Monday, July 29, 2013

Used canoe sale

Be the proud owner of a Spirit of the Wilderness 

kevlar canoe this year

Are you looking to purchase a used kevlar this Fall?  Look to Spirit of the Wilderness, Ely Mn for your first and last stop when shoppig for a used kevlar canoe. We recondition our kevlar canoes the right way...we use the right resin, no spar varnish! You will be proud to own and use a canoe bought from Spirit of the Wilderness.

Kevlar canoes come with ash carrying yoke w/pads, internal skid plates,external skid plates when needed, new coat of resin on outside, all rivots are tight, and Minnesota registration.

Wenonah kevlar canoes available:

  • Spirit II
  • Champlain
  • Boundary Waters
  • Minnesota II
  • Minnesota 3
 Bell Works kevlar available;

  • Northwind
  • Seliga

To hold a canoe we request a $300.00 deposit. Canoes will be released for pick up after September 2. Canoes can be transported to the Twin Cities area for an additional $25.00 transportation fee.

Call 800-950-2709 or email: for pricing and availability.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Waters are high in the BWCA

Lake One entry point water levels are up with the recent rains. When we picked up canoes yesterday it was clearly evident how high the water level was. Normally we would be seeing 2X the beach area.

Be prepared to use portages around any rapids as conditions may be hazardous. And always wear your life jacket whenever you are in your canoe, kayak or boat.

We always strongly recommend; do not run, shoot or go down any rapids with a kevlar or aluminum canoe. It's a bad way to buy a canoe if you damage one.

Lake One entry point - high water

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Spend Time in the Boundary Waters

Two Fall Specials as Seen in the Star Tribune

August - September 30, 2013

Call Spirit of the Wilderness, Ely MN, today to reserve your

Boundary Waters Adventure

Hegman Lake Pictographs
Special #1
3 days / 2 night Complete Outfitted BWCA Canoe Trips
Ideal for a long weekend in the Boundary Waters, a quick fishing trip or a family outing

$199.00 per person (regularly $290.00)

  • kevlar canoe w/wood bentshaft paddles, life jackets, carrying yoke w/pads, straps and pads to attach onto your vehicle for transporting to entry point
  • 7 meals while on the trail: 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners + snacks
  • Sleeping bags w/thermorest pads
  • Tents
  • Packs
  • Cook kit w/utencils
  • Stove w/fuel
  • Dining tarp
  • Matches, TP, water filter and more
  • Must reserve outfitting in advance of BWCA entry permit date (allows us to have everything ready for your arrival)
  • USFS BWCA permit and usage fees additional
  • Maximum 9 people/4 water craft to a permit
  • Trip must start no later than September 30, 2013
  • No additional discounts apply
  • Additional days available at regular rate

Special #2
BWCA Canoe Rental

Rent either kevlar or aluminum canoe for 2 days, get third day FREE (must rent 2 or more canoes)

  • Kevlar or aluminum canoe
  • Paddles, life jackets, carrying yoke w/pads
  • Straps and pads to attach canoes to your vehicle for transporting to entry point

  • Must rent 2 or more canoes for same trip
  • Rental days must be consecutive
  • Advanced reservation required
  • USFS BWCA permit and usage fees additional

Call Spirit of the Wilderness, Ely MN today to reserve your

Boundary Waters Adventure

800-950-2709 or email:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Wildlife spotted in the Ely Area

A number of sightings of wolves on the Fernberg Road and south along FS 377/Tomahawk RD toward Lake Isabella have been reported. Seems early morning has been the best times. One group reported seeing a radio collared wolf. If they also had subsequently seen a moose, bear and white tail deer they indicated their trip would have been complete and they would go home early. Well they did not and completed their 5-day BWCA trip starting a Moose Lake, over to Wind Lake onto Wind Bay, Hula Lake and ending at Wood Lake.  Great fishing, swatted some mosquitoes and are already planning next year's trip.

