|Boundary Waters Canoe Area- The Ultimate Outdoor Experience|
August Newsletter 2009
The summer is more than half over but we are still making some great memories in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. This month’s newsletter will feature one trip report along with some new information on the B.W.C.A and of course a NEW photo slideshow. If your July trip was not featured, look for it in the off season newsletters this fall and winter.
We also would like everyone to know that we have 2 weeks open in August and 1 week in September. Anybody interested please call or email us and we will gladly discuss your trip options.
This trip was with a father Derek Greathouse and his children: Brian (18), Steven (16), Katrina (15) and Amanda (12).
As we headed out of entry point 16 (Moose River north) it was a beautiful day, in the low 70’s. The sun was shining and there’s a slight breeze. We saw loons just as we entered Nina Moose Lake before we stopped for a shore lunch of summer sausage cheese and crackers on Agnes Lake. We basked in the warm sun during our brief stop then we make our way to Lac La Croix. This was the day’s final destination: a nice campsite between Never Fail Bay and Bass Bitten Island.
I made burritos with black beans & rice while the others set up the tents, rods and reels. After we ate lunch and had a short break we decided to head over and check out the LLC pictographs and as expected the Greathouse group were impressed with these mystical Indian paintings. We fished on our way back to the campsite. We caught northerns and smallies including a 19.5” smallie. After reaching camp we saw beavers swimming along the shoreline getting ready for the nightshift. It wasn’t long before the fire was roaring and we were all are yawning after this 1st long day. We all fell asleep early and on this night it seemed all the animals were active. We heard beavers slapping tails, owls hooting and loons singing all through the night.
The weather report said it would start to get nasty on our
second day. so we headed over to the Canadian side and cross the bottle portage
to Iron Lake. We were at one of my favorite campsites on Turtle Island by
11:30am. All along the way the lake was devoid of other adventurers and the
weather worsened. The waves grew as we
got closer to the campsite. This was a great campsite with nice tent areas and
a red pine forest with lush green growth covering the island. This is one of
the rare places in the BWCA where you can walk all over the island. Just as we set up camp the rain came. While we waited out the rain under the tarp
someone noticed a Bald Eagle sitting on an island across from us.
We woke in the morning and the camp is wet but at least for a moment, the rain has slowed.
I set the tarp up and started the coffee and breakfast. We talked it over and some decided to catch fish and some would do the camp chores and gather firewood. This trip had a couple of young girls so I did something I rarely do… I brought about 40 packs of hot chocolate. As it turned out, the chocolate went a long way in comforting not only the girls but the boys too. When Derek and Brian arrived in camp they have a sly look on their faces. It didn’t take long for them to pull up their stringer and they had lunch. We ate a smallie and some northerns one of which Brian caught was a biggin! It was about 9 pounds and Brian’s largest to-date. They tell us in great detail about their battle. Then Derek tells us he lost a monster right at the canoe when it cut the line above the leader. There’s nothing like telling fishing stories around the campfire. Once again we enjoyed a campfire and slipped off to the tents.
I woke today knowing that this was our last day on this lake and I wanted to make the best of it. As it turned out, the weather is against us. Our original plan was to checkout Curtain Falls and fish all the way back to camp but the weather has other plans. So Brian and I hit the shoreline and the hump with some success then we got back to camp so I could start the pork loin. Derek and Steven were slowly following us back. They had that same sly look on their faces when Steven picked up the stringer. It was full! They had a couple of northerns and 3 walleyes and to my surprise a couple of saugers. For those of you that don’t know the Sauger is, it is a distant relative of the Walleye. Then Derek showed us the photo of a large Northern he caught, it was a rough measurement of at least 36 inches. We let the Northerns free and cleaned the walleyes for tomorrow’s lunch. We had dinner and sat around the fire, but it wasn’t long before all were sleeping and the fire was out.
I woke the next morning and as I was stretching my body in anticipation of breaking down camp and moving to another area, I looked up in my tent to find a hole the size of a golf ball in the screen right above the attic netting at the top of the tent. I took a closer look and I was in disbelief! A mouse had climbed on the outside of the tent above the attic, chewed a hole in the screen and jumped to the attic to have some of my trail mix that I had stored there and all this while I was sleeping. Lesson learned… new rule: no food in the tent.
That day’s plan was to breakdown camp, checkout Curtain Falls and get a campsite at Tiger Bay on Lac La Croix. The weather wasn’t the best but it was an improvement. For breakfast we had what I now call SUPER Blueberry pancakes. They had more blueberries per pancake than any I have ever made. The camp was broken down and we were on our way to Curtain Falls. The others weren’t sure what to expect but when we arrived they were all glad we made this pit stop. When we left the falls we were passing by Three Mile Island when we saw an otter dive off the bank and into the lake. We also saw deer all along the shoreline. Two hours later we are at a great site on Tiger Bay where we had set up camp. Derek and Brian were out catching us some more dinner. They returned with a couple of Northerns to add to the walleyes Steven caught the night before. After dinner we were checking out the night sky and for the first time in the last few days we felt the weather was finally getting better. Everyone slowly disappeared to their tents until I was alone sitting by the fire. Often the last night of a trip I will stay up late and enjoy the campfire while I think about the last few days’ adventures. The weather wasn’t the best but when you are with the right group nothing will get you down.
This morning the weather is like all the others but by the time we broke down camp, the weather broke too and the sun shined down upon us. We rejoiced and took our time heading out that day. Some people in the group trolled on the way out and they caught a total of 4 northerns,1 walleye and 1 smallie. We saw a lot of wildlife including a bunch of deer, a trophy buck, a squirrel swimming across a river and an otter.
I had reservations about writing this trip report due to the weather. I would like to write that the weather is always sunshine and blue skies but that just is not the case. The rule of thumb in the Boundary Waters is that 1 out of 4 days can be dicey weather. But this was not the norm. This trip was in the middle of July with a very unusual storm front. However, when you have a group like the Greathouse clan it sure makes it a lot easier. They did not complain and still went on the day trips and caught fish. Everybody should use this trip report as an example on how to handle adverse conditions.
I would like to thank the Greathouse group for their perseverance and outlasting the weather. On the drive out they were talking about a trip next year.
This month we will be featuring a bug repellent that really works.
I have been using Thermacell since last summer and I will never enter the park without it!
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Marchar Wolverine Lake, Michigan 48390