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FishOn!

BWCA trip planning

27 posts in this topic

I am planning a trip for the spring and have a few questions. Hopefully there are a few seasoned BWCA veterans who can answer! First of all, is it possible to have any fun up there without a canoe? For instance could I camp on a lake, shore fish, do a little hiking/exploring and still have a somewhat isolated experience? Ill keep it at that for now so it doesnt stretch on forever! Any opinions/info would help. thanks!

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FishOn!

You sure can have fun without a canoe, take a motor boat! \:\)

Many things to do & places to go early in the season, and not many people.

A canoe or boat makes it much better. cool.gif

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I just keep thinking if I base my camp on a lake with a small stream running into it, I may have alot of fishing success and fun. but i suppose I could attempt to borrow a canoe and double my fun and adventure! With motor restrictions, wouldnt that limit you to one lake?

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There are some hiking trails that could give you a great experience. The Snowbank Trail will bring you along the shores of several lakes - Perent, Disappointment, Ahsub, Snowbank, Boot and Flash, and can easily be done in two or three days.

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Motor restrictions may limit you to one lake, but day trip, paddle only permits are unlimited, so the canoe would leave it wide open.

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Thanks guys! Now the only question is...is there an online resource for me to learn a bit more about it? maps etc.? Thanks again guys!

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FishOn!

Give me a call at my shop Sunday morning and we can give you some info that may help.

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Ok! Whats the name of your shop?

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Hey FishOn! I'm plannin a trip up there this spring as well, we're staying on Snowbank and moving from there. There's a pretty good website set up by a guy from SW MN, the site [Please Read Forum Policy Before Posting Again, Thank You]

Do you have any lakes in mind or what? Last year we just stayed on Lake One because it was the closest, had an awesome time and left with some good stories.

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Im just trying to find a spot where I can camp/hike/fish! I dont own a canoe, so I was thinking in spring shore fishing might be decent. If I hear that isnt a good idea, Im sure i can borrow or rent one.

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FishOn!, visit BWCAW Information Center to get familiar with the rules inside the BWCAW and permits. There are hiking trails and Heres a list.

Have a read, once you find a trial that interests you do an on-line search for a map of that area. The map will have campsites marked on them, look for campsites along the trail.

Make a list of lakes along that trail then visit http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/index.html at the MN DNR site.

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FishOn!

Same name as the poster.

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there are plenty of places that will rent you a canoe...a canoe is the best way to get out and fish in the b-dub during open water. you will catch a lot more fish fishing from a canoe than you would fishing from shore.

mike

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WOW! Thanks for all the great information guys! Youre all very helpful! I love this site!

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To get a true Bwca experience you need to paddle a canoe into it. IMHO that is.

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Fish On, there are also many camping areas in the Superior National Forest. There are fewer special regulation and I have found less trafic. The BWCA is a special place but to get the true wilderness experience one needs to get into the interior which usually takes a trip longer than a weekend. The perimeter is heavily used, often built up, fished out. Pick a small lake just outside the BWCA and you will have the place to yourself. Lakes like Sunset and Hoodo north of Lake Vermillion. Find a map, then go to the DNR lake finder website search for the latest survey and you will know what fish to target. This way you will get the full experience, without reservation hassels, fees, or special regs.

If ruffing it isn't your speed, the state park north of Ely is a beautiful facility with great shore fishing opportunities near by. Bridges over the Kawisiwi, and the dam at Fall Lake, as well as Silver Rapids on White Iron top my short list.

One last thought, find a grouse hunter-they know all the good trails. Good luck. Hans

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Like Hans, I'll recommend some hikes off the Echo Trail. You can hike in and camp at Agassa Lake, which has some walleyes in it and offers an easy hike of less than a mile. The trailhead is opposite the Angleworm Trailhead parking lot on the Echo Trail.

Farther up the Echo, you can park in the Jeanette Lake parking lot and walk into Nigh, Pauline, Astrid or Maude lakes to camp and fish.

Neither of these options requires a permit because they're both Superior National Forest or other public land, and I've found these types of options less busy and sometimes just as pretty as the BWCAW trails.

The first two examples are merely two of a bazillion non-BWCAW hike/fish/camp experiences available. There is also a huge patchwork of national forest roads off Hwy. 1 near Ely, and these can be driven in a vehicle. Getting a Superior National Forest map is the first step, because these all are marked and you can look to see which lakes come right up to or close to the forest roads. Then you can use the DNR Lake Finder on the DNR Web site to see which might be decent fishing lakes.

Getting the monster map, spreading it out and taking a look is the first step in a very fun planning process leading up to the actual hike/drive/camp/fish. But them, I'm a mapophile. Just love poring over them.

You can spend a lifetime without a canoe learning these forest roads and trail systems and exploring all the great non-wilderness wilderness experiences out there. And you don't have to worry about wilderness restrictions when camping, either. grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

Good luck, and hope this helps.

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Great! Thanks! I was actually looking on lakefinder and partially figuring that out myself! No permits! Now Ill just have to track down a good map of the area! Thanks again everyone! Stf...as usual great info!

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FishOn, check out Voyageur Maps online (just add .com). Fantastic maps, & the hiking routes are on there as well. I'm going to buy two of their maps for our spring foray just as a thank you for putting this level of detail on-line! Other than their maps, which might be hard to find, there are the Fischer & McKenzie maps of the BWCA which are staples for navigation in canoe country.

If you don't already have them, check out the Robert Beymer books, Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Volumes I & II. They're chock-full of great routes, info, etc. on the BWCA. Highly recommend them for a new traveler to the area.

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FishOn, the best overall map for non-BWCAW stuff up here is the Superior National Forest map put out by the Forest Service. They're in lots of C-stores and you can buy them at most any Forest Service office.

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fish on coming up alone or with friends?

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FishOn!...Stfcatfish knows what he's talking about. Last summer I ran into him as I was tenting it on Pauline Lake and he was hiking the trail system for Pauline, Nigh, Astrid. He was the only person I saw for the two days I was there and I was just off the Echo Trail. I think, if I remember right, he came from the Lake Jeanette campground parking lot. I caught northerns from shore on Nigh and I was skunked for walleye on Pauline that time, although I've caught some nice ones before. I use a solo canoe, and I would try to borrow or rent one from someone. You would not regret it. Good luck and enjoy it. I love the area just outside the BWCA. Just as beautiful, usually less people, and no permits to worry about.

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Im planning to head up with a very good friend. Trying to get him some great times before hes deployed back to iraq. That way he can think of gorgeous northern minnesota while hes dodging roadside bombs... Ridiculous war. Anyways, I wish i knew what lake I was on up there a few years back. drove about 3 miles in on a forest road and set up camp on a small, beautiful lake. Caught many many nice bass and pike from shore...until all my rapalas i had with me were gone! Needless to say, Ill be better prepared this time. We stumbled across that spot, and didnt even really count on doing much fishing, just camping/adventuring. but I had a rod and a few raps, so i gave it a shot. What a great time!!

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FO, those accidental spots can be the most remembered of them all.

When are you coming up?

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Shooting for late may. We have to nail down his deployment date. They arent being too specific with him. But May would be great because the fish im guessing would be fairly active.

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