Boundary Waters Catalog Blog

Knowledge Base and Learning Center


top feature image

Casual Friday? Working from home.

Here at the Boundary Waters Catalog and Piragis Northwoods Company we’re doing our part to promote safety and social distancing by working from home if we can. Our Canoe Buyer and all things watersports Manager, Tom Roller sent us this pic today of how he’s connecting from home and asked if it’d be ok to take a “casual day” with his dress code.

Since it was Friday, we said, O.K.

In all seriousness, we are set up to meet all your needs from home as we are working remotely in our separate departments. Outfitters Drew, Adam and Tim are available to answer calls and work on trip plans for this Summer. We are currently taking and fulfilling orders at 1-800-223-6565 and online at http://www.boundarywaterscatalog.com.

We try to get out in the woods and wilderness any time we can and hiking in the woods to reach fantastic views just before sunrise or sunset is a good way to clear the mind and get exercise.

Here’s a look at a view from the Secret Blackstone trail that some of you are familiar with. Be safe, stay healthy, dream about canoe trips in the Boundary Waters. Happy Casual Friday.

top feature image

Brook Trout through the Ice and Winter Camping with my new Best Friend

Eric Glasson

Insta: @eric_in_ely

Email: eric@piragis.com

Trip Notes: Jan 6-7, 2018

One of my personal goals upon moving to Ely was to check off as many new species of fish as possible.  As I write this almost one year after my brook trout trip, I am excited to announce that I crossed off (spoiler) brook trout, splake (cross between a brook trout and a lake trout), redhorse and lake whitefish.  Naturally, I was thrilled to hear that our fabulous Minnesota DNR has been stocking stream trout in Northern Minnesota lakes for decades.  There are a few places in Minnesota where stream trout (Brook, Rainbow, Splake, Brown) have occurred naturally in the past. In an effort to encourage more anglers to enjoy these fantastic sport fish (which also go great in the frying pan), they have stocked area lakes that have the appropriate habitat to support these species-usually small, deep, clear lakes with ample forage for the population to sustain themselves.  For those of you who would like to plan your next trip around chasing one of these species, see the DNR’s website for a full list of stocked trout lakes and the corresponding regulations here: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fishing/trout_lakes/list.html

In the interest of protecting these limited fish – and not to mention the trust of the many locals I consulted while planning my trip – I can not divulge the name of the lake in this post.  In the interest of helping serious anglers who are interested in learning more about how to target these fish, I am happy to provide any and all information to interested parties who reach out to me directly.

top feature image

Wilderness Travel: Big Days

            When you live in a small tourist town summertime is the time to hustle.  Jobs are plentiful, and the hours are available.  In the town of Ely, MN it’s impossible to not day dream about the possibilities of your own wilderness travel while you’re outfitting people to do theirs.  Two days off doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but you’d be amazed at what you can push your body through in the long summer days. 

Wilderness Travel Big Days Canoe Lift

Boundary Waters Podcast V1

In our first episode of the Boundary Waters Podcast, we take a look back at a Live Facebook event that (now retired) Steve Schon (our former canoe buyer) and our Creative Director, Tim Stouffer hosted. They fielded questions live about canoes, paddles and more for Boundary Waters tripping.

We plan to do this on a more regular basis and welcome your feedback, questions and ideas for future topics. What would you like to discuss? What Boundary Waters Podcast topics peak your interest. Send you suggestions to tim@piragis.com.

Thanks and we hope to see you around the bend soon, from Your Friends in the Great Northwoods.

top feature image

Nature Books for Kids

We recommend nature books for kids. Trying to get your kiddos interested in going outside to enjoy nature with you? Books are a wonderful place to start. There are so many great nature books out there written just for kids—picture books, board books, adventure novels, mysteries, field guides, etc.

Want to know more about our independent bookstore right here in Ely, Minnesota?  Follow this link, but be sure to finish reading this article 🙂

The best titles combine interesting pictures and subjects that pique kids’ interest quickly and easily. Also, kids can be rough on books, especially the ones they love the most, so because we care about your budget, these are each close to $10. Here are a few of our favorites. Hopefully they will pique your kids’ interest in the great outdoors!

Charley Harper’s I Am Wild

charley harpers i am wild
The vibrant artwork in this adorable board book introduces little ones to common North American wild animals. It highlights each critter’s standout features and fun facts. $10.95
Click Here to Buy

One-Dog Canoe

One Dog Canoe by Mary Casanova
By Mary Casanova
One of our favorite picture books! A girl and her dog set out on the lake in their little red canoe and all the critters they encounter want to join them—a loon, a beaver, a wolf, a bear, and a moose! $7.99
Click Here to Buy

Into the Field Guide

Into the field guide
By Emily Laber-Warren
A field guide just for kids! This fantastic introduction to common trees, animals, flowers, and rocks of the Northwoods is packed basic information and color photographs. Plus, it’s the perfect size to stash in your kiddo’s backpack when you hit the trail. (Don’t forget the binoculars!)  $9.99
Click Here to Buy

Moose River Paddle April 25

Drew and Adam hit the trail early this morning for a Moose River paddle trip. Here’s a glimpse of what it is like outdoors on an absolutely gorgeous day that’s topping out around 65 degrees. Sunny, with robin’s egg blue skies and a spattering of ultra-white fluffy clouds. It feels good to be on the water and move under your own paddle power again. We’re all for walkin’ on water, but after a long winter it is time to enjoy the soft stuff again.

We’re going to go ahead and say it folks! There’s enough open water that you can come up and go paddling. By the time you get here some of the bigger lakes will even be open. Shagawa lake in town is just a stiff wind and few hours away — possibly — ya never know in Minnesota. It sure looks great and feels great outside, though… Thanks Adam and Drew for this vicarious experience. If you want to get in an early canoe trip or talk turkey about your upcoming trip plans, call them today at 1-800-223-6565 or click here for more information.

Here’s to Open Water and a brand new paddling season!

Moose River April 25, 2019
top feature image

In search of Spring

At the beginning of the week (Easter Sunday and Monday, 04/22) we followed open water in search of ice out, in search of Spring. Winter isn’t quite ready to relinquish its grip but it sure is loosening. As I write this brief update, more sunshine, rain and wind have visited and so it is possible that within a short time frame (dare we say still in April?) ice will be gone.

Enjoy a look at some of your favorite places captured by Jaymie Stocks who wears many hats for us including taking good care of you as you arrive for trips in the summer and repairing all of our rental gear. From the crew and friends as they search… for Spring.

top feature image

Ice Free? Early River Paddling

April 18, 2018: Ice Out Report from early season canoeists
#14 Little Indian Sioux North and the Portage River

Open water can’t get here soon enough.  We decided to go check out the Little Indian Sioux River.  The river south of the Echo Trail was still frozen, but we had some luck heading north.  We made it all the way to Upper Pauness.  We couldn’t quite get to Lower Pauness, but I bet in a day or two you could.  The portage trails are snow covered and icy in spots.  Portaging was a little sketchy, but we took our time and made sure we had good footing.