Category Archives: Canada

NORTH STAR

by John Jonelis

We catch 647 fish here in 4 days.  On average, that’s a pike every 2.8 minutes.  This place is wild, unspoiled, perhaps like this continent a thousand years ago and summer feels like spring.

Huge northern pike.  Gorgeous scenery.  What man can resist a fishing expedition?

I am visiting my favorite startup company—North Star Executive Outpost on Knee Lake, Manitoba.  It’s a paradise—a northern pike factory in the breathtaking Canadian wilderness.  No roads.  Accessible only by air.  Just one lodge on a 50-mile-long stretch of pure water where God and God alone stocks these hearty fish that grow to such prodigious proportions and feed so ferociously.

Six hundred forty seven fish.  Don’t believe me?  I assure you, we keep an accurate count.  Got to.  Boat bets.  Loop Lonagan and Jim Kren will skin me alive for lying about a thing like that.

On day #2, a pike manages to hit my lure before swallowing its previous meal and yes, I count two fish caught on one cast.  The bite is on!

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Shore Lunch

Every day we pause to catch a few fat walleye and then land our boats at a likely island to participate in a great Canadian custom—shore lunch.  The guide cuts wood, builds a fire, cleans, cooks, and serves the fish.  My favorite restaurant of all time.

So many wonderful ways to cook fresh fish.  Beer batter walleye, honey-garlic walleye, traditional walleye with all the trimmings.  A different dish every day, followed by desert.  If you have not yet experienced this wilderness feast, you are in for a treat!

Nothing tastes better than fresh walleye.  It’s a delicacy elsewhere in the world, but nowhere near as good as walleye up here.  These are fresh from of a cold clean body of water—live until cooked and eaten.  Up here, they grow big and thick, with luscious and flaky meat.  I have room for just one.

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Hunting Pike

We spend our days on these pristine waters in open boats, making long casts with stout rods, our heavy lures retrieved at speed.  Attacks by northern pike are sudden, savage, and frequent, with water churning at line’s end.  To our surprise, walleye also strike our lures with tenacity and vigor.

But on day #3, the air grows unusually warm for this far north, and the bite slows.  I put away my heavy tackle and slip out a fly rod.  We glide into a calm bay, looking for big ones sunning and digesting an afternoon’s feed.  We are hunting them.

My guide spots a monster pike 50 feet away and I cast a 10-inch fly at it.  It refuses my offering and paddles away ever so slowly.  “We’ll find it again!” says my companion.

And we do.  I tie on a bigger fly (it looks more like a mop), cast it past this fish, and draw it into the kill zone, then twitch it to entice the lounging lunker.  As I watch, the big fish gradually turns toward my bait and lazily moves on it.  With great care, enormous jaws close over my lure.  I set the hook hard, feel weight and life at the end of my line, and see the huge pike pull against me.  Fish on!

A shiver runs down my shoulder.  Then the big pike charges our boat and I strip line fast, spilling coils around my feet, trying to keep a load on my rod because any slack and that barbless hook can easily fall from a bony jaw.  The pike continues to charge and swims directly under the boat.  Plunging fly rod into water, I work around the bow.  The pike continues to run in the same direction, taking line at will—line that burns through my grip until it spools off the floor, pulls taught, and tugs at the drag on my primitive reel.  The reel gives me an advantage.

Powerful shakes and malicious tugs, then the pike’s 25 pounds rolls in my leader, but hook holds fast and this northern pike finally goes to bottom, still as rock.  The water is clear in this shallow bay and I see my fish and keep pressure on.

Eventually the big pike concedes, and perhaps more out of curiosity than fatigue comes to our gunnels.  My guide and I both gasp. There’s always something awesome about a thick, powerful fish measuring in the mid 40’s.

