Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

2012 armada
by jestep

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/11/2012
Entry & Exit Point: Quetico
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 16
Trip Introduction:
Just found this site and figured I would add a trip report. Had 16 family members including 2 under 10, 3 others under 18, and 2 over 80 with us.
Just found this site and figured I would add a trip report. We just got back from a 7 day trip in Quetico. Started in Beaverhouse, and went only to Quetico lake. Total canoeing distance was about 13 miles each way, plus at least that much in day trips and fishing excursions. Had 16 family members including 2 under 10, 3 others under 18, 2 over 80 with us, and 3 dogs. We've taken several trips now spanning over 50 years, so we're a bit experienced, but not experts in my opinion. We had just finished building a new strip canoe this winter, so this was the perfect trip to break it in.

Got on the lake on Saturday the 11th. Had great fishing the whole time, and great weather until Wednesday. With the number of people we try to find dual campsites, and stay stationary and make day trips from a somewhat central location. We explored much of quetico lake and tried some hikes into isolated lakes through extremely thick forest.

Caught well over 100 fish, most of which we didn't keep. Highlights were a 13 lb lake trout and another 32" lake trout in the 16 - 20 lb range. Both were caught immediately after the narrow channel/river trolling at about 30 ft, right past the beaverhouse/quetico portage. Multiple 4 - 8lb smallmouth's, and a 12lb walleye, which was an absolutely incredible catch. My 7 yr old daughter caught her first fish which included a 3'ish lb smallmouth. Also caught numerous Pike including a really nice one in the 12 - 15 lb range.

Had a huge rain Wednesday night. Not sure on how much exactly, but got several inches of rain in about 2 hours as well as a massive thunder and lightning storm. We were all well prepared so the rain wasn't a huge deal, but that much lightning on a lake is never fun.

Had an extremely difficult paddle back to Beaverhouse on Thursday. 10 miles in a 10 - 30 MPH headwind. Once section took more than an hour to paddle less than 1/4 mile. The terrain funneled the wind and waves down a narrow channel which we had to fight head on. It literally looked like we were paddling up a massive river. I can honestly say it was the most difficult single stretch of paddling I've ever done.

Other than those, the weather was great. Didn't need to use DEET the entire trip and came home with 1 or 2 bites each. Still having a hard time believing it.