8 day 7 nights EP16 Boulder Bay, LLC, Ge-be-on-e-quet, Oyster, Agnes
by EasyFisher

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 07/15/2018
Entry & Exit Point: Moose/Portage River (north) (EP 16)
Number of Days: 8
Group Size: 9
Day 1 of 8
Sunday, July 15, 2018 “Going the Distance” EP16 to Boulder Bay

The group woke up at 5am and left the house by 5:47am, not too bad. We loaded up the van and headed up the Echo Trail and arrived at the Moose River North portage EP16 at 6:45am. As Matt and I unloaded the canoes and put on our seat backs and shoulder pads on the yokes, everyone started portaging gear. Not soon after we go the canoes unloaded another outfitter dropped off about 3-4 other groups at the entry point at the same time probably 8-10 canoes. My first thought was is this a Boy Scout Troop, do they know you can’t have more than 4 canoe’s at a portage point at one time. I would be so upset if I went through an outfitter and they dropped us off with 4 other groups to the same entry point to all fight each other on the trail and on the tiny river we were entering on, I won’t be going with any other outfitter other than CCO if going out of Ely. But we had a head start. The portage trail was full, but we finished our double portage, said a quick family prayer, and got on the water at 7:30am. We had one canoe who we passed us and they quickly single portaged and got out of our way at the first portage. We were able to basically send 2 people back to finish double portaging while the rest of the group loaded up the canoes and got moving. We were doing sooo much better at portaging than we did on our last trip. We made good time getting to Agnes, we decided to take the single 115rd portage to the south with a goal of getting a site in boulder bay or tiger bay. The 115rd portage was pretty easy until the end, as the outfitter told us the water was the highest they had seen it in July in a long time. I already knew the end of that portage was muddy but now it was under water. Everyone had to sludge through the mud to get in the canoe, but that’s all part of the experience. We got out lunch (trail mix, beef sticks, and fruit bar) and ate it as we paddled down the boulder river. The wind wasn’t too bad as we paddled up the boulder river into boulder bay. It’s a really beautiful paddle. I began trolling a F-18 black and silver once we got into boulder bay. We passed the first two campsites as they looked good but we wanted to push as far as we could and it was still relatively early. Right before we got to the 3rd campsite in boulder bay (furthest north) I caught the first fish of the trip. A nice eater walleye. As we stopped to net and land the fish we ended up in front of a rope swing that someone made. Though we would never make a rope swing in BWCA, my brother in law Trent really wanted to do the rope swing, so we let him go do it. Then noticed the campsite nearby. It was 1:11pm and we just caught a walleye and found a rope swing so we decided to check out the campsite. It was a really nice campsite with lots of tent pads and lots of trees for hammocks, so we set up camp. After getting set up some decided to go swimming at the rope swing. Matt was the next to try to rope swing, and on his first swing the rope snapped. He went splashing into the water. That was the end of that, we took down the rope swing, Leave No Trace!! We did a little more fishing in boulder bay. My niece Lucy caught her first walleye! Managed to catch a couple of small walleye and a nice 2.5-3lb SMB all on crawler harnesses with leaches, using 3/4oz bottom bouncers. We went to pull out the steaks for dinner, and they were frozen solid. I guess next time we will plan to do steak on day 2. So we moved meals around and had Patriot Pantry’s Traveler’s Stew 12 servings for the 9 of us. It was the perfect amount of stew with one nice eater walleye pan fried to share. We had Patriot Pantry 5 servings of chocolate pudding for dessert. Someone carried in some M&Ms as well, so we mixed in M&Ms with the pudding and it was really good. We decided that we could have done a little more pudding. We also roasted marshmallows later that evening. But everyone had plenty to eat and we all enjoyed the meal. The kids fished from shore with leeches catching a few little SMB. And Ben was casting a F-13 black and silver and caught a number of small walleye and SMB from shore. After dinner, we went out to do a little more fishing as the sun was setting. My wife and I went and through top waters and spinners looking for the SMB but had no luck. The other canoe went trolling raps and had no luck as well. Tara and I switched tactics and started trolling raps on the way back and Tara landed a 17” walleye on a Gold and Black HJ14. Travis and his wife Danika and brother Trent were in one tent. Matt and his two kids Ben and Lucy were in the other tent, so yes, I slept in a tent with my wife and mother-in-law for 7 nights. ~Nina Moose Lake, Agnes, Lake, Lac La Croix