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01/30/2019 06:02PM  
I am hoping to make my 5th BWCA trip this June, but I am in need of advice or suggestions.
My first four trips have all been out of Ely and have all been different types of trips. The first trip was leading a group of Scouts, the second with just a friend, the third was with a group of friends and the last was my first solo.

I don't know much about the East side. I am looking at a 5-7 day trip in early to mid June, preferably starting about the 10th. Here's the tough part, it's not like I am asking for much, I just want solitude, good fishing opportunities, wildlife viewing and an outfitter for renting a canoe and bear cannister!
I have never caught a lake trout, so that would be a plus, but not a requirement. I want to catch fish on lures that I have made(and leeches, of course), so I'm thinking that small northern may be dumb enough for that.

My last solo I used a Northwind solo, and after figuring out how to balance it, I did quite well with it. How different does a prism act from the solo if that is all that the outfitter has?

Thanks
 
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01/30/2019 09:02PM  
Hi, duckcall-

I'd just pick an outfitter that's convenient to your destination and offers the services you need. I've used several on the east side. I often pick up my permit and canoe at Sawtooth Outfitters in Tofte at the intersection of Rt. 61 and the Sawbill Trail. I've also used Sawbill Outfitters on Sawbill Lake, as well as Rockwood Outfitters on Poplar Lake out the Gunflint Trail. I don't know that any of them rent bear canisters (I have my own Bear Vault/Garcia/Ursacks), but my guess is renting one for a week might cost a third or half a new one.

I don't fish so can't help you much there, but I think Little Sag has lakers. You could get there from one of the Round Lake entries - Missing Link, Brant or from Kawishiwi Lake.

I like the Northwind solo; I rented a Prism once and didn't like it as much, but others like the Prism.
 
OCDave
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01/31/2019 09:25PM  
The guys at Clearwater Historic Lodge have a nice breakdown of possible loops. the lakes accessible from their entry point and the types of fish each lake provides. They also have a monthly(?) podcast which they discuss those lakes, fish ect.

I liked Clearwater Main Loop

Start listening to the podcast here.

Good Luck
 
02/05/2019 12:57PM  
I like to plan and the resources with maps, trip reports, and info from the message board have become my main go to for BWCA trips.
Figure how many miles a day, move and base or what, and a little of what you want to do. Look at the maps and develop loops that you can do in the time you have. Look at trip reports to get personal information and photos, many on loops you have considered. Check time of year and any effects such as length of day and busyness. You get the idea. You have the time and the planning is so much fun.
I have mostly tripped around Ely, but have started adding Gunflint Trail trips. Some nice loops available. Look to trip out of Sawbill, also.
 
Duckman
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02/12/2019 11:19AM  
Pick an outfitter and go to Frost Lake.
 
hobbydog
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02/12/2019 01:08PM  
If you want to catch a laker I would look at doing John, Fowl, Moose, Mountain, Clearwater, West/East Pike and back out John. You could do this in either direction and you could also start it on Clearwater and leave right from the outfitter. Moose has big Lakers, Smallies and Walleye, Mountain has lots of smaller Lakers. Pike lakes are great fishing lakes, especially if you like smallies. Fowl Lakes has everything except Lakers. Not too long and would give you plenty of time to fish. I would probably recommend doing it clockwise and catch the prevailing winds on Moose and Mountain. Clearwater Outfitters could give you lots of details on fishing these lakes. The downside to this route is you will see some motors on Mountain and Fowl, especially on weekends. Paddling the Royal River will make up for it.
 
Swascelot
member (6)member
 
02/14/2019 03:37PM  
Hi duckcall, I'm planning a very similar trip around the same time as you that will by my first solo trip. I've done a number of basecamp trips as a kid and now with kids out of Poplar/Liz lakes (mostly to Horseshoe and vicinity) and one out of East Bearskin to Alder. I've had good fishing in both areas. I paddled a Prism on one trip and would prefer to find a different canoe to rent this year (I failed to find a Northstar tandem canoe along the Gunflint trail for a family trip last summer). I considered the Clearwater main route (particularly for the fishing on Moose) but am leaning toward the smaller lakes to the west (Meeds, Gaskin, Winchell) as I don't get to spend much time in a canoe, let alone a solo canoe, and don't have any recent experience traveling without kids under the age of 10 to know how much easier it will be to travel on my own... so smaller lakes (and loops) to avoid the wind on those bigger E-W border lakes.

And last year, mid-June, the bugs were very minimal in that area - the outfitter I rented a canoe from (Hungry Jack) thought it may have warmed up too quickly for a big hatch.
 
