BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
July 23 2017
Moose Lake entry point allows overnight paddle or motor (25 HP max). This entry point is supported by Kawishiwi Ranger Station near the city of Ely, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 21 miles. Access is an boat landing or canoe launch at Moose Lake. Many trip options for paddlers with additional portages. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.
Number of Permits per Day: 27
Elevation: 1356 feet
Moose Lake - 25
Number of Permits per Day: 27
Elevation: 1356 feet
Moose Lake - 25
June 07, 2007
Number of Days:
This was a trip at least one year in the planning. Of course it seemed to last just hours in my mind. Four adult men, three sons and a nephew. The boys are ages 9, 9, 10 and 14. We had originally planned to go into Ensign and base camp, but hearing from this site where a little more portaging would bring us, we decided that going into Knife would be a better trip with better fishing and less traffic. We started out at LaTourells, and I must say, Bob could not have been a better host and outfitter. Our group was completely outfitted by them and everything from equipment to food to tow boat was great. Our group was pretty inexperienced with the exception of a couple of us adults making three or four trips as young adults. I can honestly say that it will not be nearly as long until we go again.
Day 1 of 5
Thursday, June 07, 2007 We started out driving up to Ely around noon from the Twin Cities. Uneventful, except for wildlife. We saw more wildlife on our drive up than actually in the BW. As we neared Ely, we witnessed a wolf cross Highway 169. Many dead deer, porcupine, and raccoon later, we arrived at LaTourell's. There was some weather coming in so we watched the video and then waited as the resort staff "battened down the hatches". We went into Ely and a great dinner at the Ely Steakhouse, made our last calls home to mom and headed back out to the bunkhouse.
Day 2 of 5
Friday, June 08, 2007 We had a lot of wind and rain all night. Thinking we were going to wake up to wind and rain, we planned for the worst. Rain gear was ready and all of the boys wore theirs on the tow boat ride to Prairie Portage. Little did we know that would be the last time any of us would wear our raingear! We had the wind to our backs the entire way. The portages were short, but when you have to double portage every single one, they get longer! The boys did pull their weight, helping in any way they could. They even put on a pack on a couple of the shorter portages. I forgot how beautiful the BW is. The air is truly different here, it wakes you up to what is around you. The boys can't help but notice how clean the water is and my own son is mystified that I can drink the water right from the lake. I should say that we did filter all of the water once into camp, although I was amazed that the water was so clear in the middle of Knife! We paddled into Knife Lake and began to look for a camp. Our original plan was to make it to the South Arm of Knife, but the day was long already and we thought we may want to just find a nice spot. We paddled past Dorothy's old place and I thought of the "The Root Beer Lady" and just then realized the magnitude of what she did year after year! We just got a boatride, portaged a little, and paddled what she would do alone with two packs and a canoe, a few hundred times! Wow. We found a spot Bob LaTourell recommended on the east end of Robbin's island that was vacant. The site was on a point and elevated. A little challenge fitting three tents, but we set up camp and set out to fish. We grilled (on the grate) those steaks LaTourell's sent with us and they were perfect. Cooking on an open flame sets everything apart.
Day 3 of 5
Saturday, June 09, 2007 I, of course, cannot sleep very well unless I have 6 inches of foam or air under me, so it took a while for me to get to sleep. Although the loons also had other plans for us also. I had forgotten how loud their calls are here. I also heard coyotes in the distant for a short time. The plan today was simple - fish. After a breakfast of fresh eggs, we decided to venture down the lake a bit. As we paddled, then wind came up and made us think of the paddle back we would have if we made it to Thunder point. I had heard from others on the messageboard that the wind has to be perfect to blow Knife around and it must have been perfect. Our boys are strong, but they cannot paddle like adults, so we thought better of it and opted for a bay on the south side of the lake that was calm. We caught numerous smallies, most small, but a few here and there that were in the 15"- 19" range. My son and I found a beaver house on the shore just off a wind blown point, ideal for feeding fish. We anchored up and threw out a leech on a slip bobber, within 30 seconds, I had a 1.5 lbs walleye on the stringer. I casted into the same spot and caught his brother. Since my son had a jig tied on, I handed him my pole and he caught another 7 fish for a fabulous walleye dinner for eight! The paddle back was a little challenging into the wind, but we did it. I slept a bit better, but not like home. That night, one of our group hooked into a nice walleye. we took some pics and sent her on her way.
Day 4 of 5
Sunday, June 10, 2007 Since the wind the day before had whipped us up a bit, we thought we may want to get ahead of it and fish our way out of Knife, take our time through the portages and get into Birch and spend the night there. We caught quite a few big smallies enroute to Birch. we must have caught nearly a hundred smallies for the trip, this kept the boys happy and content. A couple of them could, or actually did, fish the entire day. Even when we found a site on Birch, they loved trying to catch a smallie right in front of our site. It seemed like hours were spent hearing "oooooohhh, he almost took it" or "oh, oh, aaahhhhhh" or my favorite "I think I've got a monster!" We fished the evening around our site and the shoreline. I hooked something in a small bay my son and I were drifting through using a jig head/mister twister combo. I am hoping it was not a walleye, but sadly enough it was acting like one. It kept it's head down and did little shaking. I was going were it wanted to go and I was getting excited to see her. I had her almost to the boat the she spit the jig out! I am hoping I lost a pike, but I will never know.
Day 5 of 5
Monday, June 11, 2007 This morning we woke to very warm temps. I would like to think unseasonably warm, but I am warm-blooded anyway, so 80 is warm. we fished our way out to the pick up point and again picked up a few larger fish. The boys were ready to go to DQ for ice cream and a burger. The adults were ready also, but no one said so. I can honestly say that it was a great trip, fishing was great, the outfitter was great, the weather was perfect (a little warm for me). It was a bit more work than what we bargained for, but well worth it. I am ready to plan the next trip! Thanks again to all who helped with the planning.