Boundary Waters Trip Reports, Blog, BWCA, BWCAW, Quetico Park

BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

September 18 2021

Entry Point 26 - Wood Lake

Wood Lake entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by Kawishiwi Ranger Station near the city of Ely, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 13 miles. Access to Wood Lake is a 180-rod portage. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 2
Elevation: 1361 feet
Latitude: 47.9691
Longitude: -91.6001
Wood Lake - 26

A great week on Good Lake

by jdlunde
Trip Report

Entry Date: July 06, 2021
Entry Point: Wood Lake
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:
Hi all, my name is Josh and this is my first trip report. For the few weeks prior to our trip I combed through the trip reports and fishing reports here, and want to say thank you to those who have contributed- they were very helpful! Anyways, my buddy Jesse was in Minnesota for an extended stay, so we decided to keep the BWCA tradition alive.... here's the report for our second trip into canoe country.

Day 1 of 6


Tuesday, July 06, 2021 We arrived at EP26 around 11am and got our things situated for the 150 rod portage to Wood Lake. Our plan was to single portage the whole trip, we made it a little over half way to Wood Lake before we had to find a cushy spot to drop the canoes and double portage the rest. A wiser man would have brought half the fishing gear I did.

The EP was rocky, muddy and super shallow. After watching the group ahead of us struggle for quite some time we were able to learn from their mistakes and set off on our adventure. We ended up staying at the narrows campsite on Wood the first night, catching smallmouth from camp and resting up for the big push over to Good Lake.

 



Day 2 of 6


Wednesday, July 07, 2021 "Up with the sun, gone with the wind" sums up the start to our second day. After enjoying a spectacular sunrise and quick bite, we fished our way through Wood to the portage taking us to Hula Lake. We made quick work of the portage and were soon paddling across Hula, stopping to check out an island along the way. We reached the second portage of the day by 8:30am. Feeling great and anxious to see what waited for us on Good lake, we began the 180 rod portage. With this summer being so dry i figured this particular portage would be a breeze, albeit rather long. We tried to single our gear up, down, over and under the many obstacles, but in the end surrendered to the portage gods and had to double back half way to pick up the canoes. We both let out a big sigh as we finally set out for the Good Lake narrows with fingers crossed. As we had hoped, the narrows campsite was open. After exploring the camp we both decided it was the perfect spot to stay for a few days. The afternoon was a warm one so we passed on fishing until sunset and went swimming. 

 



Day 3 of 6


Thursday, July 08, 2021 Woke up to bright blue skies and had a feeling it was going to be a scorcher, it was. Our day was spent dissecting Good Lake and trying to find the giants that roam throughout. I'm still amazed at how many 2-4lb pike we caught suspended over the deepest areas of the lake while trolling for the big one. Never found the big pike, but I got to see numerous 20+ inch largies and smallies while paddling the shoreline. It was a tough bite to say the least though my tan went from a level 5 to a level 10 in one day. We wrapped up the day with a tasty 26" pike for dinner along with some hot sauce and mashed potatoes.

 



Day 4 of 6


Friday, July 09, 2021 Up early again, today was our big exploration day. After a pot of coffee and some oatmeal we put together a small pack and started paddling towards the portage to Indiana Lake. Indiana was stunning, especially on a bright sunny day. The water clarity is incredible! We checked out the campsites and went for a quick dip before the journey to Wind Bay. A short muddy portage out of Indiana and we were paddling up the creek. It was VERY shallow and we had to cross over a couple beaver dams... but we made it to the island in Wind Bay around noon. From Wind Bay we headed north, reaching squirrel island about an hour later. Heading southwest from squirrel island we set our sights on Hoist bay of Basswood. Boat traffic wasn't too bad and we made it to the narrows in Hoist bay by mid afternoon. We found some excellent pike fishing here in the seemingly endless cabbage beds. Around 6pm after checking out the sunken machine we started up Good Creek. The first half of the creek from Hoist was brutal. We were often times paddling through inches of water, i'm sure it's even worse now with the extended drought. The beavers have a four foot high dam about half way up the creek, once we got up and over that it was smooth sailing all the way back to camp.

 



Day 5 of 6


Saturday, July 10, 2021 Slept in a bit this morning, mainly because I was dreading the portage back to Hula and then Wood. Our trip back to Wood went as smooth as it could and before we knew it we were once again fishing our way to the next campsite. We pulled into the camp closest to the Hula portage around noon. To say we were disappointed is an understatement. The group before us had discarded their fish remains 10 feet off shore right in line with the canoe landing, trash had been left throughout the camp. It didn't take long before we seen our first of many GIANT snapping turtles. Normally I wouldn't be too concerned about a turtle, but we had an extremely curious German Shepard to keep track of. As the smoke from the Canadian wildfires blew in, we enjoyed our last night fishing and admired a small halo of stars once it got dark.

 



Day 6 of 6


Sunday, July 11, 2021 Our exit day came upon us way too soon! I set out for an early morning fishing adventure and FINALLY caught the first walleye of the trip(last day, of course). It was a healthy 15 incher and made for a delicious breakfast. As we made our way across Wood Lake to the EP we took in the views and prepared ourselves for the portage out. Hot, sweaty, dirty and riddled with bug bites we reached the trucks with a glow of satisfaction. As we secured our canoes and put our packs away, a couple was just starting out down the portage. I felt bad not telling them that this EP isn't really suitable for a 50 quart coleman cooler on wheels... I wonder if they even made it out on the water that day. I try to refrain from giving unsolicited advice, so I let it be.

Some things you have to learn the hard way.... like bringing enough fishing gear for a family of 6!

 


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