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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: Solo Tripping
      Late Fall Kawishiwi River Solo Advice     



distinguished member (148)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
10/08/2014 07:26PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
I posted this in the General Discussion forum as well, sorry for the double post.

First off, I would like to thank the many posters on this site for all of the valuable information that I have gained throughout the years! You guys are awesome.

I am looking for some advice regarding entry point 32, but I am open to other entry point ideas.

I have been lucky enough to take three trips so far this season and this will be my second solo of the season. My first solo was through skipper/portage and I loved it; I did not see a soul for 2 days.

I will be entering on 10/16 and only have time to squeeze in a two night trip.

I am wondering if anyone can help out with a decent "cool" weather campsite recommendation that provides some protection and is fairly close to the entry point? I would like to spend the majority of my time fishing, so a campsite that can be reached within a few hours would be nice.

I am also wondering about the fishing in this area? What species are present and where might I find them this time of year?

I should also note that I am using my kayak this time to save a bit on the canoe rental cost.

Quick background on my experience:
-10+ trips (all from the Gunflint/Eastern side--(Bower Trout, Ram Lake Morgan Lake, Skipper Portage,etc.)
-Good paddling skills
-Plenty of wilderness camping experience outside of the BWCA
-Have not camped below 20 degrees (have a zero degree down bag and decent cold weather gear)

Thank you for any advice you can offer.
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distinguished member(538)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
10/08/2014 08:06PM  
Me and a friend are doing the same trip except we are going in the day after. The last time we were there we did pretty good on small mouth. We stayed at the first site and fished the island directly across. The second night we stayed at the site right below the second portage (not counting the entry portage). The site before that looked a lot nicer. Did good on walleyes at the top of the rapids using red eyes. Good Luck! Maybe we'll see you.

distinguished member (148)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
10/08/2014 08:23PM  
Thank you for the solid advice PaddlinMadeline! I will be the guy in the red kayak.
10/08/2014 08:26PM  
I think you picked a great area for your late season solo. I just did my first solo 2 weeks ago and I entered at #32 and did the Kawishiwi Triangle. Here's a mini report from the Listening Point Forum mini report . I stayed the first night at the North/South Kawishiwi split, 2nd night on Clear Lake, and 3rd night at the sight closest to the EP on the west side(PaddlinMadeline's 1st site). That site would be decent and I was back to the parking lot in less than an hour. The 2 sites that I think would be the best for you (sheltered in cold weather) would be the 2nd site on the west side #1698 on the maps section of this site or the first one after the 2nd portage #1702. I didn't fish much this trip and only did a little from camp. On a day trip in Oct. a few years ago we caught a few smallies near the E.P. and had 2 big fish dragging the canoe around for a while before losing them. On my solo I talked to a couple that were targeting northern (they were at site #1698) and they said it was slow but last year they were there late Sept. and caught a lot of nice northerns. Here are a couple pics from the site closest to the E.P. I had the tent out in the open but there was a decent tent pad down lower and protected from the wind and in the woods more.
distinguished member(538)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
10/08/2014 08:29PM  
No problem! We both have blue kayaks. It's a really nice area. Enjoy!
distinguished member (148)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
10/08/2014 08:52PM  
Thank you for the in depth site advice ducks. I will plan on staying at one of the two sites you suggested.

It looks like you had a great trip mate!
10/08/2014 09:08PM  
You are welcome! and thanks....Echo is a great companion. The other sites close to the E.P. are pretty high up and open so I think they would be cold/miserable if you got any type of wind going. Have fun! I would love to do an MEA weekend trip sometime but we always spend that long weekend in Grand Marais and the kids think it's a great tradition (so do I). Maybe when they get older I'll feel comfortable bringing them on a cold weather trip. They are 7 and 9 and are great summer time trippers already.

I see you had a good solo entering at skipper. My wife and I entered there several years ago and base camped on Banadad. I loved that area and we didn't see more than 1 canoe per day and that was in August.
distinguished member (148)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
10/10/2014 08:18PM  
My first solo entering trough skipper in early June was great. Although, I did have some nasty weather.

My first night I camped on the point site on Rush and I spent 16 hours hunkered down in the tent due to 40-50mph gusts and driving rain (I believe they airlifted a group of 7-9 Boy Scouts out the that day). Quite the adventure getting to and setting up camp in the storm.

After the weather past! I had a blast. Did well catching small mouth and northern.

I believe that I read the trip report from the trip you took with your wife. If I remember correctly, you put up an awesome photo of a small mouth jumping out of the water while being brought in by your wife.

Anyway, I liked that area so much that I took my stepdad there two weeks ago. Beautiful and quiet.

I can't wait to bring my daughter on her first trip; she is only 17 months old now.
10/11/2014 07:15AM  
Ha Ha...... thanks for the pic comment. My wife was catching them every cast and every one was jumping like crazy. I took about 20 pics to get that 1 while in the air.

Daddy/Daughter trips are priceless! I did my 3rd one with my 9 year old in June and my 7 year old gets to do her 2nd one next year. They talk about their trip and their next one all year long.

Have a great trip, take it slow, and be safe! It's a another great area.
distinguished member (148)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
10/13/2014 06:55PM  
Thank you to everyone for the advice!

All packed and ready to go. I got down to one pack at 40lb, and should be able to single portage if the weather is nice.

To be safe, I will double portage if it is rainy/snowy and slippery. Wish me luck.
10/13/2014 07:52PM  
quote MattM: " Wish me luck."

Good luck! Have a nice trip!
11/03/2014 06:28PM  
How did it go?
distinguished member (148)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/04/2014 03:39PM  
I had a great trip! Thank you for all of the advice.

I took ducks advice and camped on the second campsite on the west side. The site worked out extremely well and offered good protection from the wind, rain and snow I experienced.

I also listened to lufts and slept with my water filter and camera inside my sleeping bag. It's a good thing I did, as the 1/3 full nalgene I had next to me froze up on the last night.

I thought that I would spend more time fishing, but I ended up spending most of my time taking hikes through the woods; an activity that I think I will now spend more time doing on trips.

I also spent a good portion of each day working on creating a nice firewood pile for the evenings.

I realized that I really love this time of year. Truly revitalizing. I was certainly a better teacher when I hit the classroom on Monday morning.

I also realized that portaging a kayak is not as bad as I thought it would be; I put on my pack, used my pfd as a shoulder pad and just carried the kayak on my right shoulder.

I really enjoyed the this area; and it is certainly beautiful. After seeing that the portages and campsites in the area are well traveled/maintained, I am guessing it would be a busy spot in the summer months. I can't wait to try out other areas during shoulder seasons when they are less crowded.

I woke up on my last morning to a light snow. My tent and tarp were covered in a layer of light snow. I can't imagine a better first snow of the season than paddling out of the bwca in a light snow fall.

I will try to post a few pics. I forgot my nice camera, so I could only take photos with my phone.

The second to last photo shows the light snow I was lucky enough to paddle out with.

Thanks again for all of the advice guys!

11/04/2014 08:37PM  
Thanks for the follow-up report, Matt. I've also found that solo trips are a different experience and I do different things than I might do when not solo. I've also found that some of the same things are just a different experience when I'm solo and it's not a social thing. I haven't even taken fishing equipment on last two trips. Mealtime is also a different experience for me when it's a solo thing. I take more pictures and read/think/write more.

It sounds like you really enjoyed your trip.
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