Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Brule Lake May 2003
by BigZig

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 05/24/2003
Entry & Exit Point: Brule Lake (EP 41)
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 4
Trip Introduction:
Our first Brule Lake Only trip.
I had heard from a co-worker that Brule Lake offered many smallmouth bass to be caught. He had gone in August so I figured that a 4 day Memorial weekend trip would be that much better. The May trip was even more enticing because we wouldn't have to portage so we could pack heavy. Before I say anymore let me make it clear I will never be persuaded to go heavy again!

Our trip started off with a very bright and warm late May day. It was the kind of day in the spring that you feel the sun beat right through your life jacket and want to paddle without it. However on this trip I had my son, age 9, navigating the front of my 18 footer Grumman and I wanted him to know that even though the air felt warm, the water was still plenty cold and we needed to take the necessary precautions (I had also promised Mom that he would wear it)

My partner and his son,age 11, were paddling his new toy on this trip. He had acquired a used Wenonah Minnesota II Kevlar canoe from Sawtooth Outfitters in Tofte. The canoe was in decent shape though you could tell it had seen it share of rocks in the past. We put out from the landing 41 and started down the lake heading north. One of the first island sites we found empty was not only vacant of people but void of trees as well. We thought about this and the fact that most of the sites we found had people and decided to leave part of out gear here while we looked around the lake. Brule is such a big lake that we didn't go too far when realized we would have a very long paddle back and forth if we did this. So we went back and got our stuff and took to the west looking for a better site.

We found a site on the north side in Cone Bay. The site was very large and it was secluded away from the main lake. We had awesome sunrises and we hiked up the cliffs behind it and had a very rewarding view of Brule Lake. We found some fish among the islands in Cone Bay and did some exploring along the shore near fish island.

One thing I will never bring on a canoe trip again is my home made telescope. I thought it would be fun to build a reflector type telescope over the winter and when I had it finished it was a lot of fun and kind of a novelty to use. I thought (and was right) that in the BWCA the stars are so much brighter because of the reduced city lights. The telescope proved to be very entertaining however it was kind of hard to use because also the BWCA is known for bugs and they were in full swing during this warm May weekend. We had a really great time and I will go back to Brule again some day. I will probably go to the eastern end of the lake or make it part of a larger loop route. I do not think I would make it my only destination unless I only had a few days to spend in the wilderness.