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01/29/2019 05:11PM
Hi all! Looking for recommendations for a good spot for fishing and sights for mid-October. Family of 5, youngest will be 10. Thanks!
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01/29/2019 08:14PM
Maybe a small loop of Mudro -tin can mike - horse - fourtown and back to Mudro?
01/30/2019 06:58AM
A bit more information would be helpful. Your profile shows membership since 2014 but nothing else. How many days/nights and is the family experienced with canoeing and camping? Days are short and nights long by mid October, on the 15th sun rises around 7:30 and sets around 4:45. And weather can shift with nice to really nasty as fronts move through.
I do enjoy shoulder season tripping as crowds are down and permit season ends 10/01. That way I can watch weather patterns and go in when a good weather system is in the area. I have sat in the parking lot hoping the snow storm would pass and then heading home because it didn't. I can think of better times to trip, especially with family, but I know there are families with gear and experience that would really make this trip.
01/30/2019 08:46AM
We’ve taken a handful of trips, hubby and me, and a few more with the kids. We’ve been rained on and had overnight temps of 40s in May. We’d plan on packing for the weather (although snow would be pretty miserable).

We were thinking Isabella, but have never been there. Just noted that the elevation isn’t quite as extreme as Gabbro where we usually go.

We’ve also never not reserved our permit. Not sure how the self-issued permit works. Insight on this would be great as well.
01/30/2019 09:48AM
Permits are available, usually, at the EP. They are self issued so complete one when you go in leaving the designated part in the box, no fee. You probably should stop by the ranger station or an outfitter to pick up a permit as they sometimes are out, and to let someone know of your trip plans.
Average temps range in the low 50's days and low 30's nights. Water temps will be cold so be safe.
02/04/2019 02:36PM
A route that might be worth your time would be the numbered chain. Lake One (EP 30), off the Fernberg Road is notoriously busy all summer for good reason. It’s a great area, but mid-October is the best time to head in there. You could head east then north and do a counter-clockwise loop coming out at Snowbank lake which is not far from the Lake One EP. Lots of lakes and rivers, great fishing, campsites galore and a chance at seeing wildlife around every corner.

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02/05/2019 11:18AM
I suggest EP14 (LIS North) as a great entry for Fall scenery. You can check out the falls along the way as you portage in. Stop at the Devils cascade for a day trip.
Fishing might be so good unless you travel to the larger lakes.
02/05/2019 11:26AM
I read TuscaroraBorealis' trip report of his fall Clearwater (Gunflint side) loop and decided I need to do it in late Sept/early Oct to see the colors. It looks amazing. The amount of elevation surrounding these lakes is what makes it so striking, I think. You could probably do a nice loop in this area for a 3-4 day trip, though I have no doubt I'd want to stay longer if possible.

You can read his report here:
02/05/2019 11:49AM
First of all, that time of year with children I would pick a spot that would be easy to bug out back to the car within a few hours. Maybe the Duncan Lake EP off of Gunflint and head down to Rose Lake to base camp. It should be very pretty ( with good weather) that time of year plus there's The Border Route hiking trail right there that has some great vistas. I'm not sure about the fishing in that area
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02/05/2019 12:30PM
We drove through a snow squall twenty miles north of Duluth on September 28th last fall. Two weeks later the sun was shining on us at East Bearskin and there wasn't a person in sight.

YMMV, so prepare for the possibility (even likelihood) of snow and cheer when the sun is shining warmly.
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02/05/2019 02:25PM
If you are not locked in to the Ely area (I second the idea of Entry 14 - LIS North if you are) and in keeping with the theme of staying close to entry and with smaller lakes:

Entry 37 - Kawishiwi to Polly Lake. About a half day paddle in. Good fishing lake. Opportunities for day trips - North to Malberg, east to Hazel. The trip crosses the far east section of the Pagami Creek Fire are. Some people enjoy seeing landscape without trees, others are spooked by it.

Entry 38 - Sawbill Lake to the "Fire Lakes": Smoke, Flame, or Burnt Lake. Easy in and out. (Although Sawbill can act large at the bay of the first portage.) . Good fishing. Less opportunity for day trips.

Sawbill Lake has a couple of protected bays and narrows. Excellent scenery and it has good fishing as well. There would be nothing wrong with paddling into one of the bays or to the north end of Sawbill (no portages) and staying there. Good day trips (e.g. up the Kelso River to see the dolman). This way you are within 30-60 min of your car and hot showers.

Entry 39 - Baker Lake to Kelly or Jack Lake. Very easy portages. Beautiful river valley (Temperance River watershed). Lakes are long (north to south) and narrow with hills on either side. Chance to see moose. Not much for day trips (north to South Temperance or west to Burnt are both over longer portages.)

Entry 47 - Lizz Lake to Horseshoe or Gaskin. Again smaller lakes, easy portages. You are in moose central. Lots of day trip options. (Winchell, Ogema, Vista). Some good fishing chances.

Good Trip!

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02/09/2019 10:41PM
The nice thing about Oct is you can look at the weather and decide to go. Last year we went in late Sept and got snowed on 9 times in one day. One morning was 25 degrees. Just watch the weather :-)
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02/12/2019 10:01AM
Agreed with all responses in regards to the weather. Any date range in October can have miserable weather and strong Fall winds. I've experienced day temps in the 60's with lows in the 40's on ONE trip, and also experienced highs in the mid 30's with over night lows in the low 20's, accompanied by wind, rain, sleet, and snow. I've done October trips for the last 14 years and on the average, the weather is not "desirable" during that time of the year.

Water temps can be from the high 40's to the mid 30's. So you need to be extremely careful. A tipped canoe can lead to hypothermia (death) within minutes. This is reality and it does occur within the BWCA. Personally, I wouldn't chance putting my family in this situation, especially with young children (paddle next to shorelines and have a survival fire starting kit on you).

Also, fishing can be very challenging in the cold water temps. Fish relate to different areas based on water temp and available food sources. Most likely, they can be in some of the deeper areas of the lake. I wouldn't rely on fish as a primary food source during your trip planning process.
02/14/2019 12:52PM
I agree with all that October can be beautiful or nasty. Last fall was nasty. I got snowed on first on sept 29th and it got worse from there. My last full day in was Oct. 12 and the low hit a record 17'. was planning a Oct 17 takeout but the small bays started icing up on me so I buggered. This is rare as usually it is more mild in my experience.
My advise would be to gear plan based on the forecast the day before if possible. Also go by the Ely forecast and not Grand Marais as the big lake has very different weather even if you pick an EP on the east side.
I love the September/October time in the Bdub, September weather is usually way better but October is ideal if you want solitude.
I found the Kawishiwi lake EP ideal in the fall as there are many changing tamaracks on the river right off the lake, the burn areas in the Kawasachong lake are beautiful, and the birches when you get to Marlberg are golden. I would seriously consider at least traveling through a burn area as these are by far the most colorful in the fall.
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