Voyageur Quote:  "There is as much beauty visible to us in the landscape as we are prepared to appreciate,-not a grain more."  Henry David Thoreau  



Weather Report

"Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day." This was the tune most of us were singing last week.  We experienced misty mornings, day long drizzles, and nighttime drenchings off and on throughout the week.  A good two inches of rain fell to the ground over the week and water levels are higher than ever.  Now it looks as though summer is here with the past couple of days offering us blue skies and sunshine.  The ten-day forecast calls for temperatures in the 70's during the day and nightime lows into the high 40's with mostly sunshine and clear skies.  It looks as though the rain has taken our advice and gone away, at least for now!




Voyageur Canoe Outfitters

"Where the Trail Ends Your Voyage Begins"
Mike and Sue Prom

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Mosquito-  Contrary to popular belief this is not the state bird of Minnesota.  The mosquitos have not yet made their debut in the woods this summer.  With the cooler temperatures dipping into the 30's it has kept them at bay.  Unfortunately this will not last and once again these blood thirsty insects will be out to get us all.  I've been doing a little research into alternatives to Deet upon the request of one of our newsletter readers.  He mentioned a concoction of catnip oil and vinegar.  Lo and behold I was able to find such a recipe on the internet.  You take 2 cups of stemmed catnip and rinse the herbs, then roll lightly with a rolling pin and place in a clear quart jar.  You then add 3-4 cups of rice vinegar and seal the jar in a dark cupboard for 2 weeks.  Shake the jar lightly every day or so for 2 weeks and then strain the contents into a clean jar, seal it and refrigerate up to 6 months for use.  It has been proven to work up to ten times better than Deet!  You can also purchase an already made product from this website.  Other herbs and plants that have been known to work are lemongrass, citronella, jojoba, neem, witch hazel, tea tree oil, peppermint, basil, lemon, oregano, geranium, pennyroyal, and eucalyptus.  If you have a favorite mosquito repellent to share with our readers, then drop us an e-mail, we'll try anything!



Marsh Marigolds










What's New?

The ditches along the Trail are filling up with our favorite spring plant called the Marsh Marigold.  They have a bright, beautiful yellow flower and grow in areas where there is lots of water: marshes, ditches and anywhere there is a significant amount of moisture.  The strawberry flowers are also blooming along the roadsides. Their dainty white flowers bloom before the sweet berries arrive.  Fiddlehead Ferns are coming up and they are rumored to taste just like asparagus. 

There is a bear out and about along Sag Lake Trail.  Our dogs have been doing a good job of keeping it away, but our neighbors aren't as lucky as us.  It walks from house to house looking for something to eat, oftentimes startling an unexpected person out for a walk. As soon as the berries are ripe it will disappear into the woods until fall when it will forage for easy food once again.



Mike routing with New McKenzie Maps      






Product Review 

Mckenzie Maps -

Mckenzie Maps have a new style of maps available to canoeists in the BWCA.  These maps are easier to read and have 3D shading with topographical information as well as UTM's for GPS navigation.  They are also waterproof, extremely durable, and they even float.  All maps show portages, water depths, campsites and trails.  The 3 new maps we are most impressed with are #5 which shows the entire Granite River on one map, #6 which has the complete Saganaga, Red Rock, Alpine, Seagull loop, and #6A which shows both Saganaga and Saganagons on only one map.  You can order these maps from us or check out the McKenzie website and order them directly.

Congratulations to Ann Bonner who was the 9th person to e-mail us after forwarding our newsletter to 5 people.  She is the new owner of a Sospender Inflatable PFD, valued at $89.95.







Keeping safe on the water- It seems like I write about safety on the water quite often.  But as an outfitter and first responder located on the edge of the wilderness, one hour from the nearest hospital, it is always in the forefront of my mind.  In medical circles they talk about the Golden Hour, the first hour of care after someone experiences an injury or illness, and how important this is in the survival of the patient. Unfortunately, it may take us an hour just to reach a patient in the woods or to get them to where they can be transported to a hospital.  I guess the bottom line is that when you are in the wilderness you need to be careful.  These cool waters are unforgiving and can cool the body's temperature down in a matter of minutes.  After a few minutes of experiencing the cold water your body will begin to shut down and if you become unconscious without a lifevest on then you will sink to the bottom of the lake and wait there until search teams can get into the lake and recover your body.  An unhappy scenario for those you are paddling with and for loved ones you may have left at home.  If you wear a lifevest then rescuers may find you unconscious, still afloat and alive and will hopefully be able to save you.  So, please, wear your life vest, don't stow it at your feet, it won't work down there, put it on, zip it up and keep it on.  Accidents can happen anywhere and in waters that barely seem to be moving.  There can be large rocks hidden directly under the water that can capsize your watercraft when you least expect it.  The portages around rapids are there for a reason, so use them.  The fast moving water at the top and bottom of waterfalls can cause you to capsize, so pay attention and be ready to paddle when you push off from shore.  If it is windy and wavy and you don't feel comfortable on the water, then get off and wait it out.  It isn't worth risking a life just to make it back for a cold beer or shower a day early because your gear is wet or you're tired of camping, or the bugs were bad.  Think about where you are and how far away help is before you find yourself in trouble, not after.  Have a plan for what you will do if there is an emergency.  Remember if you fail to plan you plan to fail and failing in the wilderness is much more serious than in the middle of a big city. 



Wayne's 23 pound Northern 



Fishing Report  

Big Fish Biting- The water temperatures have been cool and the rain and cold weather of the past couple of weeks has not helped the water temperatures to rise as normal.  This has prevented the small male walleyes from biting aggressively like they normally do this time of the year.  The numbers of walleye caught should increase as the water temperatures rise and with a couple of sunshiny days and warm afternoons the fishing should pick up.  The big fish are however biting.  Wayne Longnecker was lucky enough to land this 23 pound Northern Pike that he released back into the wilderness waters of Saganaga.  Other guests fishing on Saganaga caught some big walleyes including a 28 1/2", a 29", and a 30 1/2".