BWCA First timer Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Trip Planning Forum
      First timer     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

PastorBean
member (6)member
 
03/04/2021 08:55PM  
Hello -

FINALLY I get to canoe and fish the Boundary Waters this August. It's always been on my bucket list and I'm looking forward to the adventure.

I am not new to the outdoors, nor is the group going with me, but the BW is new to each one of us. We are going out of entry point 30 and headed to Hudson Lake or so for a base camp and then fish for our first time. We thought the 5 day trip would be a good beginner trip. We have an outfitter and they have been awesome to work with and helpful.

I guess I’m look for thoughts on good campsites in that area that can hold 7-8 and any fishing tips that would be helpful. I’ve been to Canada many times and have been an avid fisherman my whole life. Target fish will be smallies, walleye and pike.... pretty typical.

Also, any thoughts on personal gear like clothes, boots/shoes, etc that we will not get with the outfitter? Things NOT to bring may be helpful as well. Bugs during the time frame we are camping?

It's been fun for me to read through the forums and learn. I can’t tell you how pumped I am to be doing this.

Thanks

 
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next
straighthairedcurly
distinguished member(1439)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/04/2021 09:58PM  
Congrats on getting to do a BWCA trip this summer. I'm sure it will be awesome.

Gear is a personal thing, but here is my run down.

Clothing: think layers, depending on when in August and the weather pattern that week it can be hot/sunny or cold/rainy. Nights start to cool down.

Day time clothes: I wear wool socks and boots that will get wet, quick-dry shorts, quick-dry t-shirt, lightweight long-sleeved shirt to protect me from sun and bugs, sunglasses and sunhat. Rain gear, of course. Bandanna or neck gaiter is great to get wet and tie around your neck if it is hot out.

Nighttime clothes: Dry set of wool socks, shoes or sandals, long pants, underwear, t-shirt (I do prefer cotton t-shirt for evenings), fleece jacket. I also carry a set of lightweight silk long underwear that can be used as a layer or for sleeping, and a wool hat in case of a cold night.

I don't carry extra socks or underwear unless I will be out more than 2 weeks.

If you are traveling with people new to carrying everything on their back, have a practice packing session to make sure everyone has appropriate clothing and isn't packing a ton of extras. But don't be too controlling. No jeans or cotton sweatshirts. Those are fine if it stays sunny but if you get rainy weather they will get wet and never dry...miserable.

Personal items: typical toiletries, but in tiny quantities...those ounces add up. Book, deck of cards, small journal. Camera.

Have fun!

03/05/2021 07:55AM  
If you have that long why not push to Insula? Much better IMO for a basecamp. Better fishing also.

To do that it's just a matter of keeping everything ordered for portaging. You want rods and reels packed away and no loose items other than paddles. Pfd's and maps can be carabinered to the back of a pack on the longer portages. With paddles I like to use the large flexible gear ties and wrap 2 paddles with them in 2 places.

Many beautiful sites on Insula, sand beaches as well.

The most common mistake all newbies make is packing too much clothes. Remember that your rain gear can be another layer as well. If it's cold and windy put on full rain gear etc. Also, a down vest is an excellent layer to bring.

Have fun and keep a journal with notes on how to improve for the next time.
MidwestFirecraft
distinguished member(832)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/05/2021 08:03AM  
TomT: "If you have that long why not push to Insula? Much better IMO for a basecamp. Better fishing also."

Completely agree with TomT. Many beautiful sites and good fishing. Draw backs would be the Elevation gain on the Insula portage will be the most difficult of the trip, but not long, and navigating a large lake with islands. As long as you keep your position updated on the map you should be fine, a GPS would not hurt. Insula is such a beautiful lake it would be a shame to stop short.
PastorBean
member (6)member
 
03/05/2021 08:31AM  
It seems like great advice to push on. Thanks and appreciate it.

I like the idea of layers. We do that here during hunting season.

Any ideas on fishing late August? I tend to overpack fishing gear and want to cut down on the weight. I plan on taking 2-3 rods which I will use the tie down idea mentioned previously. I do plan taking a small portable fish finder as I am lost without being able to read water. I know it adds weight but has saved more than one fishing trip up north.

03/05/2021 09:18AM  
There are many others with far more fishing expertise than I possess, but I'd say late August on Insula you will likely find the walleyes in the northern end of the lake. They will be deep due to the warm water temps. Look for submerged humps and drop-offs. Jigs and plastics (live bait of your choice). Much will depend on how hot the summer has been. Bring laker lures as well and trot on up to Thomas/Fraser for a daytrip. Good, complex structure in Thomas. I'll let others chime in.
03/05/2021 02:57PM  
For clothing, do not bring cotton unless it is underwear or sleepwear. Cotton soaks up moisture like a sponge and doesn't dry out. My fist trip, someone brought a sweatshirt that wound up at the bottom of the canoe while fishing, soaking up the little water in there, and never ended up drying out on the 3 day trip. You need synthetic or wool. Synthetic can dry in 20-30 min and wool insulates even when wet.

