A Three Generation Trip To The BWCA

Jerry Spies BWCA Journal

This is my grandfather's journal from a BWCA trip, my Grandfather, my Dad, and I went on when I was 6 years old. I remember little bits and pieces of that trip, I'm glad my grandfather made this journal of the trip so when I got older I could appreciate and better remember the trip we all went on. I interpreted the journal in this fishing story, I hope you all enjoy it.  



We are on the way to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and are at a cafe a few miles north of Silver Bay stopping for a break. It is 47 with some rain and fog. We are all anxious to go camping and fishing. Trent is especially excited, he is only 6 years old and this is one of his first trips to the Boundary Waters. 

BWCA Setting Up Camp

We got to our campsite after a nice gentle paddle in at around 4:30, we started to pitch the tent and of course, Joel forgot the tent polls and rope…. We decided that we weren’t gonna go back and we would make do with what we have; a carabiner, the short canoe rope, and some trees. We made it work! Thankfully the weather came around, it was 57 and partly cloudy. The bugs were abundant as were expected. There were plenty of black flies, mosquitoes, and gnats, thankfully we didn’t forget the bug spray… 

Trent holding some nice walleyes

Our first evening in the BWCA, we had camp made, beautiful weather, and we got to fish from shore using slip bobbers and live bait. While we were fishing there were two loons playing with each other about 25 feet from shore, it was a very peaceful feeling. We planned on having a late dinner after I take a nap, Joel and Trent decided to go fishing from the canoe which they found great success, they caught two nice walleyes and one smallmouth bass. Time to chow down, we had a nice dinner around the fire and went to bed. A great first day. 


Joel and Trent BWCA Cutting up Walleye

Our first morning in the BWCA I woke up around 6 am after hearing Joel reel in a nice smallmouth from shore. We all decided to quickly make some coffee and go fishing on the canoe before having breakfast. I think we did pretty good for ourselves this morning, I caught my first smallmouth of the trip, Joel caught Two walleyes, and Trent caught a nice walleye (soon to be breakfast). When we got back it was around 10 am, Joel cleaned the three walleyes as Trent watched, and we had a nice little shore brunch. 

Joel and Trent Cooking Walleye BWCA

After brunch, we decide to back into the canoe and fish this afternoon. Despite our luck this morning we had no luck this afternoon. So we had to suffer and eat steak for dinner… after making it through our steak dinner I noticed that a Thunderstorm was coming in and Joel still wanted to fish tonight. So, we all decided it would be a good idea to carve our way through the wood for a nice shore fishing spot, after fishing from shore for a little while it started to rain, Joel pleaded that it would pass over so we stayed. After about 15 minutes the rain did not pass over, so we quickly went back to the tent running through the woods at night. When we finally got back in the tent we were all soaked like “three drowned rats” with some cuts and bruises from running through the woods we finally decided to call it a night.


Jerry BWCA Northern Pike

On our last morning, we all woke up around 6:30, it was cold and windy. Thank god the rain stopped. We had our breakfast, hung around the campsite, and packed up some stuff before we went fishing again. We had another good day of fishing we caught some walleye, smallmouth, and northern pike. I caught a small northern pike and I managed to snag a large smallmouth on top of its head… Joel did well and he caught all of the above.

BWCA on the way out

I have to say this has been a good campsite and was close to some good fishing spots. The mosquitos are getting bad, we are going to head home today after some afternoon fishing.