Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Ram Lake in July
by kconers

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 07/24/2015
Entry & Exit Point: Ram Lake (EP 44)
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
We decided to take a trip to the bwca, but we decided a little late so options for entry points were slim. A friend of ours did Ram lake in May so we had some info to go on.
We traveled to Duluth on Thursday night so we could get an early start on Friday morning. It was 6 1/2 hours from home to entry point. A friend of ours had done this trip in May, so we went completely off his experience for this choice. I had never been trout fishing and thought it could be fun. Lynn was with me and had grown up in Colorado, and then spent lots of time by Pine River trout fishing. I figured we should be fine in the fishing department. How wrong I was.

Friday morning we arrive at the entry point pumped to begin our adventure. Our canoe was an old heavy aluminum hand-be-down. But we would manage. First off, the portage in to Ram Lake is 160 rods, so about a half mile. It was all up hill till you reach the lake. Then it is a steep decent to the water. The trail is also littered with large rocks and boulders. A few steep inclines and large steps. The portage was no fun at all. We were tired to say the least. But the view of the lake when you see it was breath taking. The portage was well worth it.

We decided to go to the north west corner to camp. Camp was in a beautiful location right on a peninsula, so plenty of breeze the whole time. Bugs were a concern, but only as the sun was setting did the mosquitoes come out. A little Deet and presto, no bugs. There are plenty of decent areas for tents. Plenty of shade. Good trees to hammock. We opted to hammock camp instead of dragging a tent with. We are now forever hammock campers. We used Hammock Bliss no-see-um hammocks with built in bug netting. The sleep was super comfortable and we didn't have to worry about rocks and roots in our back. We a-framed tarps over us for rain and we were set. Which it did rain Friday night. Gathered fire wood, found the latrine, and found a great tree for our bear bag. Camp was set.

We brought freeze dried food, which was our saving grace. The fish did not cooperate. We marked lots of fish at all depths but only had one strike in three days of fishing. At dawn and dusk the rainbow trout would rise and take flies of the surface. Of course we did not pack in fly rods, and try as we might, we could not get them to bite any lure we had. But on a positive note, the lake contains large numbers of crayfish. If you like eating crayfish, then you can catch plenty after dark right from shore in front of camp.[paragraph break] We could have portaged to more lakes, but the canoe was way too big. We opted to stay put and base camp. Options are endless where we could have ended up. We did check out the other camp on the lake. The landing is tricky, and a little ways north of camp. But the camp itself is very nice. Up on a cliff with a small trail right to the water. Would get a great breeze all the time. Plenty of space for tents, and good areas for hammocks. We are going to upgrade a few things for our next trip, canoe. Maybe plan ahead so we can get different entry points. This was an awesome experience.

The area was beautiful. The loons put on a show and sung us to sleep at night. We are sold. This is truly God's country. We will be back. So many different entry points and every lake is different. We will never see them all, but we are sure going to try.