Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Boundary waters

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by RWBlue, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. Some family and friends are planning a trip up north to the boundary waters. They are talking about going about going the last part of August or the first part of September.

    Has anyone been there before?

    How do I prepare for this?

    Can any recommend equipment or tactics?

    Is there any fishing in Ohio or surrounding area that is like the fishing I will experience up there?

    Can a newbie fisherman expect to catch enough fish to supply the meat for dinner every night?

    Can anyone recommend a location to buy an expedition quality canoe paddle in central Ohio? The two wood ones, but understand that I would be happier on a long trip with a lighter, more flexible canoe paddle.
  2. Yes I've been there before and it is AWSOME! With a doubt it is my most favorite place to fish! I will get some pictures on here for ya sometime.

    Ok how to prepare, well you dont have to be in great shape for the portages but some hiking before you go would help ya out. It really depends on where you go, some portages are over a mile long and go up steep hills and through swamps and beaver ponds and who knows what else. Most of the ones I have done have not been too bad, I think a quater mile was the longest. Also if you dont paddle a canoe much you should get out a few times cause you'll end up with sore muscles after the first day and you dont want that. Just remember everything you take you will have to carry at some point.

    As far as equipement you can rent stuff or take your own. We take almost all our own stuff like tents, sleeping bags, packs, so it will depend on what you have. You will want light weight stuff if you can get it. You can do full outfitted trips where you pay a per day price and it includes the canoes, packs, tents, food, sleeping bags, everything, all you need to do is show up with your fishing gear.

    There is nothing in Ohio that can compare to what is up there! AEP might be close in that you can hike into a lake with all your gear but thats about it.

    Yes a newbie can catch fish, and lots of them. I have only been there in the first of June so cant tell you much about August fishing. Tell me what kind of fish you are wanting to go after and I can help out some with gear and maybe a few good lakes depending on what you want.

    a few good websites that will help
    and here is a great outfitter to use

    Do you know what area you want to go to? How long a trip? How far you want to travel? Let me know and I'll help out all I can. This place is AMAZING!

  3. Timbr

    Timbr Alaska Grayling

    I agree with twistertail. The BWCA is one of my best memories, I've also only been there in June but I'm sure it will be a trip you will never forget.

    Good luck

  4. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    Northern Pike out the wazoo, Big Smallies (oxy moron?),etc..... not to mention awsome sights, great scenery.
  5. Well, the person planning the trip didn’t know you needed a permit to go into the boundary waters. I opened my mouth and now I am responsible for everything even though I don’t know if I can go.

    I changed the dates Sept16-25th. Hopefully we will not have to swat too many bugs or see many people.

    I canoe. In fact all of my fishing is done out of a canoe. So I don’t think that canoeing skills will be an issue for me, but maybe for the others in my group. My issue is I am woefully out of shape.

    As far as what fish I am after; well I am open to suggestions. What should I be able to catch and what is good to eat? It has to be edible. Walleye sounds interesting? I am mainly catching crappies, and small cats here in Ohio.
  6. Lake trout are the best eating fish up there but in August I'm sure they will be realy deep and a little harder to catch. Walleye and pike are both great but the pike are a little harder to clean the right way.
  7. Do you know where you plan on entering? If you are going in through Ely, the central part, I can tell you where to go for some great walleye fishing in Lake Insula or great smallie action in Knife Lake. Also lake Kekekabic for lakers.
  8. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member

    A Sept trip will be mostly bug free. It will also be mostly people free, it really clears out after Sept 1st.

    The temps in Sept will get down into the 40's at night and the 60-70's during the day, it is my favorite time of year to go there.

    You can catch a bunch of fish by trolling while you are traveling, Take a clamp on rod holder and pull shallow and medium running rapala's as you paddle from lake to lake. You will catch walleye and pike doing this. Depending on your entry point of choice you may not have many or any smallmouth available to you. The two primary species found in every lake are walleye and pike, and the added fun of some lake trout in some of the deeper lakes.

    If you decide to enter at Lake one, just keep on paddling and portaging until you back into Insula, then slow down and have a fun. There is an island campsite on Insula that we always spent at least a couple of days at.

    The name of the game is pack light and make sure what you pack is light. You must carry everything you bring from lake to lake. Some of the portages are short flat and easy, others are long , steep and tough. If you can take everything in one trip, including your canoe's you're packed right and on a level with the very experienced boundary water traveler's. If it takes you two trips (very common, especially first time there) to get everything from one lake to the next you've packed too much stuff.

    Take some high quality water sandals and get them broken in and comfortable prior to taking the trip. You will be walking in water a lot and tennis shoes do not get it at all.

    One last word of advice. Take no chances while you are out there. There is no cell phone coverage, no doctor, no radio's ,and at that time of the year, very few other people. You will be back in the waters anywhere from 8-14 hrs of hard travel to get back to any civilization for help.

    A friend of my Brother-in-law's had a heart attack and died on one of the portages. They couldn't do anything except wrap him up in a tent and travel to the nearest help, which was a full 12 hrs away.

    Have fun,
  9. Hey Kim I see you liked Insual also! I could not believe the amount of walleye we caught from that lake, and the pike fishing was pretty dang good also. No lakers to close to Insula though and those were the prize catch of my last trip. There is just no other place like the BWCA!

