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BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

February 23 2024

Entry Point 31 - Farm Lake

Farm 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 7 miles. Access is a boat landing on Farm Lake with access to South Farm Lake. Paddlers access North Kawishiwi River from Farm Lake. Some trip options available for paddlers with additional portages.

Number of Permits per Day: 3
Elevation: 1392 feet
Latitude: 47.8932
Longitude: -91.7183
Farm Lake - 31

Maiden Voyage to BWCA

by tdaubee
Trip Report

Entry Date: May 27, 2017
Entry Point: Farm Lake
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:
This was our first trip to the BWCA. It was a couples trip, my boyfriend (age 32) and me (25). We did a 4 day 3 night adventure on a relatively easy trip from entry 31 to 32.

Day 1 of 4

Saturday, May 27, 2017 I am happy to be writing this trip report. Ryan (my boyfriend) and I entered BWCA at entry point 31 on Saturday, May 27th. Saturday, was a beautiful day the temperatures lingered in the upper 60’s maybe even 70’s and the sun was out. We paddled across Farm Lake and entered the BWCA. We took a small portage to an extension of Farm Lake (which I believe is part of the N. Kiwishiwi River as well). Anyway, once we completed our first portage, we were welcomed by a Loon. I had hoped that I would get close enough to a Loon for a nice photo as I had my professional camera with me. Little did I know that we would get followed by this Loon from portage to portage. This loon was odd, he would come up behind the canoe and then dive underneath of it and emerge feet from the front of the canoe. He did this over and over as we paddled to our next portage. He rarely got more than 10 yards from our canoe. He even went as far to peck at the bottom of the canoe while he was under water. I was able to get some great photos of him as well as some video. Our outfitter mentioned he may have had a nest nearby and that is why he was acting that way? Not sure. It was a cool experience but we didn’t get any fishing done during that time, afraid we would snag the loon! We took the long portage into Clear Lake where we were planning on camping for two nights. We found our campsite and set up camp and had some jerky and trail mix for lunch. In the afternoon we tried fishing Clear Lake but with no success decided to go back to camp as the wind picked up significantly in the afternoon. We fell asleep early and without knowing what was going on in the outside of the tent, I missed the awesome Northern Lights Show (I’ve never seen them before so to say I was disappointed is an understatement). 


Day 2 of 4

Sunday, May 28, 2017 Day 2, we woke up and had some Jetboil breakfast and had serious disappointment and frustrations that we hadn’t caught any fish the day before. We head out to fish clear lake after breakfast – we went around the perimeter and around each island with not bites. I tried about every lure in my tackle box and tried casting, trolling and top waters. Nothing was working. Finally, I caught a northern trolling followed by a small walleye in the same spot. Ryan hooked a bass on a top water bait right there off one of the middle islands, as well. We were happy – we had lunch! We headed back in and I started cooking our fish lunch. Considering I have actually never flayed a fish before, the meal turned out delicious. I used heavy duty tin foil and Crisco to fry up the meat and seasoned it with a little salt and pepper. Ryan was hit hard by a caffeine withdrawal (although at this time he didn’t know it). He spent the rest of the day sleeping and I was stuck at camp, casting from shore and napping – really wish I would have brought a book to read at that point. Set my alarm for midnight to see northern lights … there wasn’t any.


Day 3 of 4

Monday, May 29, 2017 Day 3, it was projected to rain all day and it did. Not a heavy rain, but a misty, annoying drizzly rain. Thank goodness we packed good rain gear because after the first hour the rain didn’t bother me much anymore. We left Clear Lake as fast as possible that morning after breakfast, we wanted to get to new waters – new beginnings for fishing. We portaged to the South Kiwishiwi River and right away I thought that it looked like Bass country. Ryan, who loves to fish for bass, had his top water tied on and he started nailing bass of the point right next to the portage. We spent a few hours there – he was catching bass one after another and I had cranked in a small walleye as well. We made our way down the river him casting top waters to shore as I trolled on the deeper side or casted over there for northern and walleye. This seemed to work the best for us as we each were trying for different fish and usually when one was biting the other wasn’t. We worked the bays and points – next to one bay I was trolling and started rolling in walleye. It was one of those fishing experiences that you read about in the BWCA. I put my line in the water and pulled out a walleye, took it off the hook and released it and put my line back in the water and pulled out another walleye. This happened time and time again – the walleye weren’t very big but it sure was fun. The last walleye that I had on was a big one and I (almost) landed him but he somehow managed to get off the hook about 1 foot from the net. So no avail with the trophy walleye. We really wanted the high campsite on the river so we headed that way to set up camp. It was absolutely stunning – I wish I had more words but that site is so peaceful! We made ourselves a Jetboil lunch as I didn’t feel like cleaning fish (and we didn’t keep any) and we casted around our little campsite for a while – Ryan again started catching smallies on his top water. That evening we went out and headed back up River, doing the same thing … Ryan casting top waters for smallies and me trolling or casting deep waters for walleye. I hooked a nice 16 inch smallie that evening on my go-to-lure … took a picture and released him. Ryan may have caught a few small bass and a small northern. We headed back to camp to dry off for the night – we actually found enough dry wood to make ourselves a good fire and dry out some of our clothing. It was perfect. I set my alarm again to look for northern lights – nothing.


Day 4 of 4

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 Day 4, our last day in the BWCA. We knew that our exit point was not that far away so we took our time getting packed up that morning, made ourselves some breakfast and packed the canoe before heading up river to fish some of our hotspots from the previous two days. The rapids by the short portage produced zero fish, by the way. Then we headed back towards our portage. We worked the same system we had the previous days with casting. We went into a small bay and Ryan started catching some smallies with his top water puppy and as we were pulling out of the bay, I told him that he should cast against that rock along the point. He through the puppy out there and the biggest smallie I have ever seen jumped out the water and nailed that puppy. I scrambled for the net and he fought in the bass – we landed it and I knew it was a big smallie… biggest one I’ve ever seen landed. He agreed he had never caught anything that big. We did some measurements and estimated the bass at about 19 to 20 inches – he went on the stringer until we decided what we wanted to do with it. We worked our way to the portage the remaining of the day. We each caught a handful of bass and northern. Sure enough, only 100 yards from our portage, Ryan put the puppy out on a point again and pulled another bass out the same size as the other one! So we put that one on the stringer too! We portaged out and called for our ride. Everyone agreed that we had some trophy smallies on our hands so we decided to keep them and mount them together as a souvenir from our trip. They ended up being 19.5 and 20 inch small mouth bass weighing 3.2 and 3.7 pounds. We packed really light and we were glad we didn’t pack in things that we didn’t need. The only few things that I wish that I had that I didn’t – a back rest for the canoe or at least something for camp to lean against – all that sitting is hard on your back. A book for the day that Ryan was out of commission and I didn’t have a lot to do. A longer rope and bigger tarp would have been handy, but we got by with what we had. Our experience in the BWCA was a little bit of everything… good fishing, bad fishing, good days, bad days but the two of us had a lot of fun and we both agreed we would be back. Our maiden voyage into the BWCA was complete.  


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