Canoe and Fish Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area on Multi-Day Trips

bwca outfitters
Camping in Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area

Sitting on the doorstep to more than 1-million acres of preserved forest and wetland, Boundary Waters Outfitters in Ely, Minnesota, prepares travelers for lengthy canoeing and fishing expeditions in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Superior National Forest. Seasoned local BWCA outfitters familiar with the surrounding area are on hand to lead informative wilderness tours or targeted fishing trips. Trophy-sized trout, pike, and walleye are abundant. High-end canoeing, camping, fishing, and wilderness navigation gear is also available for those wishing to spearhead their own expeditions.


Canoeing routes in the Boundary Waters are rated, easy, moderate, challenging and rugged and may extend for three to seven days. All routes let by bwca outfitters have multiple entry and exit points and can be customized to suit paddlers preferences and abilities. An example would be Route #1 called, “Moose, Fish, Rivers & Lakes.” This is a four-day route. It encompasses all the best features of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area: good scenery, good fishing and the opportunity to see wildlife, including moose. Paddlers experience large and small rivers and glacial lakes. Fishing includes smallmouth bass, walleye, and northern pike. The area covered by this route contains one of the densest moose populations in Minnesota. Although the outfitter does not guarantee moose spotting, paddlers who stay quiet and keep their eyes on the shoreline have a good chance of seeing one. There are many other routes and base camp options that BWCA outfitters lead to that contain the same opportunities for scenery, fishing and wildlife viewing.

Fly-in Canoeing and Camping with BWCA Outfitters

Fly-in canoe trips with BWCA outfitters include both the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and the Quetico Provincial Park in Canada, although all flights land in the Canadian park since planes are not allowed to land in the Boundary Waters Canoe area. From Canada, paddlers can re-enter the U.S. by canoe or remain in Canada for the duration of their trip.


Fishing is good spring, summer, and fall. The Boundary Waters Canoe area is known for walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, and lake trout. Fly fishermen to after smallmouth bass and northern and brookies and other stream trout on a few lakes. The outfitter has special packages that are custom-designed for their customers who want to concentrate on fishing. These extra’s include boat seats, live bait and bait containers, landing nets, fish cleaning equipment and a griddle for frying the catch.


Bring your own gear or rent from the outfitter. If you bring your own gear it should be Boundary Waters friendly, meaning light, compact and in good working order. The outfitter rents canoes, packs, stoves, camp chairs, tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and other gear. On guided trips, a professional guide leads you through the Boundary Waters canoe country, set up camp in the best campsites, cooks meals, and tells stories around the campfire. This is in addition to guiding you to the best fishing spots and wildlife viewing locations.

Wildlife Viewing

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area takes in over one million acres of lakes, rivers, and woodlands in the Superior National Forest. From Ely, Minnesota paddlers can choose for over 20 different entry points to canoe 1,500 miles of canoe paths and choose from some 2,000 campsites. It is home to a variety of wildlife including (in alphabetical order) badger, bald eagle, bats, bears, beavers, bobcats, chipmunks, common loon, cougar, coyote, deer, fishers, & pine martens, fox, lynx, mink, moose, muskrat, painted turtle, otter, porcupine, rabbits and hares, ruffed grouse, skunks, snapping turtles, squirrels, weasels, wolverines, and wolves.

Read more about Boundary Waters Outfitters

Brown's Guide
About Brown's Guide 285 Articles

Brown’s Guides is a website about the top outdoor experiences in America and about the professional outfitters and guides who know them best. BG selects guides and outfitters located in or in close proximity to the Natural Areas they provide activities in. These outfitters know the areas and care about protecting and preserving them in a way that outfitters based in other states never can. Hiking, biking, sea kayaking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and other outdoor activities are indexed on the site. BG has been doing this type of thing since 1972 in books, magazines, maps and on the Internet.

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