BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
December 06 2019
Number of Permits per Day: 14
Elevation: 1381 feet
Trout Lake - 1
2019 Troop 743 BWCA Trip
July 21, 2019
Farm Lake (31)
Number of Days:
We started by missing the channel that takes you past Kawishiwi Lodge and into a bay. It wasn't much of a detour and we quickly got our bearings and made it through Lake one pretty easily. I was a bit turned off by the number of people. Every campsite we past had someone on it.
Going from Lake One to Lake Two required a short portage, an almost as short paddle, then another short portage. Having full gear and food for a week, the boys decided they were done portaging for the day. We settled on going into Lake Three and finding one of the campsites recommended by our outfitter. Unfortunately, Lake Two and Lake Three were no less crowded and all the sites were taken. We paddled to the south end of Lake Three, then back up between the east shore and a big island. We finally found camp at site 1493.
We were in the area of the the fire, and the other two adults weren't thrilled with it. Being a grouse hunter, and knowing how fire is a necessary evil didn't mind it at all. In fact that night we had a ruffed grouse drumming so close to our tent that I could hear his feathers rustle on the log he was using.
We had a quick lunch refilled water, and setup camp. The area looked promising for shore fishing, but that proved to not be the case. Of the 7 of us, only myself and my son had any fishing experience. Keeping the 3 boys set up and teaching them how to do things took up most of the afternoon.
This night we learned a few things, including have your bear tree setup and ready to go along with camp. We were in the process of setting it up as the sun went down and the mosquitoes descended. I've never seen mosquitoes like that.
Again no fish caught from shore, so after lunch I took one of the boys out into the river and showed him how to vertical jig. The wind was strong enough that I had to paddle so I coached him and kept the canoe slowed. He hooked several fish, probably walleye, but wasn't setting the hook and lost them all after a short fight. As the wind picked up, I got tired and we decided to head back to camp and rest and hope the wind would die towards evening.
After dinner the wind died, and the boys tried fishing some more. All 4 were trying, but not much luck. I decided to go out and try and as I was launching the rain started and soon after the thunder so we called it a night.
Also, portage 603 is tricky to find. It starts right at the rapids, not at the beginning of the pool preceding the rapids. It doesn't have much room either. While the other two canoes went through, I had the boys in my canoe fish and one managed to hook a nice fish and fought it for several minutes before losing it. He was pretty bummed as it would have been his first.
After setting camp, I decided to cast from the big rock that the fire grate sat on. My first cast I hooked a fish. The boys were excited as I played it in. It came easily and I figured I had a walleye. The water was dark and stained, so I couldn't see the fish, but when I got it close to shore and lifted my rod to bring it up where I could grab it, an enormous head emerged. It was a huge northern, too big for me to reach across the back of his head. With his head out of the water he thrashed, spit the hook, and was gone. Everyone was silent. That would be the biggest fish seen all week.
That night we were out on the lake for a couple of hours. My son landed a small largemouth from the portage landing. We trolled, casted, and jigged. I finally managed a small largemouth on a popper. The other boys lost a couple of fish, but none landed. We did see several beaver, including one that surfaced right next to the boys canoe.
This was a nice site and our best fishing spot. My son found a submerged tree that was full of large rock bass, and all the boys happily caught numerous fish. This made the trip a success because every boy caught fish. At dusk I casted a popper and had northerns flying out of the water. Lots of action, but only one hookup on a 22-24" northern.
In all it was an experience of a lifetime. We had fun, but it was a lot more work than anticipated. I'm glad I had stepped up my hikes with the dogs with 50# weight. I wish I could have managed to bring my CPAP to get some sleep. In the future, I'm going to be more adamant our Scouts train more like they do for Philmont, some weren't ready for the physical exertion required. I'll, also, not want to use a route as long as the one we took to allow for days to rest/fish.