The eagle has landed! (In a tall spruce by the main lodge.) And loons, hundreds of geese and lots of ducks have been landing every day,along with Beavers of the de Havilland variety. We have taken control of this isolated birch and spruce decorated island right on the 60th parallel. It has been a wonderful set up period for the crew at Scott Lake Lodge. On June 1 the advance team landed in a small open stretch of water on the south side of our island home, but not quite enough of an opening to get the plane to shore. Manager John Gariepy had to wade in ice cold water to get a lodge canoe to ferry the rest of the group and some groceries to shore. There is always drama at Scott. Now five days later the advance group is twelve strong with more staff arriving daily. Compared to many of the past sixteen seasons at Scott, this will be a wonderfully leisurely opening. It is an annual ritual of considerable magnitude: there are 28 buildings to clean up/fix up; the boats need an annual fresh coat of interior paint; the store inventory needs to be unpacked, priced and put out; thousands of pounds of frozen meats and other food items need to be unloaded stored; the spruce chip walkways need a fresh coat of chips; the office needs to be organized. And for any of that to happen the two Beaver air lodge air force has to fly trips all day long and the days are pretty long now. The whole thing is quite like starting a new business every year.

Scott is now 90% ice free with only some north facing islands holding the remnants of last winter

For this year’s opening we have had extra challenges. A heavy snow load pulled down the two compressors that run our walk in freezer/refrigerator. Fortunately we found a Saskatoon based refrigeration company that could send a technician ASAP. He got things running just hours ahead of the 1,500 pounds of frozen meat. The ice did us no favors this year.

On June 3rd the wind pushed the ice against our south dock. There was nothing to do but watch as tons of ice pushed the stone filled cribs toward shore. No one messes with the power of moving ice floes. So four guides worked two full days to rebuild the dock. It’s all part of the game in the lodge business.

Our construction crew from Saskatoon puts the finishing touches on a beautiful new cabin

The new cabin, Raven, is now in the final interior phase of construction. It will be ready for guests on June 15. The lumberjack crew has cut hundreds of small spruce trees that will soon become the fragrant and soft walkways around the island. And today the sun is out and it is beautiful. Life at Scott is good. The geese are heading north in great numbers; the birch trees are almost fully leafed out and the lake has never looked more blue and inviting. And for our regulars who have been up recently it will be refreshing to see a “full pond”. The heavy snows of late winter have our lake levels back to normal after several years of very low water. This will open up a lot of small bays again that were impassable. The fish? They’re ready, willing and able to stretch your lines. (That has been recently tested as the picture included here attests.)

For 2012 we are now at 99% full. And we would love to be at 100%. If you have the itch for a wilderness fishing trip this summer now is the time to scratch it. Surprisingly we still have four spots in the prime shallow water pike week of June 30-July 5, perfect for fly anglers as well as hardware chuckers. That’s all we have left. Grab one now like a pike grabs a black leech. Email our Sales Manager Jon Wimpney or call our guest services office at 888/830-9525 to get one of the four last tickets to paradise.

Someone had to give the pike some exercise. Tom Klein with guide Chester Porteous holding one of several pre-season trophies.