Day 1 of 7
amMonday, May 18, 2009
Sunday-We left at 4AM with no problems, except for Nick insisting on playing his iphone music. When he asked what I wanted to hear, I said whatever you like. Fortunately, he fell asleep midway through Wisconsin and I was able to enjoy an hour or two of the Sunday morning polka hour (did I really say that!) and just some silence. We picked up our permit, bait, subway, checked out Mudro EP and camped at Fenske for the evening.
Monday-18th-We put in around 9Am and humped through the 5 portages to Fairy Lake. The 3 portages north of Mudro are pretty choice. Rocky, up and down with rough landings on both ends. I noticed quickly that physically I wasn't at the top of my game, but portaging is cool. You get in the groove and pretty soon you are back. Nuthin to it. I love the feeling in your legs when, with each step you can feel your muscles pushing. Great exercize. I had written on my map that the east campsite on Fairy lake was a 4 1/2 starrer. I got this info from the trip reports on BWCA.com. My original plan was to camp on Gun Lake the 1st night, but the campsite on Fairy was too choice to pass by. Flat out, sweet campsite. This would be great for a large group. There is tons of room, trails and shore fishing ops. I set up my tent on the 2nd level. I called it the pimps' palace. Nick was on the wrong end of the tracks, but he was stylin in his own special way. There is also a perfect spot for a big tarp by the lake and a couple other nice amenities which I'll save. Go see yourself. Great campsite. Especially, when I caught a scrappy 28" pike on my 1st cast off shore, followed by a 17" walleye. Nick was asking "what are you using." I told him not to worry about what I was using. I'm fishing-you're not. He was futsing around with his iphone, because his small pack fell in the water after we landed and alot of his stuff got wet including the magic phone. He thought it was trashed, but with some sun it was revived. Also ok was his camera. The camera was very cool and ended up being kind of a focus on this trip. I did a fair share of positioning the boat for good shots and really got into it, suggesting photo ops and working with Nick to get the best pics. Pics-Canoe stylin-duct tape; don't leave home without it-Nick's stylin-Miss a portage, now you're a Sherpa-End of Mudro 3-cool portages-a must do. I'ts like tenX easier on the way out, because you've been there. Alot of fun both ways.
Day 2 of 7
Tuesday, May 19, 2009 This was an R&R day. I was hoping to do a day trip and some fishing, but the weather and Nick slept kind of late, so it was a camp day. A nice camp it is though. I read a book-Charlie Wilson's War-and slept, probably more in one day than I usually sleep in a week. Drank a half bottle of Bushmills Irish whiskey and didn't feel a thing the next day. Good air up here. We brought one bottle of Bushmills and one bottle of Jamesons. Consensus is, we both like Bushmills better. Always been my favorite. Good stuff, but by consuming half my hooch on the second day, we ran out of both too soon. Put on list-more whiskey.
Pics-Beware of the great green bearded loon
Day 3 of 7
Wednesday, May 20, 2009 We did a day trip to Gun Lake. It was a windy day. We fished and checked out campsites. The site by the barrel of the gun was said to be premo on the trip reports, I can verify that fact. We ate lunch there and caught some rays. Good rocks for sunning. We trolled and caught some decent pike. Nick lost probably a 34" by the boat. But, it was windy, I am in back, paddling the whole time when fishing. The wind and sun took a toll on me and when we got back to camp I crashed early. Again, a deep relaxed sleep. It was a good one.
Pics-Mama loon on shore of Gun Lake-very stoic-What can I say? I was hungry.
