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BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

July 14 2024

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

Snowbank Entry June 13 - June 18

by tazzeroo2002
Trip Report

Entry Date: June 13, 2024
Entry Point: Snowbank Lake
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 6

Trip Introduction:
I was joined by my daughter (16), my friend Doug and his two sons, Aiden (15) and Brenden (23), and his Doug's friend, Bob. We put in at Snowbank Lake in the morning of 6/13/24 and returned to Snowbank Lake in the morning of 6/18/24.

Report


Overall, this was a good trip, but it had its moments.

We arrived at North Country Outfitters on 6/12/24. Soon after arriving, there was a tornado warning issued for the area. About 15 minutes later, we received about 10 minutes of ping pong ball-sized hail. No damage to our vehicles or canoe, so off we went to Ely for bait and for supper. We returned to NCO and got a good night's rest in the bunk houses before heading out the next morning. 

After putting in at Snowbank about 8:00AM on 6/13/24, we took the single portage to Disappointment Lake with a plan to basecamp on Disappointment Lake and spend our week targeting walleyes. The wind was more than a breeze and was out of the southwest, so it blew us across Disappointment. We passed every campsite and found them all full, so on to Ahsub Lake we went.

On Ahsub, the campsite immediately around the corner to the west of the portage was taken, but we were relieved to find the site to the northeast of the portage behind the island was available. The site was very open without really any trees, but it beat going onward to Jordan Lake. The 23 rod portage back to Disappointment was relatively easy, so we would have been content to basecamp at this site all week.

After setting up camp and cooking steaks for supper, we fished Ahsub for a few hours in the evening. We caught a bunch of smallies on topwater baits, Senkos, and slip bobbers. Nothing of remarkable size, but was fun to do some catching.

On Day 2, we slept in a bit and after breakfast, we prepared to head to Disappointment for a day of fishing. After leaving camp and rounding the island, we immediately noticed the other site on Ahsub was vacant. We paddled over to check it out and found it to be an awesome site, much better than the one we were in. We delayed our fishing plans and quickly tore down our camp and moved to the other site and set everything back up. This was a great move. Other than having an uphill climb to camp, this site was awesome. We were elevate and could overlook the entire lake, giving us a great place to view all the activity on the lake.

We made our way to Disappointment a few hours later than expected and began looking for fish. It was windy, which made boat control a challenge. We found our way in the west bay of the lake on the north shoreline. I was able to connect with a 24" walleye on a slip bobber. The restof our crew set up around me and we landed 5 more walleyes for supper. After returning to camp, we made foil fish over the fire and settled in for the evening.

On Day 3, we headed back to Disappointment. We went back to the spot we were in the previous day and landed 4 walleyes in the first 20 minutes. Then things went cold. We moved around a bit looking for active fish, but couldn't find any. Unfortunately, the guy keeping the stringer didn't secure it well and when he was pulling up his anchor realized the fish had escaped. This was disheartening, so we returned to camp fishless. We settled for Macaroni and Cheese with pulled pork for supper that night.

On Day 4, we made the treck up to Jordan Lake to check things out. It was a rainy morning. We fished the narrows on Jordan and managed one 18" walleye. Tried for some pike around the weeds before the narrows but couldn't connect. We paddled and portaged back to Ahsub and made cheesy walleye soup for supper.

On Day 5, my daughter and I stayed back and camp and hung out, napped, and organized our gear. The rest of the group went to Disappointment. They fished for several hours and managed a 23" walleye, 3 other walleyes, a 31" northern, and a decent smallie. Finally, we were able to have a fish fry.

We enjoyed a fire and some great conversation, reflecting on an enjoyable week. We went to bed with a plan for the morning to pack up and head out.

Day 6 started early. The wind was blowing at 2:30AM. At 4:15AM, it started to sprinkle, then it rained. We packed up in the rain and set out for our return trip to Snowback at 6:45AM. When we got on to Disappointment, we found the wind to be out of the South and blowing pretty good. We had to work hard to get from one end of Disappointment to the other. Some parts of the paddle were a bit treacherous. We hugged the east and then south shoreline and made it to the portage to Snowbank around 9:15AM.  The portage was wet and the mosquitos were thick. Once we got on Snowbank, the wind died down and the lake was completely calm. It was a smooth paddle back to the entry point and we arrived abut 10:45AM. Upon arriving, the sky opened up and it poured. Loading my truck and strapping the canoe on left us saturated. We stripped down, put the heat on in the truck, and got warmed up as we left the lake.

We had a great group. Everyone chipped in and did their part. Lots of laughs and stories. The fishing wasn't great, but enough for some fish at most meals. The bugs were tolerable. It rained some. We had a giant snapping turtle in camp trying to lay some eggs. We enjoyed the serenades of the loons. This was my first experience of sleeping in a hammock. My daughter and I each had a Warbonnet Ridgerunner and they worked awesome. Definitely more comfortable than sleeping in a tent. The hammock is a gamechanger! We did some swimming on two days. The water was a bit cold, but it sure was refreshing.

The trip was not an easy one. Seemed like we were paddling into the wind almost every time we set out, except of the trip in. Everyone came home safe. Only broke a few pieces of gear, nothing major. Got out and headed home just in time. Heard the tornado warnings on our way home and prayed everyone would be OK. Read all the reports today of the trees down, roads closed and some washed out, and the flooding all over the region. We were thankful we got out just ahead of that major weather.     ~Snowbank Lake, Disappointment Lake, Ahsub Lake, Jitterbug Lake, Cattyman Lake, Adventure Lake, Jordan Lake

 

Lakes Traveled:   Snowbank Lake, Disappointment Lake, Ahsub Lake, Jitterbug Lake, Cattyman Lake, Adventure Lake, Jordan Lake,

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