UL overnight solo
My original plan was to spend two nights alone in the BWCA but my girlfriend's flight home got delayed so I only had one night. Looking at the weather forecast I knew I was in for some serious wind and possibly some showers. I planned my route accordingly selecting small rivers sheltered from the wind.
Driving north I left the beautiful weather around the Twin Cities and entered the seemingly perpetually gloomy SNF as per my usual trip. The rain started somewhere north of Two Harbors. When I showed up at the Isabella Work Station about noon the help was definitely surprised to see me. She wasn't expecting another party until Thursday July 2nd and I was only her second walk up of the YEAR! In fact she had a hard time figuring out the reservation system because she so rarely had to use it. Fortunately I had my "get-out-of-the-movie-free-card." It still was almost a 45 minute stop. But I was still in good spirits.
I drove up to the Little Isabella River entry point and started on my way. I single tripped throughout this trip. My gear all fit in a Granite Gear Vapor Trail hiking pack and GG thwart bag. I lashed my two paddles (why do I even bring 2? The ZRE never leaves my hands) and one fishing rod into the boat. I was paddling my new (to me) Bell CJ Solo. Long story short this is my second CJ Solo and I love the boat. And my girlfriend let me keep this one! I built a yoke that attaches to the seat that worked awesome.
I was dressed for war. Full rain gear. Water shoes. Headnet for the fierce skeeters. DEET.
The Little Isabella River was a great paddle! A couple short portages (marked properly on Voyageur Map) and a few beaver dams that could be paddled over easily. I made good time on my way up to the Isabella River. I paddled on the "Big" Isabella River~6 years ago from Island River to Quadga Lake. The Little Isabella River dumps into the "Big" Isabella just west of Quadga so this was all new water and I was looking forward to it.
I rigged up my fishing rod and managed one walleye (fishing pool below rapids) en route to my campsite on the Isabella River-just north of the 8 rod portage. I turned her loose not really interested in cleaning fish tonight and it was approaching 6pm.
The campsite (just north of the 8 rod portage along the river) was pretty nondescript. Not very big but a couple decent tent pads albeit in close proximity to the fire ring. Overall a small campsite.
I hung my Warbonnet Superfly tarp and Blackbird hammock beneath it. The superfly provided plenty of room for gear, cooking and generally getting out of the rain/drizzle.
After a quick dinner of Mountain House Chili Mac (my first time and it was great) I paddled downstream to the nearby rapids/swift water to fish. You can easily paddle this swift going downstream avoiding the 8 rod portage but no way you're paddling up it. No rocks or major obstacles to avoid. I parked my boat out of the way at the upstream landing and walked to the landing beneath the fast water. No sign of company so I started casting. I landed 4 more nice eater walleye between 14 and 20" all of which were released-seemingly no worse for the wear. It had been raining for the better part of my 8 hours out so I decided to head back to my shelter and dry out. Drank too much Jim Beam and fell asleep before the heebie jeebies got to me.