A moose sighting!
Great to report a moose sighting given all the news that the Minnesota moose population has been on a steep decline for the past 2-3 years. A group traveling along Island River, entry point 34, reported hearing a load crashing noise coming through the woods toward them. Waiting to see what it was...a moose came rushing out of the woods toward the water not caring what was in its way. It immediately immersed itself in the river until only its head was showing. Seems the bugs finally got the best of the moose.

Do you have a observance to report?  Send your story to and we will post it on our blog.  If your story is published we will send you a Spirit of the Wilderness hat as a small thank you for your contribution.  Be sure to include your name, mailing address and email address so we can contact you.  As always, Spirit of the Wilderness is confidential with contact information and does not sell or provide names to anyone else. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Fishing report - July 21, 2013

South Kawishiwi River:
Crappies are biting on the Kawishiwi River! Use a blue & white Rapala #6 or #7 size tossing into 3-4 feet of water along the mud banks. A 2/5 oz 5 of diamonds spoon has also been working well.

Gabbro/Bald Eagle Lakes
Walleyes have been hitting on leeches in Gabbro in 18-20 feet of water using a spinner with a hammered nickle spinner ro a 1/4 oz jig working right off the bottom.

Spirit of the Wilderness is your one-stop BWCA outfitter and bait shop located on East Sheridan Street Ely, MN. Open 6 am - 9 pm daily. Yes...we have leeches!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

It's blueberry time in the northwoods

We spotted nice size blueberries this week that were ready for picking. Just in time for Ely's Blueberry Festival next weekend; July 26-28.  Are you coming to Ely for the Festival in Whiteside Park?  Plan to spend some extra time exploring all the craft-filled tents, great food and of course indulge in a piece of blueberry pie.
Wild blueberries

But don't stop there! Come over to Spirit of the Wilderness Outfitters and Outdoor Store for great sales on Columbia sportswear and footwear, TEVA sandels, camping gear, water tubes and more.We are open 6 am - 9 pm daily. Located at 2030 E. Sheridan St, Ely MN.  Check us out at

Annual concert on the deck
Mark your calendars for August 3. We will have our annual concert on the deck. This year "BLT" will be providing music from 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm.  Bring your lawn chair for a evening of fine music. Rain or shine

"BLT" is a folk trio made up of Twin Cities musicians Karl Burke, Rich Lindell and Roady Tate. The group performs contemporary and traditional folks songs along with Celtic, oldies ad pop tunes.  The unique blend of voices, guitars and musical styles will keep you coming back again and again.

See you in Ely soon for canoeing, special sales, the Blueberry Festival, concert on our deck or perhaps all of it.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fishing report - July 13, 2013

If you are willing to do a bit of paddling for excellent walleye and bass fishing; travel out to Insula Lake. Enter the BWCA at Lake One, #30F, paddling through Lake One, Two Three, Four, Hudson and finally the 105 rod portage into Insula. The southern shore of Insula was affected by the 2011 Pagami Creek Fire, but what a neat place to visit looking at the regeneration of ground cover and wildlife.

Move onto the northeastern section of the lake working the reefs and drop-offs with jigs and leeches. Bass are hitting on top water lures right in the weed beds. A father and son reported today catching 5-28+ inch walleyes, 3-4 lb bass and more. Pictures to follow when they are able to get email access.

Gabbro and Bald Eagle, entry #33, have been producing plenty of walleyes, bass and 30+ inch pike.An Ohio group reported catching a 38 inch pike that grabbed the lure, dove to the bottom and the fisherman dropped his rod in the excitement, grabbed the line and pulled the fish in hand over hand. What a great memory of fishing the BWCA.

There is still time to travel and fish the Boundary Waters this summer and into the fall. Permits are still available with some limitations for dates and entry points. Make lifetime memories this summer. Call Spirit of the Wilderness, Ely MN at 800-950-2709 for more details on fishing the BWCA, reserving your permit and outfitting needs

Check out our website Special Offers for August-September. Visit

Monday, July 8, 2013

Leeches, night crawlers and more - July 7 2013 fishing report

Leeches and night crawlers are the hot bait right now on most lakes in the Ely area lakes and BWCA.

