BWCA Trip advice needed: Ep 24 to Pipestone vs Ep 30 to Lake 2/3? Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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Olsjoh
member (6)member
 
01/07/2021 09:01PM  
Group of 6 adults looking for some trip planning advice. Planning to put in for a 3 night/ 4 day trip in mid June. Main focus is good fishing and minimal portages. We’ve read through countless trip reports and q&a on the forum, but wondering if there is any recommendations on what might best fit our “ideal” trip. Looking at taking Fall Lake through Newton and into Pipestone... or... Put in on Lake One and get into Lake 2 or 3. Regardless of EP, campsite will be used as base camp and could do short day trips if/ as needed. We realize both areas are popular and can/ will be heavily used. Is one any better for fishing and relaxing than the other? We realize that Pipestone area is within the motor area of BWCA, and while it isn’t preferable, I think we’d tolerate it if the fishing is actually as good as the trip reports say it can be. Last trip a few years ago was out of Farm Lake into Clear Lake in mid-July. Had a great time overall, but fishing was awful and not looking to repeat that part. Any advice, tips or alternative locations is much appreciated!
 
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RedLakePaddler
senior member (92)senior membersenior member
 
01/08/2021 08:26PM  
We have used the Fall entry several times. The portages are good, more like a gravel road. The boat traffic hasn’t been bad and with one more portage you can be in back bay.
I haven’t had a problem finding a site on Pipestone and beyond the narrows there is no boat motors allowed. Two years ago I paddled out from a site near the Basswood River. With to much gear in less than one day. It would have been great to camp on the River and would have most likely fished there. Hard to fish from a canoe with a 90# poodle in it . Also I would pick Basswood over Lake One for fishing and have been able to get permits for the Fall entry quite often on a spur of the moment trip.
Last summer I was at Birch Lake campground and met a family that bailed out on their trip on Lake One because they couldn’t find any open sites. I wish I could have helped them out.
tumblehome
distinguished member(2104)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/10/2021 07:46AM  
Lake One is the second highest quota number of the BWCA entries with Moose Lake being number one. You will find less traffic on Lake three. Please look at the Pagami Creek fire perimeter and be aware that the fire raged through many parts of that area 9 years ago. The forest is vigorously returning but some campsites might still be closed and others might have sparse tree growth. You could give me ten routes and I could tell you ten great things about each route and ten things to be aware of.

Fall, Newton Pipestone is a busy motor route. Portage is comprised of 'gravel road' portage wide enough to drive on. Plenty of motor traffic to say the least. You need to get at least up to Basswood and into Jackfish Bay for a sense of solitude. Still a pretty area. Especially Jackfish Bay. and Basswood.

There is no right or wrong answer. Motors or no motors? Busy or busy?
This is coming from a guy that bushwhacks into lakes in Quetico where you might have one group every three to five years. So if I see another group on a lake I call it busy.
Tom
Olsjoh
member (6)member
 
01/10/2021 03:49PM  
Thanks for the great info. We’ll take all the advice and recommendations we can get.
01/11/2021 06:40PM  
Hog Creek to Perent. Minimal portages as in....one maybe two very short and a winding stream and you're at the lake after a couple hours of winding stream. It's a medium sized lake that's not super deep with plenty of campsite options and quite a bit of walleye if that's what you're after.

Due to the fire to the west years ago it's now more of a dead-end trip where people just go out and back. There's a route that heads west out of the lake down a stream but w/ closed campsites it's not used much it sounds.
lindylair
distinguished member(2526)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/11/2021 07:19PM  
Olsjoh, sleeper route idea. Ticks off the criteria:
Homer Lake entry, nice gravel put in and a scenic lake. Two ways to go beyond, either way minimal portaging. I think the southern route is more scenic and easier.

Camp on Vern Lake if available, two sites there, both decent. Good fishing on Vern for eyes, smallies and Pike. Great daytrip up the Vern River for more scenery and good fishing. Other daytrip possibilities to Pipe, East Pipe, Juno, etc. and camping options there as well.

It's not a highly sought after entry or a busy area, we have been there twice and saw minimal other folks, but did well fishing both times. Last time I was there I caught 7 19 inch walleyes...from shore in camp.

One of those overlooked spots in the BWCA, not many of them left.

Trip report from our first trip:

First Homer trip
Olsjoh
member (6)member
 
01/11/2021 07:57PM  
Thanks for the info guys, I’ll be taking a look at both of those suggestions. Lindylair, great trip report and excellent photos!
 
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