BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
December 17 2017
Number of Permits per Day: 27
Elevation: 1356 feet
Moose Lake - 25
South Arm Knife June 2013
June 11, 2013
Moose Lake (25)
Number of Days:
We started our morning by meeting Laura and Greg at Britton’s for breakfast at 5:00. On entry days we usually get moving early and don’t stop for much of a lunch and push on to get camp set up then eat. After a great breakfast we stopped back at VNO to get our gear from the bunkhouse and then off to meet our tow on Moose at 7:00. After getting our gear and canoes onto tow boats we were off at 7:00 and were unloaded and ready to paddle on Birch at 7:45. We were on Knife before we knew it and planned on stopping on either end of Dorothy’s Island to grab a quick pb&j tortilla for Dalen. Both sites were full so we paddled past and stopped at the next island on a rock to grab some food and take a minute to tie up our fishing poles so we could troll for lakers while we traveled to the South Arm. We didn’t go far before I was hooked my first BWCA laker, what a rush! I caught another laker just past Thunder Point and Scott caught a very nice laker just as we left the narrows leading to the South Arm. We pulled into site 1431 about 2:00 and started to settle down before we noticed that the wind blew us all the way from Dorothy’s Island to the South Arm and that we maybe should have had some sun screen on. After a quick lunch we set up camp, collected some wood, and just took a break. Made lake trout for supper and were in the tent and sleeping about 10:00.
The whole group slept in a little later than we wanted but that’s what vacations are for. We got things going with a breakfast of blueberry muffins in the reflector oven and cappuccino. Then it was off to show the new trippers some of the beauties of the BW. We first went to Eddy falls, carried the canoes across and then came back down the portage to see the falls up close. Then it was off to fish Eddy for a few hours where we have caught some pike in the past but this year turned up only 2 smaller fish in about 2 hours. Scott, Greg and Laura did see a cow moose in the bay on the sw corner of the lake so all was not lost. We left Eddy, stopped back by camp for a quick lunch and then headed for the north shore of the lake for some top water smallie action. One canoe went west and I went east, planning to meet somewhere in the middle. The lake was still pretty calm and the action was incredible! We caught fish after fish for hours, all on top water. We had a hearty supper of Bear Creek chili and grilled cheese with a chocolate chip cookie in the reflector oven for dessert. After supper we fished around camp till dark with limited action before turning in for the night.
As a group we were undecided if we should spend another day on Knife or move back toward our exit at Ensign. We decided to move back toward Ensign so it was up at 5:00 and on the water by 7:00 after an oatmeal breakfast and packing up camp. It wasn’t until we were halfway to Thunder Point when I noticed the weather was once again cooperating as it was pushing us back west across Knife, not to mention once again sunny and 65. The portage to Vera went pretty good, Scott and I double tripped while the rest of the group caught their breath and had a snack at the Vera end of the portage. Once everyone was across we paddled to site 1243 and set up camp at 11:00 for the next 3 nights. Everyone took a nap and relaxed for a few hours. Supper was biscuits in the reflector oven topped with gravy and pork sausage and chocolate pudding for dessert. We tried fishing from camp at dark as we had good success the previous year but we only caught a few 18” walleyes. Still no bugs or wood ticks as we watched the stars before moving to the tent for the night.
Our 4th day was again a lazy morning as the days agenda was day tripping to Neglige and Explorer and then back to Vera for some walleye fishing. After getting a lunch and some gear packed we headed off for Neglige. The portage into Neglige was quite a different since just last year as there were 3 fallen down trees to go over / through. Once on Neglige we pulled over and fished from shore on the peninsula where it opens into the main lake. Scott and I trolled the lake a few times while the others fished from shore. After 2 hours we were going to have lunch before checking out Explorer. NOTE, if your planning mac and cheese for lunch and you need a stove, somebody in the group must have a source of fire. We settled for some granola bars and trail mix for lunch. The only action for fish on Neglige was one broken line on a fish that we never saw and 1 bite. The portage to Explorer was about the same as last year, maybe grown it just a little more. We were very disappointed that in a PMA someone had made a camp literally on the Explorer end of the portage complete with a rock fire pit and camp furniture. We made one trip around the lake trolling for trout with no luck before returning to Vera for the evening. Greg, Laura and Scott caught 2 walleyes on the way back to camp that we had for supper with cheese biscuits in the reflector oven. After supper we went to fishing and had pretty good success for an hour catching 16” – 18” walleyes for about an hour before turning in for the night.
Day 5 we awoke to a dead calm lake that was covered with fog that made for pretty relaxing morning watching the sunrise. After breakfast we headed back across the portage to Knife to fish for smallies again as the action had been so good just a few days ago. We caught a bunch of smallies, some pike and another laker. The wind was not blowing at all so made a slow trip up to Dorothy’s Island and this time it was unoccupied so we checked it out. What a life it must have been there on that island in the middle of such a beautiful place! After our little tour we headed back to Vera for a late lunch and one last chance to relax before heading out the next day. Scott and I headed out fishing before supper and stumbled onto a productive pattern and caught a few walleyes which we released before heading back for a spaghetti supper. After getting supper and a few thing around camp cleaned up we headed out for one last round of fishing. We returned to where we were before supper and the fish were still there and still biting. We caught and released a bunch of walleyes as we watched the sunset and the stars come out and then headed to camp for the night.
Our last day everyone except Dalen was up at 5 and starting to pack and getting canoes loaded for our trip back to civilization. We had a quick breakfast of toast and coffee and we were moving a little before 7:00. The weather was once again beautiful and even a little hot as the portage to Ensign will get the blood moving a little bit. Once on Ensign we encountered for the first time during our trip a wind in our face but it wasn’t too bad and we made pretty good time crossing the lake. Our tow pickup was set up for the Birch portage so we left Ensign and made a leisurely paddle up to Birch and arrived at 10:15 for our 11:00 tow. After a half hour wait while we looked at some of our pictures and talked about the trip our tow showed up and we were on our way back to Ely. A quick shower and burgers at the Ely Steakhouse and we were on our way home. This trip was my 13th to the BW, by far the best yet.
We had clear skies and 65 degrees with no wind every day of the trip. The only time the wind blew over 10 mph it was pushing us in / out of Knife and the morning and evenings were dead calm. The bugs were basically nonexistent, no flies and very few mosquitoes in the evenings. We are by no means die hard anglers, but spent a fair amount of time fishing and we caught fish every time we went out. To top it off I got to trip with my closest family members which made for an awesome trip!