Day 1 of 7
Saturday, June 20, 2009 [paragraph break] This was my first trip but our group leader, Bob Jennings, had made 30 trips to the area. We loaded our canoes and gear in Valparaiso, Indiana and drove up in an 8 passager van that we had reserved from our church, Liberty Bible Church in Chesterton, Indiana. . This was a group of 3 Father/Son combos and one uncle/nephew pair. We gathered at Bob's home at 10am to start packing the trailer, canoes, etc. We set up the tents to make sure we knew what we were doing when we got to the lake. Bob's wife, Carol, made us a great lunch of sloppy joes as our first meal together. We left at 4pm on Saturday and drove through the night. Stopped in Rice Lake to pick up some pre-ordered leeches.
Day 2 of 7
Sunday, June 21, 2009-What a Great Fathers Day!!! [paragraph break] Got to Grand Marais at 4am and ate a good breakfast at "South of the Border" restaurant. Then went to the Ranger Station to get our permits. We thought it opened at 6am but had to wait til 7am. Watched the video, answered a few questions and got our permits. [paragraph break] Drove up Gun Flint Trail to Entry Point 62 on Clearwater Lake. Paddled across the lake and portaged 3/4 mile or 210 rods to Caribou Lake. This was my first time to portage a canoe. Mine weighed about 70lbs and the portage was a challenge for me. We each made 2 trips to get all our gear to the other side. My first trip was a canoe and my second was a "Paul Bunyan Bag". [paragraph break] One of my fears was that we wouldn't find an open site on the lake. Tyler and I were the lead canoe and Bob told us to take the first open spot. Campsite #1 was open and we took it. We got there about 10am and started setting up camp. We ate a lunch of flat bread and salamonie and cheese or peanut butter.
[paragraph break] At about 3pm that day we were able to get out fishing. My son and I worked the banks for smallies and northern. We were rewarded with several on a white buzzbait that I used. Not big ones but really fun to catch. The rest of the group walleye fished with leeches on "Beaver Flicks" under a float bobber. No walleye that day but several pike and smallies. [paragraph break] We fished til sunset at 9:30pm and then cook hamburgers over the first on the grate. We were beat at the end of that day but loved it.
Day 3 of 7
Monday, June 22, 2009 [paragraph break] We woke up to blueberry pancakes for breakfast! Then we had our devotions out of Psalms 1. "Like a tree planted by streams of water'. Good time of discussion and then we ate a light lunch and headed out to fish. [paragraph break] On this day, Tyler and I started exploring the lake. We went down by Campsite #4 and he caught the first walleye for us and it was a nice one about 18 inches. Caught on leeches on a beaver flick. (This was our go to bait for the rest of the week.) We also went across from that campsite and fished where a creek comes into the lake. We caught a bunch of smaller smallies there. The rest of the group focused on walleye with no luck. We had an East wind that day. [paragraph break]
Day 4 of 7
Tuesday, June 23, 2009 [paragraph break] We had cinnamon apple burritos and sausage for breakfast! Had our devotions out of Ps. 23. "The Lord is my shepherd, he makes me lie down beside quiet waters.." [paragraph break] On this day, we fished on Caribou. As Tyler and I were fishing on the south side of the lake, an eagle landed in the tree in front of us about 20 yds. We stopped to watch it and then it swooped down and grabbed a big pike by the shoreline and sat on a log and starting eating. That was really awesome to see. It then flew off but quickly returned and sat in the tree again. We decided to move on at that point. I was fishing my buzzbait but kept one eye on the eagle to make sure it didn't swoop down and take my lure? [paragraph break] We got back and then starting cleaning the fish from the last couple days. Bob had a "duck decoy" floating thing that we brought where you could hook your stringers on it and keep the fish alive during the night. We taught the boys how to clean fish. [paragraph break] We then fried them and had a great dinner of fish, cheesy potatoes, and homemade apple sauce. (Thanks Carol Jennings for the apple sauce!!!!)
