I like the irony of April 1st for the posting of this first ever entry on the BOUNDARY WATERS JOURNAL BLOG. Those who know me as the quintessential “anti-technology guy” will no doubt assume this is some kind of an April Fools- joke. But it’s no joke, it’s for real and I am 100% committed to making the BWJ Blog THE ONE that Boundary Waters fans rely on for the very latest “conditions on the ground”. This BWJ Blog will be all about sharing the delights and dilemmas of “Living On The Edge” of canoe country with our loyal BOUNDARY WATERS JOURNAL following. Think of it as the best way to get timely info that is so important to making the most of your own Boundary Waters adventures. For the past 28 years, BOUNDARY WATERS JOURNAL has been the #1 source of inspiration and information for helping you enjoy the BWCAW/Quetico. The BWJ Blog will be no different.
For those who figured it would be a cold day in hell when Stu Osthoff turned to blogs and facebook, let’s start this thing off with acknowledging this has indeed been the winter from hell. We are talking many, many nights of twenty to thirty below and waist deep powder right through March. Things finally crusted over yesterday but more snow is in the forecast for tomorrow. I just finished working the Minneapolis Sportshow over the weekend and topic A was that this looks like a repeat of last year when the ice did not go out on the bigger lakes until May 15-17, post-fishing season opener. A serious April heat wave could prevent breaking the late ice-out record of 2013 but it is a virtual lock that spring will be later than “normal” in 2014. For the sake of my beloved Ely area whitetail deer, which are running on fumes right now, I hope spring rushes in sooner than later.
Left: The five of us take a break pulling our heavy sleds into Ima Lake in mid- February 2014. Even with snowshoes, it was a tough slog through deep snow this year. Right: Jason Lenz, of Duluth, MN joined me for my Ely to Atikokan canoe trip last July and we got to talking about a BWCAW winter trout trip. I was happy to see him get his hands on some nice Ima Lake trout as a reward for a pretty challenging hike in there.
Once again, this year, from mid-May to mid-July, I will be out in canoe country nearly every day with my Grand Slam Guide Service. NOBODY knows what is really going on out in the backcountry like I do. Watch for weekly updates here on water levels, bugs, blueberries, forest fires and of course reports on all aspects of canoe country fishing. Come August I guide canoe trips for trophy brook trout on the rivers flowing into Hudson Bay, my Septembers focus on guiding the archery elk season in Colorado and then it is back to the BWCAW for October/November until the ice is too thick to paddle. We even snowshoe into the BWCAW pulling our sleds with a heated wall tent camp to chase February lake trout. Whatever the season, I pledge to share all I can about my passion for the wilderness experience.
I wanted to share a few important announcements with you all.
- Be sure to check out the ALL NEW BWJ Website. You can subscribe, renew, purchase great canoe-camping gear from our Voyageur Trading Post, access our very popular and FREE BWJ TRIPS route planning service, research/purchase articles/back issues and learn more about all my Grand Slam Guide Service trips.
- BOUNDARY WATERS JOURNAL IS NOW AVAILABLE IN AN ELECTRONIC VERSION (Available starting April 15, 2014). Same great exclusive BWJ articles and photos in a digital format to enjoy on your computer and mobile devices.
- I will be giving a presentation at the Midwest Mountaineering Spring Expo in Minneapolis on Saturday April 26 on “Real Food For Wilderness Canoe Trips”. Come learn how I canoe trip all summer and never eat a freeze dried meal by relying on the BWJ Double Insulated Food Pack System. You can also stop by the BWJ booth and visit about your upcoming trips. Maybe I can help you out. For more go towww.outdooradventureexpo.com
I have just a couple last openings for my 2014 Grand Slam Guide Service trips:
- Ely to Atikokan Wilderness Canoe Trip across Quetico. July 4-12 (3 openings) Complete 9 day package-- $1500/person
- Sutton River Brook Trout Trip July 23- August 1. (1 opening) Complete 10 day package $5200/person
I look forward to sharing the seasonal highlights of canoe country with you here on the BWJ Blog while you are waiting for that next BOUNDARY WATERS JOURNAL magazine to show up in your mailbox. Pray for spring everybody.
~Stu Osthoff - Publisher
The Boundary Waters Journal