We net the pike, snap a quick photo, and the trophy goes right back in the lake to swim away and fight again. I can barely express the draining satisfaction of hunting, battling, and landing a pike this big.  Maybe I’ll catch him again next year.  Then primal shouts, a congratulatory handshake, and I relive the fight in my mind all the many miles back to our lodge.

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Revival

After a hard day fishing, this old man needs food and rest.  Management proves courteous and professional and refuses to let me suffer.  We sit around our beautiful log cabin in blissful comfort, sipping beer and telling stories with suitable embellishments while eating steak, ribs, and other satisfying fare.

Up here, summer nights don’t get entirely dark.  By eight o’clock in the afternoon, we’re playing at the pool table, shuffleboard table, and poker table.  Then we shower under deliciously hot water and sleep soundly under warm quilts, on firm and expansive beds.

On the appointed day, we board our bush plane at the lodge’s private landing strip and fly home for dinner.  If you live in Chicago, a true wilderness isn’t really that far away..

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THE PLACE:

North Star Executive Outpost

http://northstarresort.ca/

Check for a cancellation if you want to book this year.

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VERIFY MY NUMBERS:

Fish frequency calculation:

3 fishermen, 4 days on the water

less 1.5 hours/day for shore lunch

= 30 hours fishing and running around in the boat.

30 hrs / 647 fish = avg 2.8 min per fish caught

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Photography by John Jonelis

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READ “WILDERNESS”

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Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link. This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. Please perform your own due diligence. It’s not our fault if you lose money..Copyright © 2018 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved
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Filed under angel, angel capital, angel investor, Canada, Cleantech, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship and Politics, Fishing, fly fishing, Jim Kren, loop lonagan, new companies, pike fishing, Startup, startup company, vc, Venture

WILDERNESS

by John Jonelis

.In Chicago, we enjoy something few high-tech centers can boast—easy access to a primal wilderness—a vast paradise, ancient and unspoiled—unique in the world and very special.

Whenever I’m in this place, I love the world just as I find it.

A short commuter flight from O’Hare Field whisks me to Winnipeg International Airport. Then a short local flight delivers me to an isolated airstrip carved out of an untouched forest—hundreds of miles from roads and crowds. And I experience absolutely no jet lag. My destination is located within my own time zone! This amazing opportunity is accessible due to technology, and I intend to enjoy it as often as I can!

Canadian Shield shown in red

My favorite location is Manitoba at the 55th parallel—as far north as Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and the Bering Sea—as far north as Omsk. North of that grow stunted trees in permafrost, but here tall Pine and Aspen surround the lakes. Uncounted and untouched waters flow through this region—a massive system of rivers and lakes, draining into Hudson Bay. Here it is not uncommon for the ice to measure four feet thick as late as May. I come in June.

Boreal Forest—the crown of the Northern Hemisphere

Mark T Wayne kindly explained to me the geology of this place that I love so intensely. This is the unique and magnificent intersection of the Canadian Shield, and the Boreal Forest. The Shield is a vast area, surrounding Hudson Bay, where, during the last ice age, severe glaciation removed everything down to bedrock. The Boreal (also known as the Snow Forest) is a predominantly conifer range that rings the northern hemisphere like a crown. (In Russia, it runs through Siberia.) Canada’s intersection of Boreal and Shield makes up the largest unspoiled wild area in the world.

Overstressed Chicago entrepreneurs need a place to burn off the tension of a high-risk high-reward lifestyle. Some find solace at the golf course. Others in spectator sports, television, or booze. I prefer the stunning spectacle of God’s creation in the raw. And I bring my fishing rod!

The great Northern Pike reigns in these waters and grows to enormous proportions! Nobody stocks these lakes, but the waters teem with these ferocious predators. Conditions are just as they’ve been for thousands and thousands of years, and unlike other regions of the globe, Manitoba means to keep it that way. No live bait. Barbless hooks. All fish returned to the water unharmed. That transforms an idle pursuit into a challenging alternate activity for budding business tycoons.

