Day 1 of 10
Saturday, May 22, 2004 We arrived in Ely early the evening before, hoping to get all ouf our permits togther and any last minute items together before the big push off the next morning. Now im writing this review almost 7 years later, but I do remember driving back and forth from the Moose Lake landing atleast 3 times. Its not a short drive. So Saturday early we shove off with big plans to make it to atleast Burke Lake maybe further. Well it takes us much longer to get through Moose, Newfound, and Sucker Lake than we had thought. I think that we hit PP around lunch, got our customs stuff worked out and ate. I remember starting to fish leaving PP and catching a lot. I think that Justin started to come down with a headache so we camped on Green Island and fished around the campsite. Moose Lake, Newfound Lake, Sucker Lake, Basswood Lake
Day 2 of 10
Sunday, May 23, 2004 We woke up early and pushed off, I remember seeing a Blair Witch looking figure made out of hay or grass about 18" big hanging in the tree above the landing that I dont remember being there the night before. Always will remember that. We trolled our way to the Burke Lake portage catching Smallies and Northern along the way. I remember Justin catching a nice largemouth near the portage landing in the sandy weed edge there. Burke Lake portage isnt a hard portage but its not easy, we got it done, and trolled through Burke. Didnt catch anything. Took the Singing Brook portage and headed twords Sunday Lake. I dont remember much about Sunday Lake sorry. When I think about that time during that day of the trip I think about the two portages into Agnes from Sunday. 195rd rock garden to Meadow Lake, than a 141rd rock garden to Agnes. We got those hell holes done and camped next to Louisa Falls. Nice beach on the campsite, just remember not catching much fish around there or that evening in general. Basswood Lake, Sunday Lake, Agnes, Lake
Day 3 of 10
Monday, May 24, 2004 Paddled through Agnes. This is day we ran into the "strange pike." We were trolling, I dont remember if it was past the Agnes narrows or not, but I got a fish. It felt limp, like a tree branch or a snaker pike. I reeled it in, and as it got close to the canoe I could see the fish rolling. It looked like the strangest pike Id ever seen. Untill I got it up by the canoe I could tell it was a Lake Trout. My first. We all started catching them after this. Along with Justin who also caught a huge pike. We never measured it but it had to be atlest 40". We camped on a long thing island that night on the east side of the lake near the pictographs. Justins big pike didnt live past the fight, so we had him and a few lake trout to eat that nite. I found out that night that I still didnt like to eat pike or trout regardless of where I was. Agnes, Lake Today we saw a huge chunk of ice on the side of a cliff. Id say 50 ft tall. Cant find a picture of it to save my life though. I know I took some.
Day 4 of 10
Tuesday, May 25, 2004 Agnes, Lake Today we head for Kawnipi. Nothing really sticks out in my mind about today. We saw pictographs on Agnes and headed tword the Angnes River. We portage from Bird to Anubis than to Kawnipi. Mike caught a nice walleye on Bird lake I believe. I dont remember either of the portages being overly difficult. They were still portages though. I remember getting into Kawnipi finally, and the first cast that I made after getting into the canoe I caught a nice walleye. Maybe 22-24". I knew that Kawnipi was going to be the lake that we had heard it was. Paddling from the portage landing in McVicar Bay to our campsite on the long sliver island still in the bay, we caught enough walleye and smallmouth to have a feast that nite. It was a very nice campsite, Justin and I stayed there a year and a half later.
Day 5 of 10
Wednesday, May 26, 2004 There are a few things that I remember about this day. I caught so many big keeper smallmouth that day. All day long. We traveled up McVicar Bay into the main lake, we checked out the pictograph and headed NW. There was a strong SE to NW wind that day, Justin and Mike were in a canoe together, I was solo in the other canoe. We stopped on a campsite for some lunch and spent an hour looking for the right sticks to make a sail. We found them and the sail was made. With two sticks and a tshirt inthe middle, I swear there was a wake behind them. I was fishing the opposite shoreline, and just watching them clip across the lake I almost died laughing. They cruised from almost the pictograph to Rose Island. We camped late that day past Kasie Island where Kawnipi turns South tword Heronshaw Lake. We camped pretty much on what was a portage around a small rapids. Now Ive spent a decent amount of time in the BWCA and Quetico, and this is the only place I was for sure that we were going to see a bear. Never happened though.
Day 6 of 10
Thursday, May 27, 2004 This is where somethings kinda get fishy for me. I know we left that camp that morning heading south. It was a gloomy overcast day, but a great day for pictures and trolling for Lake Trout. I know today we stopped early, Justin and I, I remember wanted to stop. I dont remember what lake it was, I think it was Sark around the cluster of campsites though. I dont remember much about the portages either other than they werent easy and one was completely not in the right spot, we actually took it hoping we would end up in the right lake. Camped at a site that would have probably been one of my favorites but there was a huge tree that fell over through the middle of camp, high enough up not to bug you but it was still in the way.
Day 7 of 10
Friday, May 28, 2004 Today, another fishy day. I remember heading south tword Kashapiwi, trolling for Lake Trout. I think the weather broke today, blue skies and colder weather. We made it to Kashapiwi withont incident. We camped in the closed off bay on the east side of Kash, half way through the lake.
Day 8 of 10
Saturday, May 29, 2004 We stayed at the campsite on Kashapiwi today. I dont remember anything special besides Mike catching about a 10lb Lake Trout that I didnt even see.
Day 9 of 10
Sunday, May 30, 2004 We headed for the dreaded Yum Yum, this is where were knew that we were heading home. Justin and I were grumpy, I was finally getting sick of sleeping on rocks, and Mike wanted to climb up the fire tower. Justin and I wanted nothing of it. I had a feeling the Yum Yum was going to be bad. With everything I (cant stress I enough) had read on the internet about it at the time it wasnt good. HE (stressing) had read it was almost like a paved road, no joke! We didnt go up the fire tower. We did the Yum Yum and it sucked bad. My worst portage so far. We got into Yum Yum and did the portage into Grey Lake. By this time I had a terrible migraine and didnt want to do another portage that day. I put my foot down and wasnt doing another portage that day! They agreed. We camped on the main island in Grey and I passed out. Justin and Mike both fished and slammed Largemouth all over the lake.
Day 10 of 10
Monday, May 31, 2004 We would make it back the car today. We woke up on Grey Lake and I felt ok. No more headache, but sleeping on those rocks where killing me. We left early in morning, catching fish along the way. We hit the "swamp on top of the hill" portage from Grey to unnamed lake, it was nice and swampy. I think Mike or Justin went in, about up the there thigh. I know it didnt. We made it into shade, than did the succession of small portages into north bay. we sat at a campsite making our lunch about 2:00pm, no one was talking, everyone doing there thing. All at once pretty much we decided we werent staying another nite. Mike had a 5 month old son at home, I was getting sick of Justin, and well Justin had to go along. We paddled for the car. Mikes car was left at the Moose Lake landing, he went solo in his canoe through Burke Lake. My car was at the Fall Lake landing, thats where Justin and I headed. I paddled from the back motoring us along, Justin helpped from the front. We cruised through area we expected to be fishing that nite. I wanted to get to the car. Well we made it, but we had to paddle through half of Newton lake in the dark, and do the portage into fall completely in the dark. But we made it. We passed Mike driving in Ely, twice each of us turning around twice. We met later that nite at the first Rest Stop out of Ely. Made it home around 2 the next afternoon.