Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

May 21-23
by Eglath

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 05/21/2004
Entry & Exit Point: Snowbank Lake (EP 27)
Number of Days: 3
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
We bring minimal gear--tent, cookset, small stove, fishing gear, sleeping bags, journals, and not much food (two clif bars per person per day, 1/4 lb. of trial mix per person per day and a packet of Vigo beans and rice to share each night) because we usually catch a fish or so a day to eat. We intended to reach Jordan or Ima on the first day, camp two nights and then head back, but the gods had other plans for us... Trip Map at the bottom
Day 1 of 3
Friday, May 21, 2004
Snowbank Lake, Parent Lake, Disappointment Lake

We woke up at 5 a.m. in Duluth and headed for Ely. We got liscenses, bait and our permit and hit the entry point around 9 a.m. It felt great to be there, but Snowbank didn't look like a very happy lake. The wind was steady out of the NE and the waves were about 6 in. or so. Not too bad, but we didn't especially want to go broadside, as we were in a shallow, 15 ft. redwood canoe. We were originally going to head straight to the direct portage to Disappointment, but because of the wind, we tacked down around Burnt Island and back up to the portage into Parent. Parent was a little wavy, but we had no trouble getting to the portage to Disappoinment. At the other end, we discovered four separate groups with six total canoes headed into Disappointment, so rather than end up in a huge caravan, we decided to fish our way up the channel just north of the portage. Josh was steering while I was casting a jig with a spinner at shore. Fifteen minutes later, about halfway down the channel, I hooked a fish. We couldn't believe it--a 3 lb., 17.5" Smallmouth Bass. So we checked the map, and headed for the southern island campsite. When we landed on the island, we realized what a beautiful site it was. It has a central tent-pad (out of the wind) and a landing area on the leeward side (at least for that day). So, we cooked and ate the Smallmouth, set up camp and had the rest of the day to relax. Sat around a nice little fire, not too cold, had some beans and rice and a bit of Jameson and went to bed.

Map: [Paddling in green, Portaging in blue, fish marked by red fish]