Vladimir Up Yours Putin finds time to enjoy the Boreal in his native Russia—that is, when he’s not busy overrunning free countries or thumbing his nose at our great nation. If he can get away for such activities, I think Chicago entrepreneurs can do the same.

I’ve experienced many good fishing lakes in Canada’s provinces. This is my favorite. Knee Lake is a 50-mile-long body of icy water punctuated by rocky reefs and 150 islands. Only one small lodge operates here. They call it North Star Outpost and to me, it’s as close to heaven-on-earth as you can get.

Loop Lonagan, Mark T Wayne, and Donatis Ludditis from my magazine surprised me with tickets for this excursion. And I am immensely grateful.

Here, a man indulges in the elemental fight against nature and—for a precious time— entirely escapes the Chicago rat race!

Here, a man lives off the fat of the land, and—in a delightful exception to the catch-and-release rules—harvests fat walleye for that exquisite tradition known as Shore Lunch.

Nothing tastes better than fresh walleye cooked over pine logs. This is beer batter—my favorite.

In this ecosystem, nothing goes to waste. After that wonderful meal, I’m back hunting big pike.

Without warning, a strong strike sends a shiver up my elbow and shoulder. I feel vital life at the end of my line. The weight of it leaves no doubt that this is a trophy fish. Then a sharp pull almost yanks the rod and reel from my hands and the water boils!

I catch my breath and strain against the fish. This monster goes through all the escape behaviors learned over a life of perhaps 50 years. It jumps clear of the water. It runs deep. It rolls in my line. It thrashes, tugs, and splashes the surface of the water. Every time I catch sight of this fish, it strikes me with awe. This one is strong and thick. As they say up here, it has shoulders!

It charges the boat and I reel fast to keep my line taught. A moment of slack and the prize will be gone. It swims underneath me and I plunge my rod deep into the icy water and then work it around the bow. When I finally bring this fish to the side of the boat, it turns away and peels line off my big round reel at will.

This battle repeats three times. A fish this big does not succumb easily and expends all its energy before surrender to the net.

Quickly, I lift him into the boat. The barbless hook falls from its mouth. A hurried measurement—46 inches! One snap of the shutter and my prize is back in the water.

A fish this size is delicate and often will not survive the fight without help. Holding it by the tail, I move its body back and forth, flowing water through the gills. A minute or two, and the great northern pike strokes its tail free of my hand and swims away with power. I hope to catch that one again next year.

But for now, I must catch my own breath. This primal battle in God’s wilderness leaves me stunned and in awe and immensely satisfied.

Read – BEST GIFT

 

This is North Star Executive Outpost on Knee Lake, Manitoba, a protected pike sanctuary.

Website – northstarresort.ca

Phone – Talk to Hope Levenhagen at 800-563-7151

Email – hopelevenhagen@northhavenresort.ca

 

Charts and Maps—Wikipedia.

Photography—John Jonelis.

Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link. This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. Please perform your own due diligence. It’s not our fault if you lose money.
.Copyright © 2017 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved
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Filed under angel investor, Canada, Chicago Startup, Chicago Ventures, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, fly fishing, Startup, startup company, vc, Venture, venture capital

THE VENTURE CANOE

_JAJ2989TJohn Jonelis

Citizens often refer to their country as the ship of state. In like manner, investors picture big corporations as sleek cruise liners or enormous freighters. The thinking goes like this: The bigger the hull, the more seaworthy the ship and the more stable the ride. And that’s true—most of the time.

While embarking on a pleasure cruise, my guests feel cozy and safe until I sing something that feels appropriate to the occasion, like The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald – yes, the classic by Gordon Lightfoot. I often belt that out when afloat with friends. It never fails to elicit loud whining, often accompanied by hands clasped to ears.

