All Things BWCA Newsletter – September 2018

All Things BWCA Newsletter – September 2018

What’s Going on in the North Woods

  • bwca ely MinnesotaAround The Base
  • The Fishing Corner
  • Wilderness Wisdom
  • The Boy Scout Scene
  • Tips For the Boundary Waters Photographer
  • More Great Information

This newsletter is designed to help keep you current on the issues of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Quetico Provincial Park, to give you information on Williams and Hall Outfitters, and to share some of our knowledge and love of the outdoors and the BWCA wilderness around us. We hope you enjoy these articles and share them with your friends.

Around The Base

An Outfitter’s Autumn

by Blayne

williams and hall outfitters open in fall

To normal folk, fall has developed a certain collection of activities and traditions, e.g. going to football games, watching the World Series, enjoying the kids being back in school, fall colors, apple cider, and Halloween.   Well, in the world of canoe outfitting, autumn is something altogether different.

A lot More Work for the Old Timers

busy in fall bwca

First, since all the summer help has headed back to school, it means a whole lot more work for the old-timers.  True, there are fewer guests, but we get to wash dishes, wait tables, clean canoes and run the towboats.   This fall, we have been way busy, and that is a great thing for sure, lots of guests, but it does lead to long days.

Want to buy a Canoe! Culling, Storing and Selling Canoes

Second, just like a rancher culls his cattle herd for what cows will be his breeding stock, we cull our canoes to see which ones make the cut to go another season or to be sold while they are still in decent shape.  Many of you have asked us if we sell our used boats.  The answer is YES, and now is when we sell them.  If any of your friends or you want to own a used canoe for a very reasonable price, give us a call, and we’ll hook you up.  We have aluminum, kevlar and carbon fiber all available. This is the perfect way to own your own canoe,

williams and hall ely

The next big event is to load the top of all our canoe storage racks with aluminum canoes so the weight of the snow and ice that is to come won’t smash the lightweight boats.  Then the longs docks are disconnected and made fast to the shore, ready to get frozen in.  Powerboats are pulled, and motors traded into the dealer so we can get new ones in the spring.

Prepping For Spring

Then we work on all the maintenance projects that we should have done but didn’t get to.  I am sure you all know the type.  Sometimes those projects require materials that we need to gather in the fall so they will be on-site in the Spring.  Of course, lots of moving things around.  Putting things away, laundry, laundry, and more laundry.  Putting the soda pop where it will not explode is a big deal.  Finally, we take the signs down until May rolls around.

Oh, then we goof off, just a little.  A vicious cycle, that is, of course, brought on by all those beautiful colors.

Adventure On!

The Fishing Corner

Fall Turnover

by Dave, our Resident Fishing Expert

There is a phenomenon that occurs on lakes in the North Country that happens each fall. It’s called “Fall Turnover”. It’s the process by which the lake’s water temperature mixes at a certain point, usually after we’ve closed for the season. Once the warm surface water mixes with the colder deep water, the entire lake cools as one…up until lake freeze.

dave sebesta williams and hall

Generally, fishing can be difficult immediately following the dramatic turnover with the upheaval of water temps and oxygen levels. But, like other seasonal patterns, once the consistency returns, fishing can get pretty good again.

Try Something New in the Fall

The point in all this it that when faced with fishing adversity, whether in the fall or any other season, it’s important to try something different. A new tactic, a new lure, a new bait or even a new area. The Boundary Waters has such a diverse fishery, that making a change can be as simple as trying a new spot.

Fly Fishing For Muskies!

A couple weeks ago, I may have taken this thought to a new level.  With a little extra mid-week time, my good friend Paul, and I decided to try one of Minnesota’s wild rivers. The target- muskies. The tactic- fly fishing.  The adventure was awesome, the success- decent, the end results- a fabulous trip down a neat river leaving us with a profound appreciation for what Minnesota has to offer and for all the Boundary Waters has to offer right out our back door.

dave sebesta williams and hall

Our canoe season may be winding down but my fishing season is just getting interesting!

