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

Brook Trout and Johnson Falls

By IHearTheRain Print Icon Print Report View/Leave Comments (2)
Dates:August 23-26, 2019
Entry Point:64 - East Bearskin Lake (BWCA)
Lakes:Alder, Bench, Canoe, Crystal, East Bearskin, Spaulding

Thursday, 22 August 2019 We drove from the twin cities to the Nor’Wester Lodge & Outfitters, which is about thirty minutes up the Gunflint Trail from Grand Marais. There we checked in for our camper cabin and finished the paperwork for our entry permit. Reminder for future BWCA trip... the DNR now requires way more information on the crew, so make sure to complete that paperwork before hand. Time was on our side, so we went by to Grand Marais for one last "civilized" meal...yum.

Sunset on Grand Marias

Friday, 23 August 2019 We got up at about sunrise, checked out and drove 15 minutes to the Ease Bearskin Lake entry point. We has less than eight miles to paddle the east through Alder Lake, Canoe Lake to the end of Crystal Lake, it was a rather leisurely day. Thankfully the campsite we wanted was open and in good shape.

Saturday, 24 August 2019 Today's mission was to fish for brook trout on Bench Lake. The east campsite is close enough to walk to the portage, so we geared up and walked to Spaulding Lake. A quick 500 foot paddle or so and we were on the portage to Bench. What can I say, 16 feet of clear water, hungry brook trout and no one else in was a blast. We caught what we needed for dinner and headed back to camp to cook up our bounty.

Brook TroutCooking Onion Rings & Trout

Sunday, 25 August 2019 After lunch we day-tripped to Johnson Falls. While we knew the route, we failed to consider the nearly 4 miles of walking to get there and back from Canoe Lake. Without sounding too dramatic one of our crew was jumping across a couple of rocks at at the falls and injured her knee, which meant we had to assist her across more that two miles of ground and two miles of water to make it back to camp.

Johnson FallsHasty Splint

Monday, 26 August 2019 We concluded that the knee injury was bad enough that we needed to cut our trip short, so we ate our breakfast and packed up camp as quickly as we could. Leaving camp we realized that we had to assist her in and out of the canoe; however, she was able to walk across the portages with a spinted leg and a solid walking stick. To keep up our normal exit pace, one of us was loaded up with two packs to that we would not have to double hop any of the return portages. After the drive home we later learned that she had suffered a torn ACL and medial meniscus, which were surgically repaired in mid-October. Her's wishing a speedy recovery so that she can join us again next year.

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