    A great book to get is A Boundary Waters Fishing Guide by Michael Furtman, it gives some great tips and in the back is a list of every lake and what type of fish are in it. I just checked and you can get it from amazon for less than 9 bucks. If you can make it to the Deer Creek outing I can give you some Boundary Waters magazines to read if you want them.
  10. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member


    Are you getting old and forgetful? :D

    When you were planning your first trip up I was the one that suggested that you just keep traveling through lakes 1, 2 and 3 until you reach Insula and the island campsite. The walleye fishing is very good in Insula.

    That is also the lake that the eagle would take our clean fish bodies away as we cleaned them each day.
  11. Man sorry Kim, I remember now. I read so much stuff about that place before I went I couldnt remember how I ended up in that lake but I'm sure glad I did. I guess its a little late but thanks for the help.;) :D I cant wait to get back up there! The only thing that will make it better would be if my daughter wants to go with me some time when she is old enough.
  12. You Can Rent A Satellite Phone..i Think They Work Anywhere...not A Cell Phone...
    here is another great site to use for lake info. Once you know what area you want to go to go to this site and you can type in the name of the lake and you will get all kinds of great info.
  14. Thanks guys

    I am at the beginning of the planning stage. I didn’t expect to be in charge of it. Because of a job change, I don’t even know if I will even be able to go.

    Twistertail, you are right, the book is everything. I bought it a couple years back. The othe book that is proving interesting is “Boundary Waters Canoe Area Volumes 1-2” by Robert Beymer. I think I will use it as my key to planning the path. Twistertail, I would love to have issues of Boundary water magazines, but I am not sure if I will b e able to make it to the get together.

    I need to nail down one variable.
    Can anyone recommend a good outfitter? Or unrecommend an outfitter?
    This will help nail down my entry and exit points.
  15. My trips have been out of Ely and I loved Voyageur North Outfitters (VNO) I have used Canadian Border Outfitters but did not like them as much. VNO has a great bunk house that is only 15 bucks a person for the night if you need a place to stay the night before or after your trip. If you want I could send you a few copies of The Boundary Waters Journal, thats the name of the magazines that I have. Ely puts you right in the middle of the area and gives you lots of options for trips. I think a great first trip is to put in at Lake One and travel to Insula, which Lundy and I have already talked about. Travel throught the number lakes, One, Two, Three and Four then pass throught Hudson Lake and into Insula. The number lake chain is a very popular entrance point and the portages are pretty easy and easy to find. There are lots of people in the first few lakes but once you hit lake Four and Hudson the crowds are not bad at all and once you pass into Insula there are very few people. Its about a 90 rod portage into Insula but its not too bad, fairly level and no really big climbs. I think there are 5 or 6 portages in all to get to Insula. It took us about 5 hours to get from Lake One to Insula and we had to double portage everthing. Insula is a big lake with lots of islands and coves and great walleye and pike fishing, you could spend a week on in and not fish it all. We paddled all the way into Insula the first day and spent the rest of the week at a base camp so we could fish more, some people like to travel every day but the setting up and taking down camp will cut into the fishing time. If you get a map of the area and send it to me I will mark some great fishing spots if you want me to, but then again its a lot of fun to find your own.
  16. About the food.
    By now I'm sure you know you need to pack light and you can not take in any food in metal cans or glass, I'll tell ya how we have done it. Breakfast is easy, instant oatmeal. We plan on 2 packs per person for each morning. It only takes a few minutes to boil water and all you have to to is wash out your bowl when you are done. We did pancakes once but I just didnt think it was worth the time and clean up, cuts into fishing time;) I know in the morning we are all about getting on the water and fishing! For lunch we just had trail mix, jerky and granola bars. We would fix one lunch bag for each person for each day with about a cup and half of trail mix a sandwich bag full of jerky and 2 granola bars and some fruit leather (fruit roll ups) that my dad made in his dehydrator. That seemed to be enough for eveyone for the day while out fishing. For dinner it was fish and camp biscuts! We would just put the gridle on the fire grate and use that parkay in the squeeze bottle, squirt some butter in the hot griddle put the fish on and then sprinkle with your favorite seasoning, we had lemon pepper, season salt, smoked salt, bbq salt, what ever you like. The biscuts is just bisquick, mix up a stiff dough and form into a bun size biscut and place on the griddle in the butter and cook(fry) until brown on one side then flip over and brown the other side. Let me tell ya there is nothing better than a hot biscut taken off the griddle cut in half and bit piece of lake trout placed in the middle, now that is a good sandwich!:D We take plenty of side also, like mac and cheese, beans and rice, scalloped potatoes anything that is easy to cook and can be done in one pot by just adding water or butter or something like that. Zatarains stuff is awsome if you like cajun stuff, beans and rice, jumbalaya things like that. You can take some smoked sausage and slice that up for a quick easy meal. We just froze the sausage and had it the first night or even the 2nd night. As tempting as it is we try not to eat fish every night, maybe every other night. You can buy hamburger in that foil pouch and use it in hamburger helper and that works pretty good for a non fish dinner.
  17. Bassnpro1

    Bassnpro1 OSU outdoorsman

    here are a few pics of what we got into up there. fun trip!



  18. Awsome looking smallies man. What lakes were you guys fishing in? Nice large mouth too, I didnt get any of them.