Fish On. Be Free.

Wilderness Wisdom

williams and hall outfitters bwca ely minnesota

Tarps Are Very Versatile

by Kevin

I always want to carry as little into the wilderness as I can.  But one item I insist on bringing is a tarp.  Tarps can do much more than acting as a barrier between your tent and the ground.  Once while waiting out a storm on a portage, I simply threw my tarp over my head.  I was warm and dry.

williams and hall bwca camping

 A Tarp Can…

  • A tarp can act as a dining fly. Few things are as miserable as eating in the rain.
  • Use a tarp to keep your equipment dry.
  • A tarp can be a great windbreak for your campsite.
  • Tarps can create extra living space for your tent.
  • A tarp over your tent can keep you warmer by trapping more heat.
  • A tarp provides shade on hot, sunny days.

The list just goes on.  However, remember to bring some rope, and maybe a few bungees, so you can put your tarp to use when on the trail.

Paddle On.  Be Free.

The Boy Scout Scene 

Scoutmasters Are Important Mentors

by Kevin

high adventure bwca outfitter

The Scoutmaster badge.  As many of you know, this emblem is a badge of honor, but honor that must be earned.  A Scoutmaster must take his or her role in full force.  And, the opportunity to improve a boy’s or girl’s life is a serious burden.

Mentor the Troop’s Youth Leadership

A Scoutmaster is a mentor to a troop’s youth leadership.  By mentoring youth leaders, the troop will better function as intended – youth lead.  Subtle guidance, based upon wisdom and experience, is key.  Scoutmasters must also be role model, paying close attention to their own actions because Scouts look up to them and will imitate them.

Scoutmaster Conferences are Great Opportunities

Another way a Scoutmaster provides mentoring is through the Scoutmaster conferences with troop members.  This is a great opportunity not to be wasted. You have the opportunity to see how the Scout is progressing and where he or she is struggling.  Also, you can also find out if the troop is running well or not.

Your work as a Scoutmaster may be unheralded and wearing at times.  But rest assured that you are making in difference in the lives of youth.

Duty On. Be Your Best.

Tips For the Boundary Waters Photographer 

Tips For Great Fall Photos

By Kevin

bwca fall season

Fall in coming upon us.  And with fall comes some great photo opportunities.  Fall offers great color palettes to take advantage of.  And, black and white photography can be great was well.  Here are some great tips for fall photographers.

Try These Tips For Better Fall Photography

  • Put a polarized filter on your camera to capture richer colors.
  • Close-up opportunities abound. Keep your eye sharp.   For instance, a single leaf can make a great picture.
  • Kids playing in fall leaves make great scenes.
  • When around still water, watch for color reflections on the water.
  • Lighting can really make a difference in fall photography. Time of day is important.

You can find more tips by clicking here.

Shoot On!

We Can Help You Secure Your 2018 and 2019 Permits for Boundary Waters  and Quetico

Quetico Park permits are available no sooner than 5 months, to the day, ahead of the actual start date and Boundary Waters permits became available for application on a first-come, first serve basis beginning in mid-January.  Now is the time to apply.

Remember…We are happy to secure your Canoe Country permits at no extra charge!

williams and hall outfitters ely bwca permits

williams and hall outfitters quetico ely







Purchase Williams and Hall Merchandise Online

Need a great gift for that paddler in your life.  You can always find Williams and Hall merchandise online.  Just click the “Shop For Gear” link at the top of our home page or go directly to

The 2018 season is almost Over! But a Quick Trip Can Still Happen

gateway to boundary waters canoe adventure

Please give us a chance to help you plan your 2018 or 2019 Canoe Country adventure.

From your friends at Williams and Hall,                                                                             Charlene, Blayne, Dave and Kevin

Williams and Hall Outfitters and Canoe Adventures                                                                                        
(218) 365-5837

Paddle On.  Be Free.