BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

February 17 2019

Entry Point 1 - Trout Lake

Trout Lake entry point allows overnight paddle or motor (25 HP max). This entry point is supported by La Croix Ranger Station near the city of Cook, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 30 miles. Access from LakeVermilion via 60-rod canoe portage or 180-rod portage that allows the use of portage wheels. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 14
Elevation: 1381 feet
Latitude: 47.9144
Longitude: -92.3220
Trout Lake - 1

North Kawishiwi 2009

by azondervan
Trip Report

Entry Date: June 19, 2009
Entry Point: Lake One
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:
This trip consisted of myself, Aaron, and long time friend, Brandon. Brandon is going to school to become a boat captain, so he is all over the map in a moments notice, kind of hard to plan a trip around. Sometime in late winter/early spring we took a stab in the dark and came up with this date. At the time it worked for both of our schedules, but you never know. In the back of my mind, I kept preparing myself for a solo. As the date got closer, Brandon found out he would have to head back to school on June 25. Perfect, our trip was a go!

Day 1 of 4


Friday, June 19, 2009

Well, the day didn't exactly start the way we wanted it. Brandon lives in Duluth and I in St Louis Park, so I drove to Duluth on Thursday night and the plan was to head to Ely at 4 am. Brandon called me on Wednesday afternoon, he just got done with his physical for school. The bad news? He had a TB test, which can only be checked at least 48-72 hours after it is given. The only time he could get in was 8 am on Friday. We are already 4 hours behind schedule!

The doctors visit was short and we were actually on the road before 8. Made it to Ely, got our canoe, leeches, booze and permit, and were in the water by 11, not bad.

It was a gorgeous day, but which one isn't when it is your first day away from the real world and about to enter the BWCA? I've waited for this day forever![paragraph break]

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We paddle on our way, getting a little confused in spots, but get it figured out. About an hour in, we run into a group who is leaving today. Asked them where they stayed and how many people they have seen. They camped on the island site just to the west of the fork of the North and South Kawishiwi. They really enjoyed the sight but said they have already seen 4 groups heading in that direction. Brandon and I decide that we will quit fishing and find a decent site before they are taken. Seems we are base-camping and the main goal is fishing, we make it to the site that was recommended within another two hours. It was a site that I had read about and we were happy that it was open after finding so many filled along the way. We decide this 4 star will be our home for the next few days and set up camp.

Shortly after getting camp set up, the sky clouds up and it begins to rain. I don't think we could have timed it any better. It only lasts a half hour or so, and soon clears up again.[paragraph break]

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After a bite to eat, summer sausage sandwiches and gorp, we decide to head out and do some fishing. Just as we are leaving we notice a deer in the water across the bay. We quietly paddle over and get as close as 15 yards. Very cool to sit and watch him dunk his head under to eat and drink. We leave him to his business after watching for about 10 minutes.[paragraph break]

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Fishing was slow and didn't catch a thing until we got back to camp. Just a couple of smallies. We also scared up a couple of turtles as we got back to camp. Made a nice dinner of ribeyes and mashed potatoes, very tasty. Caught a beautiful sunset and had a wonderful campfire. What a great day![paragraph break]

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Day 2 of 4


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Got kind of a late start this morning, didn't wake up until 7. Had the morning coffee along with eggs, sausage and bagels. The sausages took forever to cook. By the time we got things cleaned up and on the water it was 9. Bright sunny day and already starting to get warm.[paragraph break]

We started the day off fishing in a bay that was just around the corner from our campsite. It took some time, but eventually the fish started biting. We both caught a walleye and a few northerns. Not a bad way to start the day![paragraph break]

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After fishing in this bay for a few hours, we decided to make our way to Conchu Lake and try our luck at some brook trout. After the buggy portage, we toured the lake briefly. We found a spot that had some trout swimming around, but alas they were not hungry, at least for what we were throwing at them. I did manage to catch a very small largemouth bass, couldn't have been more than 5 inches long.[paragraph break]

After our short stint and Conchu, we decided to make waves toward the large portage to the west. We parked our boat on shore and out of the way and continued the hike down the trail. I had read about the nice falls at this area, but were unable to locate them. We didn't look too terribly hard because it was very hot and buggy. Saw some very nice rapids and was worth the walk for some scenery and to stretch the legs.[paragraph break]

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After leaving the portage we hopped in our canoe and hit the water. It was so hot out, we let our feet dangle in the water and let the wind blow us around. We decided to take a lunch break on a small island near the portage to Conchu. Had summer sausage sandwiches and gorp once again. Nice to lay back and take a quick cat nap in the nice breeze and shade of a tree. When we were getting ready to leave we were surprised by a snapping turtle near our canoe.[paragraph break]

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We slowly worked our way back to camp, catching only a couple of fish along the way. Back at camp, we decided to brew up some coffee and throw some bobbers in. Once the fire was going, we decided to cook up some chicken breasts for an early dinner. Once the clean up was done, it was back in the canoe to see what we could catch.[paragraph break]

