Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Moose R. North to Iron/LLC. First as a trip "leader"
by cyclones30

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 05/30/2015
Entry & Exit Point: Moose/Portage River (north) (EP 16)
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 5
Trip Introduction:
After taking my wife on her first trip last year, we immediately began planning our next trip. We knew we wanted to take a first-timer or two and fishing was the main goal so we didn't plan a big loop like last year's trip.
Day 1 of 7
Saturday, May 30, 2015 - My wife and I had wanted to do another trip to the BW soon after her first ever trip last year. We wanted this trip to be a little easier, less moving, more fishing and relaxing in general. We were originally thinking Knife Lake area, but ended up giving Moose River North a try instead. After reading tons of trip reports, noting campsite ratings, and taking days to pack and re-pack our stuff we were ready. 4 of us drove up from IA on Friday, picked up our fifth member from the airport, got our food and canoes from Dan at Canadian Waters and stayed in their bunkhouse overnight. Saturday morning, we were up at 4:45am and eating at Brittons just after 5 and got to the EP parking lot between 7 and 8. But not before a moose crossed the road right in front of us! That’s now happened on our last 2 trips (my wife thinks she’s good luck) As we were unpacking at the lot, it started snowing! The first timers were probably wondering what they had just signed up for... I knew the first 2 nights were supposed to be cold, but that really opened our eyes. The day before, I had switched out my warmer sleeping bag for a smaller, lighter one. (mistake)

With 5 of us total in 2 canoes (a Seneca and Boundary Waters) we were able to single portage all portages which made things go very smoothly, even with 2 first-timers and 2 other group members with 1 previous trip. We made quick work of the portage from the parking lot to the EP landing as well as the other short ones along the river and into Nina Moose. The breeze was out of the north so paddling across the lake took some work and I wondered to myself how Agnes would look when we got there. The next 2 portages went by quickly as well and we passed 3 or 4 groups before getting to Agnes. Luckily the wind had died a bit and we started looking for sites for lunch. We ended up on the north side of the lake in the middle of the 3. We liked it enough to setup camp there. I had to keep reminding myself this was a relaxing trip and we didn’t need to keep pressing for any real reason at that point. We cooked steaks over the fire and caught some walleyes before bed. Nice ending to a very nice day. I bought a pound of leeches in Ely and used an extra Nalgene bottle w/ 2 lids. One with holes drilled in and one left solid. Setup worked great and the last ones are still alive today (10 days after) This was the first trip ever taking live bait and it was very easy. I'll do it again.