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01/14/2020 02:33PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
Heading to Kawnipi in mid June on a solo trek, and I am thinking about going in through Cache Bay. This will be a first for me, and I am looking for some suggestions from folks who have gone through Cache. I will want a tow when I put in, but I will paddle out. Any recommended outfitters? Thanks in advance for your help!
 
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MagicPaddler
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01/15/2020 03:51PM  
I have always used Seagull outfitters for a bunkhouse and tow. They have always been on time.
 
01/15/2020 04:54PM  
I have used Seagull tow also but I was going to ask about your paddle out plan and where you are returning to. May affect who I would choose if you plan to paddle back to the outfitter. Very happy with Seagull btw. Got us quickly to Hook Island for our first day out and was right on time for pick up.
 
01/15/2020 08:31PM  
MagicPaddler: "I have always used Seagull outfitters for a bunkhouse and tow. They have always been on time. "

+1
 
Eyedocron
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01/15/2020 08:33PM  
Hello, Frenchy. The one time my crew went in at Cache Bay (35 trips), I had a crew of three novice teens and me. We launched at the outfitters at the end of the Gunflint Trail about 3 PM and paddled on glassy smooth water until dusk. It was late June, so only dark for 5 hours, and we were at the Cache check in by 7AM. Made it to Wet Lake that afternoon.
After a fine trip down Glacier and Louisa and up Agnes to Kawnipi and the Falls Chain we came out through Silver Falls and Cache Bay by noon. Beautiful and sunny. We turned the corner to head east on the big lake and a huge squall chased us. Monster winds and 4 ft waves directly from behind. Finally made it to the line of islands and later down the channel to the end of Gunflint.
For this reason, I truly recommend someone coming in this way use the tow. There is no safe shore to escape to like you have coming up from Moose Lake to Prairie Portage.
I wish I could remember the name of the outfitter at the end of Gunflint. I remember passing a crowded parking lot, turning north, and they were on the west side of the channel near its south end. They were very nice, parked out car safely, and had a hot shower for us.
 
01/15/2020 10:37PM  
Thanks, guys; appreciate all the input. Still early planning, and I may end up starting at PP as usual.

If I do go into Cache, I was planning on going through the Falls Chain to Kawnipi and then down through Agnes to the border lakes back to the Gunflint.

Eyedoc, your post has me thinking maybe I should go through PP. I have gone through the Falls Chain into Kawnipi three times this way, only if I do select this route, I think I will go clockwise for a change through Agnes, then Kawnipi and back via McEwen and Louisa. Have never been thorough McEwen, and some say there is really good smallie fishing there along with some good size northern.

Again, thanks for the input; much appreciated!!
 
01/16/2020 08:15AM  
There is definitely big northern in McEwen. You will love the McEwen river system.
The only reservation I have going clockwise is the downhill portage from Louisa to Agnes. If it's wet and you're solo, be extremely careful.
 
01/16/2020 11:16AM  
TomT: "There is definitely big northern in McEwen. You will love the McEwen river system.
The only reservation I have going clockwise is the downhill portage from Louisa to Agnes. If it's wet and you're solo, be extremely careful."


Thanks, Tom. I have been to the portage, and it is a steep one! Was there a few years back with my daughter Allie. We visited the Falls (heading out through Agnes), but we did not carry any gear. Appreciate the reminder.

Solo at this time, but I am hoping to find someone(s) to join me for all or part of this trip. I think your new Shearwater would enjoy this trip...!
 
joewildlife
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01/16/2020 01:01PM  
Frenchy I prefer to paddle out of Ely and only went in through the Cache ranger station one time. That time we just paddled to the Ranger Station from the boat ramp on Saganaga, then Saganagons Falls Chain Kawnipi Agnes Man Chain Loop back to the start.
We could and should have just done it through PP and saved some driving time from Duluth, and could have avoided a lot of big water on Saganaga. Most every other trip is out of Prairie Portage and most with a tow in and/or out from LaTourell's.

I've done the McEwen to Louisa route twice. If you go all the way through those 12 portages, it makes for a long hard day! Both times I did it I intended to stop halfway, but the first time we found no decent campsites around the halfway point, and the second time we found a usable site on the north side of Rod lake I think, but it could have been Edge. But both times we kept going to be rewarded with a layover day and nice campsites on Louisa. If you do the whole Falls Chain through to Kenny, the portage to McEwen is a long, memorable beast of a portage. It would be a lot easier to go through Wet to McEwen.

