Some seasons everything just falls into place. The staff at Scott Lake Lodge faced some daunting challenges as they opened up the Lodge for the 2012 season. Heavy snow knocked down the twin compressors running the walk in freezer/refrigerator. Wind driven ice pushed around two of our boat docks. And the wood chip walkways did not fare well over the winter. But put enough focused, hard working people on jobs and they get done. Everything was repaired or rebuilt; tens of thousands of pounds of food, fishing tackle, fuel, motors and of course a few hundred cases of beer were flown in, unloaded and stored. It was a busy place. But on June 10 every last job was complete and the place looked like it was in the running for a Better Homes and Gardens photo shoot. General Manager John Gariepy did an outstanding job coordinating all the preparation. Owner Tom Klein did a lot of fishing.
Many of our regular guests arriving were startled by the sight of a lake that just looked a lot bigger. After five years of drought and low snowfalls, Scott Lake was about as low in late 2011 as anyone could remember. What a pleasant surprise that very heavy snowfalls in late winter could bring the lake level back to near record levels. All the bays are flooded right back to grass and bushes. Places that have not been fished for years because the entrances were too shallow are now accessible again, as well as the big pike that spend most of the early part of the season in very shallow water. There should be a few more trophy pike pins handed out at the nightly Biff Piston Show (you need to be a Scott guest to understand that reference, but trust us: it is an experience.)
Speaking of trophy pins we did dent our supply with the first group in. Despite cool and cloudy weather, forty-four pins found new homes on hats and fishing shirts. The numbers were even better. Everyone caught a lot of fish. Ryan McPhee kicked things off well with three trophy pike on the opening morning. David Marco came all the way from Florida to catch big pike and he wasn’t going home without some memorable ones. He got three trophy pike the next day while son Michael got stuck at the 39 inch mark. But Michael returned the favor on Day 3 by nailing three trophy pike himself. Both used fly rods to capture their big fish. A Montana angler, Nate Naprstek, not only limited himself to a fly rod but he stayed with top water flies. It’s a real show to see pike turn themselves inside out smashing a surface fly. He not only caught a lot of pike: he got four trophies. Jim McPhee had the biggest fish of the week, a very fat 44.5” pike. Another McPhee, Colin, joined the big fish parade, landing a 40” lake trout.
Those are just numbers. Everyone left with great memories and a bit of soreness in their fish fighting arm. The next group though started their trip with a great first day. Fourteen trophy pike were caught. Jim Klenk who has been coming to Scott for a long time got one of his biggest fish ever, landing a 45” pike that had not missed many meals. But the fish of the year, so far, went to Jack Barko who watched as his guide slid the cradle under a 47.5” monster. That’s setting the bar. And that’s the story at Scott, so far. We’re just getting started.