Canoe and Limited Resources Fishing/Camping Trip

3/14/16 @ 6:46 PM
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thefishingboy
thefishingboy
USER since 9/11/04
A few buddies and I are looking for a remote camping/fishing destination for this summer in northern Wisconsin. My brother and his group of friends did a trip to the boundary waters a few summers back and all they brought was their canoes, tent, and whatever supplies they could carry. They canoed out to an island miles from their access point and basically lived on fish and whatever snacks they brought for 5 days. My buddies and I are looking for an experience like that as well but not nearly as far away due to our work schedules. We are from S/E wisconsin and just want to get away and not camp at a tourist hole and actually try and rough it for 3-5 days. Our 3 person canoe is up in Crivitz so we are looking for something preferable around 2 hours or less from there cause we have to drive up there first. We are currently starting our searches on the internet and i figured i would start a topic on here to see if anyone has done a camping/fishing/canoe trip like this before and could share their thoughts or possible destinations. Thanks, thefishingboy
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4/22/16 @ 5:50 AM
P-rod
P-rod
USER since 12/16/08
It's probably not as remote as Turtle Flambeau or Sylvania, but if you're looking for something similar and even closer to Crivitz and your equipment the Peshtigo River has canoe in only campsites on Johnson Falls Flowage and Sandstone Flowage. There is one stretch of rapids (Seymour Rapids) on Sandstone that you could run if you want to but there's also a nice portage trail around the rapids. I'd say they're class II rapids in higher water levels, no big drops or anything but lots of rocks to bounce off or try to avoid. They're actually pretty fun to run in a kayak if you're not uncomfortable with rapids. I've kayaked the length of Johnson and Sandstone on separate occasions and it has a pretty wild feeling for where you are mainly because there's not much development along either of the Flowages. On Sandstone you don't see houses until almost at the end. Our cabin is very near here and I've always wanted to do a canoe/kayak camping trip on these two flowages but just haven't put one together yet. The campsites on Johnson and Sandstone have fire rings and open pit toilets. There are also portages around all of the dams as well. I've seen a few small fishing boats on Johnson from time to time, but I've never seen another boat on upper end of Sandstone (upstream of the Hideaway Lane landing).

There's also island camping on Caldron Falls and High Falls but you'd have to potentially deal with a lot more boat traffic on both of those.

To get the 3-5 days of camping you're looking for you might have to do more than 2 flowages or take your time going down them. I think from boat landing 14 to the Johnson Falls dam it's about a 2 hour paddle if you're just paddling and not stopping for anything. From the Johnson Falls dam to Kirby Lake Lane I believe it was about 3 1/2 hours of paddling. Sandstone has a pretty swift current on the upper end so even though it was only 1 1/2 hours longer I think you cover a lot more water in that time. Last time we kayaked this stretch we saw a sow bear with her two cubs at the waters edge. Scared the crap out of us because we didn't see them at first until the took off and started crashing though the brush!

Link to the Peshtigo River State Forest below. http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/StateForests/peshtigoRiver/documents/PeshtigoCamping.pdf

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4/22/16 @ 5:13 AM
SnakeSter
SnakeSter
MEMBER since 7/9/12
I agree with Willow Flowage. 6000 acre Flowage that is mostly surrounded by State owned land. Should be able to catch fish to eat also! I think it's less than 2 hrs from Crivizt? Let us know how the trip went where ever you decide to go! Good luck!!! Have a great time!!!!!

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4/21/16 @ 7:46 PM
Hrud
Hrud
USER since 11/25/07
It's not as remote as the boundary waters or Sylvania, but you could look at the Bittersweet Wild Lakes Area. It's in Arbor Vitae with access right off of Hwy 70. There are 4 lakes you can camp and fish on. Short portages between them. It's always been quiet when I've gone. You can park out by the hwy or if you have a truck you can drive into the second lake. You'd check in at the Crystal Lake station in woodruff. I think there are special fishing regs on the lakes.

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3/29/16 @ 8:28 PM
Turtle Flambeau Flowage Association
Turtle-Flambeau Flwg Assn
USER since 12/23/11
Thanks for the endorsement nihsif! Click our signature below to access our website for area information and to order a free map showing the location of the 60 free DNR wilderness campsites.

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3/28/16 @ 2:51 PM
Derelict2
Derelict2
USER since 8/12/05
I'll second the Willow Flowage. My wife and I had a nice island campsite there a few years ago. We arrived Wednesday to get said campground and two or three other boats had to be turned away so keep that in mind in terms of the island sites. I think if you get there Tuesday or Wednesday any given week you should have a pretty good pick, but it can be laborious to travel in a loaded canoe to come across a taken campsite, so look at a map and have a plan.

The other option would be one of Wisconsin's many fine rivers. The best part about river trips is the river does the work for you if you pick the right one. Load up your canoe with as much stuff as you can safely hold and the river will take you. The Flambeau River State forest comes to mind. The Pine and Popple river systems or the Peshtigo could be good options too. Look at a map, make a float plan and live on a river for five days. Heaven.

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3/26/16 @ 9:02 PM
Scott F
Scott F
USER since 6/12/10
Sylvania does not allow motors so it would be more canoe friendly than nearly any other lakes you could find outside of the BWCA.

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3/26/16 @ 5:11 PM
madforlabs
madforlabs
USER since 12/20/12
I second the Willow flowage recommendation. Also take a look at the Sylvania Wilderness area in the UP.

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3/26/16 @ 4:24 PM
BugleTrout
BugleTrout
USER since 9/27/01
Willow flowage. North of Tomahawk. It's the closest thing you'll get to Canada in WI.

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3/26/16 @ 12:40 PM
JamesD
JamesD
USER since 2/16/04
Sylvania is a great choice, but read the Michigan fishing regs carefully (it's just north of Watersmeet). Many are artificials only and catch and release only, as mentioned earlier. The key to canoe camping is to really pare your "stuff" down so you're not the winner of the biggest pack contest! It's also first come first serve for getting a self permit once you get to the park. The only other canoe route I've tried a paddling a lot was Trout Lake Circle. The pic is from a Canada trip.

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3/15/16 @ 1:32 PM
bumpnose
bumpnose
USER since 12/14/01
I would have to agree with the Sylvania Wilderness area. My bothers and I have taken many trips there. It has crystal clear lakes, nice camp sites, and fantastic fishing. It can be a bit difficult to make fish as your every meal though. All bass is catch and release. Walleyes must be 21 inches minimum. You can keep 10 panfish per day, but live bait is only allowed on Crooked Lake. However if you want the beauty of nature and a great canoe-in camping experience, there are very few places that rival Sylvania.

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Displaying 1 to 10 of 15 Posts