BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
February 06 2023
Number of Permits per Day: 5
Elevation: 1348 feet
A favorite route offering many trip options and memorable things to see including;
World Class fishing for all four BWCA Species
Soaring granite hills and cliffs
Tumbling rapids and waterfalls
Wildlife, including Moose
Vistas from high points across the region if you're willing to climb. Rating Easy to Moderate. Day One. Get to EP16 off of the Echo Trail early. The initial portage is long, but well worn and smooth, sloping gently downgrade to the launch area. Load your canoe and head North. You'll be paddling with the slight current on this narrow winding river. The water is clear and make sure to tell the bowperson to watch for looming rocks!
Oyster Lake Base Camp 2013 (Green,Rocky,Ramshead, Ninamoose)
June 05, 2013
Moose/Portage River (north)
Number of Days:
First portage(160,moderate) always is the worst, but so worth it when you hit that river! Serenity! Although, sometimes it gets a little clogged up with people until you get to Nina Moose. It's a down current ride that is easy for newbies. 2 more small portages will bring you into Nina moose. The previous year we had a moose cross the river right in front of the back of our group. He then proceeded to crash into about 10 feet of wear I was standing on the first small portage and stare at me. I froze, thank god I didn't poop.lol. That would have been a portage problem. lol. Be prepared to jump/maneuver one or two small beaver dams, depending on the water levels. I always speed up and hit um fast, if you can't avoid it, jump out and pull everyone else across, it's never that deep around them. Trust me, your shoes are gonna get wet anyways, so the sooner you get used to that, the better. I don't even try to stay dry anymore, I just bring extra socks. The river runs into Nina Moose and if feels like a whole new world opens up before you. God's Country!!lol. This is what you dream about..well, at least what I dream about!
Nina Moose was mirror like, and was pretty easy to paddle through quickly. It was hard not to throw a line in, but I was pretty intent on fishing Oyster for a couple hours before dark. Then ya follow the lake North into the river again and you'll come to a 70-90 portage, more paddling and then another 70-90 rod portage. Follow the river further north and you'll pass the river to Ramshead lake and you'll wanna start riding the west side of the river when it widens before Agnes and you'll find the short cut to Oyster River. I seen the forums about most people having a hard time with it and although I was a bit intimidated, I told myself it would be an adventure, so I was set on trying it, against the popular vote to take the 160 out of Agnes.
Okay, so heading into the small entrance seems a little impassable at first but truthfully, with a couple of weight shifting moves, it opens up wider and wider. I had 3 in my canoe. You may have to kick off some stuff and I did stand a little to read the river, cuz it's a little maze-like, but you can't get lost, I promise. It's actually kind of fun. I prolly wouldn't do it in the dark though. Keep an eye on the stronger of currents and you'll find your way. Also, upon entering you can see where the river cuts north through the trees. In my opinion way easier and faster then another 160 rod. I would do it again without a doubt. There's a small passable beaver dam within that paddle and right before you get to the portage, you eliminated, there's a decent beaver dam that is impossible to canoe over. It's super shallow(5inches) and "all" will need to walk up. Again, bring an extra pair of shoes and change them at camp.
Oyster river is very cool and very easy at this point. Very deep woods, beautiful canoe ride ends up at the portage. Small waterfalls adorn the last portage into Oyster lake, very pretty. It almost looks like a natural Jacuzzi, loud enough that you can hear it from the lake. Very cool. As I recall, we didn't stay long the skeeters were loving that spot and we were getting hungry. To be fair, it wasn't an extremely exhausting trip, but we were ready to settle. We did cover a fair amount of ground. So, some would say.
Oyster!! A decent sized lake and you can tell it's deep just by looking at it.lol. Thankfully, again, it wasn't extremely windy. There was a day when the waves were getting pretty powerful around the finger tip and it made for some hairy moments. I had chosen the camp that pinches between the lake and the lagoon, but it was already taken. I was actually pretty surprised on the amount of people back there actually. I thought I'd be there by myself?? So we camped up on the finger tip on the inside of the lagoon, Which BTW, was horrible camp fishing at that time. I will say the camp itself was pretty nice though and we had a loon on a nest right next to us.
Camp was set up and we scrambled out to fish. I "heard" there was a couple decent sized Pike, and I was looking for an easy meal. I Tried some shoreline casting but wasn't picking them up like I thought I would. Eventually, I gave in to long lining and eventually caught me a decent 28 inch Trout and another one soon after. First one ever!!Really unexpected. The secret lure..KO style wobbler(firetiger, glow in dark). Your welcome, that was the only spoon out of our group that worked aside an orange syclops, which was a sparse 2nd place! If the rod tip was still bobbing it seemed to be working. Then it was just a matter of leisurely paddling around the lake. BTW, I caught those two in the lagoon area by the portage to rocky??lol. Never did pick up any pike. Deep fried um'! Water was still pretty cold, maybe that's why they were a hell of a lot better then anyone gives them credit for. loved it! No spawn No sperm at this time.
Hit the the portage to Green Lake which is a little more of an incline, but not much. I was kind of disappointed as I heard this lake was an odd color green, but it just looked like a greener then average lake. Much flatter shoreline then Rocky, but still some head stones poking out here and there. Took the south eastern approach long lining and casting. Picked up some hammer handles here and there, but was very disappointed in the amount. Eventually, ended up on a rock in the North Western bay. Fished there for a couple hours. It was nice to stop paddling for awhile. My GF made her first cast ever on a bait caster, with a Glidin Rap and wham..a nice 36 1/2 inch Gator!! I was happy, amazed and a tiny bit jealous.hahah. She's a good woman! I actually went to take a picture with her and her fish here and accidentally untied the canoe. I didn't notice right away and when I looked back... it was already a pretty good swim away. Cold!! Off go the clothes... you wanna talk about shrinkage!!haha
Canoe 2 met up with us here and we continued to fish, catching some decent fish..even a Warlord.hah. We cut up our fish and head back to camp. Made a detour to North end of Rocky, stopped on a Rock for awhile and picked up a small, smallmouth. Didn't stay too long.
We went back across Oyster a couple more times before dark. Was almost a gimmie crossing the lake with a long liner. We spent the campfire debating whether we should stay or go to Ramshead. We also lightened up the alchohol load a lot.haha. Good Times!!