Fishing conditions and weather for the BWCA

Here's a general idea of the weather/fish conditions that you will find on your canoe trip to the BWCA - Ely Mn and the Gunflint Trail area. This is a general guideline so don't hold us to it if the weather doesn't cooperate or you catch a bunch of walleyes in the first week of August. The walleyes, northerns, bass, sunfish and perch have a mind of their own as does Mother Nature. Being that it's northern Minnesota, anything can change unexpectedly. Remember, layered clothing is best, wind is our friend when there are mosquitos, sandflies usually don't bite you on the water or indoors, deer flies are evil, horseflies are slow, and those little ankle biting houseflies of July make a strong argument for wearing long pants and leather boots - sandals alone or when worn with wool socks are worthless, pieces of junk with bugs and rocks. Do you really want to rip off your big toenail when you're 20 miles out in the woods?

Mother Nature's control on the usual summer in the BWCA - Ely, MN
Time Periods
Mid May fishing opener
Mid-May thru Mid June
Mid to Late June
All of July
Early to Mid August
Mid to Late August
Early September
Later September


northerns, largemouth
walleyes, northerns, largemouth bass, some smallmouth bass
walleyes, northerns, big largemouth & big smallmouth bass, sunfish,perch
smallmouth & largemouth bass, northerns, and more sunfish, perch
smallmouth & largemouth bass, northerns and lots of sunnies, perch
lots of sunfish, smallmouth, largemouth, northerns, perch
big, honkin'
big largemouth, sunfish, northerns, walleyes
big honkin' smallmouth,
big largemouth, northerns, walleyes
Live Bait to use
minnows & leeches
leeches and nightcrawlers
nightcrawlers & leeches
& minnows
Bugs That

very few bugs, couple mosquitos, some sandflies closer to mid June

sandflies come and go, sometimes lots of them, mosquitos may be thick in morning and evening - no bugs while on the water
deer flies, horseflies and those pesky little ankle biter houseflies that chew thru your socks, only three mosquitos left, no sandflies
2 or 3 deerflies left, no mosquitos, and no other bugs... very boring
No bugs
No bugs
What's a bug?
Temps in degrees F
35 to 50
40 to 50
40 to 55
50 to 65
50 to70
50 to 70
40 to 60
30 to 50
Day Temps in degrees F
40 to 65
40 to 70
60 to 80
70 to 90
70 to 90
65 to 85
50 to 80
30 to 70
Weather in General
scattered rain, sunny, windy, solid rain, solid sun, sometimes snow
sunny, windy, occasional rain, cooler temps
less winds, moderate temps
hot weather, occasional rain
hot weather, sometimes no rain at all
warm weather, occasional rain, some wind
warm and beautiful weather, little rain, more wind
warm weather to snow flurries, sometimes lots of rain, lots of wind, lots of sun
Outdoor Clothing you'll need
raingear, layered clothing, polar tec jacket, gloves
raingear, layered clothing
raingear, maybe a polar tec-type jacket
shorts, raingear, speedos
speedos & flippers
some layered clothing, rain gear
layered clothing, rain gear
more layered clothing, gloves, warmer socks, rain gear
Indoor clothing
Something casual, yet snappy! (You probably can skip the tux and evening gown.)

Cabin Availability Chart for Northwind Lodge

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