Day 1 of 5
Tuesday, August 16, 2022 We awoke early with excitement and headed over to Piragis to pick up our gear and receive some last minute instruction and explanation. The guys at Piragis tossed the bags, paddles, and life jackets in the car, strapped on the canoe and sent us on our. We made a couple calls home and stopped off for a donut and coffee in Ely then headed to Mudro. We loaded the canoe and launched about 8:15 with a goal of reaching Gun or Gull later that day. We made good time across Mudro and entered the triune of portages leading to Fourtown. As newbies we had no idea what to expect other than some research we had done on this website. The first portage was ROCKY! We got across and made the short paddle to the long, and also rocky 140 rod. It was an eye opener, large boulders, steep, sloped rock faces, and the length. We took our time, took a couple breaks and got all the gear and canoe across in two trips. After another short paddle we climbed up then down the short portage to reach Fourtown about 11 am. We enjoyed the paddle over to the Boot portage, we were quickly seeing the enjoyment in paddling versus portaging. We quickly unloaded and got portaged to Boot. We met a family at that portage who were coming out from across the border, we agreed we didn't want to go that far!!! As we paddled up Boot it began to look like rain. We got to the Fairy portage, made that quickly in the rain and paddled across in a heavy rain, thankfully no wind or lightening. As we got into the Gun the rain let up and we decided to make a break for Gull, hoping for the eastern campsite and some better fishing. We entered Gull and it was obvious the eastern site was taken so we scouted out the two near the portage to Thunder and chose the western site. It was about 3pm when we began unloading and setting up camp. We took a quick look around, got to work setting up tents and gathering firewood and other camp chores. We were pretty beat but after a dinner of steak and fried potatoes we decided to try a little bobber fishing from camp. Success! 2 walleye, 3 smallies, and a giant bluegill in about 30 minutes. ~Mudro Lake, Fourtown Lake, Boot Lake, Fairy Lake, Gun Lake, Gull Lake
Day 2 of 5
Wednesday, August 17, 2022 It rained overnight with some thunder, my first such experience in a tent. I got up and going about 6:30 and found Kyle fishing his Whopper Plopper from shore. We made up some coffee and tea, enjoyed a hearty breakfast of sausage and egg scramble and got geared up to go fishing. Kyle tossed his Whopper Plopper while I trolled a spinner rig with a crawler. I dropped in and bang, got a nice eater walleye that I tossed back. Later in the morning we caught a couple nice walleye for dinner. Kyle was hoisting some hefty bass as well. We fished for a while with a little smallie and northern action before a lunch break at the unoccupied site we passed up last night. We thought we'd check it out. We headed back out with a focus on topwater smallies. We caught several and a few were quite nice. We worked our way back to camp around 3, the sun was out, wind had died down, and we had to prep for our fish dinner. We had a couple nice walleyes, a northern, and a large gill. Dinner was tasty, after camp chores we did a little bobber fishing and headed off to the tents to beat the skeeters.
Day 3 of 5
Thursday, August 18, 2022 Up early this morning, about 5:15, headed out towards the kitchen area to watch the sunrise. We whipped up some coffee and tea to go with our bacon, egg, and cheese bagels. We hatched a plan for the day, work our way to Beartrap to chase some walleye. It would entail three portages going thru Mudhole and Thunder. We were unaware of the floating bog landing at Mudhole and made for an interesting time getting the canoe launched there. We managed and quickly scooted across to the Thunder portage and made quick work of it. We fished for smallies on Thunder towards Beartrap. There wasn't much action, just a couple small northern. We made it to Beartrap and worked a couple shorelines for smallies, nothing doing so we switched to walleyes. It was sunny, hot, and flat calm, the walleye weren't to interested as we trolled spinners around the small islands. After a lunch break (blueberry bagel with summer sausage and cheese, odd combo but quite tasty!) on the islands we noticed it was starting to cloud up some and the wind was picking up. We thought we'd give the north shore and eastern island one more shot before we headed back. We picked up for nice walleye and a decent northern before some thunder and looming clouds pushed us back to camp. It didn't storm but we could hear thunder all evening and got a little shower. Kyle had some pad thai and I did a cup of soup. We went out on Gull for some evening smallie action and I landed a dandy. The day concluded with some pudding fireside.~Mudhole Lake, Thunder Lake, Beartrap Lake
Day 4 of 5
Friday, August 19, 2022 This was our last day on Gull lake. After our tea and coffee we enjoyed some blueberry pancakes and bacon. Our goal was to have another meal of fish so after breakfast and camp chores we headed out to get our walleye. We trolled spinners all around the north and west shores to no avail. All we could manage was smallies, northern, and bluegill. So we decided to switch our effort to some topwater smallies. The sun was burning through the clouds and we quickly had a few hits. Near the portage to Home I tossed my popper near the bank and BANG, an angry strike and battle ensued. When I got it to the canoe it was a 21" walleye!! On a topwater no less, we thought that would be just enough fish for our last dinner. The clouds thickened back up and some rain moved in so we headed back to camp. It stopped and we whipped up our fish meal, it was delicious and soon after came more rain and thunder. We napped under the tarp in our camp chairs, it was quite relaxing. The rain broke around 3:30 so we headed out for some evening fishing. We picked off a few smallies and northerns before some more rain showers. The rain stopped and we decided to try to get a fire going for our last night. We were successfull and it was the nicest night of the trip, we stayed out til after 10 with very few bugs. Goodbye 39...Hello 40!!
Day 5 of 5
Saturday, August 20, 2022 We got up early and watched the sunrise while enjoying some coffee, tea, and oatmeal. I had managed to turn 40 in the Boundary Waters!! After breakfast we began breaking down camp. It took us a little time to get all packed up and we headed towards Fourtown. The plan was to grab a site and make a quick run out the next morning. We poked through Gun topwater fishing and got a couple smallies. After jumping over to Fairy we tried the shoreline for some more smallies but no luck. We decided to skip fishing on Boot and get to Fourtown to try for a site. We met a group headed to Iron and they mentioned it was busy around Fourtown. After a quick paddle down Boot in calm, sunny conditions we portaged over to Fourtown. We had a little snack at the portage and broke out the map to look for campsites. After heading down the lake and seeing some activity we decided to make a run for the car. We got to the car about 5pm, sorted the gear and packed up to head to Ely. Pit stops were made at DQ for a birthday blizzard, then Piragis to turn in our gear, and a couple souvenir shops before we headed south. Overall it was a great experience and we can't wait to get back!!