Day 1 of 7
Monday, June 21, 2010 Seagull-Alpine We woke up at about 5:30 very excited and eager to get on the road. We ate breakfast loaded up the gear and canoe and headed out. We had a 4-5 hour drive up there from our home in Wisconsin. We stopped at the Gunflint Ranger Station in Grand Marais to pick up our permit just before 10. We watched the video and took the short quiz and headed out to the bait shop to pick up leeches. We were unsure of how many leeches to get so we decided a half pound should work. (I'm still not sure how many dozen are supposed to be in a pound or a half pound but I think we got shorted. We paid for a half pound but only got 40 leeches at the max so I don't know if that's right or not.) But anyways we then headed out to Holiday to get our fishing licenses and Dairy Queen to get lunch and soon we were headed up the Gunflint with growing enthusiasm. We got to the Seagull landing at about 11:30 and were all packed up and paddling out at noon. The weather was about 80 degrees and sunny with some light wind. We had a headwind for the first 3 miles but nothing too tough. It seemed like forever to get all the way across Seagull but at last we reached the portage to Alpine. I had never seen so many groups and people in one day in the bw before. We had to have seen around a dozen groups at campsites or the portages. We quickly covered the 105 rod portage as we were fresh and ready to go. (our canoe is a very old alumacraft spray painted camo for duck hunting. It has to weigh atleast 70-80 pounds! We nicknamed it Sasquatch) We paddled to the Southern most campsite on Alpine and arrived a little before 3. I quickly sank our leeches to the bottom of the lake to stay cool. We set up camp quick and relaxed a bit for awhile. At 6 we made supper of chicken and rice and then went out fishing along shore towards the walleye hole near the rapids. We caught 3 smallmouths and 4 walleyes in about 2 hours of fishing. I also caught a 30+ inch northern as well. We headed back to camp at dark and had some orange tea and went to bed. Lakes traveled: Seagull, Alpine
Day 2 of 7
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 Alpine-South Arm Knife Lake Woke up at 6 to a very cloudy and gray day. I was worried it was going to rain on us. We ate our breakfast of oatmeal, packed up camp and were on the move by 8. Suprisingly the rain held of on us the whole way to the South Arm of Knife Lake. The sun even peeked out for the latter part of the day. We stopped at ate lunch at a campsite on Ogishcumuncie and watched a group take around 45 minutes to do a 25 rod portage.It was ridicoulous. We ate our lunch of pb and j tortillas, beef sticks, and gorp quickly and were soon ready. We covered the last lakes and portages quickly and arrived at our campsite in the Northeastern bay of South Arm of Knife Lake at 2:30. Our campsite was the 2nd one from the top towards Hanson Lake. We set up camp and I shimmied up a tree to hang the bear rope up nice and high. The weather had turned sunny and warm so we decided to do some cliff jumping to refresh ourselves. That was alot of fun and felt great! Then at about 4ish we fished around camp catching a few small mouth and a northern pike in about an hour. We then made supper of instant mashed potatoes and ham. After supper the wind had picked up so we decided to go across the way to fish a more sheltered bay. Within minutes Brad hooks a big fish and yells at me to grab the net. He fights it for a few seconds and we could both tell it was big but then it took a big run and snapped the line. Brad wasn't too happy to say the least. We fished around the edges catching multiple smallies but not much size to them with the biggest being 16". We were on our way out when I finally hook a good fish I feel him tug and the fight was on. I had reeled him in about half way when he took a run at the surface and jumped several feet out of the water and we had a great view of a 20+ Smallie but that jump allowed him to get off my lure and I was left crushed. We then exited the bay and kept fishing shoreline until dark catching two more smallies and two 16" walleyes. We went to bed soon after. Lakes traveled: Alpine, Jasper, Kingfisher, Ogishcumuncie, Annie, Jenny, Eddy, and South Arm Knife.
Day 3 of 7
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 Fishing Day at South Arm Woke up at 6:15 to a calm and cloudy morning. I went out to fish as Brad made pancakes. I caught 3 smallies in about 25 minutes the biggest one at 15 inches. We then ate and decided to go jig around the islands for awhile. Right away I caught two smallies one 14 the other 17". I went on one island and Brad the other. I caught four little bass and Brad caught a decent one in the first 15 minutes. Then on the Norht end of my little rocky island I found the hot spot landing 3 smallmouth all 18-20" in a span of 10 minutes. We fished awhile longer then headed back for a lunch of salami, cheese,crackers, and some other fillers. After lunch we went to the biggest island (there are 3 this is the one we hadn't gone to yet) to try some more jigging. We use jig heads, twister tails, and a leech. We fished for a half hour or so but we noticed the wind really picking up and we could hear thunder in the distance. We hurried back to camp and arrived just as it started to pour. We quickly picked up everything and ran to the tent. We decided to nap a while and let the rain end. We got back up at 4 when it was done raining. Once again it was calm. We decided to eat 1 of our 3 brats each and head out for an evening of fishing. We jigged the islands again and a large rock bar. Brad caught a 16" smallie and a bunch of little ones and I caught four 17-19" smallmouth bass. I even caught a 19" walleye towards dark. We then went back to camp ate our remaining brats and went to bed at around 11.
