All Things BWCA Newsletter – December 2017

All Things BWCA Newsletter – December 2017

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.

A Special Holiday Wish From the North Woods of Canoe Country

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Everything is finally buttoned up here on Moose Lake and we are ready for the onslaught of winter cold that is bearing down on us like a freight train.  It is a long process.  It seems like there is always just one more thing that needs to be done.  You know how that is.

As we set back and prepare for lots of warm fires and good football,  too much holiday eating and , of course, sport shows and Boundary Water nights, we want to once again thank you, our dear friends and guests for making this a great year for all of us.

We want to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and extend our  seasons greetings to all of you and yours.  Take some time to reflect on what a great country we live in and the blessings of our family and friends.  We wish you a a wonderful holiday season.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Charlene, Dave, Kevin and Blayne

williams and hall christmas

Now on to the rest of the newsletter……………………….

Around The Base

A Boundary Waters Christmas List of Ideas

by Blayne

 Every year we receive lots of questions from our followers regarding Christmas gift ideas.  You know, what do we think a husband or dad (or wife or daughter) would like that would be fun / useful for a Northwoods  paddling trip.

Well, nothing would be better than a shopping spree at a big Cabela’s or REI, for sure.  However, barring that here are a few ideas of things that Santa’s elves have been receiving lots of requests for.

First for the Fishermen Out There

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  • Pflueger President’s Reel
  • St Croix 6’ Medium Action one or two piece rods. Heck, I’ll take any St Croix rod.
  • Garmin Strike 4 Sonar GPS Combo
  • Stocking Stuffer’s: Rapala Tail Dancer  (Great trolling lure)
  • Rapala X-Rap  (Great for casting)

For Camping in the Northwoods ely bwca

  • Men’s Jacket The North Face Thermoball Stretch Insulated
  • Canoe Packs Kondos Outdoors Outfitter Special
  • Camp Kitchen Kondos Outdoors Utensil Roll
  • Camp Chair REI Co-op Flexlite chair    (Lightweight,yet comfortable)
  • Tent REI   Half Dome 2 Plus  (Light and roomy for a 2P tent)
  • Paddle Bending Branches  Java ST Bent shaft Paddle  (Very nice for the money)
  • Lights: Luci Light, way cool, see our catalog for good pricing
  • Headlight:  Princeton Tec,  Vizz Headlight
  • Camp Stove: 2 Burner,  Camp Chef Teton 2-Burner
  • Camp Stove: Single Burner, MSR  XKG  EX Stove

For Everyone Who Loves the Outdoors

Remember we have great hats, shirts and accessories at boundary waters ely mn ely mn bwca


Now, we know that there are lots of way cool fishing and outdoor toys out there, believe me we know.  So look at these items as just a few possibilities among the galaxy that exists. However, these items are battle tested and won’t let you down.


You know looking at a Christmas list may be jumping the gun a bit.  Isn’t the whole deal based on the Naughty vs. Nice test in the first place.  Good luck on that  fellows.  Can’t  help you there.

Adventure On!

The Fishing Corner

Looking Out the Window

by Dave, our resident fishing expert.

Boundary Waters Ice Fishing is Always Tempting

Those of us who ice fish, know…or at least I hope know, its safety first! Just outside the window as I write, lay Moose Lake…tempting but telling.

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Most of the lake has “iced up” a couple times already, only to re-open. It hasn’t been all about the temperature necessarily, as much as it has been about the wind. Not unlike water in a river, the current, in this case created by constant wind, will keep water from freezing even at very cold temps. Such has been the case with Moose Lake (and other large, deeper bodies of water) this year. Moose could have froze over three weeks ago, but an unusually windy late fall/early winter has prevented it from happening. Most of the small bodies of water have been locked up for quite a while now. In fact, there has even been an ice fishing show or two on TV recently…recorded on Ely area lakes. ely minnesota boundary waters

Within the last couple weeks, I’ve ventured out on a couple of those small lakes. With six plus inches of good clear ice, apprehension was eased and I actually caught a few. The problem right now is there are a few of those “secret” little lakes that have big lakes between them and me! Erring on the side of caution, I will proceed with common sense and safe ice fishing protocol.