Lake Isabella, Gabbro, Bald Eagle have been giving up great walleyes. Drift in your canoe across 18 foot depths using a chartreuss jig with a leech or crawler in the morning hours.The web beds have been good for small bass action. Use a top water lure; skitter pop, hula popper, jitter bug etc.  Throw right into the weeds and retrieve your lure along with short jerks causing bubble and action to catch the fish attention.

Pick up your live bait at Spirit of the Wilderness, on east end of Sheridan Street, Ely MN. Open 6am-9pm daily. email: or call 218-365-3149

More critters on the deck, Ely MN

Red Squirrel 
Luke, our dog, chased this critter up the tree outside our Sheridan Street door. He finally jumped down and ran off with Luke chasing behind. Corben, one of our staff, commented that he has never seen Luke run so fast. The squirrel got away.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Interesting critters come visiting

A number of different moths have been showing themselves around our Ely building. Don't know what this means but each type of moth has been interesting to observe. This moth stayed around so our customers could have a good look and take photos.
Cecropia Silmoth, from Saturniidae family

Saturday, July 6, 2013

BWCA Fishing Report - July 5, 2013

Bass are hitting on top water in the lily pads. Best time seems to be in the evening hours. Using jitterbugs, hula poppers, skitter pops have produced results.
Night crawlers and leeches are doing well when fishing for walleyes. Still 12-18 feet deep or in areas with a current are your best choices.

Shagawa and Basswood produced some large walleyes, bass and northerns this past week.

Here is a trifecta by Tommy Dowden of Indiana. Out fished his dad!

8 lb 8 oz on the left, 6 lb on right (Dads)

M Martin on Basswood

Friday, July 5, 2013

Kawishiwi Ranger District update - June 25, 2013

      More campsites have been opened on Three, Horseshoe, Harbor, and the Wilders. This should be the last group of campsite openings for the Kawishiwi District.  116 campsites were affected by the 2011 Pagami Creek Fire on the Kawishiwi and the Tofte Districts.  To date 18 sites remain closed in the Kawishiwi Ranger District.  These sites will remain closed for a rest period of 4-10 years.  
     The maps will be updated on the Superior National Forest web page;
      Bear activity
      The USFS has received a few more bear reports:
o    S. Arm of Knife L (probably the same bear making its rounds). No aggressive action but quite persistent.
o   Basswood: especially around Washington Island. Also no aggressive action but very persistent.

Remember to keep your campsite clean, do not bring any food or toiletries into your tent, hang your food pack (12 feet up and at least 3 feet away from trunk of tree) away from your tent and main area of your campsite or use a bear resistant food container.

Entering & exiting the BWCA:
·         You are required to enter the BWCA on a specific date at a specific entry point as listed on your permit. Once you exit the wilderness your trip is done and you will need a new permit to re-enter. The USFS is hearing reports of people who camp on Disappointment or Lake One and other close-in lakes who are treating their sites like campgrounds—going into town or nearby resorts to shop or buy ice cream then paddling back out to their campsite. There are campgrounds and dispersed sites (Tofte, Snowbank, Triangle, Ojibway, Burntside, Bass L., etc.) if you are looking for that sort of experience. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Granite Mountain Hotshot will be missed

I'm sure you heard about the Hotshot crew in Arizona that died a few days ago. Just found out they were here in the Ely area fighting the 2011 Pagami Creek Fire. Our prayers go out to all their family and friends. We are thankful for each fire fighter and all they give to their community and those in need.  Thanks Granite Mountain Hotshots. You will be missed.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Turtles are laying eggs

One of our guests reported painted turtles and snapping turtles are laying their eggs. A bit later than normal.
The painted turtles moved onto sandy/gravel shore, laid their eggs and then a snapper moved in; trashed the painted turtle's nests and laid her own eggs over the top.  Sounds like a bully momma to me.
Painted turtles sunning themselves
Snapping turtle laying her eggs