02/17/2019 09:31AM  
Hey Swascelot..
Just an FYI... Rockwood Outfitters on Poplar carries a wide selection of Northstar canoes. Magic, Northwind Solo (I've rented the Northwind solo a few times and it's very stable even with my 90lb lab), Northwind 17, 18, and 20. They are great to work with and extremely convenient for a Lizz entry. You can push off right from their beach without needing to transport the canoe. They also have bunkhouses with private bathrooms if you need a place to stay the night before the trip. Or you can have Rockwood drop you off at another Entry Point (Morgan, Ram, Cross Bay are some ideas) and then paddle back to Rockwood by exiting at Lizz with your car waiting for you at Rockwood.
 
02/21/2019 07:33AM  
ducks: "Hey Swascelot..
Just an FYI... Rockwood Outfitters on Poplar carries a wide selection of Northstar canoes. Magic, Northwind Solo (I've rented the Northwind solo a few times and it's very stable even with my 90lb lab), Northwind 17, 18, and 20. They are great to work with and extremely convenient for a Lizz entry. You can push off right from their beach without needing to transport the canoe. They also have bunkhouses with private bathrooms if you need a place to stay the night before the trip. Or you can have Rockwood drop you off at another Entry Point (Morgan, Ram, Cross Bay are some ideas) and then paddle back to Rockwood by exiting at Lizz with your car waiting for you at Rockwood."

Rockwood will be at Canoecopia if you're heading that way
 
Swascelot
member (6)member
 
02/21/2019 02:14PM  
Thank you - I actually just ran across their site and hope to rent the Northwind solo from them (better for fishing than the magic?). I'm out in Denver, so I won't be at Canoecopia.

I'm thinking of heading to the Gaskin-Winchell area. I may decide to make it a loop out through Henson and Omega, or spend more time fishing Gaskin and Winchell, depending on the weather, how well I'm traveling solo, the fishing...
Cheers!
 
02/23/2019 08:23AM  
Thanks for all of the replies and suggestions. I have decided on renting the canoe and bear barrel from Rockwood and doing their loop #5. Now it is just a matter of getting in better shape and hoping that permits will eventually become available.
Keep any suggestions as to fishing or preferred campsites coming.
 
02/23/2019 08:36AM  
Swascelot: "Thank you - I actually just ran across their site and hope to rent the Northwind solo from them (better for fishing than the magic?). I'm out in Denver, so I won't be at Canoecopia.


I'm thinking of heading to the Gaskin-Winchell area. I may decide to make it a loop out through Henson and Omega, or spend more time fishing Gaskin and Winchell, depending on the weather, how well I'm traveling solo, the fishing...
Cheers!"


I haven't used a magic, but I can say I've used the Northwind Solo with a 90lb lab a few times and that thing is very stable.

I really like the stretch of Omega, Henson, Pillsbury, and Allen. Mostly because I prefer smaller/skinny lakes over bigger ones. Also, I've found that stretch to be much quieter/a lot less people than Horseshoe, Gaskin, Winchell.
 
02/23/2019 08:41AM  
duckcall: "Thanks for all of the replies and suggestions. I have decided on renting the canoe and bear barrel from Rockwood and doing their loop #5. Now it is just a matter of getting in better shape and hoping that permits will eventually become available.
Keep any suggestions as to fishing or preferred campsites coming. "


That should be a great route. I've been in the area near the Cross Bay EP and I've been all over from Lizz to Omega. I hope to do the Cross Bay back to Rockwood route sometime to see the area in the middle (Rib to Kiskadinna)that I haven't been to before.
 
02/23/2019 11:05AM  
duckcall: "Thanks for all of the replies and suggestions. I have decided on renting the canoe and bear barrel from Rockwood and doing their loop #5. Now it is just a matter of getting in better shape and hoping that permits will eventually become available.
Keep any suggestions as to fishing or preferred campsites coming. "



That's the trip I did in 2012 - see my trip report and photos here. There are more photos at shutterfly I've done a couple of other trips starting at Cross Bay as well as a couple starting at Lizz Lake where you'll be entering. Browse around through some of the others for additional info.


There's a lot of variety on that trip. It was one of my favorites. I stayed at the Long Island site closest to the portage to Muskeg and the Omega site just after entering from the west. I circumnavigated Omega and thought I'd stay at the north site if I returned - I like elevated sites. I also liked the Horseshoe site on the right point as I came in from the west. If you have any questions, just ask.
 
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