Seasons Greetings

With winter finally here and Christmas fast approaching, fishing fanatics are “making their list (secretly perhaps??) and checking it twice!”

Rutledge Lake Lodge checked a few things off our list this year.  New fridges, Garmin electronics, solar panels and inverters were nice additions to the Lodge in June.

In August, new LED lights were installed in the cabins, running water with separate hot water tanks are now operational in all cabins,  and the interior logs have been restored and clear coated.   

This Christmas may you check a few special things off your list as well.  If one of those things is an exclusive fantastic fishing vacation, come to the spectacular Northwest Territories where that one in a lifetime “Trophy Laker or Northern Pike” awaits!         Rutledge Lake Lodge sincerely wishes you  Merry Christmas and all the best in 2019!

Max Gets It Done!

Max Kappeler enjoyed a great trip to the Lodge this spring.  He started the trip off with a nice laker and finished  on the last morning with a 35lb beauty.  It was Max’s biggest fish to date, and our cameras…yes our cameras were back at camp!

Max has confirmed he’ll be back next spring to get that picture!

My First Trip To RLL

As with most fishing “nuts”, once my gear is loaded on the float plane and we lift off for home, I’m counting down the days until my next trip back and reflecting on trips past.


My first ever fly-in fishing trip was to Rutledge Lake Lodge in 1980.  For me back then, it was all about catching that big lunker and we did our best to do so.   We still reminisce about three monster pike that teased us one afternoon for ten or fifteen minutes, following our lures back to the boat on several casts.  Though we didn’t hook one, the crystal clear water provided us with an incredible and exciting show we still talk about 38 years later!

But  what I remember best is  quality time spent with family and friends, winning the  huckleybuck pot one evening,  and yes the mosquitos were quite memorable that first trip as well!  

Another Great Trip to the Lodge!

June 2017.

As usual, Rob Day from Edmonton was enjoying incredible action with his green herring teaser, me and my purple haze teaser not so much!  With rain clouds heading our way, we decided to troll over to the filleting island, clean ourcatch for lunch and then hustle home to avoid getting wet.

As we got closer to the shallows between our position and the fileting island, Rob smiled, “Got one!”  I started to reel in slowly hoping to snag one myself and”‘Bam” doubleheader.    After much confusion and plenty of laughs, we managed to land both, snap a quick picture and then release the scrappy pair.   We decided to finish our troll, another 100 yards or so before passing over the shallows before the island.  After finding our “dental equipment” which seemed to be scattered  everywhere in the mayhem, we rigged up and continued our troll.

In anticipation of the shallows, we  watched the depth finder closely.  First 30′, 20′, 15 and then 6′!                “Reel in quick, we’re there!” Rob said.  We both started to reel in our line when I felt a tug and my reel began to scream as the line was peeling off!  Because of the depth, I started whining, “Big pike, the bugger’s going to take my favorite hook!”  We were using 30lb mono for a leader and a pike’s teeth can easily cut the line.  Rob was bent over laughing and mocking me as I continued cursing, “Don’t take my hook you big ******!”  My line still zinging off the reel, “Hey, we’ve got to go.  I’m running out of line!”  Rob fired up the motor and started to follow so I could  recoup some line.  My drag was set quite tight, the fish tired and the big run stopped.  Rob cut the engine and the fight continued.  We were now in about 15′ of water, the fish was still trying desperately to get to deeper water.  I slowly started to regain my line back and soon we got our first look.

Rob yelled, “It’s not a pike, it’s a big Lake Trout!”

Once we had the lunker securely in the net, we both started to laugh (in the rain!).  Rob smacked me on the back so hard I nearly went into the drink!

Rob continued to out fish me as usual, catching some  nice lakers as well.  Truly another memorable trip to the Lodge!

My First Big Laker

June 2007. 

It was getting late into our trip and everyone had caught at least one big laker with the exception of myself.  Travis had caught two 20 pounds or better and Rob had two including a 36 pound beauty.   I was fishing from the same boat, using the same hook and letting out the same amount of line yet I was having no luck with the big lunkers!

At first I thought, “Oh S*** I’m hung up!”  It didn’t take long to realize I had a big laker on the line.  Straight down to the bottom and there it stayed.  Ten minutes into the fight I thought I’d muscle the lunker up.  I put some extra pressure on the rod and  for a brief second I thought I’d pulled the hook out and lost the fatty!.  Needless to say there may have been a few choice words!   There was no horsing it up, it was a stalemate for another few minutes until finally up it started.  Once at the surface, Rob scooped and we had landed my first big lake trout.  We quickly removed the hook, were amazed at the half eaten whitefish still in it’s mouth, took some pictures and released it to catch another day.  I can still remember the excitement of catching my first big laker, a thrill I won’t forget anytime soon!

Harold 2013

In 2013, Harold Wagner put on a fishing clinic during his stay at the Lodge.  Harold’s top 3 tipped the scale at 20 lbs., 28 lbs. and a Trophy in excess of 30 lbs.  This despite some nasty weather and a “Rookie Netter” that nearly botched landing 2 of Harold’s 3 big Lakers. Luckily,  things ended well and Harold didn’t have to throw me overboard!