June 21, 2007

Sam's BWCA Solo Paddle

Decided to go back out into the same area we did last week as a solo trip with my Vagabond, and a small Duluth Pack. The trip turned out to be quite an adventure from the start. As you can see in the dock photo the weather was threatening, but I thought I had time to make it across Snowbank (about 2 miles) to the portage before all heck broke loose, wrong!

Learned that the 14' Vagabond is not suited for rough seas on a large lake, made to to an island in the center of the lake, and had to wait it out with the loons and grebes for about 3 hours.
The dark skies of the storm against the deep red sun delivered it's own sense of beauty, and that combined with watching the birds helped pass the time.

The portages out were fairly easy, and my homemade yoke for the Vagabond worked fine, in spite of the slippery, wet conditions on the trails.

But made it back to Disappointment Lake and got a great campsite on a high bluff overlooking a narrow channel where Dennis, Sean & I had caught fish last week. Quickly threw up the Hennesy and a tarp, thinking the weather may return, but the rest of the week was fine!

The views from high on the bluff were beautiful! Especially the early sunrise.

And the fishing right in front of the bluff was good:
The largest ones were 2 to 2-1/2 lbs.

The bite overall was excellent, I lost count at about 30, all smallmouth, kept a few for evening dinner...fried in a mixture of lemon seasoned batter and Japanese bread crumbs - yum!

Very different from bass fishing in Louisiana, the fish really do follow the rules uo here! We often joke about the fish not reading the bass fishing
books, but they sure do in MN.

So, what a great two weeks! Anyone who's never been to the Boundry Waters is missing one of the last pristine wilderness areas left in the lower 48. It reminds me of Alaska, but much easier to get to, and many, many routes to explore by canoe, foot and even snowmobile in the winter. And the town of Ely and it's residentd are a delight, so what are you waiting for? Come on up and join us on the next paddle!