Day 5 of 7
Wednesday, June 24, 2009 [paragraph break] Woke up to coffee and a breakfast bar. Had our devotions out of Ps. 42-"As the deer pants for the water, so my soul pants after you" [paragraph break] On this day, we decided to portage over to Moon Lake. The portage was pretty steep but short, 70 rods. It connects to Deer Lake. We paddled across that lake to another small portage, 10 Rods, to Moon. We had taken our lunches and stopped at a camp site and ate lunch and looked for new anchor rocks. [paragraph break] Tyler and I went on south on the lake and he caught the first walleye and then we started catching fish at about every laydown we stopped at. Worked our way around to the other finger. Could hear a waterfall, so we got out and went exploring and saw a nice falls. Then came back to the lake and I tried swimming. It was shallow and muddy and wasn't a good choice but it did cool me off. [paragraph break] Started fishing the bank line again. At one point a long laydown came out into the lake. Tyler was fishing by it and started to bring his bait in and looked down and could see a Pike following it, dropped his line in the water and it hit. He had a little battle, got excited and lifted the fish out of the water and lost it. I was throwing a white fluke and a big blow up on it but the fish missed it. I got excited and didn't leave the bait in the water and saw the fish swim off. We both have room for improvement!! ? [paragraph break] We then reconnected with the rest of our group about 6pm and started fishing for eyes in a shallow flat near a deep spot. The group already had several nice walleyes landed. We started catching them too and I caught my biggest of the trip. [paragraph break] About 9pm we decided to start the portage back as we were afraid it would get dark. Launching the canoe onto Deer from Moon portage, I tipped our canoe as it got stuck on a rock. We went over, in the shallows but it got a few things wet, and dampened my pride. We found the portage to Caribou, which was now down hill. It was nearly dark but not yet. I had my head lamp on but it wasn't really helping me and also started attracting mosquitoes. Got back to camp just before dark. Had chicken and noodles for dinner and hit the rack about 11pm.
Day 6 of 7
Thursday, June 25, 2009 [paragraph break] I got up early and went fishing by myself for a few hours. I wasn’t sure how the canoe would handle with only me in it. It was calm when I started out. I threw my surface white buzz bait and caught several nice smallies in the shallows.
Got back to camp around 9am and breakfast we being served. We then stayed around camp, some people swam and hung out. At noon we fried fish from the day before and had a great meal. We did our group devotions out of Psalm 139. "Where can I go from Your Spirit?" [paragraph break] About 1pm, we headed out to fish the rest of the day. We all decided to go up going further east on the lake to a place that Bob thought we might have luck with the smallies. We had a west wind that day. Tyler and I stopped along the way and fished at the place where the creek came in across from Campsite #4 and we caught 8 smallies in about 30 minutes with 6 of them being over 2 lbs. We were fishing with leeches. Then we lost our anchor and had to try to fish with only one anchor. The wind was pretty strong and we were struggling. The rest of the group had already passed us and headed east. We decided to move on too but again stopped a good looking laydown. At that place we caught smallies, northern and Tyler caught another nice walleye. It was awesome that we could catch all three types of fish in one spot.
(Tyler with smallie)
After a while we decided to join the other boats that were fishing on the east side of the lake. They had been doing good on smallies. We fished a while and then decided to paddle back toward camp. I think it was about 7pm at that point. It was a long paddle. Along the way we stopped at what we had named, "pike cove". Threw the buzzbait again but didn't have any takers. We were tired so we went on back to camp. Decided to swim, it was refreshing but cold. We didn't stay out too long.
The rest of the group started coming back around 9pm and we had brats on the wood fire on the grill. And we started to pack stuff up. Hit the rack about 11pm.
Day 7 of 7
Friday, June 26, 2009 [paragraph break] The older men got up at 6am and continued to pack, we got the boys up at 7am and started taking down the tents and packing everything into the canoes. Started out around 9am. Then we portaged the 210 rod portage back to Clearwater lake. It was uphill this time but wasn't that bad. With no rain this week, it was dryer than when we came in. But I forgot to put bug spray on my face and struggled with bugs around my head as I portaged the canoe. Tyler and everyone else made 2 trips too. I think we got everything over by 10:30am and then canoed back to the boat ramp. [paragraph break] Then we went to the Clearwater Lodge and paid for a shower for $3/person. It felt great to finally shower and put on clean clothes that we had left in our van. Our first news from the outside world was that Michael Jackson and Farrah Faucet had died! We then stopped by Bear Skin Lodge to see what it was like? Would our wives be up for coming up and staying? Took some brochures to investigate that? [paragraph break] Then went to Grand Marais and ate pizza at "Sven and Ollies" and also had ice in our soft drinks and the ice was a big hit. Hit a soveniour store and the bait shop to buy some more beaver flicks to try them back home. Then hit the road for our 12 hour trip back to Indiana!! [paragraph break] Got home about 5am on Saturday morning after a little van problems along the way. This was probably the only problem we had all week! Keith messed with the fuse box and got it running. As we were only 45 minutes from home, Carol Jennings came and rescued us. This all happened at 3am. Thanks again Carol!! [paragraph break] It was an awesome time. I especially want to thank Bob for all he did to make this trip a great time! Thanks for sharing your passion with some other men and young boys. You helped make memories for a lifetime. Thanks also to the rest of the group, everyone pitched in and helped and made it a great time. It was great to get to know David and see him develop as a fisherman. Really enjoyed fishing and hanging out with Clark and Kendal. I especially enjoyed spending time with my brother in law, Keith, and nephew, Jared, who are from KY. We had a great group. [paragraph break] I'm already thinking about when we can return!! .