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Big knife little fish

My first recollection of going to Canada would probably date back to the late 1960’s. Actually this would be a couple of separate trips to the same location and as best as I can remember the 2 trips would have been spread over 2 consecutive years. The location was a lake in the Algonquin Provincial Park where a family friend had several cabins. The name of the lake escapes me now but there was one remarkable feature that I’ll never forget. A single pine tree had grown nearly parallel to the ground and extended for a dozen yards over the lake. This was a perfect opportunity for a young boy to slither out onto the tree and be suspended over the water. Not sure now what the fascination was at the time but that tree and the fun it represented have stuck with me ever since. It’s interesting to look back through the mists of time and think about the scenes we remember of certain places. That tree still remains vivid in my mind.

There are 3 other things I remember about those trips.

The first and foremost is that my father thought I was old enough to have my very own hunting knife. There was a small store not far from the cabin and they had several selections that I had to choose from. I anxiously pointed to a beauty of a knife with a translucent green handle. It was amazing and when it hung from my belt I felt like a true outdoors man. I recall the box for the knife mentioned in bold letters that it could cut through nails. This was a big enticement to me even though I couldn’t think of why I would want to cut a nail with a knife. The other thing I recall is that it cost $10. wow.

The second thing I remember is that the beds in the cabins were hung from the ceiling! I was told that it was to keep the varmints off of the beds but I knew that any self respecting varmint would simply drop from the ceiling onto the bed and a couple of inches of space between the feet of the bed and the floor wouldn’t mean a thing. I didn’t give it any more thought.

Finally, and this is the most unbelievable part – we only caught ONE (1) fish the whole week. Even though I say ‘we’, it was my granddad that caught it but I was in the canoe with him and I helped – at least with moral support. This fish was a record breaking SIX (6) inches long. And it was a bass – not the walleye or pike that I was looking for. My new knife was bigger than this guy. It promptly got tossed back in the lake and we continued fishing but to no avail. I still shake my head at the thought of this whole thing.

So this was my introduction to the great Canadian wilderness. Stay with me – it gets better…


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