BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
May 28 2022
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!
September 26, 2021
Moose/Portage River (north)
Number of Days:
The suns rays are breaking through the trees and mist, creating one of those Boundary Waters mornings you think about at home during a January blizzard. The first portage down river is short. The other side has changed some even since July when we were here last. The beavers have continued to build and the water level is much higher. They've created quite a pond between this portage and the next. We paddle over to the beaver damn just to inspect their engineering feat. Its not long, maybe 20ft across but its manged to hold up 10 or more feet of water. A quick portage around and on to the winding Nina Moose. Our spider friends have really done some work weaving their webs on the wild rice and sedges. The droplets of moisture collecting on them glisten like frost in the morning light. Its really quite beautiful. We get to the next portage and meet a couple of guys on the way out. They are friendly and mentioned in our conversation needing to find a way to EP14 to get their truck. Austin and I didn't think of it until we were loaded that we could have let them use Austins truck. We thought for sure our fishing luck would be doomed now. That changed in a minute after Austin "plopped" a decent Smallmouth right by the rapids. The weather could not be more ideal. The sun is out, its 60 degrees with very little wind. What wind their is causes the maple leaves to let go their attachment to summer and gently flutter to the ground as we portage. Just our walking seems to cause them to fall. The water levels are low. Those who have been on this river might appreciate this photo. Our goal is to make it to Oyster for a night so we paddle across Agnes and to the beach landing at the portage to Oyster River. We say hello to a friendly grouse on the river side and are on our way to Oyster. The Oyster river to Oyster lake portage is a really pretty one. Ive done it a few times and it never disappoints. We make for the north peninsula site and its open. After making camp we go out and troll for Lakers with no luck. The night is clear and calm as we dose off. I had a crazy dream that during the night something was under my hammock. This something batted my rear the same way a my cat bats at my dogs face. I remember trying to yell in my sleep but couldn't get words out just a strange panicked noise. Was it a dream? Maybe I read too many entries on the message board thread about creepy or weird things experienced in the BWCA?
Once on the big lake I start thinking lakers. Eric who runs the Farwater youtube channel and works at Piragis was very helpful in coming up with a strategy to target these Lakers. I get the poles ready and once in a good area I started trolling. Right away I had two northerns on then something bigger. It was a lake trout. Our first ever on LLC. It measured around 32" For myself it really was a special fish. It was returned to depths. I kept marking fish so we kept slowly drifting with the wind then trolling into the wind. I had another on and lost it all the while Austin was fishing with the same lure, a Dr. Spoon but in a chrome/blue color and wasn't getting anything so we alternated fishing the clown patterned one I had on. Soon he was catching trout too.
It was time to find a campsite and we opted for the island site west of fish stake narrows. This sight is very nice and well located to fish both lady boot bay and fish stake. I dont think anyone else was camping on this part of LLC. After setting up camp and eating dinner we go out and paddle around the island and catch the setting sun while in the canoe.
Soon Austin hooks into a really good one. We land the fish and it measures 33-34" some photos and back in the water she went. So we've now each caught one over 30" and are both happy as can be. I hook into another one maybe as big as this one a bit later but lose it at the boat. We decide we should head back and have a brunch. I make coffee and bacon egg and cheese on an english muffin. We laze about camp taking in the rest of the morning. We head back out and fish the narrows and only catch a few smallmouth then we head back over to ladyboot bay and troll the length of it along the west side, around the islands and then head to the campsite on the east side of ladyboot. Its a nice site and seems to not be used that often. Numerous pines have blown over onto the site taking a bit away from it but it has a great view and is likely that one doesn't see too many people paddle by.
From here we decide to get back to our island via Toe lake entering it from the south. Weve been on Toe before and wanted to see it again as well as see what this south portage looks like. We paddle up as close to the portage as we dare go, our efforts stymied by the drought and 300 yards of muck and wild rice plants. Turned the ship around and headed back up the east side of "Das Boot" and to camp. During the paddle up and down ladyboot we picked up a few small walleyes, pike and bass. Nothing huge but still fun.
We made it out in a good time and and in great spirits. Our goal of catching a Lac La Croix Salvelinus namaycush complete and all with some of the best weather and fall color Ive ever experienced in the BWCA. Thank you to my brother who has been my tripping partner for many years now and for taking the time to take the majority of the photos and videos we have of this and other trips and to our wives who handle things back home like a boss...thank you so much for enabling us to enjoy this place we love. Thanks for reading!
I did put a video up on youtube...