Minnesota Canoe Expedition - Update 3

Hi families!

We had an awesome last few days on the trip. These guys showed some real grit in our battles with Mother Nature. Even waking up to pouring rain and mosquitos, everyone crawled out of the tents with positivity and laughs.

On day 4, we whipped up some mouthwatering bacon pancakes. With rising rivers and high water, the group unanimously voted to fish for our dinner. We set our sights on catfish for a big fish fry. After rigging up our catfishing rods, we headed for the St. Croix where we fished all day in hopes of filling the cooler. With one fish already sitting on ice, we turned up one of the oldest creatures on the planet: Sturgeon. The boys were excited and we managed to land a sizable channel catfish, northern pike, and a couple river redhorse.

Once the fishing slowed down in the evening, we headed back Minny Basecamp for brats and a fish fry. We ended the night around the campfire telling stories of the mishaps and fun times we shared with Evan. The next morning we broke down the boats, packed up camp, and headed to Minneapolis. With some spare time before checking in to our campsite, we tried our hand at urban carp fishing a few spots around town. The water was high and the fish were uninterested.

Warm showers and a round of laundry waited on us at the campsite before checking out the Mall of America. The boys were amazed by the size of the place. Everybody was pumped to ride SpongeBob’s Rock Bottom Plunge, a thrilling rollercoaster. After checking out the Lego store and roaming around the mall, we took off for the banquet dinner. With a local recommendation from Evan, we decided on the 5-8 Club for Minneapolis’ famous contribution to American food culture - the Juicy Lucy. Burgers stuffed full of cheese and grilled to a sizzle were just what we needed after a memorable week exploring what these rivers have to offer.

Full, fat, and happy we returned to camp for our last stormy night together. We made incredible memories that formed strong friendships, which I believe will last many years. We the guides, Drew, Gillman, and Evan, are incredibly grateful for this crew of young men and hope to see them again next year!


Tight Lines Y’all!

Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions was started in 2010 as a graduate thesis for my Master's Degree in Environmental Conservation Education at NYU. The operating premise was simple - by coupling amazing wilderness fly fishing camps for teens with environmental education and service learning we can help inspire future generations of fly fishing conservationists. We have been growing our unique list of trips and experiences ever since.

When it comes to choosing a summer program for your teen the options are endless. For the teen who loves to fish, be outside, and has a strong sense of adventure we have made the choice easy. We are the leader in teen fly fishing adventures and are dedicated to providing the best backcountry fly fishing experience with opportunities for teens to engage in leadership training, community service, and backcountry camping.


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Will Lillard, Founder/Director/Guide

Contact Us

[email protected]

Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions
2540 King Road
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768

(828) 577-8204