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

Caribou Fishing Opener

By Wally Print Icon Print Report View/Leave Comments (0)
Dates:May 11-13, 2018
Entry Point:62 - Clearwater Lake (BWCA)

2018, by most accounts, was a late spring with most lakes in the north losing their ice just days before the fishing opener. As our entry day approached we anxiously watched reports coming out of Clearwater Historic Lodge. When we arrived on Friday, May 11th Clearwater Lake was still almost completely covered in ice. Luckily the folks at Clearwater Lodge helped us out by shutteling us down S Clearwater Rd. to the small southern bay where the portage begins, and they also allowed us to park our vehicle at the lodge. We were able to paddle across the bay and save our trip. Once into Caribou Lake we had little problem with ice. There was some sheet ice still floating around the north shore of the lake but we were able to easily paddle down to the far east side and set up camp at site #690. For a trip that was nearly thwarted by ice, we had some of the best weather we have ever had in the BWCA, particulary for a May trip. I wish I could say the same for the fishing. We fished most of the day Saturday with no luck, not exactly a storybook walleye opener. Nonetheless, we had an incredible trip with the lake to ourelves and ample sunshine. It's a rare occasion when you can lie out on the rocks and get a tan in early May up there. Sunday was another sunny morning, however we had a farily stiff west wind to contend with on our padddle out. We made it down Caribou Lake (no ice to speak of) in a little over an hour and made quick work of the 206 rod prtage back to Clearwater. We attempted to skirt the shoreline back to Clearwater Lodge but the wind had all of the remaining ice jammed up against the shoreline. So we backtracked into the small bay where S Clearwater Rd ends and walked the 1.3 miles back to the lodge to retrieve our car. All in all a really fantastic trip, just wish we could have boated a few 'eyes to top it off.

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