It is believed that the name Nipissing meant “people of the little water.” Frankly, I don’t believe it. Most likely Nipissing was a derogatory term meaning “lake of very few fish.”
But we don’t go there to fish. My father, brother Jeff, and I have been going there for about four years now. Prior to that, we went to Dollars Lake, which actually has fish. And plenty of them. In reality, we go to Canada to spend quality time together — and to keep the old man out of trouble. At least for one week out of the year.
We also go for the hospitality. The lodge we stay at, Shuswap on the Nipissing, offers great food, comfortable cottages and live entertainment.
Our host, Heinz Loewenberg provides the entertainment, joining us at our dinner table and regaling us with select yarns and filling us in on what we missed by not being there in the winter. Apparently that part of Canada rivals the South Pole for hostile climate.
Meanwhile, his wife and Gerda never fails to serve up a great meal. She also serves as a fact-check for Heinz’s tales.
It rained a lot this year, but we didn’t mind. That gave us the opportunity to take a break from sitting out in the boat all day drowning worms. Instead, we’d jump in the car and head for the big cities — exciting metropolises such as Sudbury or Sturgeon Falls.
Actually, Greater Sudbury (which apparently comprises everything in Ontario that isn’t Toronto) had quite a bit of excitement this summer. As mentioned in previous posts on my Canadian Odyssey, bears have been a big problem this year. A June frost wiped out the blueberry crop, forcing the the bears to forage for food in back yards, trash cans and an occasional pantry. While we were there, the local newspapers reported daily confrontations between bears and residents.
In Canada, newspapers don’t use circumlocutions such as “dispatched” or “harvested.” In Canada, problem bears are simply shot.
The burning question was, who had to do the shooting? From what we read in the papers, that responsibility normally falls on Natural Resources Ministry. However, they’re a little strapped for funds these days, so they were relying on the local police to shoot nuisance bears.
Apparently, the police weren’t happy about it. This didn’t allow them time to go after real criminals — like maple syrup bootleggers and other Canadian miscreants.
On the days we could go fishing, my brother Jeff caught all the fish. All three of them.
Next — Algonquin