Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Ensign to Disappointment - 2021
by walleyejunky

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/12/2021
Entry & Exit Point: Moose Lake (EP 25)
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 8
Trip Introduction:
After 2020 (Covid) and missing a trip a few years ago our group was ready for another trip to the BWCA. This would be my fourth trip and my son would be tagging along this year for his first trip so that made it more exciting. My son and I made the drive from Michigan on Friday before our scheduled entry date on Saturday, June 12. We stopped in town at the Boathouse and had dinner along with a pitcher of blueberry beer which is a must have when we are in Ely. After dinner we made the run up to Moose Lake to stay the night at Williams & Hall outfitters in the bunkhouse. We got an early treat since the weather was nice we slept with the windows open and the Loons sang their song all evening before we fell asleep.
Day 1 of 7
Saturday, June 12, 2021

We woke up early and headed back to town to meet the rest of the group for breakfast. After the normal oversize helpings at Brittons Cafe we stopped at Spirit of the Wilderness to pick up leeches for the week. They were excited to see me as I had called the week before to reserve 6 pounds of leeches. I'm sure they were wanting to see what type of crazy man would need that much bait. Everyone came out to meet us since they hadn't sold that much bait to anyone in a long time. But hey, 8 guys go thru a lot of bait.

After we were done in town we headed back up to Williams & Hall to get checked in and get our fishing licenses. We packed all of our gear into their boats for the tow up to the Newfound/Splash portage. It was the first time we had ever taken the tow and it was definitely worth it. A quick paddle across Splash then the quick hop over the next short portage and we were on Ensign.

We paddled to the west end and picked Site #1222. It sits up high on a hill overlooking the lake. It is a bit of a hike from the landing but overall it was a decent site. There was enough room for us to make 4 tents work. After getting set up in camp we all headed out on the lake for some fishing. There was a slight breeze blowing, not terrible, just a decent chop. We headed to the island at the east end where the lake turns back to the north west. We picked up a few walleyes on slip bobbers before heading back to camp for a nice dinner of venison steaks and garlic mashed potatoes. After dinner we spent another hour fishing before heading back for bed. Not a bad first day. Easy traveling and our trip was just beginning.