There are many choices for boots but you have 2 main options. Wet foot or dry foot. Wet foot means you get in and out of the canoe in knee deep water or so and don't worry about water on the portages. You would wear boots that drain well so they don't end up as buckets. Dry footing means you either wear rubber boots so your feet stay dry, or standard waterproof boots and avoid stepping too deep in the water. It's doable but either very slow going or you have to be quick on your feet and rock hop. It's not as recommended for those over 30.

Go with the Deep Woods variety of bug spray and reapply often. Cheap cigars are an effective repellant too. You can go through many of those if the bugs are really bad. I've heard that other repellants can work, but I don't have experience with those. Permethrin treated clothing helps too, especially with ticks.
03/06/2021 06:30AM  
It’s a common problem for anglers to pack too much. I did it for years and finally realized I had a problem. :) what really helps is to limit the size of your tackle box, boxes, or soft pack. I started bringing a medium sized Plano box, roughly 14”x 8”. The kind where you can adjust the dividers inside with plastic tabs. I typically bring 3 lures for different depths. Eg: 6 crank baits, 3 single hook skirted spinners, 3 surface lures, 3-4 spoons then usually 8-10 jigs.

I also use a small mini duffel about 12-14” long to carry extra line, forceps, fish gripper, extra spool, etc. I found out that those Velcro lure savers work great to keep a single hook spinner bait in. Also I only use titanium leaders and put 4-5 in a electrical tape plastic round container. Put two rubber bands around it so it can’t pop open. The spinners and any soft jig plastics in bags also go in the duffel.

It’s HARD to limit tackle but in truth you will only use a fraction of what you bring. The key is to limit the size of your tackle box. Perch pattern or fire tiger can be a hot lure up there. Good luck and be sure to get on the fishing forum here. We also have TEA meetings once a month here if needed. (Tackle Enthusiasts Anonymous). :)
03/06/2021 07:23AM  
Less is more...it's easy to bring too much stuff - and you have to portage every last bit of it.

Bugs can vary with weather and your site, but that time of year we've had trips where they were not an issue during the day, and were annoying at dusk...and we've had trips where we saw virtually zero.
03/06/2021 08:51AM  
A1t2o: "For clothing, do not bring cotton unless it is underwear or sleepwear. Cotton soaks up moisture like a sponge and doesn't dry out. My fist trip, someone brought a sweatshirt that wound up at the bottom of the canoe while fishing, soaking up the little water in there, and never ended up drying out on the 3 day trip. You need synthetic or wool. Synthetic can dry in 20-30 min and wool insulates even when wet.


Well, I would disagree about cotton underwear! Absolutely not! If it gets damp it stays damp and that is a scenario ripe (pun intended) for discomfort, itching, and odor. If you should want/need to suds it out and dry it--good luck!

We take microfiber underwear, and we each have a set of lightweight silk long johns for sleeping. Silk is wonderful; it is soft and comfy, slippery in the bag, and doesn't make you sweat. (WinterSilks is the brand I buy.) It dries easily on a clothesline or drying rack, and if you never put it in a clothes dryer it lasts for decades. I wear my silk turtlenecks as a light base layer at home in the winter, too. Warmth without weight or bulk.

Wool socks a must, and yes, no cotton sweatshirts. We have Woolrich wool shirt jackets, and we love them, but I know a lot of people prefer a down vest or light down jacket because it compresses much smaller. Because we started canoe-tripping in the 1970's, we learned the hard way about cotton sweatshirts, jeans, etc. and through the years we have accumulated quite a nice bunch of wool layers. Merino wool is the most comfortable, but also sometimes pricey. A few years ago I found some really fine lightweight Icebreaker Merino Wool T-shirts and they are wonderful, too. Much more comfortable than a cotton t-shirt and can be worn for days with no odor or sweating.

Just my two cents. : -)

Oh, one more thing! You are going in at one of the very busiest entry points. The comments about going on to Insula are good, but still, GET AN EARLY START!! We have spent many long hours paddling longer than we wanted because a campsite was nowhere to be found!



PastorBean
member (6)member
 
03/06/2021 03:52PM  
Really appreciate the knowledge and time given to answer.

Looks I will be deal shopping and fine tuning my tackle box(es).
PastorBean
member (6)member
 
03/06/2021 03:55PM  
It’s HARD to limit tackle but in truth you will only use a fraction of what you bring. The key is to limit the size of your tackle box. Perch pattern or fire tiger can be a hot lure up there. Good luck and be sure to get on the fishing forum here. We also have TEA meetings once a month here if needed. (Tackle Enthusiasts Anonymous). :)"

TEA is a truthful statement. lol
nofish
distinguished member(2767)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/16/2021 10:33AM  
As far as fishing in August it can be slower than earlier in the season. Fish will generally be deeper but still coming in shallower in the evenings. For smallies look for rocky points or other rocky structure with nearby access to deep water. Fish deeper around that structure during the day and move up shallower for the early morning and evening bite.

Walleyes will also be deeper during the day and move shallower in the evening. Any mid lake structure like humps or reefs can be good. Weed lines near deeper water, points, drop offs, etc.

I have also had more luck with slower presentations in August. Slip bobbers in the evening can be hard to beat.
 
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next
Trip Planning Sponsor:
Canoe Country Outfitters