Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bear activity report, Lake Two & Three, September 24, 2013

From September. 16 through today, the USFS has received some bear reports from Lakes Two and Three. They are not sure whether it is one bear or two. The activity has been from one of the campsites on the southern shore of Lake Two, to the western most campsite on the south shore of Lake Three, back to Lake Two at the site closest to the portage into Rifle lake. The bear is persistent and was successful in getting hold of food on at least one site.

Bear awareness*:
  • Keep a clean campsite. Never eat or store food in your tent
  • Take all precautions to discourage bears from visiting your site, including hanging your food pack or using a bear-resistant container, as well as garbage and anything that has a strong or sweet odor (soap, toothpaste, etc.).
  • Some bear overcome their fear of humans and approach campsites looking for food. This includes islands sites since bears are good swimmers.
  • If you do encounter a bear, most will be scared off if you make noise (shout, bang pots, or throw fist sized rocks at the bear, etc.).
  • A very persistent bear may be discouraged by spraying pepper spray into its eyes.
 * USFS "Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Trip Planning Guide

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Spiny Waterfleas confirmed in Shagawa Lake, Ely MN

Spiny waterfleas, an invasive species, have been confirmed in Shagawa lake as reported by the Ely Echo newspaper September 14.

Here are a few notable points made in the article;

Samples were confirmed by the MN DNR. Spiny Waterflea is a small planktonic crustacean that competes with small fish for food of microscopic animal plankton. The waterflea is not eaten by small fish.

Rich Rezanka, DNR aquatic invasive species specialist said "It is critical for anglers to remove spiny waterfleas from all equipment because their eggs can live out of water for more than 12 hours and be transported to other waters." When populations are high, anglers can experience frustration with masses of spiny waterfleas clogging fishing and downrigging lines and other equipment

Burntside lake, upstream from Shagawa, was designated infested in 2010. Shagawa and Fall Lakes will now be added to the list of infested waters. There is the likelihood of infestation spread.

Due to the discovery of spiny waterfleas bait harvest for any purpose is prohibited in Shagawa and Fall lakes.

Be sure to remove all aquatic plants, zebra mussels, and other prohibited invasive species, drain water from all water equipment including bait containers, drain bilges and livewells by removing the drain plug before leaving the boat landing.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Basswood produces Big Fish

Like early Spring, the Fall is another time in the season for big pike to be caught. Justin C. caught this 44+ inch one on Basswood yesterday working the currents using a big sucker minnow. He did CPR on the fish...catch, photograph and released it to be caught another day. It was fun to hear him tell the story of how he saw a "log" come swimming near the bottom, how it hit the minnow and the fight a fish like this can provide. He also hooked into one that was even bigger, but it broke his line and swam away.

Justin C, 44+ inch Pike, Basswood lake
Be sure to stop in at Spirit of the Wilderness Outfitters and Outdoor Store, Ely, MN for all your fishing and outfitting needs. October 1-5; hours: 7-6pm  October 6-12; 8 am-5pm. Or by appointment if needed.

See you in Ely soon for the Fall colors and great wilderness travel.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

8 Reasons Why Spirit of the Wilderness Should Repair your Canoe?

Spirit of the Wilderness, Ely MN has been repairing and reconditioning canoes for customers, other outfitters and our own canoes for over 14 years.  Why use our services?

1. Repairs of all types
  • We work on many brands of canoes; Wenonah, Bell, Souris River, Mad River, Old Town and more.
  • Repairs include; cuts, tears, scrapes, holes, divots, reconditioning, applying skid plates, installing and/or replacing gunwales, seats, yokes and pads. 
  • For the average canoeist, our reconditioning should last 5-8 years. How do we know? We see our previous work when customers return years later to show us their canoes. Our process works and the satisfaction of our customers is great to see.
2. Take time to prep
  • We use time proven methods in preparing your canoe and have consulted with each manufacturer for their recommendations and techniques.
  • Sanding to the correct level, cleaning with the right solvent, and applying resin coat at the optimum temperature is critical for a lasting performance.
3. Use the correct resin
  • Each brand of canoe is made with a specific resin.  We use the resin recommended by the manufacture for your canoe. 
  • We carefully apply the resin to get a smooth, consistent coat without major drips.
4. No spar varnish
  • We do not use spar varnish...that's for wood! 
  • A varnish gives a nice shine to the canoe, temporarily covers scratches, BUT most importantly wears off in a year or so of use. 
5. Allow time for curing
  • After the appropriate resin is applied to the canoe, your reconditioned canoe is brought inside overnight to set-up and cure. 
  • It is recommended your canoe be kept out of the water for 2-3 days to ensure the resin is completely cured or dry.
6. Final inspection
  • After the resin is applied and cures, we inspect your canoe. 
  • We look, feel and remove any raised fibers and bumps that would interfere with a smooth glide when paddling.
7. Affordable and timely
  • Our quality work is affordable. 
  • When you drop off your canoe for reconditioning or repair we provide an estimate of cost and set a time for completion. 
  • If we locate or determine additional work is required after you drop off your canoe, we contact you for authorization before anything is done. 
8. Your business is appreciated
  • We know you have a choice of who will recondition or repair your canoe. Earning your business every time is a key value for us.
  • You want to be proud of your canoe and we can help by doing quality work at an affordable rate.
  • Our reputation is important to us. We want you to be able to say..." I chose Spirit of the Wilderness because they do great work, treated me openly and fairly."
  • Lastly, you will hear a heartfelt "thank you" every time you choose Spirit of the Wilderness. Your business is appreciated!
This is how we would want to be treated. 

Contact Spirit of the Wilderness Outfitting & Outdoor Store today for all your canoeing and outfitting needs.
Phone: 800-950-2709
Stop in:  2030 E. Sheridan Street Ely, MN 55731

Big Northern Pike

Knife lake has been producing great fish this year. B. Johnson from Rochester MN
submitted this 44 inch northern pike from his September canoe trip with his brother.

44 inch northern pike

This is the time of year many of our guests come back with stories of the "big one" that they caught, grabbed their stringer of fish or simply got it up to the boat and the line broke. Sure makes for great stories and lifetime memories.

Spirit of the Wilderness Outfitters & Outdoor Store, Ely MN is open and sending wilderness Fall travelers into the Boundary Waters and area lakes. We will be open well into October for all your outfitting and fishing needs.

Call us at 800-950-2709 or email; for up-to-date Fall conditions and fishing report.

See you in Ely soon.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wolf encounter

While traveling North Grassy Road, off the Echo Trail, yesterday morning, I came across a dark colored wolf in the middle of the road. Rather thin but healthy looking. We both stopped and looked at each other, then into the low brush it went stopping about 30 feet in. I whistled as if calling my dog turned and gave me one more look...then vanished.  What a site and opportunity. No photos were taken as this all lasted about 30-45 seconds.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Swimming with turtles in the BWCA

Paul T and nephews Matt and Spencer are long time customers of ours. Each year they travel the Boundary Waters with their family and friends. Each year they return with wonderful stories of their adventures. This year they swam with turtles.


2013 BWCA Swimming with a snapping turtle near Thunder Point on Knife Lake. The turtle came onto shore as they were eating lunch and Paul, Matt and Spencer joined it in the water. The turtle shell was about 2 feet in length - this was an old guy.

Thanks Paul and Matt for sharing your video.