Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Wood Lake May 2014
by adludwig

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 05/22/2014
Entry & Exit Point: Wood Lake (EP 26)
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 4
Trip Introduction:
Wood Lake - EP 26 - May 22-26th
Day 1 of 5
Thursday, May 22, 2014

Our morning began at about 6:00am when we rose from our slumber at the Super 8 in Ely. We all made plans to take one last "civilization shower" before our entry this morning. This trip, I am joined by my buddies Jarod and "George", both on their third trips with me and our greenhorn, Tyler. This is my first trip up here without the guidance of my father, but he gave me lots of advice before the trip and I spent half the winter planning this trip. We headed over to Britton's at 7:00 to fuel up with a big breakfast. After that, a swing by the gas station and we rolled into the Kawishiwi Ranger Station right before 8:00am. After we got our permits we were on our way! The short drive to the Wood Lake E.P. got the adrenaline going! We were headed down the portage before 9:00am. We found our campsite and got camp setup. With the short portage and paddle, Day One truly felt like a full day in the wilderness. It wasn't long and the guys and I were digging out our fishing gear to get out on the water.

It took about 5 minutes on the water before my 3" Tube Jig started producing fish. A couple of quick smallmouths set the tone for a great day!

We took a break for some afternoon coffee and a much needed rest for our backsides!

Back on the water, which quickly produced our first 4 pound smallie of the trip.

After catching a bunch of northerns, we headed back to camp to start dinner preparations and to try some shore fishing. We got our slip bobbers all rigged up and got the leeches out. I was quite interested in all the debates on the forums about leeches in cold water prior to our trip, but in the end we brought them in. We started catching fish before we even had dinner started.

Dinner the first night was steaks over the fire with some instant mashed potatoes.

After dinner, the fishing got pretty fast and furious, including a couple of northerns, a sucker, and many walleyes, including a couple of 4-5 pounders. They bit until well after dark. And I got to experience one of my greatest BWCA moments, when I watched my lighted bobber disappear in the darkness, and after setting the hook, I caught the eye of a nice walleye deep in the water in front of mefrom the light of my headlamp.

The night ended with a cup of hot cocoa and a brief sit around the fire. The first night the temps dipped down into the 30s, but we should have enjoyed it while we could, as it was truly the only "cool" night we had up there.