BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
March 26 2023
Entry Point 26 - Wood Lake
Number of Permits per Day: 2
Elevation: 1361 feet
Wood Lake - 26
HopalongHowie's 2nd Trip (This time with Pa!!)
August 29, 2013
Number of Days:
Got up at 03:00 and left St. Cloud by 04:00. Dad did the uneventful drive and we stopped in Cloquet for some sausage, egg, cheese, and bacon biscuits. Made it to the Kawishiwi Ranger Station at 08:30 and then did the long portage to Wood Lake (EP 26).
Dad and Royce had been this way before so finding portages to Hula and into Good was no problem. Did miss having water though that first day because our water filter system is a gravity fed sawyer filter and bag which we hang up upon getting to camp. So we didn't have water for the paddle to Good. We also figured out our preferred portaging plan. We typically "double portage" which is really triple portaging, but we had packed lightly enough that only one person would need to go back for more so at each portage Royce would carry the canoe across, Dad would carry his frame pack and i took the small gear pack. I'd take this to the halfway point and drop it then go back for the food pack. I would get back to where I dropped the first load and Royce would be there picking it up. This way it only takes as long as 2 times across vs. 3.
So here's where things began to go awry. on the portage into Good Lake we realized that the lid for one of the nalgeen bottles was missing so we decided Dad and Royce could go see if the other site on Good Lake was open (the site at the north end of Good Lake was occupied). I went back and looked at the two spots the bag had been set down but found no lid. Royce then came up looking for me because it had started raining. We got to camp and set up the rain fly quick and waited out the rain. Once it quit we set up camp. This was at the campsite in the middle of the lake where it narrows which was fantastic since that's where we ended up catching fish.
We went out fishing and Royce caught his best fish ever a 34" 11lb Northern. Dad used the net from the middle seat after the fish dove a few times. The Heddon Lucky 13 only got one hit this trip, a pike on my 3rd cast that jumped clear out of the water after it like "Air Jaws" from Sharkweek.
Oh yeah and I forgot to mention, while we were paddling from the portage to camp on Good Lake, in the rush to get going I left my sunglasses clipped to my T Shirt and they fell in the damn water. Later in the day we suffered 3 more mishaps. My watch died, Dad's carabiner watch died and my reel started making horrid, ominous noises. Luckily there we had a spare reel along.
We had a dinner of velveeta cheese shells and hamburger which Royce tried to serve to me without the cheese, Dad and I went back out. I caught a few northerns on my red and white dressed Mepps No.5. All were released, only one was of decent size. We went to bed, it was a plenty long day and I wasn't happy about dropping ANOTHER hundred bucks into a lake but the fishing was good when we were able to get out on the water.
We fished all day today.
The weather was beautiful we all caught fish on Rapalas, Mepps and spinners. Camping in the middle of a small lake like this gave us ample opportunity to return to camp to take a break, stretch, eat, etc.
Camp was very nice the landing is steep but where you step out of the canoe it's stable, flat and not too slippery. While fishing the North side of Good Dad hooked a pike on a rapala that wasn't very big but while unhooking the fish he somehow got re-hooked in the tail. So now Dad has the fish in the water and is trying to grab the hook out and manages to release the fish but not without hooking himself in his little finger first.
For the record, prior to this trip there was an email string originated by yours truly, sent to Dad and Royce regarding the barbs on our hooks. I was of the opinion that 3 people fishing from an 18 foot canoe would increase the likely-hood of hooking one another and that we should pinch all of our barbs. Besides, we catch and release almost everything we catch except for a single meal. But alas I was the only one who heeded my warning and Dad's hook that now found itself in his pinky did indeed have barbs. So we pulled in to the nearby campsite to get it out and cleaned up, we had our first aid kit and a multitool so we were able to clip the hook and push it back out and through and it didn't even bother my old man the rest of the trip. Of course he's about the strongest fella I know so no surprises there. I warned them that if I got hooked like that I would be going through and clipping their barbs for them. We kept fishing, ate shore lunch wild rice soup for supper and fished until sundown then had a decent fire before bed.
Got up and headed to Washte for some bass fishing. Didn't catch much so returned to camp and waited out the rain. Dad and Royce were ready to go out again but I considered staying back and relaxing but they convinced me to go and I was happy I did because I ended up catching the biggest largemouth I've ever caught. It was rainy, windy and we were hiding from the wind behind an island and it was the highlight of the weekend for me.
Lessons Learned: 1. I wish I had done this with my Dad sooner. After this he was diagnosed with oral cancer. He beat it however and I hope to get back up here with him again soon. 2. Mepps. Dressed Spinners. 3. Keep up the journal 4. Gravity water filter works fantastic but bring water for the first leg. 5. Don't store your clean, dry, after-the-trip clothes in the bed of the truck even with a cover. 6. Barbless hooks!!! 7. Make time for camping trips with my sons.