This was Round 2 for the Nortek Global HVAC summer fishing retreat. Another crew from all across the US and Canada converged at Saskatoon for the two-hour charter flight to our float base at Stony Rapids, 50 miles southeast of Scott Lake Lodge. That small village holds our closest neighbors. That 50-mile distance provides an incredible level of seclusion: you don’t hear anyone mowing their lawn or starting their car. All we hear other than the occasional roar of a Beaver or Otter floatplane taking off are the lapping of waves, the calls of loons or a guttural cry of a raven. For most of this highly urban group, this kind of privacy and wilderness was a unique experience. One guest though was worried that a bear might get him on his way to his cabin. While there are plenty of bears around, over the 22 years of current ownership there has never been a bear “incident”. We leave the bears alone and they leave us alone.

This corporate group had the typical mix of some experienced anglers, some who had fished a bit and even some who had never fished before. Interestingly our guide team loves to have the last group for two reasons: first, they are very happy catching any fish and second, they always do what the guides tell them, virtually assuring that they will catch some fish. So, rather that the intensity of “gotta get a 48 incher” of many of our long-term guests, this group had a relaxed “let’s just have some fun” attitude. It made for a very enjoyable trip for everyone, guests, guides and shore staff. The goals were simple: have a festive shore lunch, experience the northern landscape, have a fly out over miles of pristine wilderness, maybe see the northern lights and catch some fish. All the boxes were checked and then some.

Everyone caught a lot of fish, most around 30-40 per day and some big fish did end up in the boats. Richard Benjamin had a big day, landing a trio of fat northern pike trophies. Matthew Mellert and Todd Nelson both landed 44” pike. They had a good shot at splitting the Big Pike prize money until Jacob Strum pulled a 45 incher into his guide’s net. The Big Trout pool was just as close. It looked like a heavy 40” laker landed by Gary Kresbach was the winner until the last day on Scott Lake when Don Harris topped that fish by an inch. Trophy Triple Hats, earned by catching a trophy pike, lake trout and grayling, were taken home by Don Harris, Sean Sullivan and Patrick Lloyd. For the night owls there was one spectacular show of northern lights, around the bar closing time, that filled the eastern sky. At this latitude you don’t look north to see the lights you just look up. For these three days everything was looking up. The only complaint the group had as they climbed aboard the floatplanes for their trip south was “three days was just not enough”. We agree.