Words: John Holt

“Even by early ’70s standards this guy was out there: Boulder Junction, Wisconsin, barefoot, chinos, Hawaiian shirt, and a coulee hat no matter the weather—which ranged from blazing summer sun to fall sleet to winter sub-zero. I knew him and he knew me, which said it all back then. Cuno Barrigan was an infamous walleye guide who liked boilermakers made with Chief Oshkosh or Point beer and Kessler blended whiskey as much as the next fellow. He liked the ladies, too, often wives of the men he shepherded around flowages for enormous walleyes that rose up out of the cool depths of the north country’s lakes in the evenings and fed on minnows along shallow shelves tucked away in the woods where powerboats couldn’t venture. He also had a feel for finding big musky, again in places hard to paddle to in his old canvas canoe, a craft that was watertight but looked like it could go down at any moment.”


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