1st Trip to Isle Royale

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FF7Cid
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1st Trip to Isle Royale

Post by FF7Cid » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:48 am

Hi all,

Hopefully this is the right place to dump all my little questions. I'm preparing for my first trip to Isle Royale. Very excited. It's actually going to be my bachelor party and I'll be going with 9 of my closest friends. I've already put in my group reservation.

Here's our schedule.

DAY 1 Washington Creek to Feldtmann Lake (8.8 Miles)
DAY 2 Chill at Feldtmann Lake
DAY 3 Feldtmann Lake to Siskiwit Bay (10.3 Miles)
DAY 4 Chill at Siskiwit Bay
DAY 5 Siskiwit Bay to Island Mine (4.4 Miles)
DAY 6 Island Mine to Lake Desor South (5.5 Miles)
DAY 7 Chill at Lake Desor
DAY 8 Lake Desor South to Washington Creek (11.3 Miles)
DAY 9 Leave Isle Royale at 1:00 PM from Windigo

I have a few questions:
  • Tips regarding my route?
  • Tips for a group of 10 people?
  • I am planning on heading out from Grand Portage, MN. Planning to leave for the Island the weekend before Memorial Day. Is it best to buy ferry tickets ASAP? Does it all need to be under one order or can each group member buy their own?
  • I've heard Feldtmann Lake and Siskiwit Bay are good places for fishing. What about Lake Desor? Any fishing tips? Lures? Rods that will be easy to transport?
  • Is it possible to swim in the inner lakes or is that not recommended?
  • Food recommendations?
Thanks!

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Ingo
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Re: 1st Trip to Isle Royale

Post by Ingo » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:56 pm

- That route was very wet that time last year, lots of mud and water on the trails. Gaitors highly recommend, and dry shoes for camp.
- Probably would make reservations sooner than later. While overall it's slower, there are some larger groups that go early and can fill up the boat quickly. I'd make them together to ensure someone doesn't wait and miss the boat (literally and figuratively).
- You'll need Michigan fishing licenses at Siskiwit and Washington Creek, but not for Feldtmann or Desor.
- Swim if you're up to it :shock: .


Midwest Ed
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Re: 1st Trip to Isle Royale

Post by Midwest Ed » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:21 pm

I'll add some points regarding fishing and swimming. Lake Desor is officially void of any sport fish although there have been a couple of anecdotal contradictions to this. Feldtmann should be good for Northern Pike and maybe some pan fish. Make sure your fishermen pay attention to inland lake rules with the main thing being, no barbs on hooks allowed. As far as swimming, be prepared for the possibility of leeches, especially at Desor (I think because there's no fish to control them). They look worse than they really are. The fingernail method is best for removing them. Siskiwit Bay is good for swimming and depending on conditions, fishing from the dock (with Michigan license) might be fruitful. Search the Fishing forum here for more suggestions on tackle and equipment.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013


JerryB
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Re: 1st Trip to Isle Royale

Post by JerryB » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:18 pm

You will have a great trip. Plan for cold nights. A few other miscellaneous thoughts:
  • Be aware of the rules for groups. you cannot go over ten people, so keep an eye on the number of friends with you.You are limited to group sites.
    Make sure to visit Rainbow Cove when you are at Feldtman
    Make sure to check out the ruined locomotive on the way up to Island Mine. There will be a small trail branching off on your right with a large pile or two of mine tailings. Climb over those.
    Island Mine will allow you to have fires in the group sites. At that time of year, you will even have a bit of a view at that campsite.
Enjoy!


Topic author
FF7Cid
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Re: 1st Trip to Isle Royale

Post by FF7Cid » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:48 pm

Thanks for the tips everyone. :D , I've purchased the ferry tickets so we're all set. I think I have a better understanding for fishing now that I've checked out a few threads. I'll make sure to check out Rainbow Cove and the locomotive by Island Mine. Can't wait!


johnhens
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Re: 1st Trip to Isle Royale

Post by johnhens » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:16 am

When backpacking, I carry a 7' 2 pc spinning rod (medium) with 12# test line. I use a spinning rod and reel. I carry a jaw spreader and forceps to remove lures, though barbless or pinched barb lures come out easier. I also have a 12" 20# steel leader. I will carry a 5/8oz Daredevil 5 of Diamonds. Also 2 #4 Mepps Black Fury with a gold blade and silver blade. A #9 jointed rapala is nice to have. A topwater for early AM or late PM is a blast for Northern. I wade out, have had leaches on occassion in Feldtmann.


Midwest Ed
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Re: 1st Trip to Isle Royale

Post by Midwest Ed » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:03 pm

Eagle Claw makes excellent backpacking spinning rods. They breakdown into 4 or more sections but still have good action and are reliable. I've had an older model for decades.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013

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