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BWCA Report – July 2022

  • Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11293
    #2138678

    We just returned from a trip to the BWCA. This was a first for my wife and daughter (8). My son (10) was on his second trip. We joined a good friend and his wife and kids (8 and 6). Our friend is quite experienced in the BWCA–no outfitter necessary.

    We chose a location that wasn’t too big of water and that kept our portaging to a minimum so as not to overwhelm anyone. We lucked out and got a fantastic campsite after a short portage and paddle. Of course, it started pouring as we paddled into the site, but it didn’t last long. As we started to set up camp, the kids went exploring. Soon, our friends’ son returned to tell us that our son had gotten hurt–ugh. I went to find. He’d cut his foot on a rock, so I carried him back to camp. Luckily, our friend is a vet surgeon and had a well-stocked 1st aid kit along. Our son was brave, and our friend stitched up the bottom of his foot. Lemme tell you, there was a lot of screaming and crying! It saved us a long trip to the ER, though, and he did fine the rest of the trip.

    The weather was windy, and the first 2 days, we would get sun, rain, sun, rain, sun, rain all day. It wasn’t bad, but it was a little frustrating to go out fishing in the sun and be getting rained on in 30 minutes.

    We had good luck fishing and ate walleye every night. Most fish were caught shallow (< 5′) near weed beds trolling shallow diving crank baits. We found several spots that consistently produced fish. The kids did well and really enjoyed themselves. We caught several pike in the low 30″ class–my wife got the first. Not to be outdone by mom, my son got a bigger one the next day. And my daughter got a nice one the following day. It was her first experience with bigger fish (i.e. not panfish), and she did awesome. Unfortunately, we picked a lake without smallmouth, but the walleye and pike kept us pretty busy.

    Our slowest day was the last day when the weather got hotter and sunnier. I’m guessing it pushed the fish a bit deeper, but we still caught some.

    All in all, it was a successful 5-day trip, and my wife and daughter said they’d love to go again.

    More pics to follow as I get them uploaded.

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    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11293
    #2138684

    BWCA ER and one of many loons.

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    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11293
    #2138689

    Some fishing pics.

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    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11293
    #2138693

    More fishing pics.

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    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11293
    #2138698

    Wrapping up the day.

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    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7913
    #2138701

    Nicely done. What a difference a year makes in terms of drought, dryness, and fire bans.

    Good thing your friend was able to patch up the kid too otherwise that trip would have been cut short!

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11293
    #2138704

    What a difference a year makes in terms of drought, dryness, and fire bans.

    Definitely. Last year was odd without campfires.

    Good thing your friend was able to patch up the kid too otherwise that trip would have been cut short!

    For sure. Dr. Nate to the rescue. Major trip saver!

    Dutchboy
    Participant
    International Falls a few miles from Rainy Lake
    Posts: 13189
    #2138710

    I guessing the kids will remember these BWCA canoe trips much more than day fishing trips in a boat. Well done dad and you have a special wife for doing this also. applause applause

    Rick Janssen
    Participant
    Posts: 264
    #2138723

    Great story and photos. My 30th trip that was to happen in June got called off on account of the flooding in the area we were to travel. Hopefully, we will be back next year. Your photos stirred many memories of taking my son. His first trip was when he was 12 and it rained every day. I was sure he would never return, but he did 8 more trips with me. He was scheduled for this year again but as stated it did not heppen. He says to put him down for next year.

    Gitchi Gummi
    Participant
    Posts: 1230
    #2138724

    Great trip report and kudos to you for getting the kids up there. There’s nothing like the BWCA and being completely unplugged from society, screens, phones, and light and noise pollution. Are you having withdrawals? It usually takes me a solid 2-3 days before the withdrawals of BWCA solitude subside.

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11293
    #2138728

    Are you having withdrawals?

    Yeah, it is certainly a great way to get away from the hectic pace of life. Back to the real world, I guess. The entire family said, “I can’t believe it’s time to leave already.”

    BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 6997
    #2138740

    Awesome trip and pics Ryan! Your little guy is tough! Add that to the list of things that will make it an unforgettable trip.

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11293
    #2139013

    Your little guy is tough!

    Believe me, he was very hesitant to go through with it, but the alternative was paddling/portaging out and driving a couple of hours to an ER/urgent care. I think the anticipation was the worst part for him. These were his first stitches–I told him the next time will likely be much less painful.

    Jon Jordan
    Keymaster
    St. Paul, Mn
    Posts: 4416
    #2139016

    Awesome report! Thanks for sharing.

    -J.

    fishthumper
    Participant
    Sartell, MN.
    Posts: 6904
    #2139017

    In my younger days I spend a LOT of time in the BWCA. I was around you sons age when I took my first trip there with our church group. Even though I was one of, if not the smallest person on the trip ( I was really small all the way through high school ) I ended up carrying either the Canoe or the heavy food pack on most of the longest portages. I guess that’s what happens when you are on a trip with lots of girls. That trip was the first on many over the next 6-8 years. Its been far to long since I visited the BWCA. I need to make plans to get back up there. Glad you and your Family had a great time. Looks like lots of nice fish caught as well.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9895
    #2139024

    Sounds like a fun trip. Your son is a real trooper for sure that had to be painful!

    mxskeeter
    Participant
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts: 3516
    #2139163

    Your son got his man card on the trip. Stitches without painkiller is TOUGH! Wonderful pics and report. Wonderful parents to do this trip. waytogo waytogo

    Just a question—-Where was Ripley?

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11293
    #2139165

    Just a question—-Where was Ripley?

    Lol. The thought of a wet, 85 lb dog in a small tent is not appealing, and he’d be a pain in the butt in a canoe.

    We do take him car camping, but he won’t be coming to the BWCA with us.

    mxskeeter
    Participant
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts: 3516
    #2139168

    I figured you would stretch a ball out in front of the canoe, tie Ripley to the canoe and you wouldn’t have to paddle. whistling
    I don’t think the BWCA has a 1 dog hp ban on any of the lakes.
    rotflol rotflol

    AK Guy
    Participant
    Posts: 521
    #2139184

    Thanks for the write up. It brings up memories of my childhood, except the stitches part.

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