SUMMERTIME IN THE FAR NORTH
The heat was on for the seventh group at Scott Lake Lodge. To the surprise of many, we do get summer here on the 60th parallel. They may be short, but they are intensely sweet. For four straight days our guests who arrived on July 9th experienced perfect, picture-postcard days in this pristine wilderness: lots of sunshine, warm but not too warm and pleasant winds mainly from the south—all ideal conditions for bringing big pike into shallow water where guides and guests can find the big ones and have that ultimate fishing experience of watching big fish engulf the lure or fly. In the clear waters of the far north, you can see it all happen. For our guides these are heaven-sent conditions. Standing at the back of the boat, they can spot the fish, direct the angler’s cast and get the net ready. That’s how it’s supposed to work and over a hundred times during the five-day trip that’s exactly what happened.
This was a group with a sharp focus on big fish. They were not disappointed. Our guides spotted a lot of big pike and our anglers didn’t let them down. Experienced anglers like Dave Wallace and Dan Hunt, who have been around the fishing block a few times, made the most of their opportunities. On a single day Dave found himself on the winning side of seven battles with trophy pike. Over his trip he ended up with two 45” pike and a 46. Dan had a big day too, getting five trophies in one day with two 46s and a 45 for his trip. Dave and Marian Bensema wanted big fish too. They got them. Dave landed a 45” pike and Marian caught her personal best—an absolutely beautiful 47 incher. Mike Van Poucke got a fat 47 as well. Trevor Meyers picked up a 45; Mike Harrell got a 46 and Rhys Reese got a 46 on a day when he picked up a six-pack of trophy pike. But Rhys always seems to do that on his Scott Lake trips. He apparently arrives with lots of karma points. The big pike honors for the week went to Curt Balogh who skillfully brought a monster 48-inch pike to his guide’s “big dipper” net. Quite a week—out of an estimated 4,000 pike landed by our guests in week 7, a baker’s dozen made the super-sized mark of 45” or bigger. And we’re not even talking about all the “ones that got away” which are almost by definition bigger than the ones landed.
There was a lot of trout action as well, including a big number of small to medium sized trout picked up while casting for pike. The big trout though have gone deep, in the 50-70-foot range. With the help of the guide’s fish finders, those big fish can be located and some are caught. Steve Nicholas and Scott’s Beaver pilot Riley Epp found that out when they landed 35 inchers. On the last day (a cool, rainy day that broke the sun parade), Sandy Riddell, after a week of catching many smaller trout, experienced the fight of her fishing life bringing in a girthy 38 incher to the boat. Cody Hunt got the big trout experience in spades. He landed the trout of the year—a 42” laker with porcine proportions. When the picture of that fish hit the screen during the after-dinner fish du jour show, there was a gasp from the group. It was that fat. It was a fish Cody will never forget. That’s what a trip at Scott is all about—memories. And that’s what this beautiful week in July delivered.
P.S. Our apologies to baseball fans for abandoning the baseball analogy for these periodic fishing updates. We just ran out of baseball terms and references. It was time to toss it back to the dugout. Or maybe it was just the seventh inning stretch. So, we cleaned off the plate and swung at some new pitches.