Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Sundial PMA
by CanvasAndSteel

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/08/2013
Entry Point: Angleworm Lake (EP 20)
Exit Point: Stuart River (EP 19)  
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 4
Trip Introduction:
Took a small group up from my church (I'm a Lutheran pastor in the Twin cities). The group wanted a mix of traveling, basecamping, fishing, and I suggested we put a PMA in play to get away from people.
The start of the trip meant beginning with the angleworm portage, which is basically just a long walk in the woods. Nothing difficult about it, but a group would be advised to have things well packed in order to keep all the hand carried items to a minimum.

Angleworm Lake is unspectacular, but as the first lake after the portage few groups will camp on it. We went through Home to Gull, camping there on the first night. Didn't fish much there, and didn't catch anything either. We met a group from Iowa on their way out that gave us their leeches. Good folks.

Day two we entered the Sundial PMA via the Beatrap River out of Beartrap Lake. It's such a great little river, very remote feeling. The portages are Quetico- like, as in not always easy to follow (although not ever difficult to spot the landings).

Nights 2 and 3 were spent on Sunday Lake. It's a pretty lake, and small. Best campground (no grate, no biffy) is located on the east side of the Lake. Fishing is very good on Sunday. We ate 13 fish from first morning through second morning (9 walleye, 4 northern).

Day four we headed west to Stuart Lake. Sterling Creek is very pretty, but challenging to find. Topography makes it obvious where the creek is, but actually getting through to it requires trusting your instincts and paddling/pushing up a few dead ends. The portages through to Stuart are more difficult than on the Beartrap River. Sterling Lake is a larger and nicer looking lake than Sunday. I would like to camp there in the future and explore the fishing.

Nights 4 and 5 were spent on Stuart Lake. Very pretty lake. Excellent campsite on north side. Layover day was spent fishing the Stuart River holes along the portage (one large northern) and climbing the rock hill on the south side of the lake. Great view. fishing on Stuart was not good.

Final day we slept in, as it was our intention to camp on White Feather, a relatively short jaunt. It proved to be an uninspiring lake, so we decided to push on. The portage out was, again, a long walk in the woods. We met a group of 8 (two adult men, 6 boys)strewn throughout the portage. I doubt they were paddling before 2 pm. They would have been lucky to get to Stuart Lake by 8. Bad planning.

It was a good three day route stretched with layover days. since we went through the PMA we saw no people for three days. In all we saw only three other groups, one of those on the final portage. If you do it,remember to get the additional PMA permit. Angleworm Lake, Home Lake, Gull Lake, Thunder Lake, Beartrap Lake, Sunday Lake, Sterling Lake, Nibin Lake, Bibon Lake, Stuart Lake

Lakes Traveled:   Angleworm Lake, Home Lake, Gull Lake, Thunder Lake, Beartrap Lake, Sunday Lake, Sterling Lake, Nibin Lake, Bibon Lake, Stuart Lake,