Always, Safety First for Ice Fishing

The DNR constantly reminds us that no ice is 100% safe and to this day, I’m still amazed that folks will eventually drive their trucks on the lakes. Yes, I admit I’ve done that…with the door open and one foot on the running board. As far as I’m concerned, there is no fish worth getting cold and wet for (at the least).

Patience in Canoe Country Wins The Day Every Time

For now, patience wins the day. I’d rather write about my ice fishing experience than have someone write about Dave’s last ice fishing experience. ely mn bwca

Be Safe!

Fish On. Be Free.

Wilderness Wisdom

BWCA Sustainable Camping Starts with Leave No Trace

by Kevin

williams and hall outfitters bwca ely minnesota


Sustainable camping insures that future generations will continue to enjoy the BWCA and Quetico wildernesses just like you do.  Each of us should enter the wilderness with a leave no trace philosophy.  Here are few easy things to remember.

  1. Only camp in designated campsites.
  2. Pack out all of your waste.
  3. Leave what you find for the next person to enjoy.
  4. Treat wildlife with respect.

Most importantly, “leave no trace of your visit” should be your guiding principle.  Future generations will thank you.

ely bwca quetico williams and hall outfitters


Paddle On.  Be Free.

The Boy Scout Scene 

Eagle Projects Are Always Fascinating

by Kevin

williams and hall boy scouts bwca

Powerful Learning

I have always been interested in Eagle Projects.  I believe that no other project that a boy does before he finishes high school is as influential as an Eagle Project.  Eagle Projects require a great array of skills including:

  • Leadership
  • Creativity
  • Planning
  • Fundings
  • Documentation

Time and time again, boys come out of an Eagle Project changed and for the better.

As Many Eagle Projects as Eagle Scouts

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Eagle scout Adam Moore

As important as the learning is the creative effort that is put into an Eagle Project.  I am amazed at the projects that Scouts conceive.  The latest example was featured in the Bryan on Scouting Blog (here).  A Boy Scout from Colorado turned his interest in architecture and history into his Eagle Project.  He constructed architecturally accurate Lego models of historic hotels in Colorado and donated the models to the local communities of these hotels.  Very creative, indeed.


PS – We are here to help your troop plan a 2018 BWCA trip

We would very much like to help Boy Scouts plan Boundary Waters trips.  As Scouters, we are dedicated to helping out any way we can.  If you have any questions during your planning process, just give us a call.

Duty On. Be Your Best.

Tips For the Boundary Waters Photographer 

Practice the Three P’s of Outdoor Photography

By Kevinwilliams and hall outfitters bwca elyWe photographers spend a lot of money on our equipment and take great pride in it.  However, proper equipment is only part of the equation.  Peter Mather, a well-known photographer, suggests that we should follow the three P’s to capture great outdoor photos.


Great shots required great patience, regardless of whether you a photographing a squirrel or a moose.  Take the time to inch closer to your subject, allowing the subject to grow a little more comfortable with your presence.


There are no guarantees with outdoor photography.  You just need to keep at it and try to be ready when that special moment arises.


Only passion will get you up at the crack of dawn to capture that perfect shot.

Shoot On!

We Can Help You Secure Your 2018 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

Winter Sport Show and  Customer Night Dates

Please catch up with us this winter at a sport show or Boundary Waters night near you. The dates are now posted on our website. You can see them by clicking here. 

These are great times to visit and plan your next excursion into this wild country.  We will do our best to continue to reach out to you through our blog and newsletters.  We will let you know of any changes in rules or regulations that come down the pike just as soon as we can.

Thank you for a great 2017 season! Enjoy the Holidays.

Thank you sign

We hope you give us a chance to help you plan your 2018 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.