Day 1 of 4
Thursday, July 14, 2011 Stayed at Camp 61 Bunkhouse in Beaver Bay. Woke up around 6:45am. Rented canoe from Sawtooth Outfitters. Breakfast across from entry to Sawbill Trail at Coho Cafe at ~8am. Drove about 45 min. to get to entry point #36. Put in around 10am. Hog Creek about 2.25 hr paddle, lots of turns/winds a lot, narrow. Ran into shore a bit more than expected. Ethan’s paddling a bit less helpful than hoped for but not out of range of what was expected. Only one beaver dam pullover. Another 25 min. of canoeing looking for a campsite. 1st 2 island sites taken. Got to site #12 around 1:45pm. Ethan was really excited to get an island site. Overall, nice campsite. Fire grate/sitting area on peninsula. Room and good tent pads for at least 3 tents. 3 canoe landing areas. Good swimming area right at canoe landings. Walk to latrine pretty short. No logs around fire grate for sitting. No fishing from shore b/c too shallow and gradual. Saw a muskrat or otter right by campsite while filtering water. Ate lunch of seaweed, mangos, beef jerky, trail mix and set up camp. E napped for about an hour while I finished setting up camp (hang bear bag, clothes line, hammock). Then canoed and fished a bit just NNW of campsite. Didn't catch anything. Dinner was enchiladas, which initially were good but then E said made him feel nauseous. Taught E how to set up Jetboil and had him set it up and take it apart most of the time. Generally did a good job but needed guidance to do it well. Partly sunny all day and very comfortable in shorts/t-shirt, temp. in low 70's. Overall, a good day of getting to the campsite and getting set up. Ethan was very appreciative of going camping. We were both very much looking forward to the next few days.
Day 2 of 4
Friday, July 15, 2011 Woke up around 7am but neither of us slept well due to itchiness (E) and buzzing like mosquitoes were in tent (me). Ate breakfast of skillet which E declared was very good. Fished east side of northern bay in am and only action was Ethan caught a fish w/ a Banjo minnow but the fish got away before we could get it into the canoe. Forgot the net so went back to get the net. Went back to northern bay to fish and started to drizzle and rain. Pulled up at island to wait out the rain which was heavy at times then went back to camp for lunch. Lunch was smoked salmon on crackers, cheese and crackers and seaweed. After lunch we both napped. Fished NE bay in pm but did not get anything. On the was to the NE bay saw a bald eagle soaring high above from canoe on east side of campsite island. Dinner was organic mac ‘n cheese which tasted a bit sour and E did not like, corn (very good) and brownies (took a long time to cook and didn’t cook completely). Complete overcast all day with am on and off drizzle and some steady, sometimes heavy rain, no rain in pm, temp in low to mid 60's, breezy from SE and damp/humid.
Day 3 of 4
Saturday, July 16, 2011 I woke up ~6am and slept great. E woke up ~8am, slept well except for itching. Overcast, very calm wind and water and fogged in to start the day, although pretty warm and humid. Very eerie feel to the start of the day. Ate another breakfast skillet. Got onto water around 9:15am and canoed to west side of lake to explore and fish. Tried to teach E about navigation with a map and compass but he wasn’t very interested which was a bit frustrating to me. Skies cleared to partly cloudy and then mostly sunny and became more and more breezy from SSW as the afternoon went on but then died down in the evening. Temp started in mid-60s and got to low 80s. Didn't catch anything all morning. Ran into a couple of guys who looked like they knew what they were doing while fishing. They said they’ve caught ~30 fish (walleye and northern pike) all over in about 10-15 feet of water with leeches. We went to north peninsula campsite to have lunch of beef jerky, mangos, cheese and crackers, trail mix. Very nice elevated campsite with awesome fire grate/great room with nice logs for seating overlooking water, room for 3-4 tents but not much shade and rocky canoe landing. Swam for about an hour to the surrounding islands. Lots of fun. Water was very comfortable. E wanted to duel with sticks on the rocks on one of the islands. E was asking lots of questions about how far it was to our campsite, if we could swim to it and how long it would take and moss one the rocks. He also asked a lot of questions about swords and what they could or could not be made of. Seemed like the black flies came out that day since there weren’t very many before that but they were all over the place while and after swimming and for the rest of the trip. Then canoed directly south from peninsula campsite to western shore of southern part of main lake body. Just as getting across main body of lake saw 2 bald eagles perched high in a tree across main body of lake. As we got closer one of them took flight. Pretty cool. Fished for about an hour but no action at all. Ethan wanted to nap so canoed back to campsite ~3:15pm. Got pretty windy. Laid in hammock and took a short nap while E napped in the tent until ~6:15pm. Swam off of our campsite for about 35 minutes. Then canoed around our island while E trolled w/ a Gulp leech on a jig. No action. Ate dinner of pad see ew which E liked very much. Was pretty warm in the tent all night. Almost full moon rising at ~10pm was really bright and very cool looking.
Day 4 of 4
Sunday, July 17, 2011 Woke up @ 6:15am. Took down camp and got a quick bite to eat (mangos, beef jerky, trail mix). Got onto the water ~9:45am. Mostly cloudy, wind clam, very warm and humid with temp going up to low 80s. Water like glass. Saw a perched bald eagle from afar and then a few minutes later probably the same eagle soaring high above while on the SE area of Perent Lake. Took ~25 min to get to Hog Creek. Saw a small beaver pretty early on the creek. Got to entry point ~12:15pm. Drove out and returned canoe w/o problems. E napped for ~1 hr. Stopped at Blackwoods in Duluth @2:30pm to eat. E had 1/2 slab BBQ ribs (adult sized and ate almost all his meal) and I had pan fried walleye. Very yummy. Got home to Oak Park, IL ~11:25pm.[paragraph break]General comments: a. Perent Lake very pretty with lots of islands and bays but also fair amount of people on lake and competition for campsites, good for easy BWCA trip. b. Lots of mosquitoes the whole time except when windy and some black flies especially after Sat noon. c. A bit disappointed with fishing given Perent has a reputation for being a good walleye and northern lake. However, just about everyone else only caught 1-2 fish all weekend except guys using leeches who looked and talked like real fishermen, we only used Gulp, Banjo minnows and crank bait and it was the middle of July. d. Hard to steer canoe when breezy/windy due to lighter weight Ethan in the bow. e. Water filter OK for 1.5 bottles than slow with lots of backflow into collection tube until element scrubbed, possibly due to high tannin content of water(?) f. Overall, a great father-son bonding trip to a very nice lake. Would visit Perent again especially with newbies to the BWCA.