While most of the population is thinking about fireworks and 4th of July parades I’m thinking July is a great time for a canoe camping trip into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. With its warm temperatures, good fishing, refreshingly cool water temperatures and blueberries ripening there may not be a better time than July to visit the BWCA.
Smallmouth bass and northern pike are two easy species of fish to catch in the Boundary Waters especially in July. Troll a lure in a lake inhabited with fish and you’ll have a difficult time keeping the fish off of your line. It’s almost guaranteed you’ll catch something if you put your time in. While some fish snobs don’t like to eat smallmouth or northern pike the people who remove the y-bone and eat these species are in for a real treat. The fish that come from the cold waters of the Boundary Waters taste absolutely delicious when they are prepared fresh. A shore lunch is just one of the many good things about paddling the BWCA in July.
The warm air temperatures combined with the warm water temperatures makes July a perfect time for people who want to spend time swimming. It’s so refreshing and fun to swim from BWCA campsite to campsite or out to an island. Hours of entertainment are provided for families with kids who want to spend time swimming. It’s a very comfortable time of the year not only for swimming but also for sleeping in a hammock.
The nights are warm and the bug population has dropped considerably by July in the Boundary Waters. It makes evenings by the campfire even more enjoyable. The nights get a little bit longer in July but not by much. By mid-month the sun rises around 5:24 AM and sets around 9:00 PM. There’s plenty of daylight to paddle, swim, fish and pick berries.
There’s nothing more satisfying than filling a camp cup with fresh blueberries while you’re out in the Boundary Waters. They taste wonderful in pancakes or when eaten by the handful. In addition to blueberries you may find some strawberries left from June and perhaps ripening raspberries. The wild roses will be blooming along with the Blue Flag Iris, Twin Flowers, Cow Parsnip and many other colorful and fragrant wildflowers.
Also appearing in July are newborn loons. Loons in the BWCA usually have their young around the 4th of July. Look carefully if you see a loon because there’s a good chance there’s a little one riding around the back of their parent. You may also see moose with their young in the water eating underwater plants or cooling off in the mid-day heat.
The lack of bugs, addition of blueberries and good fishing are just a few of the reasons to visit the Boundary Waters in July. With the solitude, scenery and serenity found in the BWCA it’s difficult to understand why anyone would want to swap fireworks in a city for fireflies in the wilderness. But that’s what keeps the numbers down in the Boundary Waters in the beginning of July so I guess we should be thankful for the folks who have to stick with their city traditions for the 4th of July and who leave the BWCA for the rest of us.