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buzbunni

Belated Isle Royale Report

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buzbunni

Sorry about the late report guys. Thanks to your generous tips, I was able to land a couple of fish while staying at the Huginnin Cove campsite on 9/14-15. Beginners luck had me landing a small laker and what looked like a steelhead(?) in the first 1/2 hour of our stay. My luck ran out after that first hour, but I must say, I never got bored launching those 1oz. Spoons into the deep blue. Man, is that fun!

Gear: Per recommendations from ya'll, I ended up with a Shimano 4000 Sahara, and I mounted that on a 10' Shimano Convergence rod rated for 8-17# line and 1/4-1 Lure wt. The set-up worked great. Perhaps the action was a bit slow, but I think that only helped to send those spoons into orbit. Also, although I didn't get a big fish (3# and 2#), it was nice knowing I had a rod that would protect the light line if needed.

We saw a few anglers come around the point of the cove on that Thursday morning while we were cooking coffee. Anyone? Didn't see anyone Saturday morning. I can only assume it was because the seas were a bit restless. The VoyagerII didn't make it's run that Sat because of the Weather, and I have to say, it was a bit rough on the way back the next day as well.

Quick Story: So Saturday night my buddy and I are sitting on the Windigo dock enjoying the early evening. Boat pulls up to Harbor for the night(a couple than ran Superior Diver Charters, great people), we chat for a few hours, take a quick tour of their boat (lovely), and then decide to head back to the campground. Problem: Did not bring flashlights(didn't think we'd be out so late). No moon, lotsa stars away up there, but basically in the woods it's pitch-black-can't-see-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face stuff. The only way we know where the trail is, is by walking off of it. At this point I am thinking no way are we going to be able to navigate the boardwalks they have constructed to save the marshy areas, and we have to cross 2 of them to get to the site. As we get nearer the turn off into the campsites I keep hearing this strange muffled sound through the woods. We get to the campsite turn off (feeling for the sign...nice), and suddenly I hear this sound again about 50 feet in front of us on the trail, the pitch black trail. Of course it's a bull moose calling, but in all our focusing on trying to stay on the trail, we haven't been focusing enough on what the sound is. Hair on back of neck is now raised. I know it probably doesn't sound so spooky in print, but not being able to see where this bull was, nor where to run, well, let's just say it was an anxious moment, being the beginning of the rut and all. Well, we did a 180 and high-tailed it(if you can call it that) back to our friends on the boat, and they loaned us a flashlight for the walk back. The bull kept stomping around Washington Creek for awhile, and then headed off into the woods. I've seen quite a few moose in my day, but the only one that scared me was the one I never saw.

Moral: Bring your flashlight when your gonna sit on the dock at Isle Royale National Park.

Thanks again for the advice gang, and to anyone who hasn't been to this Park, I highly recommend it. What a Gem.

Oh, and if you call yourself my friends, you won't let me go to the Wall of Spoons at Marine General grin.gif

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Steve Foss

Thanks for the report, buz. Cool that you had some success. I expect it took you so long to file your report for us because you were still recovering from your moose trauma. Nobody wants to share the pitch black trail with 1,200 pounds of hepped up critter. shocked.gif

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Surface Tension

buz, thanks for sharing your trip with us.

Reminds me of a close encounter with rutting moose one early morning. I was paddling down Iron lake off the Gunflint trail in the dark for a duck shot. Flashlight batteries were dead but I knew the lake well so I continued on the down the long shallow channel alone, but not for long. I ended up in the middle of what seemed to be 4 or 5 moose that were soon startled by my presence, actually I think I bumped into one. All heck broke loose as they charged through the water. It was so dark I couldn't tell which way they were going and thought for sure I was going to get swamped. They left the water and it took me a few moments to gather myself.

I have more stories of moose from my days living in the Alaskan bush but will stop here.

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buzbunni

ST, Nice story. I'd like to hear some of the other ones someday.

I thought I recognized the name of that lake(Iron). My family had a cabin on Poplar lake from 1965-1993, so most of my summers(and a few winter days)were spent around the Gunflint/Old Gunflint area. Man, do I miss that cabin. Many of the meeces grin.gif I saw as a young lad were near the area you speak of. I also lived in Alaska for a short time. I worked on fishing boats out of Kodiak, AK.

Well, we'll have to swap stories sometime.

Thanks again guys.

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HaywardBound

Great story!

I'd like to camp up there next year. How long of a hike is it to the camp sites?

Do you have to pack light gear to camp there, like the BWCA?

Thanks.

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Surface Tension

HaywardBound, how long of a hike depends on where you get dropped off and available sites. Its been a while since I hiked the island so I'm not up on the regs but I believe theres a time limit you have to one shelter then must move. Someone here can pipe in on those current regs. You'll actually be going in lighter then you would a canoe trip. On a canoe trip you use a freighter type pack made to carry a lot but for short distances. That won't do on the island so you'll want a frame pack. www.nps.gov should have most of the info you need.

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Capt. Don*

The island is 50 miles long, you have many options as far as campsites. I operate the ferry boat service to the island out of Grand Portage. This time of year there is no limit to length of stay at sites, and we run two trips per week around the island. Length of stay varies with campsites and location on the island and the time of the season. The island is open from April 15th to Oct 31st. We provide transportaion from May to the 22nd of Oct.

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