BWCA Base camp trip first or second week of September Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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Guest Paddler
01/18/2022 09:45AM  
Hello all,

We have a group of four or six going in September. I think we're going to base camp and fish/day trip. I have thought about Knife since none of us have ever been there and I have read the fishing is good.

I've never done it, but have read that with a tow up Moose that you can make Knife in a day.

Any other suggestions? Our main goals: relax, fish, day trip.

If I get a tow up Moose, what outfitter would you suggest for a bunk/tow.

Side note, I'm 39 (fourth BWCA trip, but first in ten years) and my personal goal is going 21/21 years till I'm 60.

Edit: None of us are mileage heros and just want a good time.
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01/18/2022 11:08AM  
LaTourell's worked for us, both tow and bunk.

If you can push to the South Arm, past the narrow section and within a mile or two of Eddy Falls, you will be in a good central locale for day tripping (Amoeber, Cherry, etc) and fishing. If you get slowed down for any reason the Eastern site on Robbins Island (Knife Lake) is pretty good and you can go check out the Bacon rock on the Isle of Pines.
01/18/2022 12:11PM  
The other obvious choice is Williams and Hall. I've used them several times. They are located on Moose Lake.
01/18/2022 12:23PM  
It may still be busy in September, and that's a very linear route with a ton of permits out of Moose.

Not too challenging to get to Knife, but get an early start to have some choice on campsites.
01/18/2022 01:05PM  
Why you stopping at 60?
member (12)member
01/18/2022 02:25PM  
It's just a goal, I'll keep going till I can't. The 13 year break has been bad enough.
01/18/2022 02:41PM  
AmarilloJim: "Why you stopping at 60?"

Yeah, what's up with that? I'm in my early 70s and my personal goal is "as long as I'm on the green side of the grass"!!

member (12)member
01/18/2022 04:23PM  
now Im second guessing myself. Not really sure what to do.

I just want to basecamp. This was my Last trip on the first of June 2009

EP Snowbank>>Boot>> Abinodji (2 nights, got a super late start day one)>> Swing>> Gibson>>Cattyman>> Jordan>> Ima (2 nights) >>Jordan>>Adventure>>Jitterbug>>Ahsub (1 night, Storm came in went for 60 to 30 (Snowed) >>Disappointment then snow bank.

I guess I could do Snowbank again and get a decent start and be on Ima or head to Ensign, but as someone mentioned its kinda linear from moose.

Again, not sure what to do.

The previous trip in 09 was the first trip planned by me, had a great time. Biggest issue was we packed way to much food.

senior member (89)senior membersenior member
01/18/2022 04:51PM  
How long are you planning to go for? This type of trip might be more miles than you're looking for especially if it's a shorter trip but something to consider if you have at least a week and are willing to do a couple of longer days (we usually do 10-ish day trips with fishing as the main priority and will mostly basecamp but mixed between a few sites to allow us to get in further). So as long of a first day as you're willing to do (usually at least 6 hours of traveling for us) where we'll then stay for a couple of days fishing and maybe taking a day trip. Then a shorter travel day (another 2-3 hours) to get to our ultimate destination where we'll stay for longer fishing and day trip the surrounding area. Then we usually will head back about 5-6 hours a day or 2 before exiting and do more fishing/day tripping on a lake a bit closer to our entry point to make the exit day a bit shorter.

A couple of trips we've enjoyed like this are:

Moose River North EP to Lac La Croix. Then over to Iron Lake after a couple of days allowing us to day trip to Sunday Bay of Crooked Lake. Then back to Lake Agnes for the last couple of days to set up our exit.

Kawishiwi Lake EP to Malberg. Then up to Adams Lake after a couple days. Back to Lake Polly for the final couple of days to set up the exit.

Knife lake area is on my list to check out soon as I've also heard the fishing is good so I don't think that's a bad option either, especially if using the tow to cut down on travel is appealing. You can also get a tow from Crane Lake to the East side of Lac La Croix but that's quite a bit more costly than the tow up Moose.
member (12)member
01/18/2022 05:17PM  
AirPrex: "How long are you planning to go for?

Sorry obviously important. 6 water days. Put in Sunday pull out Friday hopefully around noon, have a short 6 hour drive home.
01/19/2022 07:22AM  
I'm glad to hear you are second guessing, stopping at 60? That would just be wrong.
A tow will save about two hours. I prefer getting to the outfitter where I stay in bunkhouse overnight. Arriving later afternoon I have time to get a short paddle and play with gear and get the road kinks out of my body. With coffee in a thermos and hot sausage sandwich the canoe is on the water in time to catch my first sunrise and making Knife by late morning is easy. Weekenders will be exiting and you might get some tips.
If you are not stuck with the Ely area East Bearskin offers access to some lakes with species variety.
distinguished member(779)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/19/2022 07:43AM  
FYI. You can access Knife from Big Sag at the end of the Gunflint Trail via a tow and four portages. Bonus is driving the north shore, but a longer drive for most folks compared to Ely.
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