BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

July 28 2017

Entry Point 14 - Little Indian Sioux River North

Little Indian Sioux River (north) entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by La Croix Ranger Station near the city of Ely, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 32 miles. Access is a 40-rod portage heading North from the Echo Trail.

Number of Permits per Day: 6
Elevation: 1364 feet
Latitude: 48.1466
Longitude: -92.2103

Little Indian Souix and beyond

by tbellrichard
Trip Report

Entry Date: June 07, 2015
Entry Point: Little Indian Sioux River (north)
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 6

Trip Introduction:
Another great trip with great people. We wanted to try something a little different this time, visit the lakes south of LLC and enjoy some solitude.

Day 1 of 7


Sunday, June 07, 2015

Canoe Country Outfitters had us on the lake by 6am, thanks guys. We wanted an early start and attempt to beat any big wind on LLC. The plan was to head north through Little Loon into Lac La Croix via Beatty Portage and find a site in Snow Bay. The plan went off without a hitch. We kept up a good pace, saw the pictographs and were in Snow Bay by 11:45am, which was a surprise to us. We took the small island campsite and set up shop. Good tent pads for two tents and a killer view of the lake. Also a nice kitchen set up made of stone, if that is your thing. We ate an early dinner and hit the lake. Lots of smallmouth to be had. It seemed like they were every 10 feet on the shoreline. They were relating to sun, sunny shorelines outproduced those in shade by far. We chased the sun til dark, caught plenty of fish and enjoyed the waves lapping at our island site. You could hear an occasional Canadian motorboat or loud Canadian conversation, but nothing that ruined the mood. No planes to be heard this night.     

 



Day 2 of 7


Monday, June 08, 2015 Day two we were not up as early as we should have been. The night before we had noticed a group turn the corner into Snow Bay. We didn't think anything of it until we took the shortcut portage going East and saw that same group a mile ahead of us. SH*%! In our minds their only destination could be Tachumich Lake and on that lake, as I read here, there is only 1 decent campsite. We turned on the paddling power, the race was on. We took the second shortcut portage looking ahead and seeing no one. LLC is beautiful in that area, you feel very alone (despite a group somewhere near). I would love to return to that area and spend more time. While looking for the portage into Tachumich we stopped some shoreline movement. That movement was that group's last canoe going over the portage. The race was lost. I angrily ran our stuff up and over only to see that group going to the other end of the lake! The site right near the portage, the good one as I read, was ours. We set up camp and got to fishing. What a healthy lake Tach seemed. The smallmouth all held deeper due to its clearness, a 20"ish lake trout was lost at the net and plenty of northern to keep us busy. All and all another great lake. I would have loved to have stayed longer. We hit the hay after some whiskey and jokes, next stop, Eugene.   

 



Day 3 of 7


Tuesday, June 09, 2015 The trip to Eugene was uneventful. We paddled slowly, enjoying the scenery and solitude. We wouldn't see anyone for the next three days and we loved it. Gun Lake is a beautiful lake that I would love to visit again. We just passed through. We set up on the site on the narrows of Eugene. The one on the north end of the lake has a beautiful view but poor tent pads. The one in the narrows has a so-so view with great tent pads. Sleep won out in our minds, I think, no, I know we made the right decision. We fished that afternoon and caught a few smallmouth and northern. Nothing worth mentioning. The hits on topwater seemed defensive, just knocking the lure out of the area. I got fish to commit on the Zulu and swim jigs. Lost a few to toothy kritters as well. Another night of whiskey and star gazing.  

 



Day 4 of 7


Wednesday, June 10, 2015 No one up early today, the plan was to hit Fat Lake for some Lake Trout trolling. The wind was blowing a bit, 10-15, nothing terrible. The portage to Fat Lake is easy and flat. What a beautiful little dead end lake. Super clear, nice rocky shoreline, a small loon family...wonderful. I had never caught a Lake Trout outside of Lake Michigan, so I was pumped. One other member of the group was excited as well. The others couldn't have cared less and gave up trolling quickly. Our two boats stayed at it and eventually my friend was rewarded. A nice 18" fish. It was great to see him catch it and the huge smile. We cooked it up at the only campsite on Fat Lake and enjoyed a post lunch nap with the waves lapping at the shore. If I were going to build a cabin somewhere, that campsite would be in the running. We returned to Eugene for some afternoon fishing and exploring. There are two beaver made waterfalls on the lake. Both fun to explore to their source.   

 



Day 5 of 7


Thursday, June 11, 2015 The plan today is to get to Slim Lake and enjoy the last of our solitude before heading home. The portages were a bit of a challenge. Maybe were tired, but they seemed killer to me. That downhill into Steep kicked my a#$. I would NOT want to do that the other way. South Lake and Section Pond weren't anything worth remembering. I think I saw perch in the shallows there. We took the high campsite on Steep. It was great in the evening, but terrible in the day. That rock heats up like no ones business, yikes. Also, water quality is much lower than Fat Lake. That's an understatement. Crystal clear to dark tannin stain was disappointing. We didn't do too well on Slim this evening of fishing. Bass seemed uncooperative. That lake was dead calm and silent. The walls of that lake were so high. I remember one particular spot hearing my poppers pop echo off the walls, that's quiet. The loon calls that night were amazing. Echoing off all those walls, wow. A few drinks and some stories at dinner and stargazing til late. I recommend that site to anyone with a decent camera. There are Milky Way pictures to be had.    

 



Day 6 of 7


Friday, June 12, 2015 Today we are taking the unmarked portage to Fat Lake. I have got to catch my BWCA lake trout. The unmarked portage was...a challenge. We were excited and happy to be doing it, but wow. Lots of blow downs, lots of 90 degree turns...by the end we weren't talking or laughing, just trudging on, waiting for it to end. Fat Lake was calm today and we got to trolling. About an hour in I got my first BWCA lake trout! A little smaller than the one a few days ago. I caught it on a silver and pink Kwikfish. I was surprised at the fight that fish had. Having a ton of line out helped him, but wow. I thought I was going to pull up a monster not a 17". O well, I was still happy. After I got my fish no one seemed interested in staying. We got to work on the unmarked portage back to camp. I would do it again but wow. It made me second guess dreams of bushwacking to secret BWCA spots. I'm sure this portage was nothing compared to that. It was a good day of fishing for me, I also caught my largest smallmouth to date. A 20" on a pop'n spook. It's a walk the dog surface lure with a concave front. It's actually a saltwater bait. Worked well here though. I returned to camp a happy man.  

 



Day 7 of 7


Saturday, June 13, 2015 Time to pack it in. We had a 1pm pickup time at Little Indian Souix. We will all admit that we left ourselves a little too much work the last day. We were beat and there were a few members who seemed close to mutiny. Of course, there wasn't anything they could do but continue on. We reached the van 10 minutes early. We were hoping for cold beer, he had cold water, but we were grateful just the same. It was a great trip with a great group. I was sad my wife didn't feel up to coming along, our first kid, daughter, will be arriving in October. All the same, I was glad I was on this trip with a great group. Perfect weather, good fishing, physical challenges, great trip! 

 


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