Buck Lake


By Auralee Strege Print Icon Print Report View/Leave Comments (0)
Dates:July 1-4, 2011
Entry Point:1 - Trout Lake (BWCA)
Type:Canoeing
Lakes:Buck, Chad, Trout, Vermilion, Western

Short Version of Trip Report to BWCA

Day One:
We woke up at 3:30 am. and went to the ranger station in Ely, MN to pick up the permit. We arrived at Lake Vermillion on Moccasin Point around 7:20 am. There was a slight SW breeze at our backs for most of the paddling we did on the lake. We saw a couple motor boats fishing on our way to entry point #1. After an hour and a half paddle we came to a 40 rod portage leading into a lake located in the BWCA named Trout Lake. Trout Lake was another large lake we paddled on for another hour and half, until a 60 rod portage leading to a river. After paddling on the river for 45 min. we came to another 250 rod portage. Ben and I climbed a rocky hill overlooking the river before we started on the long portage. After the portage, we entered Chad Lake. The paddle over Chad Lake was just long enough to give us a breather, before we had another 260 rod portage leading to Buck Lake.
Rock face we climbed
Rock face we climbed
Buck Lake was a beautiful lake we had all to ourselves for the next 3 days. We arrived at the campsite at 1:30 pm. The campsite was open with a few red pines standing around the fire grate overlooking the Lake; I thought it was a 4 star site from the great view of the Lake and level tent pad area, but there wasn’t anything remarkable about it, so I didn’t give it a 5 star. After setting up camp, we went for a swim before taking nap in our tent since we both felt exhausted. The heat in the tent woke me up first, and I went for another swim to cool off. We went fishing before dinner hoping to catch something big enough to eat that night. Ben and I caught two small walleyes not big enough for dinner, a little ways from our campsite. We didn’t feel like fishing around the entire lake that evening so we went back to camp and made dinner. I made a little fire after we cleaned up camp that night.
Camp Fire
Camp Fire


Day Two:
We woke up around 8 am and made pancakes for breakfast. After cleaning up, we decided to fish the deeper part of Buck Lake. On the way to the deep area of the lake, we stopped at another campsite on Buck that wasn’t on the map. Ben wanted to get pictures of the site for his website. We started catching fish after visiting the campsite. We caught four walleyes while we were on the deeper part, each fish we caught kept getting larger than the last one.
Walleye's we caught on Buck
Walleye's we caught on Buck
While fishing, we saw a rock face we decided to climb. On top of the small cliff we found some blueberries to munch on while enjoying the view of the lake.
Rock face on Buck
Rock face on Buck
We stopped at the other campsite on Buck to take pictures of the fish before letting two go. We spent the rest of the day going for a swim whenever we felt warm and reading our books.

Day Three:
This morning we woke up earlier than yesterday and made breakfast before setting off on the water for fishing. We decided to explore Western Lake, an 80 rod portage from Buck. The portage to Western Lake didn’t look well used; the grass was grown up and it was one of the muddiest portages we had ever been on. We fished Western Lake after looking at the campsite. We got a few bites but never reeled in anything to the boat. After fishing Western, we went back and fished Buck. It was a windy day and the canoe was getting hard to control, so we didn’t fish Buck long before heading back to camp. Ben caught a walleye big enough for dinner. That evening I made another fire while Ben went fishing on another part of Buck.

Day Four:
After eating breakfast we started taking down camp to travel back to Trout Lake. The portages back were just as long and tiring as the first time. We made it to Trout at noon where we set up camp on an island. We fished around the island we were staying on but didn’t catch anything. We spent the rest of the day reading, swimming, and making dinner.

Day Five:
We woke up at 5 am. and took down camp. There was a bit of a wind on Trout that morning causing the waves to pick up. We didn’t have to fight our way through anything rough long, since the water started to calm down as we entered a different part of Trout. It was a nice paddle back on Lake Vermillion. We spent the rest of the day at the Strege’s playing pickle ball, boating, tubing, and waterskiing, This was definitely a 4th we won’t forget.
Portage to Trout Lake
Portage to Trout Lake