Kicking Back on the Kawishiwi II (2013)
We awoke at 4:30 and were to Britton's by 5:15. Ate a hardy breakfast as always, and then stopped at The Great Outdoors to pick up our minnows. Always good to chat with Jim and get the latest fishing updates. We then headed to our entry point, and arrived just before 8:00 a.m. The weather was cool, but dry and for the first time I think we had both the current and wind working in our favor for the trip in.
The trip was going very smoothly until after our last portage before the split in the Kawishiwi. As we paddled past a past a rocky point at the end of the rapids had just portaged around we saw an empty canoe floating in the middle of a small bay. We didn't know if someone had a medical emergency and fell out of the canoe or if it had drifted from a campsite up the river, though that seemed unlikely given the current and wind. We rounded up the canoe (note the BWCA.com sticker on the bow) and one member started blowing an emergency whistle to try to get the individual's attention, assuming nothing had happened to him/her. After a few minutes a solo tripper came around the point and expressed his appreciation for corralling his loose canoe. He had stopped to take some pictures of the rapids and it had blown off the shore. Because I didn't get his permission, I won't share his screen name, but after I got home I looked him on the site to find out he lives just west of Rochester. Small world.
We made it to our camp site on the north branch of the river just past the split by 10:00 or so, got camp set up and then went out fishing. My canoe partner for this trip, Brett, and I started fishing at the base of the first set of rapids on the south branch of the Kawishiwi, and on my first cast with a light action rod, 6 lb test and a 1/8 oz jighead I managed to land a 35" northern. A great start to the trip. Brett managed to catch a few northern from camp on a slip bobber and cisco and Gary hauled in a 20.5" small mouth. While the fisher weren't jumping into the canoes, this seemed like a very good start.