Day 4 of 7
Thursday, May 21, 2009 We went fishing on Fairy lake finally, in the morning, and caught some nice walleyes. We kept two, one about 22" and fat. These fish are like stuffed sausages. They are round. This maybe an underfished lake. It was by us. We should have fished it more, because everytime we did, Fairy Lake produced. Had a visit from a couple of rangers, while dining on our eyes and fried rice, then packed up and humped to Thunder Lake. We were hoping for Beartrap, but learned the one campsite was occupado. We were able to secure another premo campsite on Thunder Lake. The 2nd one in from the portage is choice. This site is on a point, with good rocks, good canoe landing etc. I give it a solid 4 stars. We set up our camp accompanied by a 20 minute John Bohnham drum solo and other Zepplin classics. I tried to explain to Nick that I have been listening to that stuff for 40+ years and really don't need to hear it when I'm tuning into nature. I was dying for the rangers to come cruising by. All in good fun, and we were having it by now. There were very few people around. The weather was fine. Rain here and there and a little chilly in the morning. Not many mosquitos, but some kind of annoying skinny black flies. They were only out in the day, but you had to keep refreshing your bug stuff or they would come back. Nick had some kind of sheiklike getup with his tshirt and hat. I think I ate about a dozen of these pests during the week. (not voluntarily-they like to hang around your head-eyes, ears, mouth-good protein eh) Thunder Lake is a beauty. We had considered camping on Gull, but the only good campsite was taken-and it's a good one. The first campsite in from the portage is mint. The lake is kind of uniteresting though. All open, no islands or interesting bays. The shoreline has medium sized rocks all around it. Like a rock garden or something. Looks like somebody put them there. Thunder Lake is much more pleasing to my eye and our campsite was a good one. Again, I caught a decent sized pike on my first cast off shore. I caught 4 fish in 15-20 minutes moving around the campsite. This lake looks very fertile. There are alot of weeds for a BW lake and minnows in the shallows. We only fished it a little and halfheartedly, but I'm convinced this lake has a good fish population.
I've always had a weakness for the slimy ones, with dull, cold blooded, killer eyes. They're hard to kiss though.
Day 5 of 7
Friday, May 22, 2009 We went over to Beartrap Lake, fished and explored. Caught a couple eyes and snakes and checked out some creeks. The campsite looks like a good one, but we didn't get too close.We only went around the lake once and decided to head back to camp, eat our walleyes and chill out. We should have fished Thunder in the evening, but we hung out, read books and relaxed. We stayed up late to watch the stars because the sky was so clear. I hung in till midnite then checked them out again around 2am when I took a break and they were unbelievably intense then. Awesome.
I love big trees, cool rocks too. I believe we were stalking these ducks. We were determined to get some good pics on them. I like ducks too.
Day 6 of 7
Saturday, May 23, 2009 Humped to Moosecamp Lake. Again, we secured a sweet campsite, the one closest to the portage in. Good canoe landing and the rocks are very interesting (if you like rocks, which I do). Glacial striations abound and I kept telling Nick that these are the oldest rocks on earth and they reach all the way to the core of the planet. Check it out, dudesickle. We fished under a cloudless sky and caught some snakes in the shady shallows, but nothing to brag about. We read books and chilled out in the afternoon. This Charlie Wilson guy is something. I fell asleep outside against a tree. I think Moosecamp was a logging area. If anybody would be kind enough to share any info about this I would love it. I am in the lumber business and am interested in logging.
Yes, that is a man reading a book at the end of the campsite. Thanks Nick for bringing your pillow.
Day 7 of 7
Sunday, May 24, 2009 Humped out via the Mooscamp River thru Fourtown and my three new favorite portages out. Moosecamp River is a good paddle. Highly recommended by this veteran observer. There are 4 or 5 beaverdams,but going downstream we were able to paddle over 3 Of them. Going upstream you may have to get your feet wet. The current isn't strong, but I don't think you could force your boat over these obstructions against the flow. There are old logs, obviously cut by loggers because of their square cut ends, all along this waterway. This was definitely a logging area and the logs were routed down the Moosecamp River to Fourtown Lake. I'm going to research this. In town, we headed for Cranberries, which isn't Cranberries anymore, but a brewpub whose name escapes me. Works for me. After a patty melt and a couple homebrews I thought I was in heaven.
Logjam on Moosecamp River- I really loved this area. Yeah, I know I say that every time, but Nick and I explored most of the small lakes in this area. Sunday Lake or Friday Bay next time. Once you get past Fourtown Lake the travelling is ridiculously easy. Portages are 15,30,50 rods and the lakes are smallish so you can always pick a shore to get out of the wind when paddling or fishing. I can't wait to bring my high school son up to this area. Excuse me while I check for permits in August. Oh yeah. One last thing. From the start of the trip till the end, Nick was using phrases like, "hand me my oar", or "let's row over there". I didn't have the heart to tell him the word is PADDLE. Made me smile too much. Cheers.