the cut as Scott Lake Lodge trophies. Our pike, the heat-seeking missiles of the fish world, represented exactly half of that total, not a record but a very healthy number. Many did some reel tail-dancing as our angler’s drags sang an upbeat note. Our quite acrobatic grayling, 79 trophy-sized, also showed some tail when they took to the air on the fast water that connects many of our 22 fly out lakes. Their dance music? The heavenly sounds of water rushing over rocks, of course. Our big lake trout didn’t need any music. They just pulled and pulled, trying to wear down the person on the other end of the line. Some succeeded. Some didn’t. While this year’s “trout season” has been late due to the cool weather in June and early July, it picked up some energy this week with 22 trophy lakers including 40 inchers landed by Thomas Purcell and Kevin Fisher. Bob Noble got a 41 and Greta Hall a 41.5” beauty.
The most dancing action though was with the pike and arctic grayling, our solar-powered gamefish. When pike get enough sunshine, they really turn on, going crazy with aggressive energy as several our guests discovered. It was the right place/right time for Thomas Purcell who found himself on a pristine lake 50 miles north of the lodge and found himself tied to big pike seven times in one day. He landed them all. Janet Rucker, Luke Dunn and JR Dunn picked up a six-pack of trophy pike on their fast dancing day. The father/son team of Gary and Garek Peters combined for eight trophies on their memorable day. But it was the big pike that made the headlines in the Tundra Times, our daily paper of fishing news. There were 45 inchers caught by Bob Noble, Bob Fisher, Greta Hall and Thomas Purcell, a 45.5 incher by Mandy Purcell, a 46” dandy by Greta Hall and a very heavy 48” lunker by Gary Peters. Some impressive fish. Most impressive though was the 49” perfectly proportioned (meaning wide across the back and girthy in the middle) pike landed by Suzanne Noble. Truly a fish of a lifetime. It was the same day that husband Bob landed a 41” lake trout. With several other trophies and many near trophies, the day prompted Bob to say that this was the best fishing day he had ever experienced. Considering that Bob has made Canadian fishing trips for 60 consecutive years, that’s saying a lot.
With all the blue skies and light winds, more guests than usual flew out to team up with some arctic grayling (usually combined with pike and trout fishing). Ten of our anglers hit the “super-sized” grayling mark of 18 inches: Bob and Suzanne Noble, Kevin Fisher, Eric and Greta Hall, Thomas and Mandy Purcell, Don Madl, Luke Dunn and John Bolen. There were 79 grayling that hit the 15” trophy size. Grayling just love sun on the water. With all those grayling, there were lots of Trophy Triple hats passed out this week. Roger Fuller had a “Done in One” Trophy Triple day, getting all three of our species in trophy size in one day. A season high of seven anglers got their hat and had enough total trophy inches to join the 100+Club. Joining the 12 other anglers this year in the club were Mike and Mandy Purcell, Bob and Suzanne Noble, Eric and Greta Hall and Kevin Fisher. Greta Hall’s total of 105.5 inches puts her in third place in the season’s standings. Foster Graf still leads the pack with a whopping 108.5 inches.
After all the fish were counted, one thing that defies counting stood out—the fun factor. It’s not the number of fish caught that counts: it’s the fun people had catching those fish. This group was fun-focused all the way. Every night at trophy announcements the group went wild, cheering their own catch and everyone else’s. The fun continued throughout the evening. Led by the Purcell-Hall group, there were card games, dice games, lots of wine sampled and animated conversation on the big lodge deck. On the quiet evenings when the big lake rested like a giant millpond, the laughter from the lodge, mixing with the laughter of the loons, drifted miles down the lake. It was summer at Scott Lake Lodge, a perfect week all will remember.