Day 1 of 5
Monday, August 09, 2010 After a nice breakfast (0600) we loaded up our boats and gear at the outfitter (Canadian Waters) owned and operated by Dan Waters. The drive from Ely to entry point 23 was about 30 - 40 minutes. The weather was clear (no rain) with a few clouds to protect us from the sun. After placing on some sun screen, we were on the water at 0920. Our Primary camp site we were hoping for (which we did get) was on the East side of Fourtown Lake near the portage to Horse Lake. This site has numerous tall pine trees to set up a nice large tarp as rain was in the forcast almost every day. (Well the rain did not come during the day anyway). We made it to the campsite in 4 1/2 hours. It took a while because we always pack too much. Our longest portage was 141 rods. Then there were only three others the longest being about 40 rods. We did not catch any fish worth keeping the first day. That night, only Derrick (my son) and I stayed up and watched the sky for satelights and shooting stars. We did not know it but there was a meteor show that week, we saw some amazing streaks across the night sky.
Day 2 of 5
Tuesday, August 10, 2010 It was a great morning,sunny and 79 degrees. We had blue berry pancakes for breakfast, then went out on the water to fish on this large boulder near the camp site that barely breaks out of the water and has a very steep drop off - from zero to 20 feet in only about 30 yards distance. Well as you could imagine, during the day with the sun out, there were no walleyes present. One member from our party (Jimmy) had gone over to Horse Lake to fish but came back with no keepers. Tuesday as the sun started to set, thas when the fish started to bite - along with the mosquitoes. A tradition with my group at the BWCA - we have a big fish award necklace that is given out after the first day of fishing. Then it is passed on to the next person who catches the biggest fish. There are two fish award catagories - biggest Walleye/Bass and biggest North Pike. I will talk about the winners on the last date entry, so not to bore the readers. During the early night, the sky was not clear enough to see satelights and shooting stars. By the way in addition to the Fish Awards I had others prepared to give out as the events took place. The group being not aware of these awards made it more fun - as an event occured I passed out the awards. So far on the second night, I gave awards to all group members for just making the trip out to the camp site (in the form of a necklace with beads. There were a special bead for each year they came to the BWCA as well as a fish if a fish award was won in past trips or if not, ust a pewter feather. Other than the big fish awards: Derrick won the Eagle award for seeing the first Bald Eagle, the Satelight award and the shooting star award that he saw on the very first night (Monday). Too bad all the others were in their tents asleep - being worn out from the paddle in. Jared won the card award for winning the first game of 5 point Pitch.
Day 3 of 5
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 Other than Jimmy Harper, we all seemed to slept in a bit. My radios were able to pick up weather channels and at 1045 in the morning it was 73 degrees and party sunny with a 30% chance of rain. The rain never came (during the day anyway). Last night (Tuesday) it rained about 3 or 4 in the morning, so I had to stay in campand adjust the tarps and clean up a bit after breakfast. Derrick took out my Kayak at 0900 since his boat partner, Ausin (his nephew / my grandson) did nt wake up until dragged him out of the tent a little after 11:00. We were able to have Fish for lunch.[paragraph break] Wednesday night was clear upto about 11:30 PM - We all laied out on the rock cliff at the camp site and watched the meteor shower. Many bright long shooting stars and one was so bright it looked like a flare. Slowly the clouds started coming in and by midnight the whole sky was covered. Just before 12:30 AM I was looking into the black sky and turned off my flashlight - I was so dark, I wondered how could the moose see where they were walking. I knew one visited our campsite the night before because one left a present for us in a big pile on the trail to the pit toilet. Eventhough there was a cloud cover, there was no rain that night nor in the early morning hours.
Day 4 of 5
Thursday, August 12, 2010 Today being the last day to do some serious fishing most of us were up earily to get out on the water. Except for Austin. At 11:00AM the weather was nice, sunny, 79 degrees, dewpoint 66, Humidity 65%, the wind S/W at 7mph. Forcast was 20% showers (that never came) with 70% thunderstorms in the evening.[paragraph break] Thursday evening the final Big fish awards were: Jared had the Pike at 24 inches. Jimmy Harper the Bass/Walleye at 19 inches. Jimmy went over to Horse Lake and the bass were hitting top water lures. he had a Large Pike come straight up out of the water but did not get his top water lure. Jared said that his son Dylin had a decent size Pike on that would have taken the prize but it came hafe way out of the water, shook its head, and spit out the jig back at their canoe. That evening, we ate fish again. We also ate up some of the food we packedin so that we would not have to pack it out the next day.[paragraph break] This was the night I gave out the Coffee award to Jimmy Harper. He was always the first one up nd had a pot of coffee ready for us every morning.
Day 5 of 5
Friday, August 13, 2010 Waking up at 0700 to get an early start on breaking camp in order to be on the water be 0900 so we could be at our pickup point at 1400. Lucky us - No rain, but there was an overcast which was good in that we did not have the hot sun beating down on us during the portages. Also, there was no wind and the paddle out was on calm waters. We were out on the water only 20 minutes late (at 0920).[paragraph break] The first portage was the 141 rod one and being fresh and all it was not as bad going out as it was coming in. Also we had less food to pack out. We met an elderly couple on the 141 Rod portage ... they had to have been in their late 80's or maybe enen in their early 90's. I never seen anything like it before. But then I realized they were not alone. They had their three grandsons (or three young men in their early 20's and two others that may have been their son and daughter in law with them). I hope I would be able to do the BWCA in 15 years when my 2 1/2 year old grandson becomes 17. I'll be about 74 then. I'm certain though he will be making the trips to the BWCA when he's 10 because my son (and I) will keep coming up as long as we can.[paragraph break] We made it out to the exit point 30 minutes early and the outfitter was right on time at 1400. They brought beer and sodas which was a nice touch to a 4 hour paddle out. Once back at Ely, we all had a long hot shower and put on fresh clothes, then headed off down the road to Minn/St Paul to spend the night at Ft Snelling. Then next morning after breakfast and a short visit to the Mall of America, we headed home to Omaha, NE.