Our second last group of the season got a shot of classic Scott Lake Lodge fall weather. It was a real mixed bag of some rain, some sun, some morning fog, some chilly morning, some hot late afternoons and wind—lots of wind. It’s that last element that warms the hearts of the Scott Lake guide team, a group that has seen a lot of weather here. With an average tenure at Scott of fifteen years (that’s the average) they know what turns on big fish. It’s wind, the dinner bell for big pike. Some sleeping giants heard the bell, creating some wonderful fish stories. Which ones to choose? Tough call. We’ll go with Day 3 (Up here we don’t have a clue all summer what the day of the week it is—we go from Day 1 to Day 5 in a Groundhog movie cycle). Picture yourself at the evening trophy celebration. After a great dinner, guide Mike “Nuggets” Demyen, fires up the crowd with the announcements of the trophy fish caught that day as trophy pins are handed out to our intrepid anglers. He starts with a bunch of 40, 41 and 42” pike and a couple of trophy trout. Then a 44” pike is announced—that’s a big fish, maybe the biggest of the day. Then he announces a 45.5” pike landed by Christina Walker. That could be the big fish of the day. No, he’s still on a roll. He congratulates Jim Loken on his 46.5” water wolf. Wow, that’s the big one for the day. Must be. After a dramatic pause (Nuggs is good at this), he tells the remarkable his/her day that unfolded. Jennifer and Jon Evans did something that no two anglers in the same boat had ever done here. They both landed monsters. Jen’s fish was 49.5” with a ridiculous girth. Jon’s was “only” 49”, but also a fat, feisty pike. That’s togetherness.
It wasn’t the only great story of the week. On Day 1 of his trip Terry Parks had quite a day. Terry by his own admission is not an experienced angler. His previous two fishing days ever involved a cane pole and a worm as a kid and a couple of hours of bottom fishing on a Florida vacation. After some helpful instruction from his guide, Terry threw himself into the Canadian experience. Before his first day on the water was over, he landed a very heavy 48” pike, two 45s, a 44 and a 41. There are thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of dedicated pike anglers who have never even seen a 48” northern pike. Terry is hooked on pike for the rest of his life. Another member of Terry’s group, Greg Floyd, had more previous fishing experience but otherwise had a similar thrill two days later. Greg brought to his guide’s net a 47” pike along with six more over 40”. That’s a day. Another big day was enjoyed by Conor Cappa who watched his guide’s tape go over the 40” mark five times in a single day. Fat 45s were landed by Charles Rollins and Bret Walker. They all got to know the power of fall pike, a fish very different from the bay pike of early summer. These fish are actively feeding and have been chowing down on a lot of lake cisco, burbot, whitefish and yes, other pike. Being a cannibal is just another way to order at the underwater lunch counter around here. Whatever they’ve been eating, these pike have put on some serious poundage since June and they know how to throw that weight around. They are freshwater gangsters.
Fall is for more than just big pike. Lake trout and grayling were on our guest’s menu as well. While the smaller lake trout are moving up the water column, the big ones are still deep where Scott Lake guides spy on them with their electronics. Some were brought up to pose for photographs like the beautiful 41 incher landed by Steve Creech, the 40 incher by Bill Sandbrook, the 39 incher by Sonya Boone and the 39 incher by Dexter Floyd. Arctic grayling are often overlooked by anglers who love fish with teeth, but matched with the right tackle (ultralight spinning or a 4-weight fly rod) they are a marvelous gamefish. Quite a few got into the trophy announcements. The fearsome foursome of Cheryl and Darrell Massie, Bill Sandbrook and Sonya Boone went to the rapids flowing out of Smalltree Lake to do battle with the “sailfish of the north”. They all caught a bunch and all got trophies between 17.5 and 18.5 inches, all great grayling. This week really didn’t need it, but the icing on this delicious cake was the northern lights experience that most of our guests stayed up for. There were two evenings of spectacular light shows—all part of fall at Scott Lake Lodge. If you like hard hitting and fighting fish, no bugs, northern lights and the occasional sounds of migrating Canada geese you might want to consider late August at Scott Lake Lodge. For 2018 we have added five more days to our season, August 29th-September 3rd. If that fits your interests and schedule give Jon Wimpney, our guide/sales manager, an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call when he hits Saskatoon on August 30th at 306/209-7150. You will not regret it.