Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Ensign Lake
by birdonbats

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 09/05/2022
Entry & Exit Point: Moose Lake (EP 25)
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 6
Trip Introduction:
Guys fishing trip
I was only able to pull one trip together into the BWCA this year. My 25yr old son and 2 of his buddies ( The kids ) along with myself and my 2 buddies ( The old goats ). We brought in 2 of our own canoes and rented one from Voyager North outfitter. After breakfast at Subway, and getting the rental canoe added to my roof from V North, then a visit to ranger station to get the permit, we finally got on the water around 10:30 Labor Day ( and my son's b-day).  Up Moose and Newfound, then, hang a right at Splash. One easy portage of 30 rods and an easy walk-the-canoe thru into Ensign. Many of the campsites on Ensign were full. This surprised me as I figured many folks would be departing today to be back at work on Tuesday. Finally found campsite #1222 available. Not a very good landing area, but fairly flat pads for the tents and good views. 2 of the boys slept in hammocks. We were treated to a Northern Lights display about 10pm on Monday night. Interesting that the photos we took look more colorful than what we saw with the naked eye. Still, very cool!  We fished hard for 2.5 days and did ok. Ate fish dinners Tues and Weds nights. Caught walleye, northern, smallmouth and 1 large largemouth. Landed one 22" walleye. Beautiful weather. The lake had a lot of algae in it and the visibility was poor. My son went over and checked out Lake Vera and said it was incredibly clear. While we had a few rookies with us, I never would have guessed that everyone but me would end up in the lake. My buddies tipped and lost 3 fishing poles. Luckily, we managed to recover 1. All 3 boys took turns slipping off rocks, tipping the canoe, falling off an edge. Lots of campfire stories regarding the errors of their ways. All in all a very good trip. Worst part was returning in the strong wind and white caps on Newfound and Moose. That was some serious paddling!