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BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

February 09 2023

Entry Point 20 - Angleworm Lake

Angleworm Lake entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by Kawishiwi Ranger Station near the city of Ely, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 18 miles. Access is a 640-rod portage to Angleworm Lake.

Number of Permits per Day: 2
Elevation: 1260 feet
Latitude: 48.0659
Longitude: -91.9303
Angleworm Lake - 20

Swampy Angleworm Slog

by KennyBustalker1969
Trip Report

Entry Date: August 14, 2022
Entry Point: Angleworm Lake
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:
Two friends from Washington embark on four wilderness days of portages, fishing, camping and comradery!

Day 1 of 4


Sunday, August 14, 2022 It had been a few months of anticipation, an evening flight from Washington state and a drive through the night to Ely that got us to this point. After spending a few days at my Ely area cabin, my friend and I finished our two days of prepping by packing the car and heading to the Angleworm trailhead around 8 a.m. Sunday morning. Many had told us to reconsider our entry point. They insisted ANYTHING was better than the dreaded Angleworm portage. We pushed their concerns aside and decided we were up for the challenge. We tried to pack as light as we could and us two middle aged men were able to consolidate down to two packs, a 35 pounder and a 50 pounder. We also had our 45 pound Mad River Explorer Kevlar canoe with paddles and fishing rods strapped inside. We were committed to only traveling the 700+ rod portage twice; once on the way in and the second time on the way out. The portage started out well but we quickly ran into a snag when we got to the swampy bog area I had seen on a YouTube video. The boardwalk was gone! The spring flooding had torn it apart. Remnants of it could be seen floating in the water. We gritted our teeth and slogged through the thigh deep water. We made short work of it and arrived at the other side. After a quick rest, we continued on, taking breaks as needed. We finally found the spot where the trail veered left towards Angleworm, as we had seen on the map. We were surprised at how quickly we arrived at the lake. It was quicker than anticipated. The lake wasn't what we expected with deadhead trees and really shallow water. Something did not seem right almost right away as we paddled north. This was NOT Angleworm, but a beaver pond! The worn trail where we launched the canoe made it obvious that we weren't the first people to make this mistake. In fact, we met another party about to do the same thing as we exited the pond. We had a quick snack and proceeded to the real Angleworm Lake. Once arriving at Angleworm, we started paddling north. Our hopeful destination was Thunder Lake. We spoke to a few people on Angleworm who were quick to mention how poor the fishing was. We continued on to Home Lake. The 65 rod portage was a breath of fresh air after Angleworm. We paddled through Home and on to the Gull Lake portage. The 271 rod portage was another grinder. By the time we arrived at Gull Lake mid-afternoon, we were exhausted and had zero interest in another portage. We took the center of the three campsites along the north end of Gull. The other two were empty. We had the whole lake to ourselves! The campsite is a nice one with easy spots to cast from shore and land a canoe. There are multiple tent spots and bugs were not an issue. We secured firewood, started a fire, and spent a relaxing evening dining on the frozen ribeyes we had packed and enjoyed some "Loonshine". We enjoyed it so much that we finished our trips Loonshine ration the first evening. A thunderstorm blew in after dinner and we turned in early to listen to 45 minutes of thunder cracks and pouring rain while we enjoyed our dry tent and dozed off to sleep.   

 



Day 2 of 4


Monday, August 15, 2022 The morning got off to a foggy beginning. I tied a Mepps #4 Comet spinner spinner on my line just after dawn and started casting from the rock peninsula at the campsite. First cast, wham! Something pops it right away and shakes off after a brief fight. This was duplicated two more times in the next 10 minutes. All the fish were angry pike and managed to shake off before making it to shore. Not my day! We enjoyed some breakfast and packed up and headed out. We decided to head east to Gun Lake instead of north to Thunder Lake. The portage from Gull Lake to Gun Lake is a breeze. The difference in the water was instantly noticeable when we arrived at Gun Lake. The crystal clear water of Gun Lake was a welcome change compared to the bog stained water of Gull Lake. We decided we would look for a campsite on Gun Lake and relax. The first sight we passed was kind of on the side of a hill so we paddled on. We continued to the south side of the lake and saw a campsite on the southeast side of the lake. What a campsite! It juts out from the mainland a bit with what will prove to be wonderful sunset views. The canoe landing is a bit sketchy. You have to pull alongside a rock and step up out of the canoe. We set up camp and head out in search of firewood. We end up with a bit of beaver wood and other dry wood we could find around the lake and head back to camp to saw the wood to size. Fishing on Gun Lake proved tough for us. The campsite is surrounded by fairly shallow water. This would prove to be an issue with fishing. We never had a single strike while fishing from this campsite. In fact, we never had a single strike on Gun Lake! We did a day trip back over to Gull Lake once some rain passed to catch some pike for dinner. The combination of the fresh pike and rehydrated hash browns proved to be just what the doctor ordered! We enjoyed a pleasant evening, with a wonderful sunset, and turned in.         

 



Day 3 of 4


Tuesday, August 16, 2022 Day two on Gun Lake started with a mission to catch some fish. Unfortunately, as mentioned on day 2, the fish proved to be elusive on Gun Lake. We spent our final full day relaxing, collecting firewood, and simply enjoying our peace and quiet.   

 



Day 4 of 4


Wednesday, August 17, 2022 We awoke to an overcast final morning. We heard some distant thunderstorms in the night but were spared the deluge of rain this time around. We quickly packed our things, meticulously cleaned our campsite, and prepared to retrace our steps back to the Angleworm trailhead parking lot. We enjoyed every paddle stroke as we discussed our trip and told each other inside jokes that only the two of us will ever understand. We ended up back at the parking lot by 1:30. We packed the car, stopped into Ely for a few supplies and headed back to the cabin for a hot shower, some grilled meat and a cold beer. We cannot wait to recreate a similar experience at another entry point and other lakes in 2023!  

 


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