Saturday, 13 July 2013


By Madge Macbeth, circa 1924

Nipigon Historical Museum Archives


We walked the portage at Flat Rock, between berry-laden bushes, and came upon an olive lake, where a magnificent pickerel rose to the bait even as assembled on the dock waiting for our gondoliers. A moment later, another angler shouted and we turned to see him landing a royal trout.

We shot a beautiful stretch of creamy water called White Chute and after passing a large flock of duck, landed at Pine Portage. There, while the guides were making camp, we started to fish in earnest. Before lunch time, we had taken seven fine trout - two rainbow trout among them.

We encountered several other parties during the day, and our next-door neighbours (on the camping grounds) were a lady and gentleman from Kansas City. The latter had contracted the Nipigon habit thirty-three years ago, and had suffered an outbreak of the fever every summer since. One of the guides with him had been a bright-eyed papoose on his first trip up the river.

"There's nothing like it where trout fishing is concerned," he said. "What Comedie Francaise is to the aspiring French actor, or perhaps Kimberley is to the diamond merchant, the Nipigon is to anglers with a weakness for trout. You can't go any further. This is the best there is!"

We felt a sense of remoteness to a startling degree the following day, when returning from Camp Alexander, they told us of seeing a caribou swimming across the river, while two of our guides held the animal's horns and posed for a photograph. Where, save in the primordial forests, could such a thing have happened?

"Our Guides?" we repeated, amazed. "Which ones?"

"Friday," the gentleman told us. He didn't know the man's name.

"What became of the caribou?" asked our camera man, eagerly.

"Friday's eaten him by now," returned the Chief, with a twinkle in his eye.


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