I like that song. For reasons I fail to understand, this particular ballad gets under people’s skin.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down

Of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee

The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead

When the skies of November turn gloomy

Seems a good mariner’s tune to me, but every time I sing it, I’m assailed by impassioned shouts of, “Stop it—stop it!” What’s wrong with these people? Can it be that folks don’t want to face the inherent risks of investment?

Maybe that question deserves an explanation:

Big Cruise Ship

The Luxury Liner

Those that can afford it, invest in a voyage on a luxury liner. These vessels usually give a pretty smooth ride—in protected waters. The destination is fixed and there’s a very good likelihood that you’ll get there. The cruise director plies everybody with food, booze, and showgirls to break the monotony. Passage on such a ship is like buying a TRIPLE A BOND. You pay a premium. You receive a teensy-weensy coupon. It’s nice and safe. And a lousy investment.

Cargo Ship

The Freighter

You may choose to invest fewer resources and board a freighter. Such ships usually accept 6 to 12 passengers in relative comfort.

With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more

Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty

That good ship and crew was a bone to be chewed

When the gales of November came early

Some of these hulks venture out to the deep with deplorable maintenance records. Picture an overloaded tub, rusting around the hatches and wallowing in high waves. In various waters, piracy enters the picture—something worthy of consideration. A trip on a freighter is like buying a JUNK BOND. Low price, outsized coupon, plenty of risk.

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The Canoe

A small startup venture feels more like my 15 ft. canoe. It can bring you to incredibly beautiful wilderness locations inaccessible to the big tubs. A canoe is simple and elegant. No promenade deck. No staterooms. No galley. Limited cargo hold. An excursion in a canoe is like making a small PRIVATE EQUITY DEAL. You set out and there’s no telling where you’ll end up. I like the canoe.

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High Tech

Big Ships these days are equipped with high-tech wizardry for navigation, communication, even water purification.

My canoe carries its share of technology, too. I’m talking a hull made from modern composite materials, a powerful little electric trolling motor, a depth finder, an ice chest. And my smartphone, which provides GPS navigation, weather reports, and emergency communication!

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Efficient

It seems to me that those big ships use an awful lot of fuel. Such monstrosities require large, well-trained crews to operate safely too. That’s overhead. That costs money. I don’t like that kind of risk.

I can handle my canoe all by myself, or with a couple friends who bring no prior experience aboard. I’ll motor around all day without depleting my battery. I re-charge it for pennies. That’s efficiency! Like lean manufacturing or just in time delivery! And it’s green!

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait

When the gales of November came slashin’

When afternoon came it was freezin’ rain

In the face of a hurricane west wind

I go out in November, too. Along with my fishing gear, I carry a cozy Gore Tex parka, and an insulated hoodie. No problem. I laugh at the weather! Laugh I say!

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Nimble

Another thing—these big ships are very, very hard to stop or turn. They sometimes run aground with disastrous results.

I prefer my canoe. Like a startup venture, it pivots quickly. I can run it up on shore—no harm done—and explore an island, then launch it back in the water.

The captain wired in he had water comin’ in

And the good ship and crew was in peril

And later that night when his lights went outta sight

Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

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Risk

Small stocks always fluctuate, but bonds can sometimes default. DEFAULT IS DEATH. I’ve had only one near-death experience in my canoe. It happened this November and yes, the water was plenty cold.

Did I mention that I fish out of my canoe? With a 10-weight fly rod, I cast 12 inch weighted streamers for Northern Pike and Musky. And I bait-cast huge bucktails and other hardware in the teeth of the November chill.

People make slurs about the faithful canoe. They claim that it’s too tippy. Rot, I say! Phooey! One day last week at about 4 pm, with my knees cramping from a day of hard fishing, I stand up to cast. No problem. I routinely stand in my canoe to cast for pike. It’s just a matter of balance.

Without warning, I’m two fathoms underwater. I remain strangely calm. Stunned may be a more accurate word because this has never happened to me before. Naturally I take the opportunity to scan around. I note a peculiar absence of fish. Then I become aware that my high tech automated inflatable life preserver has not self-deployed as advertized. In my perplexed state of mind, it doesn’t occur to me to pull the ripcord.

