Headed out with two Boy Scout groups end of June. Looking for info of upper Insula vs Alice for camping, fishing. swimming etc. Don't want to waste time heading into Alice unless fishing/campsites are better. Certainly a day trip, but gonna hunker down for three days and looking for a base camp suggestion.
"Between every two pines is a doorway to the world"
The availability of camp sites might dictate your destination. The south half of Insula is still pretty much burned from the Pagami fire, which limits the number of good sites. The north end and Williamson Island are great but busy. Alice has the beach sites on the east side - so kind of a draw. Busy, busier or busiest. Get going early and good luck!
Depending on your comfort level paddling in wind, you might think about trying to find something on Insula. It's a little easier to avoid the wind with all the islands. IF a big wind kicks up, you might get stuck for a while on Alice.
If you find something to your liking on Insula, take it. If not paddle on to Alice unless the wind is up. If you can get a beach site on Alice it would be fantastic but that time of year you just never know.
"The choice is yours to make, The time is ours to take.
Some dive into the sea, Some toil upon the stone.
--- Townes Van Zandt (song - To Live Is To Fly)
My first two bwca trips were to insula in 2010 and 2011. I went through Alice and Insula on a long day trip from Thomas in 2013. All in June. Personally, I’ve never seen these areas very busy. There have always been at least several obviously open campsites in both northern insula and Alice when I’ve seen them. I can’t say if the Pagami creek fire has pushed more people further north in insula due to the southern portion being burnt pretty badly.
I’ll always have a soft spot for the northern bay of insula. I’ve spent several trips mostly at the island site west of Williamson. It’s a solid site, but might be a bit small if you have a big group. Two solid tent pads. A somewhat precarious canoe landing, but not bad if you “parallel park”.
Then of course there are always the perennial favorite campsites of Williamson island and the site just to the west of the narrows. Both of those are 4-5 star sites. And I believe there’s also a nice beach site or two on the eastern shore of the northernmost bay of insula. Personally, I’d rather camp on insula and day trip to Alice if you feel like it. As others have said, the main body of Alice can be problematic if the wind is up. Enjoy your trip!