View Full Version : Boundary Waters

04-21-2009, 10:49 PM
Hey folks-
I'm meeting my dad in Minnesota the end of next month to fish the Boundary Waters in northern MN. Just checking with y'all to see if you had any advice/experience on smallies and pike "up there." I need to start tying shortly and would benefit from some advice. Can't seem to find anything concrete on the interweb as far as flies and specific tactics for this area. (it's all lake fishing)
Thanks again-

04-22-2009, 07:44 AM
I was up there about 10 years ago, in Ely. Absolutely phenomenal fishing. The smallies and pike are very aggressive, and you should have fun. While I was there we were using conventional tackle, so I can't help much with fly choices. For the pike, I would probably look into some of the Puglisi style streamers. Especially in bright colors.

04-22-2009, 09:25 AM
I fish up just a couple of hours north of the boundary waters every year and fish for Musky and Smallmouth with the fly. While you can catch the smallmouth pretty easily on clousers, deceivers, leech patterns, and crawfish patterns, they can also key in on big deer hair bugs like dahlberg divers. I haven't tried them yet but would suspect that the new foam style bombers would work really well. As far as Pike, they hit just about anything that is moving. When we fish for smallmouth on lakes with Pike, they will hit the same bugs. If you want to target them, just throw bigger streamers. For Musky and Pike, we throw big bunny leeches, whistlers, saltwater poppers like Bob's Bangers. Colors that produce well for us are Black, Chartruese, White, Blue/White, and what I have always called fruit cocktail (bright green, orange, and chartruese/yellow). Flash helps as does a flash or red for fluttering gills. It is amazing how many fish we catch on top water bugs. Strip fast and hold on. No need for wire leaders. Buy some hard mason mono and use it for your bite tippet. After a few fish, just rety. I have lost very few fish due to teeth cutting the hard mono and the ones I have lost have been because I refused to rety. As far as techniques, fish fallen trees, rocky shorelines, and weeds. If you are going to be canoing, I wouldn't bother bringing a sink tip line. Just fish the banks and weedbeds with a floating line. The smallmouth will be up in the trees and along the rocky banks and the pike will be everywhere. I'm not sure how many rods you plan on taking but a 7wt will do both jobs. If you wanted to fish a smaller rod for the smallmouth than take a 6 and an 8. Having an 8 is nice for throwing the larger streamers for Northerns but can be overkill for smallmouth. On portages I usually just take a 7 if I am going to be going for multiple species or stick with the 8 if I am going to be throwing larger flies.


04-22-2009, 01:44 PM
gmreeves did very well explaining what to use. Most of the pike like he said will hit about anything. You are going to a beautiful part of MN. You will have an excellent time, but be sure to bring a strong misquito repellent. After all it is the state bird! If you get a chance drive down the Gunflint trail which is out of two harbors it's a Great drive and some killer lakes to fish out of. There is a great restaurant past the Lutsen Ski Resort called "Cascade Lodge" which has some of the best food in the area. Great Pancakes! It will be on your way to the boundary waters on your left and the lake is visible to your right.
I hope you enjoy your trip. I'm jealous of where your going. Man it will be awesome!

04-22-2009, 06:36 PM
Thanks again for all the info gentlemen. I love this message board more every day!!