In due time the CO2 cartridge releases and I bob to the surface. In retrospect, the process actually takes only a few seconds. I know because I never gasp for air. Time always seems to stand still during such incidents.

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Recovery

I see my canoe, floating high, upright, and noble. I attempt to swim toward her. It is amazing how difficult it is to make headway in the water fully clothed and shod while tightly grasping an expensive 7-1/2 ft. musky rod between greedy fingers. But no matter. I finally reach the boat.

The searches all say they’d have made Whitefish Bay

If they’d put fifteen more miles behind her

With a canoe, it’s easy to grasp the gunwale, reach for the trolling motor, point the bow at an island and with my body making wake, head for shore. Once in the shallows, it isn’t difficult to re-board the craft. I slip my smartphone out of its high tech ziplock bag and find it operating perfectly. I do not make an emergency call. No sir! This is no emergency! It’s an inconvenience! A big ship would make the news. A canoe is more manageable. I simply retrieve my beloved fishing hat and motor back to the launch site, hoping nobody saw what just happened.

I feel that a dunking is a small price to pay for such a fine day on the water, and I’m soon warm by the fire, reading a good book, with the mariner’s song playing in the back of my head.

Superior, they said, never gives up her dead

When the gales of November come early

The sinking of a ship is a huge tragedy. But why do people fear canoe-sized business ventures? My canoe has yet to default!

Graphics by John Jonelis, MS Office

Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link. This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2015 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

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THE PRICE OF THEIR TOYS

Oshkosh-1371 Tby John Jonelis

The radio crackles, “Cherokee Six, rock yer wings and rock ‘em good.” Jim Kren ignores the command. We’re no Cherokee Six.  Is the controller looking at another airplane?

The sky is lousy with traffic converging on one tiny airport Too many planes for back-and-forth radio chatter. Special rules apply. The controller spots incoming with binoculars and radios his instructions—the pilots respond in a kind of airborne sign language. Keying your mike is tantamount to declaring an emergency.

Jim can comply. He can bide his time. Either is dangerous if he’s wrong. Aviation is full of moments like that. The entire air transport system won’t function unless responsible people break the law in just the right way.

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Again, the command squawks over our headsets. Jim ignores it this time, too. Not my problem. A pilot is ultimately responsible for the outcome of his flight. He’s expected to use good judgement. I’m just here to take in the festivities and snap a few photographs.

Oshkosh-1518We’re approaching the biggest airshow on earth. For one week every year, the diminutive Oshkosh Airport hosts the EAA—the Experimental Aircraft Association Fly-In. For that week, Oshkosh becomes the busiest airport in the world. That’s right—busier than O’Hare, busier than Atlanta, busier than LAX. Airplanes buzz around like hornets.

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Control calls a third time: “Cherokee Six!—sorry—BEECH BONANZA! Rock yer wings for me please.” This time, Jim obeys with vigorous enthusiasm. When the plane rolls back and forth, I expect boisterous complaints from Loop Lonagan behind me. Not a peep. He’s sprawled across the passenger seats, entirely relaxed, smiling and gazing out the window.

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This is a fine day. One great thing about Chicago is the selection of terrific events close by. It takes just 45 minutes to get here from the grass strip where Jim hangars his plane.

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Jim preflights his Beech Bonanza

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The Fly In

Flying machines of all shapes and sizes arrive at this hornet’s nest You’ll see fabric or fiberglass homebuilt creations. These are powered by tiny engines like the Rotax, Corvair, or Briggs & Stratton—motors that sip fuel and buzz like chain saws.

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You’ll see the venerable Stearman biplanes, some original, some modified with monstrous 500 HP radial engines. One has a jet.

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Then the glorious WWII Mustangs, the B-17 Flying Fortress, and other magnificent aircraft from wars fought long ago.