Day 4 of 7
Thursday, June 24, 2010 Day trip to Eddy Falls and Toe Lake I woke to some bright sunshine finally at around 7 and Brad was already up. We ate our oatmeal, tidyed up camp, a bit and got ready to leave for the day. We paddled to the portage to Eddy to go see the waterfall. We were worried about "leaving a trace" but we found two very well worn trails that went right to the falls. We climbed around and took some pictures then decided to head out towards Toe Lake. We fished the shoreline toward the portage a short ways away but caught nothing. We had a little trouble finding the portage because it was small and little used but it was just a short 5 rod thing. Brad and me don't fish for Northerns ever but we finally decided to try it for once. (We had heard there were some big Smallmouth and Largemouth in Toe lake but it was hard to keep the pike off your line long enough.) So we had finally accepted catching some pike. But it was all for naught because we didn't catch a thing in an hour or so of fishing. We tried everything from rapalas to jigs to spinners and even spoons but nothing. We then went to the campsite to eat lunch. Behind the camp was a big rock hill so we decided we'd climb it and eat lunch at the top. It was a little tricky getting up but the view was incredible! We then did the portage out of Toe Lake and arrived at camp a little after 1 pretty dejected because we didn't catch anything. Back at camp Brad decided to take a nap and I decided to sit by the lake in the shade and read my Bible and journal. I also decided to cast out a slip bobber just for the heck of it. Much to my suprise I started getting bites within a couple minutes of casting it out. I had never used slip bobbers before and had a great next couple of hours catching fish like crazy. Brad heard me catching fish so he came out too. The fish just kept on biting. By 5:00 we had caught 17 smallmouth and 9 walleye. This was new to me I had never caught walleyes that early in the day before. There was even quite a bit of size to the fish! At 5 we noticed we were running low on leeches so we decided to save the rest for the next couple days. So sadly we were done fishing with leeches for the day. ( next time I'm bringing like 5 lbs. of leeches so we don't run out. I've heard that a half pound should be 8-9 dozen so we definitely got shorted).Then at like 7 we ate our supper of all you can eat fish and stuffing. After supper we cleaned up camp and soon it was dark. we were sitting at camp and heard some rattling over by our food. We shined over there and saw a mouse scamper away. The fish were surfacing around camp so I decided to cast a hula popper around and brad went to sleep. In a half hour I had caught 5 smallies. One being the biggest of the trip so far at 20". Then I decided to head to bad because it was nearing midnight. Lakes traveled: South Arm Knife , Toe
Day 5 of 7
Friday, June 25, 2010 Fishing Day at South Arm I slept in until 9 and Brad until 9:30 because we were pretty tired. It was a cool and cloudy morning. When I got up I started the fire and decided to go for a cliff jump and clean up. Brrr was it cold but it was very refreshing. We ate our breakfast of oatmeal and granola bars. thenit started to rain so we retreated inside our tent again for a couple hours so I read my Bible and Brad got some more sleep. When it was done raining we paddled over to the bay across the lake. We caught 3 nice sized walleyes right away where that one had snapped brad's line earlier. We kept fishing and it started to rain on us again. We fished on for the next hour and caught 4 smallies, 1 more walleye, and a northern. We then headed back to camp and decided to climb up the cliff near our camp to take pictures and see the view. It was awesome once again; the view was breath taking. But I did fall and slide a few feet on the way down and bloodied up my knee and hand. We then went back to camp and hug everything out to dry and went to jig around the islands one last time only this time with no leeches because we wanted to save the last few for slip bobber fishing later that night. But to no avail. We fished for an hour or two but only had a few bites. Brad and me then went back to camp and he made supper while I started fishing. We had about 10 leeches left so we would be done when those ran out. In two hours 7 walleyes and 13 smallmouth. We tried some pumpkinseed gulp leeches but they didn't yield any bites even. (But supposedly they out fish live bait) No Way! But whatever. We then ate our supper of fish fry and some tasty wild rice. Then bed at 11.
Day 6 of 7
Saturday, June 26, 2010 South Arm Knife - Alpine Lake We woke up around 6:30 ish and ate our breakfast of oatmeal and packed up camp. We were paddling out at 8:15. Partly cloudy day with a light breeze. The paddling and portages were pretty uneventful and we moved quickly only meting two other groups. We stopped and ate lunch at Jasper. We then completed the last portage and claimed our same campsite on Alpine at around 2:30 ish. I went and collected firewood as Brad set up camp. Then we kind of just relaxed and I picked some berries. ( this campsite had wild blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries). :) Then we ate our supper of fettuccini Alfredo noodles and went out fishing at 7ish. In 3 hours we caught 2 smallies, 1 walleye, and 3 northerns. We then headed back to camp and had a campfire with some mint hot chocolate. Man did it hit the spot. Then we went to bed at 11:15. Lakes traveld: South Arm, Eddy, Jenny, Annie, Ogish, Kingfisher, Jasper, and Alpine.
Day 7 of 7
Sunday, June 27, 2010 Woke up at 6 to a dull gray and cloudy morning with scattered sprinkles. We ate our breakfast of oatmeal quick and packed up all of our soaking wet equipment. We were headed out at 8:15. We then made the portage and trek across Seagull in the constant rain and arrived at the landing just as the rain stopped at about 11ish. We loaded up our gear and canoe and headed back into the civilized world. We got to Grand Marais shortly after 12:00 and stopped at Subway for lunch. We were sad the trip was over but it was good to be back to the real world as well. Brad and me both love it up there and will be taking a trip up every summer from now on as much as we can. It is so much fun. But until next year Smalltown out.
Final Fish Count: Smallmouth= 53 24 in the 16-20" range Walleye= 27 13 in the 16-22" range Northerns= 13 2 over 30" Rock bass= 4
Lakes traveled: Alpine, Seagull