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pail-fish

I know there is still 2 feet of ice on the lakes, but ive recently got the itch to get back up for a bwca canoe trip. Im looking for a new route to do this year. The past couple years we have been going out of sawbill lake, but are looking to get into a new area not as heavily traveled. Any suggestions on good 3-4 day routes with some good fishing in late may/early june? we are all pretty accomplished campers that arent afraid of a little hard work from time to time.

thanks for the help!

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ditchpickle6996

just a couple of things to remember,,,,

1. If you want an area not heavily traveled stay away from the numbered lakes chain. Most of the ep's close to Ely are fairly busy until you paddle/portage a ways. BWCA.com has alot of great info under messageboard/trip planning too.

2. The BWCA is much busier than a few years back. Make sure you apply for a permit now if you have a certain date you need to go or you may not have a choice of where you go, especially in early June.

Good luck!

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Great Outdoors

pail-fish,

If you like a bit of a challenge, you might try a loop through Big Crab, Little Crab, Lunetta, Schlamn, Glenmore, Western, Buck, Cummings, Korb, back to Little Crab, Crab, and can chose to take the portage (1 1/8th miles)which you orignally came in on, or take Crab Creek. You would start and end on Burntside Lake. Some of the portages are fairly long and the one from Buck to Cummings is about 450 rds. This is not an easy trip, but at that time of year should give you very low traffic.

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JustinG

My choices would be Iron, Crooked, Alice, Basswood, or Insula. Probably Iron would be my #1 choice for that amount of time.

Justin

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Harv

Crab Lake....My gosh...you trying to kill the guy? smile.gif That is an interesting route; like the man said you won't see many people over there. Lake One through to Insula, back out either at Snowbank OR Moose is a pretty good trip that can be done in a few days.

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Powerstroke

I was gonna suggest Stewart Lake. Its a large lake for base camping or you can continue on to others in the area. Its a long way in, 4-5 hours,just to reach Stewart, but its a combo of river paddling and portaging. The distance and ruggedness deters the casual tripper so it can be great for escaping. I believe they only allow 1-2 permits a day so that cuts down on the traffic too.

I spent 1 evening on Stewart last labor day weekend and there was 1 other party on the lake and I caught a limit of walleyes fishing by myself. It was hard work but it was a blast.

I know the feeling about the BWCA, I'm already planning 2 trips. Check out our Canoe forum too!

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Granny

A buddy and I entered through McFarland and hit Pine, Little Caribou, Caribou, Clearwater, W Pike, Pike, E Pike and then John I think, and then back to McFarland. Very nice trip and not much traffic at all....and I think we did it over a holiday weekend too. We took 5 days and did a lot of fishing. We got a good number of smallies and nice sized pike in the Pike Lakes. Very clear water up there and tall cliffs around you.

Granny

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Leaky

I thought the Crab Lake portage was renamed *ss Break portage. A nice walk with a shotgun in the Fall, but not sure if I'd want to carry a canoe and my gear over that one.

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Great Outdoors

Leaky,

Wouldn't want to carry a canoe over Crab Lake Portage, what a sissy! tongue.gif You've been hanging out with Bob the Bartender for way too long. grin.gif

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Steve Foss

Yeah, those natives move away to the Cities and they go downhill pretty fast, I hear. grin.gifshocked.gifgrin.gifshocked.gif

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Leaky

No doubt about that Steve!! Hey Great Outdoors, it's everything I've got now just to load up a boat for a week and have Jeep or Missy carry my sorry butt across Prairie. cool.gif

As far as Bob the Bartender, heck I can't even get him to walk down from the cabin to his boat, drive across the lake, and then carry a 12 gauge across @ss Break anymore, much less a loaded Duluth pack. grin.gif

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jason manning

If you want a real challenge, paddle across Burntside to the Crab Lake Portage on a really windy day. Hump your gear across that portage and then make your way to Cummings. We did that once. Now we pony up for the tow across to the Crab Lake entry. It is well worth it!! smile.gif

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Leaky

You're a smart man Jason. That paddle across B-Side with a 15 mph NW wind will kick your butt before even getting to the portage.

One time we were out fishing on B-Side around 6:30 pm, and watched these guys in a canoe fighting the wind and heading in the complete wrong direction from where I figured they were planning on going. Me and Bob the Bartender looked at each other and smiled. But, being the kind gentlemen of the North we are, we offered to backtroll while they paddled behind us so as to to show them where the portage was. It's September, it was pretty chilly and it was getting late if they wanted to even make Crab.

We picked up 3 fish (figured while we were at it we'd show them the secret to catching some B-Side Walleyes) and they got to the portage with that hike looming. Not sure if they ever made their destination before dark.

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Steve Foss

Leaky, I always knew you had a heart of gold. grin.gif

Many's the time we've been putting in or taking out the boat at Van Vac and have seen groups coming or going in their canoes from Van Van in those winds. The ones departing look hale and hearty and ready to tackle anything. The ones coming in always look like they need an ambulance. grin.gif

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Leaky

Quote:

Leaky, I always knew you had a heart of gold.


Steve - I'm glad you picked up on that. grin.gif

One look at what these guys were wearing (hint - it's September and one guy had one of those mosquito head nets sitting right next to him) told me they were embarking on a true wilderness adventure. I figured to throw them a tow line and pull them to where they needed to go would have ruined their wilderness experience before it even got started. I just didn't have it in me to do that to them.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • jkrash
      Shorelines are starting to open, do you see the wood ducks?  
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      I agree with the others Tommy! I always enjoy your bits of wisdom and humor! Cliff
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      They are all coming in from the main lake. Cliff
    • FishinCT
      We used to camp on hinsdale all the time. There is one spot on the south shore closer to the east end we stayed almost every time. It's got a big rock outcrop on a small point that slopes down to the water. The picnic table and fire ring are in the open up top. Wide open space and a good breeze will keep the bugs off you. Tent site is fairly hidden. That's the best spot we ever found. Only downside is boat parking. I remember tying up on a log off the the side so probably the same site mentioned earlier.  We stayed there a ton when I was younger and never had any bear encounters, but the bear boxes are there for a reason!
    • meerkat
      I always wondered,  are the walleyes coming over the dam?   or are they swimming in from Pike?
    • Slopfishin
      Why delete your post?  I actually enjoyed reading that story. Seeing stories like yours is half the reason I like checking out this site (I like to check out all the different lake boards on fishingminnesota). 
    • delcecchi
      Hey, we need a little color and humor and Musky Tom does it best.  
    • TomWehler
      Good info to me even. Cliff you can delete my story n junk. Most people don’t know me round here anymore n for sure the humor of life is of no interest. Under stand only want the facts mama. Just the facts. 😎 I endeavor to persevere.  Beef!   
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      The ice on the Pike River between the dam and the lake is opening up fast! Should be wide open in a couple of days at the present rate of melt! The DNR will be trapping walleyes soon!!!  The walleyes are already starting to move in! Pike Bay ice is  also starting to deteriorate quickly! Finally starting to look like we may get some open water for the fishing opener! Cliff 
    • chucker1101
      These aren't campsites to bring your Ranger fiberglass or decked-out Lund into. They're better fitted for smaller 14-16 ft alum boats, something you can drag on shore. Though i'm sure you can figure out how to secure something bigger. Cliff is right, most have sandy/pebble shorelines to pull a smaller boat onto. Almost all of them are well-protected from the prevailing WSW wind. You're gonna get wakes rolling into shore from passing boats, though, as it's a pretty well traveled section of the lake.