Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Moose To Neglige May 27th to May 31
by ScottMacFish

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 05/27/2015
Entry & Exit Point: Moose Lake (EP 25)
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 3
Trip Introduction:
So, let me first set the stage for those of you reading this. I just moved to MN in April after having lived in Costa Rica for the last 22 years. I had moved to Costa Rica from a suburb of Toronto, ON whereI had a enjoyed a good number of canoe trips in my earlier years. So, somewhat eager to get back up into the "bush" as i refer to it and into a canoe and onto some quiet waters surrounded by some of the greatest nature the world has to offer, I put this trip together and informed my two daughters aged 9 and 14 they were coming with me.
The trip was planned after a good number of postings of my upcoming trip and asking for advice, being my first trip into the BW’s, with two your children, both girls who had never been in a canoe, entry points and the kicker, wanting to get on a Brook Trout lake. I received some great advice and suggestions for trips with the end result my trip being basically one of the recommended trips. It could not have been a better suggestion!!!!

In hindsight I was a little overzealous in putting this trip together. Some might say a touch aggressive as putting a 9 yr. old and a 14 yr. old in a canoe for the very first time, a brand new experience for them both, as was camping all together in late May, on a four day, five night trip, four lakes in not well thought out.

By 9:30am we were on Moose Lake entry point 25 having left South St Paul at 3:30am. We took a water taxi through Moose and Newfoundland, as they are super long lakes and started at the portage into Enign. Sunny with clouds and still a little cool.

Once through the initial short portage and a second super shorty we were into Ensign and I was quickly reminded of the effects of wind, a 17-foot canoe with no keel and the ineffectiveness of a rookie 14-year-old bow paddler.

Regardless the rods were out, lines in the water, wind was a struggle but not winning the battle all together so we travelled Ensign which did have a good number of inhabited campsites and other canoeists. Picked up a small Northern and bass a long the way, one for each daughter, which “hooked” them into the wonderful adventures of canoe tripping. I wont go into how we got turned around fighting the Northern to the point where I put us onto the wrong portage and into the wrong lake, and had to back track, my girls were not impressed!!!!

We eventually made it into Vera which is a hilly 180 rod trek and brought the full experience of canoe tripping home to my girls. That and the night time temperatures that hovered around 32 degrees both Friday and Saturday night, rain most of the day Friday, a rainy snow mix Saturday morning which them turned into the most beautiful day ever and Vera is the quintessential picturesque lake, crystal cleat waters, great mix of rock and treed shoreline, beautiful campsite. . . . . . . . .

We then also worked through Trader (brownish waters) via an unmaintained portage into Neglige to go after my Brook Trout. The portage into Neglige is tough for a 17- footer, very tight, lots of “fighting” to get around corners.

My youngest daughter picked up a Brookie so it was all worth it!

On our trip out the wind was quitter than the previous days so it was a good paddle, we were sad to leave Vera and Ensign. Though we picked up 6 Northerns on the way out, one double, my girls were all smiles!!! A great trip was had by all. Though my time with a rod in hand was probably less than two hours as I was the designated paddler. My girls loved it, and came away with freckles, sun/wind burns, lessens on bush survival, canoeing, camp fire cooking and understanding the true beauty of the BW’s.

Can’t wait to get back on the waters!!!!!!

I want to thank all those that offered advice and their knowledge of the BW’s!!

Moose Lake, Newfound Lake, Ensign Lake, Ashigan Lake, Vera Lake, Trader Lake, Neglige Lake

Lakes Traveled:   Moose Lake, Newfound Lake, Ensign Lake, Ashigan Lake, Vera Lake, Trader Lake, Neglige Lake,