Trip Report 7/31-8/5

Reports or links to reports on trips.

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offthegrid
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Trip Report 7/31-8/5

Post by offthegrid » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:22 pm

First thanks to everyone that answered our questions in planning our first trip to IR. Second I hope you're not offended by my misspellings of the lakes (or other things). My wife, son (7 y/o), and I had a blast!

July 31 - Sunny. Arrived in RH and took the water taxi to Chippewa Harbor arriving at CH at 4:00. We decided to head out towards Lake Whitlessey despite the breezy conditions as we had done enough sitting for the day. After loading the canoe after the portage from CH to Whit we pushed off and about the 30 yard to the right was a bull moose in full velvet. We had the cameras packed in the dry bags but did manage about 3 seconds of shaky video as the moose was exiting the water up the shore on the other side...definite highlight of the trip. Set up at the campground at Whit and couldn't believe that we had the whole lake to our selves. I wanted to hear loons as I love their songs but at 2, 3, and 4 in the morning it was getting a little old :) We mostly fished the small islands in front of the campground and managed about 6 northern.

August 1 - Sunny. Packed up and headed for Wood Lake where we set up camp. Did fairly well fishing and our son caught dinner that night ~4.5 lb northern and man was he proud. There were two other retired gentleman from south of Chicago and we had nice time chatting with them.

August 2 - Light rain on and off all day. About 10:00 in the morning the rain broke and we decided to head for Ryan Island as stepping on the biggest island on the biggest lake on the biggest island on the biggest lake in the world was something we had to do. We were about 1/2 way there and it started to get foggy. I took a compass reading and when we were about 100 yds from the Ryan Island the fog become so thick the island disappeared. We hung out on the island for a few and then started heading back toward Wood Lake using the trusty compass. The fog broke about 1/2 way back and we were right on course. Late afternoon the clouds left and the sun came out and it was another beautiful evening. The other gentleman left and we had Wood Lake to our selves that night. Caught the biggest fish here right in the channel between Wood and Siskiwit about 32".

August 3 - Sunny. Packed up and headed for Ritchie. We just breezed through intermediate and set up on Ritchie where there were 3 other groups of 2 but it was still nice and quiet. Ritchie was by far the most productive lake for northern as we couldn't hardly keep lures in the water without catching fish (mostly 20-24"). Had fish again that night that I caught but my son had to remind me that his dinner fish was bigger.

August 4 - Sunny again. Did a little fishing on Ritchie with the same results as the night before then headed for the loooong portage from Ritchie to Moskey Basin. When we arrived all sites were full and we ended up on a group site but no big deal.
We did hear wolves at night and we're sure they weren't loons, a distinctly different sound.

August 5 - Sunny. Water taxi picked us up at Moskey at 9:00 a.m. but we did manage a few northern in Moskey before the taxi arrived.

Overall we had a great trip. We were definitely overpacked with gear but that wasn't too big of a deal. Flies were out at Ritchie but nowhere else. Mosquitoes were bad once the sun went down but otherwise fine. Met a few interesting and pleasant people along the way and my wife took almost 800 pictures :shock: It was absolutely beautiful and we are already discussing our next trip. I was a little disappointed with my $9 brat with a tablespoon of saurkraut at the cafe (dind't help that it was 11:30 and I couldn't get a beer) but I made up for it with a flank steak at the Harbor Haus back in Copper Harbor. Our son had a great time and my favorite line from him was how catching northern was way more fun than bluegill and perch.

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Tom
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Re: Trip Report 7/31-8/5

Post by Tom » Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:40 pm

...we are already discussing our next trip...
...And another victim falls to the allure of Isle Royale. :wink:

Sounds like it was a great trip for everyone in the family, which it should be. You got to see a moose, hear the wolves and loons, and catch plenty of fish. Isn't it wonderful when everything just aligns?

Thanks for TR! Looking forward to many more from you to come!

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Ingo
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Re: Trip Report 7/31-8/5

Post by Ingo » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:00 pm

Sounds like a great trip! It's been a long time since I've heard wolves, and haven't even seen a moose the last couple trips. Didn't even see a fox this year :(
79: worked RH, 01: BI-DB-RH, 02: MC-LR-WL-CH, 05: MI-CI-MB-DF-RH-TM-RH, 09: MC-BI-DN-RH, 11: WC-HC-WC, 12: MC-CB-HL-TH, 13: RH-PI, 14: BI-ML-CI-CH-MB, 16: RH-CI-TI-RH, 17: WI-IM-SB-FL-WC, 18: MC-PC-BI-DB-RH-DF


johnhens
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Re: Trip Report 7/31-8/5

Post by johnhens » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:38 am

So your son is the meat provider :)
Good for you taking him there at a young age. Seeing the moose in velvet and providing dinner will be something he will talk of for years. What did he think of the Ritchie-Moskey portage?


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offthegrid
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Re: Trip Report 7/31-8/5

Post by offthegrid » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:46 pm

We didn't see any fox either but lots of fox poo (err scat) on the portage trails. We had camp bunnies at Wood Lake every night. Our son was all smiles and proud as could be to have provided dinner. As far as the Ritchie-Moskey portage he said that seemed the shortest because he was telling my wife about all of the in and outs of Mario Kart for the Wii. I doubled up the portages bringing my pack first then going back for the canoe so I missed my Mario Kart education. My wife spotted the moose first and literally yelled "THERE'S A MOOSE!" So we had to harass her all week about scaring it away. It's really hard to condense such a great vacation into something that doesn't get too long :)

Pics
https://picasaweb.google.com/1170886521 ... directlink


johnhens
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Re: Trip Report 7/31-8/5

Post by johnhens » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:52 pm

Great pics, I like the one of your smiling son under the tarp when it is raining, a lot of lids would be unhappy given the conditions!!
Was that a beaver swimming in the one shot?
I like the use of the pack as a back rest!!


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offthegrid
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Re: Trip Report 7/31-8/5

Post by offthegrid » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:57 pm

Yup, there were 2 beavers on Wood Lake when we were there but that was about the best we could for pics even with the zoom lens. We had pre-packed the canoe at home and I hadn't intended the pack as a back rest but boy was it nice. When fishing the gear was usually stowed at camp so I relied on the Crazy Creek for back support (wasn't quite as nice).

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Ingo
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Re: Trip Report 7/31-8/5

Post by Ingo » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:21 pm

Love the pics! You got some great shots.
79: worked RH, 01: BI-DB-RH, 02: MC-LR-WL-CH, 05: MI-CI-MB-DF-RH-TM-RH, 09: MC-BI-DN-RH, 11: WC-HC-WC, 12: MC-CB-HL-TH, 13: RH-PI, 14: BI-ML-CI-CH-MB, 16: RH-CI-TI-RH, 17: WI-IM-SB-FL-WC, 18: MC-PC-BI-DB-RH-DF

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