Fishing Trip up to French River, Feb. 1959

This was a long walk on snowshoes and I was happy I brought Blacky along. Uncle Howard his friend Charles and I were on our way to French River to fish for big speckle trout. We even brought our fishing rods. All this was tied on the sleigh with our packsack and axe. Blacky was ready to go, I had tied a long rope to the back of the sled, this was to slow him down once in a while. This snowshoe walk was 24 miles return. It was very cold that morning at 5 o’clock and around the -35 but no wind. All you could here was crispy and crunch sound from under our snowshoes and the sled runners. We stopped once after two hours, to have a good drink of hot coffee and Blacky was eating snow. We arrived at French River at 9:30 and to my surprise the river was not frozen and the banks on the side were about 10 feet high. I told my uncle, I thought that we were going to fish on the ice, but guess that’s not it. He said no we are going to cast from the side and be very careful on the side that it does not break or you slip in. My uncle gave the first cast and he had one and it was giving him a good fight, I was just watching and a good 10 minutes to bring it to him without loosing it, because it’s out of the water for about 20 feet before you get it to you. We caught a reasonable amount in 6 hours fishing and all big ones, 4 to 5 lbs. The wind had picked up and that looked like storm coming in. Blacky started jumping and barking and wanted to go. Darkness had set in pretty fast. We tied everything on to the sleigh, put our snowshoes on, grabbed the rope and said hike Blacky. After an hour of walking we stopped and talked, we could not see a thing, and the snow was burning our eyes. We did know where we were and the only thing to do is was to follow Blacky, he was our guide. I remember looking at my watch and saw 10 o’clock that was at night, we had been walking for 6 hours and no sign of the village.

We stopped for a drink of coffee that was left. My uncle looked tired; I told get on the sled, Blacky will pull you for awhile, which he did. Then Charles did the same thing and I did also. Looked at my watch it was 2 o’clock and still no sign of the village. We all took turns on the sled and Blacky had no trouble with that. As I was going along 3 o’clock in the morning and I had school that Monday. The storm was so bad that we past in front of the village and did not even see it, that’s where my uncle his friend live, I live at the end of the island. Well let me tell when we saw the house we were happy and the lights were on also a Bombardier snowmobile parked in front. Yes a search party was ready to leave as soon as it was day light. They were all happy to see us safe and sound. I gave Blacky a great big hug and told him he was a good dog, so did my uncle and his friend Charles.