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MissouriMaverick
member (6)member
 
04/19/2019 10:57AM
Hi, All -

Long-time lurker, but first time poster. Really appreciate all of the valuable information on this site and the years of experience you all share.

I'm starting to plan a trip to the BWCA/Quetico with a group of 6-8 ~30 year-old men during the last week of August for 5 or 6 nights. We've been close friends since high school. All guys have at least 2 BWCA trips under their belts - hope to keep coming every summer for years to come.

In the past, we have always tripped out of the Gunflint side. This year we are open to changing it up and I'm looking for route/lake suggestions. Our main priorities out of this trip are:
- Fishing (we would like to catch all species, although I know lake trout will be hard to find the last week of August)
- Base-camp opportunities (staying in only one or two spots means more fishing time)
- Seclusion/remoteness
- Fishing
- Access to flowing water (possible rivers nearby)

I know there are many possibilities, but I would love to hear your thoughts on specific lakes, routes, and entry points to try. I appreciate any suggestions!







 
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TuscaroraBorealis
distinguished member(4418)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
04/19/2019 11:54AM
Welcome Aboard!

Look into heading up the Moose River EP #16 on the far western side of the BWCA.


LLC and Boulder river area is a good fishing spot. Head to Oyster Lake for lake trout.
Jackfish
Moderator
 
04/19/2019 12:45PM
Interested in Quetico?
MissouriMaverick
member (6)member
 
04/19/2019 12:58PM
Thank you, TuscaroraBorealis. I'll have to look into Moose River EP#16, LLC, and Boulder River. Thanks for the recommendations!

Jackfish, we actually had a Quetico trip up to Kawnipi planned last year, but a few days before we got there they issued a fire ban. We changed course and went from Cache Bay down Ottertrack. Quetico is certainly an option!
04/20/2019 03:59PM
The Boulder Bay area would be a solid choice for moving water. You can fish the Boulder River, Bottle River (between Bottle and Iron), and Curtain Falls (between Iron and Crooked). It would definitely be a challenge to find lakers that time of year, and since the water would be warm, you'd probably want to eat anything you caught since they might not survive the fight and warm water if you bring them up from the depths. I'm not positive though. Regardless, the moving water opportunities around the Boulder Bay area are pretty solid.
bobbernumber3
distinguished member(1177)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/20/2019 04:37PM
MissouriMaverick: ".... Quetico is certainly an option! "

I would recommend a Saganagons base-camp trip. It meets most of your stated requirements... maybe a little shy on flowing water, but a great fishery. Most other canoeists are traveling thru. Other than that, good seclusion especially on the east end. Portage out via Dickie's Portage and save an extra day for fishing!

Laker's are not hard to find in August, just more concentrated in and near deep water.

ps. Welcome to the Board!
preacherdave
distinguished member (191)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/21/2019 06:58PM
Ever think about north side of Quetico? We put in on Nym one year and based camped in the Pickerel narrows and killed the fish one August. Easy one day travel and plenty of fishing.
Also saw you tripped to Ottertrack last year. We are going late June and hope to base camp in that area to fish. Would love to hear your thoughts.
oldguide2
member (31)member
 
04/22/2019 01:18AM
Honestly this is one place where you can't go wrong with an outfitter or even better a guide. John Herrick at Moose Track is good and most of the established outfitters in Ely have folks who can point you towards fish. There are many lakes closer than you think with good, even spectacular fishing but many of us who know them do not give out info. It is very easy to fish out Canadian Shield lakes. My folks used to live on Moose and could go out every day and catch nice fish, but the chain is pretty fished out. Personally I only do catch and release unless I need a fish for supper. I cringe every time I see some tourist with a stringer of minnows in the local paper. My second recommendation is if you don't want to go with an outfitter or guide, plan a trip that is about more than the fishing. Finally, I strongly agree with those who suggest if you want real fishing to go to the Quetico. They allow only barbless hooks, no live bait and have very strict limits. The Quetico is the one area where the fishing can approximate what I first found when I went into the border lakes in 1957.
mgraber
distinguished member(962)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/22/2019 11:21AM
If you want lakers that time of year(or any species), I would choose Quetico. It can be lethal for the lakers to be caught that time of year. They need quite a bit of air in their air bladders to remain buoyant at the depths they inhabit that time of year. Since they have ducted air bladders, they can release the air when brought to the surface, avoiding potential problems there. Lakers cannot, however, quickly refill them, so to remain buoyant they must swim. Since they are exhasted, this often proves to be fatal for the fish in the long term. Eat them or release them QUICKLY, but best to fish for them during cooler water temps. Over 70 deg F is lethal for non stressed fish except for short periods. Their preferred temp is under 52 deg F. They often come up to feed in very warm water, but will remain only a short time and one must remember they are not exhausted and stressed when doing this. A good analogy is, a very hot shower may feel good to you for a short time, but you wouldn't want to remain there for long, and you certainly wouldn't want to take one right after running a marathon in the heat. It takes a long time to grow a decent sized lake trout.
MissouriMaverick
member (6)member
 
04/26/2019 03:40PM
preacherdave: "Ever think about north side of Quetico? We put in on Nym one year and based camped in the Pickerel narrows and killed the fish one August. Easy one day travel and plenty of fishing.
Also saw you tripped to Ottertrack last year. We are going late June and hope to base camp in that area to fish. Would love to hear your thoughts."


Hey, preacherdave. We had a great time on Ottertrack. Stopped at Cache Bay and picked up some Quetico day use permits so we fished on the Canadian side of the lake in addition to the BWCA side. There are two campsites near Gijikiki Lake. If you zoom into Google Maps one of the campsites is actually marked. We didn't stay at that one, but one just east of there. It was an alright site, not bad, but the one marked on Google Maps is definitely better.

Had a lot of success with SMB using Quetico Mike's Zulu method. One day I caught pike after pike with a #5 Mepps Squirrel Tale Spinner (gold blade). The only success we had with Walleye was one evening slip bobbering between the two small islands near the campsite. Used a Fishtrax 1C fish finder to figure out their depths, and put it right on them.

The wind was really strong against us going from Cache Bay, through Monument Portage and on toward Ottertrack, and we were happy to get to the campsite. Happy to answer any other questions!
04/26/2019 07:21PM
MissouriMaverick:
- Fishing (we would like to catch all species, although I know lake trout will be hard to find the last week of August)"


Perfect time for the canoe country Grand Slam! Lakers should be just starting to move shallow again as they move up from the deep and strap on the feed bag getting ready to spawn in late August/early September. I would recommend going in Moose Lake or Snowbank and head up to Knife. You can base camp there and head to many lakes in the area that hold all species. Sounds like a fun group. Welcome to the forum!

Tony

 
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