U.P. Trout Fishing .com
Fisherman Trout
Copyright ©
U.P. Trout Fishing HomePage
U.P. Fish
Northern Michigan Fly Hatch
U.P. Streams And Rivers
U.P. Run Schedule
Guides And Outfitters
Fly / Bait / Tackle Shops
Bait Fly
Trips And Packages
Fishing Reports
Isle Royale

Isle Royale

Isle Royale exists as an island in many ways. It is an island of wilderness and home to wolves in a modern world. It is an island in time, a natural space in which you operate on natural time and experience the rhythms of light and dark. Days are measured by footsteps, possibly under a backpack. Walking the island you are struck by its striated layout, its elongated forested-rock and lake patterns that parallel its backbone, the Greenstone Ridge. The island, it seems, must have been forcibly combed from northeast to southwest. The surface scene you see from the island's heights is the product of 10,000 years of natural sculpting, soil-building, and plant- pioneering and succession. Back then - actually not long ago by nature's time scale - the island appeared beneath glacial ice, rising as the lake level dropped. The island developed soil and was colonized by plants and animals. Its many inland lakes first formed in basins gouged out by glaciers and then began to shrink, as lakes and ponds inevitably do.

Beneath the ponds, the forests, and the light soil covering, however, is a story which must be told not in the increments of centuries, but in millions and billions of years. The ridge-and-trough pattern of the rocks is the work of millions of years, predating even the formation of Lake Superior and its islands.

The story begins some 1.2 billion years ago with a great rift in the earth's crust which may have extended from here southward all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. As this series of cracks poured forth molten lava covering thousands of square miles, the land along the rift zone sank to form the Superior Basin, which has shaped all of the subsequent geological events in the region. The rock record of this cataclysmic happening - the volcanics, sandstones, and conglomerates - forms Isle Royale's bedrock today. Clues to the island's past abound. Smoothed, rounded, and even grooved rock belies the crushing power of the last major glaciation, known as the Wisconsin. It ended here only a thousand years ago. On the southwestern part of the island, where this glacier paused in its retreat, are small linear hills made of its deposits.

On the Stroll Trail out toward Scoville Point, you pass three small pits in the rocks. These form another clue, a clue to the prehistoric peoples who mined copper on the island. They came to the island only in mild seasons, taking what resources they could, and leaving before winter. As early as 4,000 years ago, these people mined here, continuing for more than 1,000 years. Isle Royale and Lake Superior area copper made its way by trade as far as New York, Illinois, and Indiana. These early miners were probably most active here from 800 to 1600. By the 1840's, the only American Indian encampments white miners encountered were a maple sugaring camp on Sugar Mountain and a seasonal fishing camp on Grace Island.

Aquatic environments abound both on and around the island. In fact, some 80 percent of the national park is under water, as shallow, warm-water ponds, streams, and rivers, and the deep, cold, foreboding Lake Superior waters. Commercial fishing has been one of the mainstay economic activities on the island throughout historic times. It began before 1800, to feed the fur trade. Since about 1840, it has been a largely individual enterprise. The major economic species were lake trout, whitefish, and herring lurking in the range of water depths and bottoms along miles of Isle Royale shoreline. Most of the commercial fishing enterprises had closed by the mid-20th century; that world is now preserved by the historic Edisen Fishery and programs conducted by the National Park Service.

Sport fishing has now replaced commercial fishing. Species sought are lake, brook, and rainbow trout; northern pike; walleye; and the yellow perch. Spring and fall produce the biggest catches, but fishing is considered good throughout the season.

Isle Royale's animal life also expresses its island nature. In the recent past, both wolf and moose have come in search of better hunting and browsing grounds. Other animals you might expect here are missing, however although it is but 15 miles to the Canadian shores where they are found. But even those that are missing, like the black bear and the whitetail deer, somehow underscore Isle Royale's wild solitude.

Isle Royale is indeed an island of superlatives for wilderness and beauty. And here is yet another superlative: Siskiwit Lake's Ryan Island is the largest island in the largest lake on the largest island in the broadest freshwater lake in the world! You will find your own superlatives here as you meet the island on its own terms: fishing, boating, hiking, backpacking, taking a guided interpretive walk or hike, or just relaxing, which are what vacations are for.

Isle Royale National Park is located in the northwest corner of Lake Superior. This Wilderness Island contains a road-less backcountry which prohibits the use of all wheeled vehicles and devices (accept wheelchairs). Visitors traveling to this Island paradise must arrive by boat or seaplane. The transportation services depart from Houghton, Michigan, and Copper Harbor, Michigan.

There are four ferries and one seaplane that provide service to and from Isle Royale National Park. All have different fares and schedules and reservations are strongly recommended. Services do fill up, especially in the peak season, late-July through mid-August. Make your reservation as soon as your travel dates are firm. For a more peaceful experience during our slow time, you may want to visit Isle Royale in late May, early June or September

The M.V. Ranger III

The Motor Vessel Ranger III is the largest piece of moving equipment owned and operated by the National Park Service and the largest passenger ferry providing service to Isle Royale National Park. The Ranger III is 165 feet long, 34 feet wide, 650 ton vessel that carries 128 passengers. The ship with its crew of nine, offers interpretive and educational programs, a luncheon grill, three staterooms, four comfortable lounges, two decks and indoor and outdoor seating for passenger comfort. Unlike other service providers, the Ranger III offers transportation for private boats up to 20’00” or less and offers its patrons free parking at a secure lot. The ship operates out of Houghton, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The Ranger III offers passenger services from June 2 through September 13. The ship travels from Houghton to Rock Harbor on Tuesdays and Fridays, departing Houghton at 9:00 a.m. EDT, and returns from Rock Harbor to Houghton on Wednesdays and Saturdays, departing Rock Harbor at 9:00 a.m. EDT. The leisurely ride to Isle Royale takes 6 hours.

The Isle Royale Queen IV

Operates between Copper Harbor, Michigan, and Rock Harbor on Isle Royale National Park. The Queen IV is a US Coast Guard certified and inspected, 100-foot, steel, Triple diesel passenger boat. She is fully equipped with navigation aids and complete safety equipment. During our cruise to the island, light snacks are available as well as hot coffee and other beverages.
• Reservation can be made by Phone : (906)289-4437
• Although the Queen's cabins are warm and cozy, we recommend a light jacket or sweater as it is usually cool on the Lake.
• Coffee, sodas, juices, and snacks are available.
• The Queen is equipped with lavatories.

For more information and to plan your trip to Isle Royale please consult the website at:
Isle Royale National Park

Copyright © 2006-2007 U.P. Trout Fishing .com™ // ® All Rights Reserved.
Web Design Services Provided By RKcom Design Services , Inc.™ // ® All Rights Reserved.

Tackle / Equipment
Contact Us
Photo Album
Photo Album
Other Outdoor Activities
Articles & Tips
Other Outdoor Activities