My wife and I will be heading north in September with another couple and I was wondering if anyone has ventured in this area this summer? We are hoping to set up camp on either Bower Trout Lake or Marshall Lake. How are the campsites on these lakes? How are the portages? Any info on this area would be greatly appreciated.
We plan on fishing every day, has anyone fished either of these lakes and had any luck? We plan on making a trip or two to Swan Lake in the five days we are there. I read the fishing is better on Swan than the ones we will be staying at. Are any of the smaller lakes on our way to swan worth checking out?
My 9 yo daughter and I entered at Bower Trout and camped on Swan during Memorial Day weekend. We had a great trip and loved the area.
IMO..... the 3 sites on Swan are much nicer than the 2 on Bower Trout and 1 on Marshall. I also thought that the 1 on Marshall was nicer than either of the 2 on Bower Trout. My impressions of the sites on those 2 lakes are just from looking at them while passing by.
The 2 things that stick in my head about portages were 1. Bower Trout to Marshall had some very muddy sections and 2. The landing on the unnamed lake side of the 40 rod portage to Swan was kind of tricky because there is a huge tree down in the lake right at the landing. There weren't any real hard portages, but with all of the short paddles and multiple times of loading and unloading the canoe it became time consuming and it took me longer to get to Swan than I anticipated.
The 3 narrow sections of Dugout Lake were tricky with lots of rocks just under the surface and at that time of year the water was moving fairly fast so it was especially difficult w/ a 9yo in the bow and paddling up the current while going towards Swan. I had to paddle hard to make it through the shoots and try to navigate around the underwater rocks. Going back downstream was much easier.
Fishing on Swan was pretty slow for us but, little duckling did catch her 1st walleye on that trip :) We didn't fish any other lakes.
Anyone have an opinion on why people don't put in at entry point 43? I understand the portage to get to the lake can be a pain but it doesn't seem like it will be that bad. Also, I would think the smaller lakes would appeal to most people.
Our group of 6, base camped for 5 days on Swan the first week in August and can wholeheartedly recommend this area. As with Ducks' experience, we only paddled past the BT and Marshall Lake campsites, but we would suggest pushing on to Swan. The middle peninsula site is a gem if you can get it. We saw plenty of wildlife including eagles, otters, turtles, snowshoe hare and even had a pine marten visit our campsite. Additionally the swimming in Swan's crystal clear water was great and we had no problem catching decent sized walleyes right from camp.
Don't be scared off by the six portages. You can take your time. There is only one permit issued per day and you won't likely encounter many others traveling west. Double portaging you should be able to get from the parking lot to Swan in about 4 hours. It's a beautiful area that I'd like to visit again some day.