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Margaret waechter
Guest Paddler
 
08/30/2016 08:02PM
Hello,
Just back from great trip into Sarah lake and through Tuck, etc. and back out through Basswood.... But heading into Quetico with my fit 76 year old dad September 13th. This time towards Agnes. I am worried about taking him through Meadows portage, not done it funnily enough though have done so any Quetico trips!

Wondering if anyone knows if it's easier to take him through North bay to South Lake, West Lake, Jeff Lake, then East Lake to get to Agnes/Louisa. Does anyone know anything about that way in ? Thanks for any info... Margaret
 
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billconner
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08/30/2016 08:10PM
Easiest might be North and whole S Chain to Silence, but not fastest. Those are all short portage's IIRC.

The meadows are longish but not hard IMHO. Wide and worn.

I have not done South to Agnes via Jeff, etc. My son's have. Seems they waded a lot of it.
Banksiana
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08/30/2016 08:46PM
As Mr. Conner said, the Meadows portages long but not particularly hard. They get a bad rap cause they are very close to each other- a few hundred yards in the canoe all that separates them. One option is to camp on Meadows and break them up. The North Bay /Jeff route is nice but it ain't easier- trading three long portages (if you travel direct to Sunday lake via the North Portage) for ten shorter ones (and the south portage between East and Agnes is steep) and a good deal more paddling. I suggest taking your time and going via Meadows.
GraniteCliffs
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08/30/2016 10:29PM
I would agree. Better to do a couple of portages and get to Agnes more quickly.
I often think it is not so much the length of the portage but the number of times lifting canoes and packs out of the water and onto a person and back into the canoe that takes it out of me.
carmike
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08/31/2016 12:21AM
Some people with plenty of experience rank the Meadows portages as some of the toughest in the park. In my honest opinion, I don't quite understand that. They are rocky with uneven footing, but they're not that long and there's not that much elevation change. I can think of 10 BWCA portages that are more difficult, to my mind anyways. Just my .02.

I'd vote for a slow-and-steady approach to the Meadows. Double/triple portage them...you'll have plenty of portage-less time paddling on Agnes. Keep the packs light so you can be agile, and I'd guess you'll be just fine.
Margaret waechter
Guest Paddler
 
08/31/2016 09:34AM
Thanks for the input. I took him in kahshahpiwi via mcniece a few years ago and out via yum yum and mcniece and yum yum were tough - mcniece uncleared, trees down, bogs to my waist, steep faces and could not see my footing at all portaging my bell Seliga. Not a good day with dad. Meadows sounds easy compared to that. I'm fine - just want dad to have fun!
We found come out s chain then. We've done shade lake so was looking for a different way hence Jeff etc.

Thanks for the input. Margaret
billconner
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08/31/2016 10:27AM
Meadows much easier than McNiece or Yum Yum. I'd rate the two Meadows portages as about half way between either McNiece or Yum Yum and the Barkley (aka Yellow Brick Road) between Bayley and Burke.
08/31/2016 03:27PM
Agree with others. I think why the meadows portages get rated so bad is that many are a little fatigued when they hit them that first day (some of the last portages you will do that day) and they are rockier than many portages so it can sap your strength. I would think that if you did them later in the trip when you have your stride going or first part of the day their rating would be adjusted way down.

They aren't a walk in the park though. My 7 year old didn't like them his first time through it was tough on the little legs and all the rocks to negotiate, but agree they are typically over rated.

T
Pa2five
member (17)member
 
12/26/2016 10:28AM
Agreed, the extremely short paddle between Meadows portages makes them harder. I love trolling the bottom end of Agnes. We stay at the East shore 2nd campsite. Love it
PineKnot
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12/26/2016 10:54AM
@ Margaret:

If you took you dad on the McNeice/Kahs portage and the Yum Yum portage on the same trip, including the "Bog" portage between Yum Yum and Shade, I can see why he may not have liked it....those portages together would not be fun unless you're looking for a real challenge....

I completed a 2-week solo this past Sep looping from PP through Woodside/Hurlburt/Payne and back. Going from South lake, I took the creek between West Lake to East lake. It was a long day, but made it to a decent campsite on the east end of Jeff. There's also a nicer campsite on East lake on the mid eastern shoreline, but I was too spent getting to Jeff. The only portage that was a real PITA was the short rocky one between Jeff and East.

On the way back to PP from Payne, I cruised down Agnes and into Sunday/Burke via the two Meadows portages. I hear what others are saying, but those two portages always kill me much worse that either Yum Yum or Kahs/McNeice....and this past September was no different. But the Meadows portages are quicker than any other way into/out of Agnes, but the creek routes between West/East lakes and the S-Chain are very scenic and relaxing....re the creek route between West and East, I'd suggest camping in either North Bay or South Lake and it would make the day getting to East Lake or Agnes much easier than trying to get to East in one day from PP....

I guess it all comes down to what you're looking for in your trip.....
AdamXChicago
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12/26/2016 01:50PM
Exactly what Bill Connor said!
BTW: Meadows Lake has tons of largemouth and gets little fishing pressure.
gymcoachdon
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12/26/2016 06:57PM
quote AdamXChicago: "Exactly what Bill Connor said!
BTW: Meadows Lake has tons of largemouth and gets little fishing pressure.
"


What size largemouth were you catching? Any other good largemouth lakes in the Q?
I figure hijacking an older thread is less of a crime than if it was a current post. :)
AdamXChicago
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12/27/2016 03:18PM
quote gymcoachdon: "quote AdamXChicago: "Exactly what Bill Connor said!
BTW: Meadows Lake has tons of largemouth and gets little fishing pressure.
"



What size largemouth were you catching? Any other good largemouth lakes in the Q?
I figure hijacking an older thread is less of a crime than if it was a current post. :)"

We were there 3rd week of June - LMs weren't big (nothing over two pounds), but they sure were hungry. We decided to take a break between the two meadows portages and were drifting around an island towards the south end of Meadows Lake. We still laugh about it today - easily caught >40 LMs in under an hour using soft plastics in 5-10 feet. You could actually see the strikes. There was a point at which we caught fish on maybe a dozen consecutive casts. What a hoot!
The only other lakes up in Q where I've personally caught LM are Sturgeon and Wolseley.
 
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