All seems well with the wilderness world on mornings like this. Our campsite is hidden in the pines on the far side of the picture. My first cast nailed a 28″ pike and the second cast hit a medium small-mouth bass. One can only live in the moment, drink in the beauty, and attempt to stay sane with black flies and mosquitoes fighting for a limited supply of blood. Not many people who enter Boundary Waters will work hard enough to see this lake.
It’s a primitive place on the Minnesota-Canadian border with no motors allowed. Portaging canoes and all you care to bring in packs from lake to lake is how it’s done. Designated campsites are marked only by the presence of a fire grate and a sit-on latrine (picture a green bucket with a small lip to sit on in the woods). We worked hard to get out of people range so we only saw a couple of groups silently paddle by in five days. Always bring someone who knows how to cook over a fire and don’t forget the matches.
We ate the whole stringer of fish for a late lunch. The picture above is a day trip photo where we pulled up to a nice area on shore, filleted the fish boneless, battered and fried them over a small camp stove. A side bag of trail mix with fish (we might not have eaten much trail mix) kept us healthy until the evening feast back at camp. We only kept nice eater size fish and released the bigger ones.
Pictured above is a typical small-mouth bass caught from the camp site. We caught three species of fish from this site. We released most of our fish as we brought almost enough food to keep us happy. Hand sized fillets come from the large bluegill we caught. 11-12″ gills are common here and I may bring the fly rod next time.
This year it was a father-son trip. It’s extremely harsh wilderness at times but this year the only rough times were the portage trails up to half a mile long, the bugs just out of winter hibernation (they are monsters) and the challenge of dragging the canoes over bogs and through some fast flowing rocky rapids areas. Some of the bush-whacking day trips where Sasquatch might well hide out took it’s toll on our clothing and skin; and I didn’t like the blood suckers thinking I was fair game (leeches eat on dead things in the water, blood suckers eat on live things).
Should you ever decide to explore this region, go with someone who has some experience in reading a map, knowing what and what not to bring, cooking, wilderness first aide, setting up a camp, fishing the Canadian shield areas, portaging and a healthy dose of outdoor common sense.
Concerning electronics: It’s almost a scientific fact; the water seems to call them somehow. Cameras, GPS systems, and cell phones (no signal in most places) need a waterproof case. I now recommend something float-able.