Boundary Waters Quetico Forum :: Quetico Forum :: Early Trip Thoughts
In hindsight, I went too early. Normally the water is filled with evergreen pollen but this year it was choked with white fluff. The weather was difficult with really cold nights and plenty of rain. However, I could handle that with the right clothing and campsites. What I really found hard was the howling wind which seemed to continue for nine or ten days. It made fishing and paddling difficult.
There was one night which had thunder storms all night long with gale force winds. Fortunately, I had jammed my canoe between trees and held my tent for dear life. My tarp was ripped and my pots indicated that it rained 5 inches. There were two or three nights where I just got into the tent and it started to rain.
The bugs were great. I had one campsite with a billion house fly like insects and another with a billion gnat like insects. The black flies threatened to get bad but never did and I think I saw under ten mosquitoes. The ticks weren’t great as I extracted over twenty including five from the back of my hair.
The water levels were unbelievable. The Quetico and Conk rapids were impressive. The portage from Boulder to Your has a swamp in the middle and I was able to paddle it. The stream when you come out to Sturgeon from March was non-existent as it was just a bay. Some of my favorite campsites were underwater as Sturgeon was up four to five feet. Dieux Rivere was a straight river and instead of a winding creek.
I was able to get all the way from Your to Eyelet without leaving the canoe until I got within two feet of Eyelet. There was an impediment that seemed solid so I got out to pull the canoe over it. When I stepped on it, I sank and got water up to my chest which made for a cold day.
I am not a great fisherman but I usually catch the big four in reasonable numbers. On this trip I got my share of lake trout, some northerns, very few bass and no walleyes. Places where I normally catch fish shut me out. I don’t know whether it was the water temperature or the amount of water but clearly, I was doing something wrong.
I didn’t see any animals in the park but on the ride back I saw a cinnamon-coloured black bear and three moose two of which were still alive. I also saw an eagle swim twenty-five yards- really neat to watch. I did see a fair number of people, but I didn’t go into the burned areas very much. Snow lake was totally burned, and it is so sad to see that immediately after the fire.
I will go back for my three-week trip in late August and plan to stay away from the fire areas as they are just too depressing.
If you are interested you can see my pic at the following link:
Deux Rivieres was indeed interesting - spent most of our time floating over the terrestrial grasses. In another spot, the sound of our paddles dragging through the tops of completely submerged, flowering blueberry bushes was weird.
Your Stanton Bay campsite - was that one at the mouth of the bay on a small island?
jdddl8: "Well I just completed my 50th Quetico trip and it certainly wasn’t my best. But since I missed last year I was more than happy to complete it. I simplified my two-week route because of weather but I went Beaverhouse, Quetico, Conk, Jean, Red Pine, Boulder, Your, Wild Goose, Eyelet, Snow, Little Pine, Trail, March, Sturgeon, Dore and Pikeral.
Some comments on your photos:
Quetico Post Conk Turn - The channel between the island and the mainland in the pic was almost unnavigable last summer without walking the canoe through a rock garden. What a diff now.
Jean Inside Channel - Where is that?
Jean Campsite - On your recommendation we checked that site out last year. Didn't stay there though. Nice site but the downside was the take-out which was steep. I bet it's okay now.
Creek to Wildgoose - How did you manage against the flow?
Flys Everywhere - Were they isolated to that site? Did they bite? You didn't mention anything about them at your next Sturgeon site. Sometimes I think they congregate in certain spots. We had that last year on Jean on the nice site at the entrance to the lake from the Conk portage. We visited several other sites and they weren't nearly as bad.
The inside of Eden Island.
I have always been able to unload in front of Jean campsite
Three small rapids with six inches of water. Just walked up it pulling canoe.
Only two sites had billions of bugs. Rest were fine except for ticks.