For fifty days now, Scott Lake Lodge guests have been jumping in boats and floatplanes in quest of northern pike, lake trout and arctic grayling. Most have been quite successful, but it’s been a tale of two summers over those 50 days
There was the idyllic blue sky, warm summer breezes summer that about half of our ten groups experienced and then the windy, cold and cloudy “not quite summer” that the other half fished through. Of course, some of the groups had a little of both—that’s weather, but weather conditions dictate fishing success. We know our pike and grayling love warm, sunny conditions. When the sun hits the water, those species go a little bit crazy, sometimes a lot crazy. Why else would a perfectly healthy and otherwise normal fish rush to chew on a piece of metal, plastic, fur or feathers?
Smiles all around.
So, our groups who had a lot of sunshine did bring in more and bigger fish, but everyone who came to this island on the 60th parallel caught a lot of fish. None caught as many as our second group at the lodge who enjoyed an early season heat wave that ran their one-group trophy count to 261, a record by a long shot. Our 8th and 9th groups also had perfect weather and big trophy counts. Our fifth group had to endure the worst weather of the season: it was cold and they had to work hard for their big fish. That’s just the way fishing is.
But the bottom line: after just fifty days or just under 60% of our season, a total of 1,631 trophy-sized fish were hooked, brought to the net, carefully and quickly measured and then released by the veteran Scott Lake Lodge guide team, now with an average tenure of sixteen seasons under their caps. That trophy number is impressive; we are well on our way to breaking the 2018 season’s record of 2,221 trophies, a record we thought would stand for years. After fifty days last year we were at 1,301 trophies. The mix is looking a little different this year with more pike and grayling and fewer lake trout.
“When the sun hits the water, those species go a little bit crazy, sometimes a lot crazy. Why else would a perfectly healthy and otherwise normal fish rush to chew on a piece of metal, plastic, fur or feathers?”
The pike and grayling have more than made up for the relative absence of trout on the end of the line. We’ve had both numbers and size this season. Many anglers do count either by guestimate or by one of those damn clickers that guides hate. With both methods counts of over a hundred fish per person per day have been tallied. Counts of two, three or four dozen per angler have been common. We don’t count anything but trophy fish so those total fish counts can remain as memories with our guests but over 50 days it’s got to be a huge number, in the many tens of thousands.
Even the trophy number is huge. We’ve had some amazing days. Both Joe Daugherty and Peter Myhre (both come more than once) have tallied nine trophy pike in a single day and both have done it twice this season. Len Dorr had an eight-pike trophy day and four anglers (Josh Nardo, Bret Laing, Peter Myhre and Thomas Purcell) have had seven trophy pike days. With all those trophies there must have been some real hogs. Yes! We’ve had one 50 inchers already, taken by our Head Chef on a rare day off. There have been a pair of 49s (Bernie Heile and Suzanne Noble) and a bunch of 48s and 47s. There were a couple very notable lake trout—a 44” and a 45” with the best of the trout season still to come. For numbers and size, it’s been a very good year. If we had the cloudy half of our season in sunshine it would have been a spectacular year, but we take the weather day by day and fish whatever weather we get.
On the Wild Side
Summer at Scott Lake Lodge is about more than fishing. After all, our slogan is “World Class Fishing and More”. So, what’s the “more” all about? Well, there’s the fine dining, the lively evening bar scene, the hot tub, sauna, the Stone Haven Spa, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking and wildlife. Especially wildlife. It’s always a bonus when during a day’s fishing there is an encounter with a bear, moose or musk ox. We have cool birds like loons, eagles and osprey all the time, but seeing a big mammal is a real thrill. It’s not planned and certainly not predictable, but it’s a wonderful opportunity when it happens. For reasons we can only speculate about we have had an abundance of wildlife sightings in 2019, especially bear.
It started early in the season when bears were seen by someone almost every day. We know this because we hand out bear pins along with our pike, lake trout and grayling trophy pins at our nightly “fish du jour” event. We almost ran out of bear pins. One pair of anglers saw bears (different ones as we fish different areas every day) on four straight days. The speculation is that the cold weather we had this spring and into summer slowed down the berry growth and had the bears scouting the shorelines for anything they could find. With low water this year the shorelines were easier walking with better scavenging. It’s a theory but all hunters and anglers love theories about things they really can’t explain. There were probably a dozen moose sightings as well, but the real big news was the presence of musk ox in our fly out zone. Twenty years ago, it took a two-hour flight in a floatplane to get into musk ox county. No more. This year we’ve had musk ox observed right on some of our fly out lakes. Some of our anglers had musk ox within 50’ of their boat. Rare and wonderful.
2020: It’s Not Too Good to Be True
If it all sounds too good to be true you will just have to find out for yourself in 2020. It’s not too early to grab a prime spot. Our rebooking have been sensational. Of the 260 people who came through the lodge so far this year, just over 80% have booked for next season. We do offer the right of first refusal to current year guests and most opt for that opportunity. But that still leaves a lot of spots for next year when you can have that option yourself. Give our Guide/Sales Manager Jon Wimpney an email to get your trip for the first half of next season. Find the 2020 schedule and prices on this site and remember that our package is the most inclusive in the industry. Take a careful look and compare the cost per day. The very best doesn’t have to cost more.