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NG_Trout  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, July 2, 2013 11:03:56 AM(UTC)
NG_Trout
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 4/1/2010(UTC)
Posts: 413
Location: New Glarus

Another successful canoe trip is in the books!


Background on the Wilderness Area, similar to the BWCA but smaller:
Official National Forest site
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvania_Wilderness
Map of Sylvania

We went from 6/22 - 26. While the sky was threatening the first day, we had no rain. Not even a drop. We were very surprised to hear about the deluge that most of WI got while we camping. Mosquitoes were awful, just awful this year. Luckily very few biting flies. A screen tent provided much needed respite from the blood sucking buggers:
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The Fishing
Fishing was pretty awesome this year. Lots of action with pike and bass. It took us a little bit to figure out the bluegills. Normally they hang out in the ~15' depths on steep drop offs near shore. This year they were still spawning in shallower water. Once we found the beds it was a fish every cast. We literally had gills and sunfish jumping out of the water when our poppers would hit the water.

Here's the stringer my Dad and I hauled in on the last day. 28 good size gills (and we needed everyone for the fish fry that night - 10 guys on the trip):
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I battled a nice smallie while flinging poppers for bluegills. He just slurped it in and then dove deep when I set the hook. The new Echo 4 wt performed beautifully. (I swear he was bigger than the picture indicates, funny angle since I was in front and had to turn around for the picture):
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Big pike my Dad landed. Tough fighter:
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Some of the bigger large mouth bass:
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Smallest fish I have ever caught on a crank bait:
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The Food

We usually eat and drink well. One night is always steak and potatoes:
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We also paddle in some beer via kegs. Like last year we did some home brew but also supplemented it with some Keweenaw Red Jacket Ale. Cold beer is refreshing after a hot day on the lake.
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Can't forget the mini espresso maker to help wipe away the fog from the night before:
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Last night is the big fish fry. Apparently I forget to take a picture of that this year! Simple Shore Lunch batter with milk. We had about 45 blue gills for 10 guys. Lots of fish to go around.

Scenery and Nature
There is basically no development on the lakes (a couple houses on the far northern edge of Crooked Lake that is outside the wilderness area). It is just gorgeous and pictures don't do it justice.

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Loons everywhere you look:
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These guys were our friends. There was a battle royale between a horse fly and a dragon fly buzzing around my head one day, quite the racket:
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Eagles are very prevalent. Several times we watched multiple eagles swoop down and grab fish from the lake. You could some crazy cool action shots if you had a decent camera and some patience:
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Some more (not so native) wildlife:
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Finale
To top off an amazing trip, one of the vehicles dropped a drum brake spring (special slotted washer rusted out) on the way from the boat landing to the showers. It's only a mile or so drive but you could smell the stuck brake when we got to the shower house. Luckily one member of the crew is a mechanic. We were able to jack it up, pull the wheel, brake cover, and fix the brakes in ~30 minutes. Look closely, can you tell what the fix was?

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Yep, it's a Schlitz bottle cap that I found in my truck. Yankee ingenuity figured out a way to use it to hold the spring in place and keep the brakes from sticking. Held for the ~200 mile drive home.



Previous trip reports:
2012
2011
2010

Edited by user Tuesday, July 2, 2013 11:23:47 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

- Hope is not a strategy
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Pete  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, July 2, 2013 1:29:01 PM(UTC)
Pete
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 6/30/2011(UTC)
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Looks like a memorable trip-really nice fish.

In some of the photos, a stringer of bluegills behind the boat is visible. Looking at those pike makes me think: any of them try to get at the bluegills? It would be a simple meal for them and pike are all about easy meals.
NG_Trout  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, July 2, 2013 1:46:34 PM(UTC)
NG_Trout
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 4/1/2010(UTC)
Posts: 413
Location: New Glarus

We've never had a pike take a swipe at the gills on the stringer to my knowledge. We have on a couple of occasions left the stringer in the water when we get back to camp for a couple hours and had a turtle eat a few. Now we just clean them pretty much right away.
- Hope is not a strategy
NBrevitz  
#4 Posted : Monday, July 15, 2013 4:23:48 PM(UTC)
NBrevitz
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 3/16/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,526
Man
Location: Lake Elmo, Mn

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Pete wrote:
Looks like a memorable trip-really nice fish.

In some of the photos, a stringer of bluegills behind the boat is visible. Looking at those pike makes me think: any of them try to get at the bluegills? It would be a simple meal for them and pike are all about easy meals.

My grandfather caught a 49" Pike in northern Manitoba that had been stealing Walleye off stringers throughout the summer.
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"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
NG_Trout  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, July 16, 2013 9:30:33 AM(UTC)
NG_Trout
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 4/1/2010(UTC)
Posts: 413
Location: New Glarus

Jesus, if I tied into one those while in a canoe I'd probably cut the line!
- Hope is not a strategy
NBrevitz  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, July 16, 2013 6:10:19 PM(UTC)
NBrevitz
Rank: Super Fly

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Man
Location: Lake Elmo, Mn

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Yep they were in a 12' alumacraft, not much better. Caught and released on a single barbless hook.
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
Trout_Patzer  
#7 Posted : Friday, July 19, 2013 8:48:42 PM(UTC)
Trout_Patzer
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 4/13/2010(UTC)
Posts: 425
Location: Maple Grove, MN

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This post almost slipped off the most recent before I saw it. Great photos. Looks like another fantastic year in Sylvania. Trolling for pike with a stringer of gills ehh. LOL How long has this trip been a tradition for? Thanks for sharing.
NG_Trout  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, July 24, 2013 10:52:30 AM(UTC)
NG_Trout
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 4/1/2010(UTC)
Posts: 413
Location: New Glarus

I've lost track of the exact number of years but it's 10+ now. God, I'm getting old...
- Hope is not a strategy
mr89ia  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, July 24, 2013 11:59:04 AM(UTC)
mr89ia
Rank: Stone Fly

Joined: 2/11/2013(UTC)
Posts: 88
Location: Des Moines

Thanks: 1 times
Yeah, I almost missed this one too. Those are some great pictures. Where is this? Looks like a blast, and I am sure those gills were tasty!
NG_Trout  
#10 Posted : Thursday, July 25, 2013 10:49:40 AM(UTC)
NG_Trout
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 4/1/2010(UTC)
Posts: 413
Location: New Glarus

Sylvania Wilderness in the UP, just outside Watersmeet.
- Hope is not a strategy
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