This year we’re expecting the fabled B-52 Stratofortress, the F-22 Raptor, and the first public showing of the new Lockheed Martin F-35a Lightning.

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You might just get a chance to land your tin can between a couple of these special planes. If you’re worried about wake turbulence, don’t come.

This is no place to go on your private pilot solo. Call me crazy but that’s precisely what I did as a young man. I put my rented Cessna 152 down at full cruising speed between two WWII warbirds. Later, my flight instructor blanched when he realized his error, but hey—great moments make life memorable.

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Cleared to Land

At Oshkosh, they routinely do two—count ‘em, two—yes two flight operations on the same runway at the same time. Simultaneously.

Yes, that is unusual.

These controllers handle it with aplomb. They’re the best-of-the-best, hand picked out of O’Hare and they work here for the honor of it. This system has run smoothly for tens of thousands of flight operations over decades of airshows.

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Another authoritative voice sparkling with static asks us to maintain a brisk 100 knots on final due to warbird traffic astern.

  • The Tower clears us to land on runway 27 at the green marker. That’s a temporary stripe about 2/3 of the way down the field.
  • Then our clearance changes to orange—the 1/3 point.
  • When we turn on final, we’re told to land at the numbers—the start of the runway.  Somebody on the ground must’ve screwed up.

Ah, the array of adjustments a pilot must make in a compressed period of time. The situation is somewhat challenging and I’m eager to see how Jim handles it.

It’s a good wide expanse of concrete and they expect small planes to favor one side of center, just in case somebody lands long. Is this your first time here? No problem—all the procedures are published in the NOTAM—Notice to Airmen.

Well, it seems there are some who don’t read such things, and this year we run into a situation I’ve not seen before at Oshkosh. I snap a photo of the runway. Take a look:

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Two planes squat on Runway 27

See the two airplanes on the runway? Those guys didn’t read the NOTAM. The yahoo in a low-wing is just starting a long-delayed takeoff roll. That means the high-wing is squatting like a toad at the orange mark. Both planes hog the middle. There’s not enough room to land a plane like ours—and something from WWII is barreling in behind us.

This arrival is getting interesting. I turn to ask Jim if he’s enjoying himself but then think better of the idea and keep my mouth shut.

With an aircraft on takeoff, it’s unwise to abort the landing and do a straight-ahead go-round. Several runways are active and there’s too much swarming aloft to veer left or right. But what else can Jim do? I see how focused he is. I don’t yet realize he’s got a trick up his sleeve.

Rather than carry power into the landing, he throttles all the way back. Drops the gear and flaps. Air speed bleeds away. In a moment, we seem to float, but we’re still way too high.

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Jim’s Instrument Stack

As soon as we cross the runway threshold, he slides the stick all the way back and stalls his Beechcraft onto the numbers. We slam down on the main gear with an authoritative jolt and roll forward a mere 50 feet before he applies power and drives off the runway in time for a beautiful Corsair to land on a clean path. Nice! Like a carrier landing without the tailhook!  I never saw it done so well. Loop and I cheer and applaud our hero of the day! Hooray! What a great way to start the airshow!

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  • FACT—There are only seven airworthy Corsairs left in the USA. We get to see three of them today!

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Men and Boys

Yes, you actually can tell men from boys by the price of their toys. It may be the only substantive difference between them. So what’s the most expensive toy? An airplane, of course. If you want to pay more, get a bigger one—or another one. It takes skill to fly—especially the exotic ones and the fast ones—and that takes practice, which takes time—another form of capital. If you do it wrong enough times, it will cost you your life. That is indeed a high price to pay. And it doesn’t count if you hire a pilot—that just makes you a passenger.

