Between Minnesota and Ontario lies two national treasures. On this trip, we paddle our boats and cast our lines between both countries, eating what we catch and living with the rhythm of the day. We start each day at sunrise and go to bed at sunset, with all the time in between spent in our canoes or at a campsite, living life as it was meant to be lived. Bring a book, a fishing pole, a lounge chair and be prepared to tell and listen to lots of stories.
Price: $1495. $150 supplement for pickup in Duluth, MN, and $300 supplement for pickup in Chicago.
Arrival/Departure City: Ely, MN
Day 1: Arrive in Ely by 4 pm. Go to outfitter and get all our gear checked out. Final grocery store visit before our first meal together at a local restaurant.
Day 2: Travel to Moose Lake and get a quick tow by johnboat to Washington Island, on the USA/Canada border. Paddle, fish and begin to relax.
Day 3: Paddle/Fish in Basswood Lake.
Day 4: Paddle/Fish in Burke Lake.
Day 5: Paddle/Fish in North Bay.
Day 6: Paddle back to Prairie Portage and prepare to depart.
Day 7: Johnboat pickup at Prairie Portage. Travel back to Ely and return all gear. Depart back home by noon.
- Guide Services
- All US and Canadian Camping Permits
- All canoeing equipment and group gear rentals
- All meals
- Transport to and from BWCA from Ely, MN.
- Water filtration system
What's NOT Included
- Canadian RABC (Remote Area Border Crossing) Permit
- Fishing licenses
- Fishing tackle
- Insect repellents/sunscreens
- Personal gear/clothing.
- Travel Insurance (required)
- Medical evacuation services or medical care during emergency situations
Who is this trip for? This trip is ideal for outdoorsman and fisherman who have the Boundary Waters on their bucket list. Previous experience setting up a campsite and using fishing tackle is required. All participants need to be able to catch and release fish, as well as get and out of a canoe in deep water, safely.
What fitness level is required? Canoeing for hours at a time requires shoulder strength as well as solid arms. A strong core will help maintain balance while fishing, as well. As a rule of thumb, each participant plus their gear should weigh no more than 100 kg (220lbs), for canoe safety reasons.
Where do I need to meet everyone? This tour assumes that you meet at hotel in Ely, MN, no later than 4 pm on the first day. Once you have paid your deposit, you will receive additional information about where to meet. You will also be invited to an online meeting to discuss the trip and get your questions answered.
What should I do about gear that I need? Do you have a packing list? No less than two months before the trip, you will receive a packing list. However, if you wish to get a jump start, you can do an online search for "BWCA packing list" and whatever you find will be 95% accurate.
What sort of weather can I expect during the trip? Days will be 16 hours long. Sunrise will be at 5 am, and sunset will occur after 9 pm. The weather will be transitioning from Spring to Summer. Weather will be dry and mild, with daytime highs in the upper 60s to lower 70s. Nighttime temperatures will reach to about 50 degrees. The risk of rain is moderate, so bring quality rain gear that you can wear and canoe in.
How does departure work? If you are overwhelmed by the task of getting to Ely, MN, we can pick you up the day before the trip starts in Duluth, MN or Chicago, IL, for an additional fee. The formal trip starts and ends in Ely, MN. You will be dropped off in those same locations as part of the fee.
What are the terms and conditions? A $500 deposit is due upon booking and the entire trip must be paid for 2 months before departure. If you cancel for any reason, there is a 10% non-refundable fee per person, regardless of the period when the cancellation is submitted. You can transfer your fee to a future year or a different trip, at no cost. The park services begin issues permits on Feb 1, so this is the last day to reserve your place on this trip. You can make your deposit below
What are the big concerns for us on the trip? Mosquito bites and sunburn represent the two biggest risks on this trip. Make sure to bring a DEET based repellent and a quality sunscreen that will work for at least 12 hours before wearing off.
What fish species will we be targeting? The four primary species are Northern Pike, Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, and Lake Trout. No live bait is allowed in either park. Due to the low fishing pressure in the region, nearly all spinners, spoons and floating/diving plug varieties will work. Approximately two months before the trip, we will have a discussion regarding fishing tackle in our online meeting.