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July 16 2024

Entry Point 27 - Snowbank Lake

Snowbank Lake entry point allows overnight paddle or motor (25 HP max). This entry point is supported by Kawishiwi Ranger Station near the city of Ely, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 24 miles. Access is a boat landing or canoe launch at Snowbank Lake. Many trip options for paddlers. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 8
Elevation: 1191 feet
Latitude: 47.9716
Longitude: -91.4326
Snowbank Lake - 27

Lake One to Insula

by Windlaker
Trip Report

Entry Date: June 17, 2005
Entry Point: Lake One
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 8

Trip Introduction:


Friday, June 17th

Our group included my brother Scott and his son Derek, my brother Steve and his son Alex, my neighbor Paul and his son Danny, myself and my son Sam.

Left Milwaukee @ 6:10 AM. Arrived in Ely about 2:30, which included a gas stop in Eau Claire. Went right to Kawishiwi Lodge to check in and unload. Went back into Ely to shop & eat. Kids all bought T-Shirts. I treated myself to an early Father's Day present at Piragis - a new filet knife (Henry's?). Had a Mexican feast at Cranberry's. Bought leeches and licences and got back to the lodge around 8:00. Loaded up the canoes and got ready for bed. Finally got to sleep around 11:00.

Saturday, June 18th

Awoke @ 5:00, cleaned up the bunkhouse, and left the dock @ 6:00. A beautiful day for paddling. Never got above 80 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, wind not too bad. We finished the 105 Rod portage into Insula about 1:30. Pretty good time I thought considering we had a 9 year old paddling for the first time. The campsite we originally wanted was taken, so we took the next campsite North. We arrived here about 2:45. Had Brats & Hot Dogs for supper.

We all caught about 12 walleyes total - only 2 keepers: Alex a 20", and myself a 16". Both on a leech/floating jig behind a big splitshot.

Nice breeze, so bugs weren't too bad. 45-50 degrees overnight.

Sunday, June 19th - Father's Day

Slept in til about 9:00. Sunny, breezy, 75 degrees. Had fish, oatmeal and some leftover brats for breakfast. Gathered and cut firewood, set up out tarp. Kids went out fishing, about 12:45. I retired to the hammock and started "Paddling with the Cree" - a must read!

Had pork chops for supper & mashed spuds for supper.

Sam & I went out fishing about 6:30. Tried to find a hump with the sonar. Once we did find it, the wind made it tough to fish. We only managed one keeper, on a leech/spinner hookup. I released him when I found out it was the only keeper caught that night.

Had a couple snorts of Blackberry to celebrate Father's Day, and went to bed around 11:00. Again, the bugs were kept at bay due to the wind.

About 2:20, awoke to the "Father's Day Storm". High winds, lots of lightning, lots of rain. It finally let up about 3:30. Our tents held up fine, our tarp ripped a couple of grommets, but other than that all was well.

Monday, June 20th

Cloudy morning, sunny by Noon. Sam and I went to the Kawishiw River, right below the rapids out ol Lake Alice. Arrived there about 11:00. Caught only two Smallmouth, about 10 inches or so. No other remarkable daytime fishing to report. Had Filet Mignon & mashed spuds for supper.

Sam and I fished a different shoreline, only caught one 16 inch walleye. Steve and Alex each caught a 20 inch walleye. Paul & Danny caught about 30 walleyes, with 6 of them being legal size. Scott & Derek stayed cold.

Had a couple more snorts and went to bed around 11:15. Once again, no bugs due to the wind.

Tuesday, June 21st - Full Moon tonight

Woke to another beautiful day - sunny 70-ish, breezy. Had Walleye for breakfast. Went fishing (all did poorly), ate lunch, went swimming, took naps. A pretty lazy day.

Had eggs & slab bacon for supper (bacon was thawed, lot of fish for breakfasts).

Very poor night for fishing - NO keepers by anyone. I dropped Sam off at camp at 9:30 and went back out solo. Should have stayed in camp - not a bite. Bugs got pretty bad; no wind tonight.

Wednesday, June 22nd

Everyone but Scott & Derek awoke @ 5:00 AM to go fishing. A beautiful morning - 60-ish, no wind. Steve & Alex caught 6 walleyes, no keepers. Paul & Danny caught 4 SM Bass & 1 Walleye - no keepers. Danny lost an 18 to 20 SM Bass at the boat. I caught a 22.5 inch, 3.5 pound walleye about 7:00. We all had eggs & fish for breakfast.

Radio says it'll be 80 to 85 today w/ chance of showers. 75 and clear after breakfast.

Paul and I went fishing for Northerns - Paul with a stick bait, me with my fly rod & a big frog popper. Paul got 4 or 5, nothing over 18". I had one hit, bite-off. Was too windy for my average-at-best fly casting. Adults took naps, kids played Texas Hold'em.

Had chili & cheesy flatbread for supper.

Left for fishing around 7:00. Sam and I had lots of action, but no keepers. Action stopped abruptly about 9:15. Derek caught a 16 inch walleye (his 1st keeper this week), Steve & Alex caught three 16 inch walleyes, Paul & Danny caught 5 walleyes, all in the 16 inch range. We all hit the rack by 9:30. Planning on waking up at 5:00 again tomorrow.

Beautiful weather. Last three nights slept with the flaps & vestibules open. I'm falling asleep with a full moon shing in our tent.

Thursday, June 23rd

Woke up to high winds @ 5:00 AM. Crawled back to bed. Finished cleaning up about 9:30. Used up the last propane can as soon as the last filets were cooked. Played Hold'em all morning. Sam won two games, Scott won the 3rd. 

About 85 degrees, very windy. Small, biting flies are starting to show up and irritate our ankles. Made campfire pizza for supper (Boboli crust & sauce, pepperoni, Velveeta cheese & spices). Really good, no dishes (wrapped in foil, olive oil on foil to prevent crust from sticking). 

Started to cloud up around 7:00. With this and the high winds, we started packing up early. Had everything ready to load into the canoes by 8:30. Listening to WELY, Alvin Packsacker (?), we found out there were tornado warnings. That guy is really a trip to listen to. We finished our adult beverages (just so we didn't have to carry all that extra weight), and went to bed around 11:00. Wind never died down, and it rained for about 5 minutes all night.

Friday, June 24th

Awoke to clouds and high winds, out of the West. Guess with direction we have to travel out today? Broke camp, left at 6:30 sharp. Had a hell of a day paddling; whitecaps on Hudson, Lakes Four, Three and Two. Made it back to Kawishiwi Lodge about 2:30. Not too bad considering the wind.

Got into town (after loading the van & truck & showering) about 4:30. Went to Ely Steakhouse, then for an ice cream. Got back to the lodge about 7:00. Had a couple of beers, and fell asleep about 9:00.

Trip summary.....

Great weather, despite the storms on both ends.
Average fishing. Got fewer than our last trip up, but bigger fish this time.
Bought way too many leeches. We bought a pound per person. 1/2 pound would be plenty.
Most fish were caught on floating jig/splitshot setup.
Got caught short on propane. Next time, 4 cans per 4 people.  


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