BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
January 20 2020
Number of Permits per Day: 7
Elevation: 1230 feet
My son Remy and I, and my friend Keith and his son Charlie put our canoes into Lake one at 9:30 Monday morning after dropping off a car at the Snowbank Lake landing. Lake One can be tricky to navigate. On our way to Lake Two we turned East too early and ended up paddling about a mile out of our way into a dead-end bay before we realized our mistake. We blamed the fact that Lake One was split between Fisher Maps #10 and #4 for our error. If the entire lake had been visible at once on a single map, we would not have made the wrong turn. Once we got back on course we portaged the 30 rods into a pond and then portaged the 40 rods into Lake Two. The weather was nice, and there was a bit of a tail wind out of the West. We stopped for lunch on the shore of Lake Two. After lunch we canoed through the North end of Lake Three and into Lake Four. We stopped for the night at a campsite on the West shore of Lake Four, just North of the channel heading toward Hudson Lake. We had to battle swarms of mosquitoes as we set up the tents. We then had a nice refreshing swim. Because we had brought steaks along for the first night, we didn't go fishing.
On Tuesday morning we had a bacon and eggs breakfast then packed up camp and headed out in our canoes. As we canoed past our campsite, we realized that Remy & I had left our hammocks pitched between trees. We landed again and quickly packed them up. Once again we had beautiful weather. We paddled East and completed 3 short portages before entering Hudson Lake. The 105 rod portage into Lake Insula was exhausting! Lake Insula is a large gorgeous lake broken up by multiple islands and penninsulas. We had lunch at a campsite on a large island just East of Hudson Lake. It felt like we had a tail wind as we were heading East, and then as we turned North it seemed like the wind shifted and was at our backs once again. We navigated Lake Insula flawlessly and camped for the night on the island just West of Williamson Island. After setting up the tents and a refreshing swim, Remy & I got back into the canoe and tried to catch some fish. We had no luck! At 9PM that night, just as we were going to bed, a thunderstorm rolled through. That night I was awakened several times by the loud croaking of bullfrogs from the shallows around our island. What noisy neighbors!
By Wednesday morning the weather had cleared, but the wind was now coming from the Northwest, pretty much in our faces. We paddled to the North end of Lake Insula and tackled the largest portage of our trip. The 180 rod walk to Kiana Lake actually seemed easier than the 105 rod carry into Lake Insula. We headed onward into Thomas Lake where we really started feeling the headwind. We finally made it to the campsite just Northeast of the portage into Thomas Pond in time for lunch. After lunch we proceeded across Thomas Pond and into Thomas Creek after hiking across the famous Kekekabic Trail. We managed to easily run the rapids in Thomas Creek and avoid the 2 short portages. We camped for the night on Hatchet Lake at the northern campsite. It was cool and windy, so we didn't swim. There was lots of threatening weather going by to the North of us, but we stayed dry. After supper we canoed back to Thomas Creek to fish and look for moose. No luck on either count, but we did see a beaver swimmming.
The weather was nice again Thursday morning, but the wind was out of the West which was the direction we were heading. We portaged into Ima Lake and canoed across it. Before portaging into Jordan Lake, we watched a bald eagle sitting in a tree get harrassed repeatedly by a seagull. The narrow channel leading into Jordan Lake is quite beautiful. It is narrow like a river with big rock outcroppings. We paddled across Jordan, Cattyman, Adventure, and Jitterbug Lakes. We found the Eastern campsite on Ahsub Lake taken, so we camped at the Western campsite which had a great place for swimming in front of it. There was a very brave loon in front of the campsite who didn't seem to mind if we got close to it. We tried our luck at fishing, but only caught 1 smallmouth which was too small to eat. Between 5:00 and 7:30 that evening we saw a number of canoes heading across Ahsub Lake from Disappointment Lake to Jitterbug Lake. We weren't sure where they were planning to camp, but it was getting late.
On Friday we awoke again to good weather. We paddled the length of Disappointment Lake and portaged into to Parent Lake and then on to Snowbank Lake. It was July 4th, and as we entered Snowbank Lake the sounfd of firecrackers reminded us we weren't in the wilderness anaymore. After a brief splash war on our way across Snowbank, we made it to the landing and our car was still there. What a great trip!
Lake One to Insula
June 14, 2006
Number of Days:
We were pretty determined to get to Insula the first day. First couple of portages were not too crowded. We paddled into lake four before we stopped for our well deserved lunch. Continuing to paddle hard to get into Hudson Lake, the wind was heading into us all morning. The portages getting into and exiting Hudson Lake were more crowded and you could definitely tell who had been to the BWCA before and who was a first timer. Some groups of people like to invade the portage like the troops landing at Normandy. Leaving no room or consideration for the people coming from the other side.
We finally managed to get into Insula by mid afternoon. We were pretty exhausted from the amount to paddling but very excited we accomplished what we hoped we would accomplish. Onward to finding a campsite on an island. We then decided this should be called turtle island as for the amount of turtles that also called it home. After setting up camp and eating supper. We took a little bit of time to fish from shore. Caught some dandy walleyes right in front of our new home for a few days.
Day 2. Feeling the affects of a hard days paddle, we opted to just hang out and enjoy the beauty of where we were and just fished and cruised our immediate area. Fish weren't as cooperative as they were the first day in front of our campsite. We paddled the windless shorelines and caught lots of fish on leeches.
Day 3. Up and at em early. We decided to venture out and explore areas further away today. Found a great area and fished lots of action of small mouth bass, northern pike, rock bass and walleye. We worked lots of shore line and caught fish and missed a few of em too. Find it funny when you plop a nice fat leech and then the fish decide the bobber is more attractive and hit the bobber instead. Caught one nice walleye which was side dish to our lunch.
Some of our group decided to head back to camp while the others decided to fish some more. We finally found the honey hole. Almost every cast ended up with a fish on. Some times the fish won and stole our bait! Not a bad way to finish up a great day trip. Back to camp for some supper and a little bit more fishing before we hit the sleeping bags for some shuteye.
Day 4. Decided to break camp and start heading back to our entry point. Decided we didn't want to paddle all the way out on the last day. Paddled back to lake 2 and started looking for a campsite. Found it quite difficult with the amount of people who come and go through that area. Especially after dealing with on and off rain with a few down pours in between. We did find our campsite and we disappointed with the amount of garbage left behind. Full glass beer bottles in the rocks by the waters. Fishing lures or knotted line on the shoreline. Stuff they tried to burn which never completely burned. I understand that a lot of people use this area, but pack it in pack it out people. Fished during the drizzly rain, found another honey hole. First quite a few decent small mouths with a few decent gills thrown in. Then the cream of the crop, a 5 lb large mouth bass. Didn't know they were in there. Fished for decent pan fish and lost track of time. Ended up almost missing dinner because we were hooked on the fishing.
Day 5. Awoke to wind and lots of it. Sure glad we decided to head partially home the day before. Broke camp and fought the wind for 2 hours to get out to entry point. Bright sun was a great site from the rainy day we had before but the wind was a killer. We felt pity for the folks entering that day and had to deal with the wind and lots of it. And it was going to be in their faces all day long and they would probably need to get to lake 3 before they would find an open campsite!
All and all, it was a great trip. Good fishing and great company.