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It was terribly hot and muggy, and hardly a breeze in the air. We tried some of the small bays near camp, but nothing was biting. It was too miserable to stay out too long so we snapped a few photos and made way to get a fire going. It was a great night and Brandon and I were able to catch up with each other's lives, as we don't get to see each other too often.[paragraph break]

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Day 3 of 4


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Another morning of waking up at 7, I can't believe I am sleeping in this late. Got the coffee going, then the eggs and bacon, which went much more smoothly than yesterday's breakfast. Cleaned up and hit the water. Today, we were going to explore the South Kawishiwi.[paragraph break]

Once we got to the first set of rapids, we tried our luck at fishing. Got a couple of smallies, but not much action so we decided to move on. All day, we just worked the shorelines and small bays. Good luck in some spots, not so good in others, but that's the way it goes. Had a nice sized northern on for a bit, but shook itself off as I was pulling out of the water. We did manage to get a few in the boat.[paragraph break]

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It was getting very hot today and found a small island out in the breeze on which to take a break. Did a little fishing from shore and ended up breaking a pole. I guess that's why you always bring a spare. Took a quick cat nap in the breeze before turning around toward camp.[paragraph break]

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On our way back to camp, we ran into a group that was fishing below the rapids where we had little luck. Of course they were catching them left and right. Not enough room for all of us so we ventured on. Stopped for some fire wood before reaching camp.[paragraph break]

By this time, it was extremely hot and almost went for a swim, but opted for a bite to eat and a nice sit in the breeze on a point. We brewed some coffee and decided to eat our main meal at this time so we could be out fishing during prime time. We had pork loin kabobs with potatoes, peppers, and pineapple. Delicious![paragraph break]

We got done eating and were about to lay down for a nap when we heard a couple of canoes stop by. It was an adult with 4 kids in 2 canoes. Seems that they were turned around and separated from the rest of their group. We got them orientated again and pointed out a couple of nice campsites that were open down the river. Just then, the rest of their group came around the corner, waving their paddles in the air. They were very happy to see them and very thankful for the help we provided. [paragraph break]

Well, we were awake now and decided to try our luck in the bay around the corner, where we caught some walleyes earlier. Fishing was a little slow this evening. Brandon was able to wrestle a northern in the canoe. We also had a couple of loons follow us around for quite some time.[paragraph break]

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We decided to call it an evening and headed back to camp so we could get a fire started. Upon our return, we found a turtle laying her eggs. It was very cool to watch her dig and push the eggs into the hole before covering them up and camouflaging the nest. Talk about Discovery Channel live and in your face! I could have watched for hours, but wanted to let her do her thing and not disturb her. We were the guests in her home, not the other way around. One last fire and the rest of the vodka lemonades before bed. I can't believe we have to leave tomorrow.[paragraph break]

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Day 4 of 4


Monday, June 22, 2009

Woke up this morning to canoes banging around. Sounds like our neighbors are heading out. What time is it anyway? 8 am. Of all the days I wanted to get going early. I was hoping to be at our entry point by noon. Not looking good. Got out of the tent to see that we had at least an inch of rain over night. We thought about making a fire and cooking breakfast, but because everything was wet, and in the interest of time, decided to eat some leftovers from the food pack. Nut rolls, the breakfast of champions. [paragraph break]

After a quick bite, we packed up camp and were on the water. Very overcast day today. Not too much in the way of fishing today, main focus was getting home.[paragraph break]

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About halfway back to the truck, a few drops began to fall. Pretty soon it was enough to pull out the rain gear, and thank goodness we did. It began to pour cats and dogs! We thought we were getting near the next portage when it started to thunder and lightning. By this time, I was ankle deep in water and everything was soaked. We talked about pulling over to the side, but decided to go with the philosophy that we couldn't get any wetter and we wouldn't be getting any closer to the truck.[paragraph break]

Once we hit the portage, we waited for 15 minutes or so, just long enough for it to let up. We continued on our way. Soon even the sprinkles went away and it turned out to be a decent day, minus all the mosquitos. Threw in some final casts before reaching the Lake One entry point. Seemed to be a busy place today. We got loaded up and on the road at about 12:30 and our time in the BWCA was officially over.....for this time.[paragraph break]

Made a stop for lunch at the Ely Steakhouse. We then proceeded on to Duluth, where I dropped Brandon off. I continued on my way to Saint Louis Park and was at home at about 6:30, not too bad for time. Part of me is glad to be back at the comforts of home and to be able to see my wife, but part of me also misses what I just left. I definitely could have used another day or two, but you guys know what I am talking about. [paragraph break]

All in all, a great trip! I can't wait until the next one, the wife might even let me get a second trip in later this year, we'll see. Until next time....happy paddling!

Z

 


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