We did real well on trout in McEwen, I don't recall catching much else there either time. Louisa is a great trout lake too.

Joe
 
01/16/2020 05:39PM  
Frenchy19: "
TomT: "There is definitely big northern in McEwen. You will love the McEwen river system.
The only reservation I have going clockwise is the downhill portage from Louisa to Agnes. If it's wet and you're solo, be extremely careful."



Thanks, Tom. I have been to the portage, and it is a steep one! Was there a few years back with my daughter Allie. We visited the Falls (heading out through Agnes), but we did not carry any gear. Appreciate the reminder.


Solo at this time, but I am hoping to find someone(s) to join me for all or part of this trip. I think your new Shearwater would enjoy this trip...!
"


I would love this route for sure but have already done it and have some uncharted waters in mind for the next couple years. The next time I go to the east end will be Mack and the Wawiag River.
 
01/16/2020 06:42PM  
Tom, I hear you. I have been through this area 3 times, but I have never really fished it. I still want to do a Beaverhouse to Ely trip, and I had it set up a couple summers ago but had some health stuff come up. That trip will come...this one I can do without having to worry about transport.
 
joewildlife
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01/16/2020 08:19PM  
The Beaverhouse to Ely trip sounds cool! I'm doing a trip from PP west to Minn this spring.
Hunter Island Loop next fall.

Going to try a trip out of Beaverhouse in spring 2021 and I'm kind of pumped about it!

Joe
 
Eyedocron
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01/16/2020 10:02PM  
If you decide to do the stretch from the middle of the Falls Chain southwest through Glacier to Louisa that is one long full day. I can provide advice about the portages and campsites along there. No unusual portages, nice scenic stretch. Several good fishing locations. My mental count says through there 6 times, I agree: Be very careful at the Louisa Falls portage, especially if wet.
 
01/17/2020 01:30AM  
Beautiful route. I've had some troubles crossing Sag in a solo.

Slow and steady on the descent alongside Louisa. Can be very tough if wet or freezing. Not that difficult to manage most of the time. Louisa (the lake) is worth tarrying on. The transition between the burned northern half of McEwan and the southern half is stunning.

Sill available for a Beaverhouse Swap when you're up for it.
 
Jackfish
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01/17/2020 02:30PM  
Frenchy and Joe... we did a cross-Quetico trip in 2010. Still my favorite trip I've ever taken. We put in at Beaverhouse, paddled southeasterly through the park, camped a couple nights on Kawnipi, went down the Falls Chain to Saganagons, then paddled southwesterly down the Man Chain, eventually taking out at the Moose Lake landing next to Latourell's. If you'd like any detailed information, let me know.
 
01/17/2020 03:53PM  
Well, I am convinced to not go via Cache, so thanks for all the input!

Jon, I will take you up on the BH Swap; will email!

Eyedoc, if I do this trek, I will get in touch with you for some details-always open to input!

 
01/19/2020 11:23AM  
MagicPaddler: "I have always used Seagull outfitters for a bunkhouse and tow. They have always been on time. "


+1 on SO. Deb and her crew are great. They'll drop you at Hook Island. it's a short half hour paddle to the ranger station, if there's no wind :). Silver Falls is great spectacle. Strong current at the outflow though, particularly if you are solo. Saganagons are beautiful to paddle through, just keep your bearings and you should have no problem locating deadmans' portage. Enjoy -- it's a nice route.
 
01/19/2020 12:14PM  
Frenchy19: "
Jon, I will take you up on the BH Swap; will email!
"


How would a vehicle swap work exactly?

I have a bucketlist trip where I enter at Beaverhouse and go for a month. I would first paddle east for 2 weeks to big Sag where I will have previously shipped a box of two weeks worth of pre packed food to an outfitter. Say I use Seagull Outfitters - I could then spend a night there to regroup before continuing back to Beaverhouse with a northerly or mid park route for two weeks. This would be a great opportunity to have the time to check out interior lakes like Delahey and Poohbah.

 
01/19/2020 01:04PM  
Terry, thanks for chiming in! Hope all is well with you and your family. Will probably forego the Cache entry, but if I do use that route, I will use SO based on all the comments on this thread.

Tom, Banks had made me an offer a couple years ago that wasn't really a vehicle swap. He was going to paddle to BH from Ely to get my car and return it to Ely for me where I would pick it up at Moose Lake after trekking SE from BH.
 
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