Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

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 2 of 8
Monday, July 16, 2018 “The Wind” Travel to Fish Stake Narrows on LLC

It was a cool breezy morning as we at our oatmeal and rains for breakfast. We knew it was going to be a challenge today on LLC. It was forecasted for winds up to 10 mph out of the west, but our outfitter told us we should be fine as long as we stayed near the west shore. Our goal was to get a campsite on the western end of Fish Stake Narrows or over closer to the portage near pocket creek. We left camp at 8:30am and the wind was coming out of the NNW. We paddled up through Never Fail Bay and trolled some lures. We caught a few pike and walleye trolling through NFB. The wind was picking up and the waves were getting heavier. I had seen the pictos before but wanted the kids to see them. Two canoes decided to go over to the pictos and the other decided to stop at the first campsite in fish stake narrows where we were going to stop for lunch. So we sent them with a walkie talkie and headed to the pictos. We kind of saw them but we were in 1-2 footers at this point. We hid around the cliff from the wind for a minute then proceeded to head into across the lake. I have Trent (The Power) in the front of my canoe and my mother in law in the middle. My wife was in the front of the other three man with the two kids in the middle and Matt in the back. As we were charging across LLC in 2 footers I told Trent this is not 10 mph!! We say Travis an Danika still trying to get to the first campsite in FSN. They radioed us and told us they got blown out to see an barely could make it to the first campsite. We made it across LLC and were hugging the western shore. The wind had shifted to coming dead out of the west at this point. Tara and Matt were making it across LLC and not too far behind us. Trent and I went for it quartering into the waves giving it nearly everything we had to get across that short distance and made it to the 1st island campsite in LLC. We turned around to look at Tara and Matt and they were nearly blown over to Canada. Trent and I were gassed as Trent pulled out some left over trail mix from the day before for a quick protein boost. Travis was also spent after barely getting to shore with his wife, and was reluctant to go out on a rescue mission. As we were looking at Tara and Matt in the distance now, we were pretty sure there canoe wasn’t even pointed the right direction. Quick protein boost and we sent out the rescue boat. Tara and Matt managed to get back to the western shore on LLC where Travis, Trent, and I met them. And we swapped Travis and Tara between canoes. Both canoes were able to make it across the narrows and all at the campsite at 12:30pm. I cleaned a couple of walleye we picked up on the way, for a good protein boost for lunch along with summer sausage, crackers, cheese, and cookies. The group really didn’t like the island campsite, it was a little small was getting blown pretty good by the wind and wasn’t as far as we had of liked to have gotten. We knew there was another 5 star campsite not far away so we sent out a scout mission. Matt, Trent, and myself quartered our way across the lake from island to island hiding from the wind taking quick breaks along the way. We made it to the second island campsite in FSN to find it taken. We knew there was one across the was on Coleman Island but from my research it wasn’t worth checking out, but there was another one through FSN on Coleman Island that I didn’t know anything about. We decided that was our next mission. A guy on the back side of the campsite was warning us, as soon as you turn this corner into FSN narrows you won’t be able to go anywhere. We told him thanks and continued our way. As we made our charge across FSN we had a whole group of 9 people on that other site just watching an gawking at us as if they were hoping or expecting us to fail. But we did not. We had a little water splash into the canoe, not nothing serious. We made it to the campsite got up to look around. It was defiantly out of the wind but tent pads were not very good and it had a huge tree blown down through the middle of the campsite. We decided this was not the campsite for us. Our last option, was the campsite on the island SW of FSN. We again pushed across the lake hid behind the island, hoping the campsite was free as this was one of the sites we were really shooting for. We turned around the corner and a nice old lady came down to great us, she was excited to see us and ask us if we had been catching any fish, but with our dejected look on our faces we told her we caught fish earlier, but we were just looking for a campsite. We drudged back to camp, had a couple of big rollers really rock the canoe. We made it past the FSN with the wind at our back so we did what anyone else would do, right. We started fishing. It wasn’t but a 100 yrds from our campsite and Trent landed a nice 21” walleye on a HJ-14 Transparent Firetiger. We put him on the stringer back at camp. We set up camp at 3pm on the island and decided to call it a day. After setting up camp the wind calmed down a little bit and myself, Matt, and Travis went back out fishing. We could only troll from our island campsite to the other island campsite. I landed a personal best 37” Pike on a reef runner black white and polka doted lure. We caught another small pike and ben caught a SMB from shore using his F-13 silver and black. Didn’t really have a good spot to fish from shore with leeches from this campsite. Our steaks had finally thawed out, we cooked 6lbs of ribeye and sirloin steaks and Patriot Pantry Mashed Potatoes. The mashed potatoes were awful, that is the only cooked food we really had to pack out the whole trip. The steaks were really good and a great dinner. But I think the whole group agreed that next time we would just do sirloin steaks so that there isn’t as much fatty left overs that had to go back into the back. But everything was in zip locks in side of zip locks. All meals were packed in a 2.5 gallon zip lock which became our trash bag for the day. Help keep smells down. Lucy, Tara, and Julie picked lots of blueberries on the west point on the island. Matt, Lucy, and Ben went hiking and found a marker on the island designating it as a US inhabitable land. Myself and my wife went out in the canoe to paddle around a fish a little bit at sunset as Trent took pictures of us. We had a fire and tried to make jiffy pop, but it didn’t really work not sure why it was a defective batch. So we roasted marshmallows. Today was my daughter’s 1st birthday (we had a party Thursday before we left), so we brought a candle and celebrated it with a marshmallow in honor of her. We were supposed to have a layover day on LLC, but the group wasn’t overly excited about our campsite and more so worried about the distance we needed to travel to Ge-be-on-e-quet Lake (Gebe) for our next destination since we didn’t get as far as we wanted to go, if we laid over then had another windy day, we would never make it. So we planned to head out early the next morning and headed to be as the mosquitos began to come out. ~Lac La Croix