Paddle - BWCA, Quetico, Sylvania, and other paddling places

Stuart Lake Solo

By Wally Print Icon Print Report View/Leave Comments (0)
Dates:May 8-10, 2015
Entry Point:19 - Stuart River (BWCA)

The maiden voyage of a salvaged Old Town Pack 10. I had found this canoe scuttled in the Stuart River at the end of the long portage a couple years prior. I hauled it out of the woods and brought her home to get a second chance. I patched up about 20 holes that had been deliberately punched in the bottom, re-webbed the seat and re-finished all of the wood. Now it was time to return to the scene.

Pack 10

The trip into Stuart Lake is grueling to say the least. Between the mile and half portage to begin, several beaver dams and a total of six portages, I was beat by the time I made it to camp. I limped my way into campsite #1825 on the island. I've stayed here before and new it was a decent campsite, and it's the closest to the rapids next to the portage in, which happens to be one of the best spots to fish. Set up a hammock and tarp in lieu of a tent, my first attemp at overnighting this way, made a quick dinner and quickly hit the sack.

Beaver DamRapidsHammock and tarp

Saturday morning, Minnesota Walleye Opener! Due to wind conditions I headed to the west side of the lake instead of fishing the rapids on the south side. I was able to set up a perfect drift across the small islands and I had my six fish limit by 9:30. Perfect, because my shoulders couldn't take a full day of paddling around looking for fish. I cleaned fish and spent some time lounging in the hammock. Feeling a little more rested I headed out in search of a few pike, only to find more walleye in the shallower water. A fish dinner and a little campfire time, then straight to the hammock for a full nights sleep.

Limit of walleye

Sunday morning I packed up camp and headed south. I fished near the rapids for a while and caught a couple more 'eyes to take home. On my way out I jumped a pair of swans as I meandered through the Stuart River.


Like always, the trip was much too short. Stuart Lake is one of my favorite places in the BWCA, great fishing and great solitude, that's what it's about.

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