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Looking like part of the landscape, weathered countenance under a leather fishing hat and a home rolled cigarette dangling from his lip, Kuiack sets the hook into what turns out to be a small brightly coloured lake trout. It the first I witnessed caught out of Algonquin Park but certainly not the first for Frank Kuiack. He been catching fish in Algonquin for Palladium Boots Ladies
Rollin' on the River SEE PHOTO GALLERY
A decade after the book was published Kuiack continues to guide regularly. Aside from Sundays when he does not guide, Kuiack says Louis Vuitton Boot Men
It been a warm fall and my expectations for good trout fishing are low. I know the water is still very warm and the fish will be deep and inactive. Kuiack knows this too and sets up Mihell with a wire line while Frank and I troll with spinning gear. The morning is sunny and calm and the sloping rock shoreline supports the legendary fall colours of Algonquin Park. But by 11am we haven had a bite.
hit by a really big limb six years ago, he says lifting his shirt to show a scar, a kidney. in the 1970s he slipped carrying a load of moose meat, injuring his back. A two year rehabilitation included installation of four in his back and a year in a body cast. Kuiack was once plastered against the roof a station wagon when a tire he was inflating blew up, smashing his head and breaking both arms.
knew I couldn get the plane in that night so when the guy leaned his head back to drink I poured brandy on the wound . knocked him right out, he says with a laugh, sewed him up with fishing line. most of the injuries Kuiack talks about are his own, the result of guiding and other occupations he practised. In fact, at 79, he still fells problem trees, climbing and cutting them piece by piece from the top down.
you guess which house is Frank Mihell asks after our drive through Algonquin Park and on to Whitney. I choose the timber frame house with moose antlers under the roof peak and a collection of boats and canoes in the yard. Completing the scene is a small man in a brown jacket and work pants with a broad grin and generous laugh. Lean and wiry, Frank extends a thick hand and a welcoming smile. when I crawl out of bed and into the living room where Kuiack sits at the dining room table in blue work pants and shirt, sipping instant coffee from a cup that says all the Old Coots in the World they say I the Cootest. A halo of smoke rises from the heater of Philipp Plein Skull Sneakers a hand rolled cigarette. afternoon, Kuiack says, nodding toward my threadbare red long johns. think we shop at the same place, he says with a laugh.
to see Mihell eyes light up? Kuiack asks with a wink as he pulls a piece of leftover chicken from his pack. Indeed Mihell eyes do light up, but then so do mine. We all nibble on chicken as we drive to the dock on Galeairy Lake near Whitney, with Kuiack flooring the van like a teenager.
to quit smoking for a few months, he says, lighting another and moving on to more accounts of his experiences including staking claims between Timmins and Hudsons Bay in the 1960s and flying a bush plane throughout Algonquin Park.
Much of what I know of Kuiack early life comes from reading a book by Ottawa Citizen reporter Ron Corbett, called The Last Guide, published in 2001. Corbett was researching a story on Algonquin wolves, met Kuiack and their relationship culminated in a book on his life that been translated into three languages and sold more than 240,000 copies. The book offers a glimpse at the early days of fishing and guiding in Algonquin, chronicling Kuiack development as a guide, as a hard drinker he been sober now for more than 20 years and as a husband to his now deceased wife, Marie.
We jump in Kuiack van, and head up still dark Highway 60 where a trail heads less than a kilometre up to a small splake lake. I carry the canoe and follow Kuiack, who is lugging our fishing gear in a large canvas frame pack up a slight incline through a mature hardwood forest. He sets a blistering pace for three quarters of the way then stops. Kuiack recently had an operation installing a fake artery the entire length of his leg.
The sun, the calm and the active bass continue through to evening. Dessert is cake followed by a thick home rolled for Kuiack as he leans back in his chair, practicing the guide art of story telling.
my first bass here when I was four . on a safety pin and a piece of string, says Kuiack, who was guiding here by the time he was eight.
With the morning sun painting streaks of light on the autumn coloured hills surrounding Algonquin Park Tanamakoon Lake, I try to simulate the moves of Frank Kuiack, steadily pumping his wire trolling line.
more than 70 years and guiding others for almost as long. Ebay Polo Ralph Lauren Shoes
I be guiding till I can do it anymore, he says, simultaneously setting the hook into a beefy largemouth.
Any time I encounter an older person doing what they love and showing no signs of slowing down, I try to figure out what keeps them rolling. Certainly I never considered heavy smoking as part of a healthy lifestyle but when Kuiack springs up from the table and launches a handful of bacon into a pan of hot lard I left scratching my head.
Looking for Trout
the other one is starting to go, he says, annoyed, as he regains circulation with a short rest on a stump.
Joining me is my friend, Jack Mihell. Once a forester in Algonquin Park, Mihell lived in Whitney, Ont., just up the street from Kuiack and the two became friends. Now living in Sault Ste Marie, Mihell usually gets out once or twice a year with Kuiack and invited me along.
We decide to switch gears and head back down to the van.
he only had three days off this summer. This is at least partly due to the publicity generated by the book, with many clients wanting to fish but others who simply want to see something specific like a moose, a bull frog or fall colours. As we cast into clumps of thick lily pads I ask Kuiack about retirement and I really not surprised at his answer.
drink this you gonna need it Kuiack says, describing a time when he was staying in a cabin deep in Algonquin interior and a fellow arrived with a grisly wound from jumping on a large spike protruding from an old log dam.
We pile into Kuiack aluminum boat and start picking off largemouth with crankbaits along a narrows before working shoreline vegetation and patches of lily pads where he consistently extracts the biggest bass. But we are on Kuiack home waters. He shows us the little peninsula of land where he grew up.
It the third week of September and I here to experience what so many have over the past decades in Algonquin: a few days on the water with Frank Kuiack.
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