FISH STORIES: THE GROUP THREE REVIEW
Here’s a good fish story for you. Imagine a guy who has fished for pike for a few years and done well with his spinning rod. He decides to get into fly fishing and has his guide show him the basics. So, his guide works with him on technique, but the cast is pretty basic. There is no double haul, not even a single haul. It’s kind of a straight arm flop. But the guide has faith and encourages the guy to go for it. What does the guy do? Nothing more than cast to a sighted fish, set the hook and land a magnificent 49” northern pike, our biggest of the season. Not a bad start for a beginner. The “guy” is Bernie Heile and the story is absolutely true. That fish alone would have made a great trip but a couple of days earlier, Bernie used his spinning gear to land five trophy pike in a single day while his friend and fishing partner, Len Dorr, landed eight trophies that day including a 48 incher, the third biggest of the season. Not a bad trip for the boys.
As with the previous two groups, the fishing story for our third group was all about sunshine. For the first three days of the five-day trip, we had glorious sunshine and lot of heat. It brought the pike out of the shadows of the deep water into the shallows. These fish were aggressive, even angry. Our daily trophy counts jumped like a startled frog (even though we don’t have frogs up here). Day 1 tallied 46 trophies; Day 2 registered 56 and Day 3 brought home 40—all incredible numbers. Then the wind changed from the balmy southwest to the nasty northeast. It felt like the change brought the air all the way from the Greeland ice sheet. The temperatures dropped from the 70s and even low 80s all the way down to 50. Our pike were not impressed. They dropped out of sight and our daily counts dropped to 13 on Day 4 (including three trophy lake trout) to 7 on Day 5.
With three amazing days in the books, no one complained about the slower days on the final two. Anyway, it’s fishing. Who do you complain to? There were a lot of fish in the books before the weather turned. One of our guests with a long Scott history, Steve Bandt otherwise known as “Big Dog”, had quite a trip. Steve had three consecutive days with five trophies. That was no flash in the shorelunch pan. Joe Novicki, who has been coming to Scott for over 20 years, had the pike six-pack. Greg Larson and Jerry Maunus had five trophy pike days. When you’re in the right spot they often just keep coming. Of the 157 total trophies for the week, nine were huge fish. In addition to the 48 and 49 of Dorr and Heile, Grant Larson, fishing just 15 minutes from the lodge, hauled in a fat 47. Rory Wright got a 46.5” even closer to the lodge. Steve Bandt, Dave Thome, Peter Jewett, Phil Proctor and Chase Larson all nailed 45s. Lots of big fish. The lake trout were still shallow but scattered around all our lakes, making them fun to catch but difficult to target the big ones. Lots of smaller lakers were taken but Steve Bandt did that trick too, getting a 39.5” beauty. To cap things off on Day 5 David Thome and Poach found a buzzer beater 47” giant!
It was a fantastic wildlife week with the most bear sighting ever (we lost track of that count). Almost everyone saw a bear on four consecutive days. They seemed to be everywhere. Everyone though got through their shore lunch without an Ursus Interruptus. Overall a great week. Probably 4,000 fish landed with plenty of trophies. Lots of smiles on the departing anglers. And again, lots of people rebooking: out of 26 guests 24 are coming back next summer. There will be fish waiting for them.