Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Trip Planning Forum
 Forum Sponsor



distinguished member (255)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/04/2018 12:10PM
A buddy and I are thinking about going up there September this year instead of waiting til next summer. Was wondering if anybody can tell me how busy it is, what to expect weather-wise and is the fishing in general any good at that time of year?
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next
distinguished member(10289)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
06/04/2018 02:18PM
I have always gone in Sept. I can't tell you about the fishing.

The weather on average is pretty nice, but is highly variable, and you may get a couple of very nice, calm, sunny days in the 70's or you may get a heavy wind-driven rain in the 40's. I usually check the historical averages for Ely for my trip dates and prepare for anything between the record lows and highs. I've had snow in mid-Sept. and 80's at the end of the month. The averages mid-month are about mid-60's, mid-40's.

How busy it is can vary depending on the weather, whether you enter on a weekend or mid-week, and where you enter and how far you go from there. I don't have experience with any other time, but I'm guessing it's not as busy as mid-summer :). I find that beyond a day's travel, the crowd really thins out. Throw in a couple of long, tough portages and you may go days and see no one, maybe occasionally one or two others.
distinguished member(10289)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
06/04/2018 02:30PM
BTW, wind can be a factor then.
distinguished member(6851)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
06/04/2018 06:04PM
I almost only go in September and October. Avoid near entry points on MEA weekend. I see other groups but not to be an issue. Good thing, no bugs. I dont fish but i think its less than prime time for fishing. You may never go in June-July-August again. Short days/early evenings affect things.
06/04/2018 07:42PM
Mid September is usually great. Temps are mild, bugs are mostly gone, not many people.
senior member (78)senior membersenior member
06/04/2018 07:48PM
I took my sister with me this last September. It was the second week of the month. This year, I am going in the last week of the month.

The weather started out hot and muggy. We had some pretty bad thunderstorms the first evening (with small hail), and then the last morning, we woke up to a thick frost on everything. It was heavenly (if you like cooler weather like me).

Wind - the day we needed to move back towards the entry point, we had a stiff 30mph wind that came out of a weird direction. Normally, the wind comes from the NW. This time, it came right up the length of the lake (Pipestone Bay), and we had to wait until that evening to move. We still had to cross an area with some pretty decent white caps to get back, but did some island hopping back to the portage and got into Newton just ahead of dusk.

Aside from that, the weather is pleasant, the fall colors are magnificent, and very few bugs. The black flies came out during the afternoon on a couple days, but they were nothing like they are in the summer months. The early evenings are nice, because you can build a nice fire, make a cup of coffee and just enjoy sitting outside listening to the trees, the lake, etc....and still go to bed at a decent hour.

We did see more people than we had expected, but I chose a pretty easy route for my newbie co-pilot on this trip. This year, I am going to some wilder/woolier country away from the easy pickings, like a day and a half in with at least one longer, rougher portage thrown in.
distinguished member(1159)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/04/2018 07:50PM
Now that you mention it, there are less people in September. I go in September because there are virtually no mosquitoes or biting flies. It is perfect, but then again almost any time in the BWCA is perfect.
06/04/2018 09:55PM
Shoulder seasons can be great tripping, but weather is hard to predict for more than one or two days out. Days are shorter. No bugs, usually. Water is still warm enough. Can be dry and fire bans are possible and firewood close to camp has been pretty much picked over anyway. I am another who does not fish, but am told that can be spotty, too. It can be very busy or you might not see anyone at all.

So if you want advice on what to expect, that pretty well covers it. Oh, it is about the only time of the year I go anymore having been spoiled by just too many of those trips where nearly everything worked out. I have also driven up and slept in the parking lot as a snowstorm blew through; I ended up driving back home without getting the canoe wet. Be prepared for everything and you will have a great trip.
distinguished member(1376)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/05/2018 06:32AM
We always go mid September almost no bugs, fewer people and the weather is normally decent with the lakes still warm enough To swim. I know others talk about the fishing being poor, but we eat fish for our main meal everyday and always catch more than enough to eat and normally bigger fish.
senior member (81)senior membersenior member
06/05/2018 12:32PM
As others have pointed out, the weather can vary notably. This past September I was happy to have brought both shorts to swim in and a heavy fleece - I wore both. I got hit with two major thunderstorms, but also fished shirtless under clear skies. Bugs were negligible, as were crowds.
distinguished member(622)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/11/2018 03:17PM
This is the only time I go to Bee-Dub. The reasons are many, but primarily bugs and people... less of both.

If you wait until after Labor Day, you can just about guarantee yourself very little trouble finding a campsite. The best ones might still be occupied, but alternates are generally not hard to come by.

As others have said, the weather can be all over the place. First trip, it rained and was cold (cold to us Texans anyway... highs in the 40s and 50s - which I like, but not when it's wet and windy) most of the entire time we were there until the last day and that day was glorious. Next trip, it was about half and half, during the day, but every night was a gully-washer. Most nights, rain lasted from about midnight until after dawn, and was relentless. We had no rain on our last day until we were on our last lake (Kawishiwi) but the wind was a dead headwind coming out to the EP and it took us almost twice a long as it should have, with a full steam paddle. After our post-paddle funk-removal, we hit the road and just as we were getting down out of the dirt roads and hitting the paved road, the sky opened up and it was a turd floater. When we returned the canoe, the outfitter said they got more rain in that 5 days than they had gotten the entire summer. Water was low that year because it had been a dry summer, and paddling through the muck from Square to Kawishiwi was brutal - the water was very low and it was basically about 3 inches of water over 2 feet of muck. Paddle consisted of stab paddle into muck, heave, lurch forward 8 inches, repeat. We didn't know until we were just about done coming out that there was a makeshift portage trail around it due to the water having been so low most of the summer.

The last time we went, it had been a wet summer and the water was high(er) but the weather during our trip was spectacular, if a little too warm for my taste. We didn't see a single cloud the entire trip, and the temps were in the mid-80s. The sun was very intense, though. Even with the temps a good 10 -15 degrees lower than we're used to in Dallas, it felt almost as hot with the bright sun. The good part was that it was gloriously cool in the shade.

Anyway... all that to say... whatever weather you can think of happening outside of the dead of winter - consider it a possibility in September.
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next