Day 1 of 5
Monday, July 06, 2020 Left Voyageurs North Outfitters (Excellent service) 6 am for our entry point at Mudro. The plan was to get to Gun and evaluate from there. With the fire ban in place and water low, our enthusiasm was quickly tempered when a 5 rod portage to put in at Mudro turned into a long portage thru a swamp. Nevertheless, after a half hour we were finally on the Mudro Lake. Now the "fun begins." The portage from Mudro to Fourtown SUCKS! NO other way to put it. 2 short ankle breaker portages sandwich the billy goat portage. Since we were doubling up it was even worse. Fourtown to Boot was easy (against the wind of course) and boot to fairy also no problem. Beautiful lakes with great campsites which were all full. A little apprehension began to set in. We made it to Gun, which again saw all campsites full. Finally found campsite 1992 which was going to have to do because we were exhausted and it looked like weather was moving in. And boy did the weather move in! No sooner had we got 2 tarps up then a major thunderstorm rolled in. 50 mph winds, couldn't see across the lake and we literally just held on for dear life. It poured for 3 hours and then stopped. Now it was bug time. Finally after getting camp set up, and in the midst of bugs like I have never seen I decided to toss a leech in from shore. Boom---nice small mouth. Within seconds the 4 of us were hauling decent smallmouth in as fast as we could. Maybe the site isn't so bad? After a dinner of fried fish and a few cocktails it was time for sleep.
Day 2 of 5
Tuesday, July 07, 2020 Woke up early, grabbed a power bar and started fishing from shore till everyone was up and moving. Where did the fish go? Nothing today. So we hopped canoes down the lake and spent most of the day catching an occasional Walleye and Bass. All in all not a bad day. Bugs not so bad this night, but our campsite had a pretty big canopy over it so the star gazing was not great. And since we were facing south there was no way to see the northern lights if they appeared.
Day 3 of 5
Wednesday, July 08, 2020 After a decent night's sleep today was a repeat of the previous day with us fishing the gun barrel. Success was limited, but we were running out of live leeches and worms with hurt our fishing. Weather great after a early morning storm, and it seemed like the heat wave and humidity was better. Talked the boys into packing up Thursday morning and moving closer to our put out and Mudro on Friday. Thought it was a good idea to cut out trip in half the last day, plus I really wanted to try a better campsite. The rookies were pleased with our campsite, but they had nothing to compare to. I knew there were much better. So despite some fear about sites being full we camped and made our way to Fourtown where we hoped to find a site between the Boot portage and the south end of Fourtown.
Day 4 of 5
Thursday, July 09, 2020 PAcked and made way to Fourtown where we found an amazing site on a peninsula close to the Fourtown-Boot portage. Passed 4 groups coming north towards Gun and informed them most sites were now open. Campsite 1099 on Fourtown was open so we pulled in on a perfect day and set up. Fishing from shore was non existent, although one guy caught a average size Pike. The best thing about this site was the ability to hike the peninsula, and as we found out that night the view of the stars from the tip of the peninsula was amazing. Tried eating most of our remaining food that day since we were gonna pack it all out Friday. After staying up till around 2 am just looking at stars we crashed and mentally prepared for the Mudro portages the next day.
Day 5 of 5
Friday, July 10, 2020 :45 minute paddle after packing up, to Mudro portage #1. All the portages were the same but were were better prepared and handled them. After about 3 1/2 hours total we were back at the Mudro lot early where VNO picked us up with a few waters and ice cold beers. We made it!!!!! 3 rookies and a novice!!!! We all learned a lot, and are already talking about the trip next year. I can't say enough about VNO. Totally professional. The bunkhouse was perfect to spend the night the night before and after our trip. Ely was a great town where even with Covid and the masks, we could get a good meal and few beers. Can't wait to go back!!!!