BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
December 03 2023
Number of Permits per Day: 2
Elevation: 1564 feet
Island River - 34
Isabella Lake Trip - Overnight Paddle - 3 Nights/4 Days
May 28, 2021
Number of Days:
Day 2 - Daybreak, we are all cold and getting the fire started, and we realized we never cleaned the fish and thought that would be a good breakfast. Well, apparently someone else that was a good idea because the stringer and fish were gone from where we left them in the lake that night. We completely spaced on it the night prior, and it looks as if a Racoon, bear, or another predator got a free meal. Its fine, there's plenty more fish out there. We made breakfast, liquid eggs and bacon, just fine. We packed up our canoes, packed our lunch (PBJ Sandies, Protein Cookies, Homemade Venison Jerky) and headed off for our day trip to the far west side of Isabella to portage to Isabella River where we heard the Walleye fishing was pristine. Boy we had a day ahead of us, a windy windy day. Of course the wind is against us, so it was a solid hour or so paddle to the other side of Isabella. We found a cove and fished that for a bit, but didn't catch a thing, and maybe thought it was due to the huge beaver lodge there. We moved on, continued to the portage. We made it, and took the very short portage to Isabella Lake. We set our stuff down, had a sandwich then walked the trail back to part of the Pow Wow Trail to see the small set of rapids and waterfall it had to offer. A cool little photo opp. We got in our canoes and headed down the river, and the wind had gotten worse. I think we made it about 30 minutes maybe and decided to head back and just drift backwards to the portage and fish that way. The wind was brutal, we barely made it 300 yards in that 30 minutes. But, we were rewarded with a few Walleye take back to camp. Seems that a slip bobber setup, with an orange or pink jig head and a sucker minnow was the ticket this trip. After our long trip back to camp we didnt make the same mistake as the night prior, we cleaned the fish, cooked them up with good ole Shore Lunch and dined. After supper we headed back out for a night cruise and then back to camp for a much warmer overnight of about 40 degrees. Perfect.
Day 3 - Our last full day. You know the drill, wake up, eat, start paddling. Much cooler this day, windy, cloudy as all get out. Not a cloud in the sky the previous 2 days. We did by far have the most luck fishing this day. We went back to the cove on the north side of the lake, and we caught about 20 walleye that morning. The craziest part, all in about 4-5 feet of water depth. I've never seen anything like it. Same lure rigged up, same bait, same result. We went back to camp, ate fish, and prepared camp for the storm that we could see rolling in. That was a treat to watch, the aftermath not so much. The wind whipped, and the clouds opened up a heavy downpour. We sat in the tent and played cards and drank bourbon, so it wasn't a total loss. However, we did all wake up in the middle of the night to realize our tent has a few leaks, we were all in standing water. Good thing it was the final night.
Day 4 - Last day, time to pack up camp and head back to our entry point and truck. We decided to head out right away in the morning since we noticed the wind picked up mid morning most days, and we didn't want to fight that all the way back, it would've turned a 30 minute paddle into an hour. We got back, loaded up the truck and headed back to Ely to drop off the canoes.
Overall - A great trip, they're all great aren't they? Not a single bug I failed to mention, but the wind and colder weather helped big time. Gorgeous lake, good fishing, very big in acreage, and a perfect campsite. Had a great time, and looking forward to next years trip.