The Last Guide
The Last Guide
A Story of Fish and Love
Part fishing trip, part history and lore, The Last Guide tells the story of Frank Kuiack, one of Algonquin Park's last full-time fishing guides. Through Frank's story, The Last Guide chronicles a way of life in a wilderness he grew to know intimately over a lifetime. It is a wilderness that has nearly vanished.
Born in 1934, the year Highway 60 finally made it to the park, Frank was one of sixteen brothers and sisters. Raised on Long Lake, a mile from Algonquin's East Gate, he came to guiding at the tender age of eight, when some weekend fishermen offered him money to take them fishing. He was paid five dollars for two hours' work — more money than his father earned in a full shift as a lumberman. He grew up to work in lumber camps, gold mines, on rivers and lakes, and he has seen the Algonquin highlands change from a land of near inaccessible wilderness to what is today nearly a city park.
His own life is a sharp and refreshing contrast to those changes.
In The Last Guide, author Ron Corbett interweaves Frank's story with those of other guides, local legends like Basil Sawyer, known as much for his guiding expertise as for his fateful business venture as an importer of Princess Pine; Sam Beaver, after whom E.B. White named the hero of his last children's book, The Trumpet of the Swan; and perhaps the most famous guide of all, the painter Tom Thomson, who spent his last summer guiding on Canoe Lake.
Richly anecdotal, entertaining and with marvelous photographs throughout, The Last Guide is a tribute to those who have called the wilderness home, and to a world that valued and sustained them.