Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Trout Lake 2011
by 99dragon99

Trip Type: Motor
Entry Date: 09/25/2011
Entry & Exit Point: Trout Lake (EP A)
Number of Days: 11
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
Annual Get-away to the BWCA. A friend and I have been going to the BWCA every year since 2006. We go hunting, fishing and exploring.
This year was another beautiful fall for a trip to the BWCA. The weather was warmer than usual. Not as bad as in 2010, but still warmer than it should have been. It was also extremely dry this year. We could see the smoke cloud of the wild fire off to the east.

We started out at Moccasin Point on Lake Vermillion and motored on over to the portage. For the last few years we have been paying to portage, it just makes it easier on us and allows us to get to camp before dark.

This year was the 2nd year on the south west corner of Trout Lake. This area seems to be a little better wind wise than the north eastern corner that we have been to several times. Winds out of the west and north are not a problem and no matter how bad it is, we can still get off the lake if necessary. (Not like 2008 where the waves kept us shored up for an entire day.)

The waves were only really bad one day. We decided to go fishing on a nice spot across the lake. We motored out a ways and after we left the shelter of the island, it was over with. The waves threatened to tip the canoe. We got soaked going over and found it impossible to fish. So we did the only sensible thing, we went back to camp and played cribbage, on the board we made last year.

The first day was as usual, setting up camp and making sure that every thing was there. Then laying out on the rocks and enjoying the peace and quiet. A quick dinner and cooked up some drinking water, then off to bed it was.

The rest of the days were spent looking around and catching some fish. Lots of ca. 15" smallies were biting. My friend, John, doesn't (didn't) like them so most of them went back. We got skunked on everything else this year. John's attitude towards smallies changed after we were getting skunked on everything else, I told him that we'd try one and see what it's like.

I gutted and gilled a nice size smallie and did the usual on it, a slice of lemon, herbs and spices. Wrap that baby in aluminum foil and up on the open fire until perfectly done. The side was sweet taters done in foil. Usually the sweet taters are wrapped in foil with a touch of butter and then done over the fire, adding brown sugar and service. Well, one of us forgot to buy butter and the other one forgot to check. So we put on 2 strips of bacon before wrapping them in foil. We now have a new favorite way of doing up sweet taters.

Grouse hunting this year was really poor as well. We walk what seemed like thousands of miles without seeing a single grouse. It was just to dry for them to be in the usual areas. We did finally find a few of them in the lower areas that offered enough cover and food. I did only take the dumb ones. The stupidest one walked out 10 feet in front of me and stared... I aimed for the head and missed, it was still standing still staring at me... So I got him the second time around.

Grouse is my favorite source of protien on the trip. The breasts and legs usually end up in "Grouse Stew" a recipe dreamed up by John while singing some funky song about parley, rosemary and thyme. Add taters and carrots and it's wonderful. The gizzards end up being the high light of breakfast or part of the stew if I get lazy. I usually slice them up real fine and fry them up with the eggs. I've taken to doing this at home with the Christmas Goose gizzard too.

We have a friend that pops by every once in a while. During lake trout season, he usually gives us one and we have a fantastic meal for 2 days. Done up just like the smallies were, foil, lemon and herbs/spices.

We wondered around looking for a good place to take a deer. We found a nice scrape but because it was so dry, it was almost impossible to get in quietly. So we have the hunting area for next year.

The trip ended about as quietly as it began. Pack up, clean up and motored on out.