While the calendar says fall and the yellowing birches say fall, the weather is stuck in a blissful endless summer. During the first two weeks of August the sun has been unchallenged by clouds of any sort: the good weather, the good fishing and the good times just keep rolling along. Not a drop of rain landed on Scott, but there is still plenty of water to float the boats. It has been hot though with precious little breeze. The Scott guides hate this kind of weather but many customers love it. Who doesn’t love blue skies and flat water? But the guides hate it because the pike go on a hunger strike when the lakes get flat and glassy. They seem to have a deal with their prey that goes like this: when the lake surface is so calm that you can see me and I can see you, let’s call the whole thing off. It’s not the right condition for pike to go on a hunt. Our guides love wind. The pike “chop” as they call it disperses light, creating refraction that provides the predator’s camo and makes the ambush feeding style work. But you fish what you’re given and our guides and customers do not sit on their hands. The fishing might have been tougher but that makes everyone work a little harder. The guide/guest team still gets the job done. In two weeks 244 trophies were landed, most of them pike. And there were a lot of very pike as well. Our list of “supersized” pike (those of 45” or better) just keeps growing. We can add to the growing list of names Jennifer Scott (45”), Travis Hunt (45”), Bob Meeks (46”), Derek Burdeny (46”), Arie Dejong (46”), Joe Daugherty (46”), Katie Olivo (46.5’) and with a real super Doug Howard (48”). Ty Daugherty (son of Joe) started his pike fishing life with a flourish. On his first day ever fishing he landed three trophy pike and a trophy lake trout. Dad was a busy and happy cameraman. Katie Olivo had probably the best single day of two week period, catching five trophy pike in one day with her 46.5” making it a most memorable day.
Big trout were also in the picture. Our supersized standard of 40” was crossed ten times in two weeks. The biggest was a 44.5X25” monster laker that John Vanderdussen joined for a photo opp. John got a 40 the same day. Bob Noble, Jr. caught two 40 inchers on one day. Dru Rafferty got a 40 and three anglers—Stu Sauser, Bob Chadwell and Jill Daubert—landed trout of 43 inches. All girthy and heavy. Loren Larson tallied four trophies but his real trophy was a day when he and his fishing partner, Don Rohrbahck, combined for 93 beautiful lake trout in a single day. For the five days they caught around 300 trout. Not all the trout were caught deep. One angler’s 38 incher grabbed a spinner in 9 feet of water in a pike cabbage patch. It’s the time of year when some trout start moving up.
It’s also the time of year when the grayling fishing hits its peak level of action. Everyone who went after this miniature sailfish had great fishing days. A bunch of people put grayling of 18” (a big one around here) in the guide’s net: Wayne and Clay Parmley, Dru Rafferty, Bryan Weirwill, Mike Shea, Brian Baker, Pete Ricketts and Dave Lenz. Mark Quandahl got one an inch better at 19. Dry flies have been the offering of choice. Grayling are not highly selective feeders. Throw out something that looks like a floating bug and hang onto your four-weight.
The northern lights made their first appearance of the season. Two nights were sensational; others so so. Like fishing you can’t predict the lights but like landing a big fish you do appreciate the experience when it comes. That big fish experience has been pretty common this season. On the last day of our 14th group of the season another big pike was landed, the 43rd over 45”. We have already bested last year’s supersized pike total of 42 and that was a good year. So we are headed to a great year. Stay tuned.