Paddling and Fishing the BWCA in November

     Spending time in the Boundary Waters in November isn’t a common thing to do.  Most folks have put their boats and paddles away in preparation for winter.  While the lakes don’t typically freeze completely over until December some shallower lakes, bays and small streams freeze earlier depending upon the weather.  However, for those who know how to prepare for cold weather the BWCA in November offers a true wilderness experience.

     The main reason people would paddle the BWCA in November is to try their luck at fishing.  The lakes that lie along the U.S. and Canadian border are open for fishing year round for smallmouth bass, northern pike and walleye.  This includes a fair number of lakes in Cook County;  Clove Lake, Devil’s Elbow Lake, North Fowl Lake, South Fowl Lake, Gneiss (Round) Lake, Granite Lake, Granite River, Gunflint Lake, Little Gunflint Lake, Lily Lake, Magnetic Lake, Maraboeuf Lake, Moose Lake, Mountain Lake, North Lake, Little North Lake, Pigeon River, Pine River, Rat Lake, Rose Lake, Rove Lake, Saganaga Lake, South Lake, and Watap Lake.

     While fishing and camping may be possible in November it may not be the most enjoyable time.  There are major benefits to late season camping in October and November such as no bugs and no people.  Do these benefits outweigh the common cold temperatures and snow flurries one may experience?  That’s a question each individual must answer for themselves. 

     If you want to experience the wilderness late in the season then I would suggest coming up to Voyageur for a stay in the lodge.  This will allow you to take advantage of fishing during the daytime with the comfort and security of a climate controlled place to sleep at night.  No matter what time of the year it is you are always welcome to be a guest at Voyageur, we’d love to see you here.