  • A six place Beech Bonanza like Jim’s goes for half a million bucks. But that’s nothing compared to owning and operating a WWII warbird—especially a multi-engine job.
  • Then there’s maintenance. Mandatory maintenance. Lots of it. And it’s expensive. If you buy a warbird, you better get certified to fix it yourself.
  • Then there’s fuel. Lots of that too. Those big round engines suck gas something awful. Jets are even worse. The big multi-engine bombers sell airplane tours and souvenirs just to cover transport to the event. One enterprising pilot hires two buxom models in polka dot dresses to sell T-shirts and posters. They do a box office business!

May I remind you that there’s an alternative to big bucks. IT’S CALLED WORK. Build it yourself! Kits of all kinds are available for less than the cost of a top-end automobile. Hey—it only takes a few thousand hours of meticulous labor to do it, so what’s stopping you?

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The Airplanes

Over 300,000 people a day attend the Oshkosh Fly-In. And you can examine the planes as close as you want. Everybody’s polite. Nobody touches anything they shouldn’t. No litter on the ground. Compare that to your typical rock concert in a Chicago park.

Everybody here is a volunteer. Even the stunt pilots don’t get paid—it’s an honor to perform at the world’s #1 airshow. For a week every year, the entire town of Oshkosh opens its doors and staffs the booths and tents. It’s what you call free enterprise.

The military likes to demonstrate their various fleets here. Massive military aviation always inspires awe in me. I’m talking huge size and drop-your-jaw power. And it turns out that Jim is a walking encyclopedia of military aviation knowledge. Today I get a guided tour of the design details of these amazing aircraft.

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Jim and Loop show me the B-52

But older warbirds are privately owned. These planes each carry a rich history and one amazing, overarching attribute—they’re still flying!

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Jim and Loop show me the DC-3

We tour what’s affectionately called the Gooney Bird—the DC-3. This one bears the name “THAT’S ALL BROTHER.” This is the plane that carried the first US combat troops into Europe on D-Day—the paratroopers. It’s original inside and out. Most of the DC-3s you see today are fitted with turboprop engines to serve as airliners in the northern wilderness.

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Seems like everybody with a classic airplane is here. Stearman, Curtiss, Waco, Ercoupe. The Piper Cub. The Beaver float plane.

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We see fabric kit-built airplanes, gyrocopters, and the tiny aluminum Monex that can hold one small human in a reclining position. There’s a flock of Burt Rutan’s fiberglass Long EZs that appear to graze on grass, and even a homebuilt jet. Homebuilt aircraft make up the core mission the Experimental Aircraft Association. It’s a concept imprinted in their name.

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The Big Show

The real airshow starts after lunch. We sit in the grass at runway-edge and watch it real close-up. I mean in-your-face close. And it goes on all afternoon!

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We’re talking world class aerobatic pilots performing under FAA waivers that make it legal to work close to the ground!

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But Jim and Loop agree with me—the warbirds are the best part of the show.

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This year, they demonstrate the capabilities of planes from WWII, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, and the latest stealth technology.

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With loud speakers planted all the way up and down the field, professional announcers do a running play-by-play that keeps everybody engaged. I always learn something.

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Today, the show’s climax is the F-22, which shows off its incredible maneuverability. I stand amazed to see a big fast plane like that turn such a tight circle. This has to be the most maneuverable fighter ever built—and it’s stealthy.

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How is it that I get to do this? Anybody can come! Drive here in your car or motorcycle. Camp on the grounds or stay in town. Fly in and camp next to your plane. But this year we’re here just for the day. Tonight, on the way home, we stop by a friend’s art show and sample the wine.

For information contact EAA AirVenture.

www.eaa.org/en/airventure

Photography by John Jonelis

Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link. This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2015 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

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HOW TO TREAT THE OLD MAN

20150624-_JAJ0962by John Jonelis

Here’s the right way to treat your old man:  For Father’s Day, take him where you’ll boat 402 hard-fighting northern pike, the trophy of a lifetime, and as many fat walleye as you want—all in four days.  That’s 4 minutes per fish—not counting walleye!  Maybe the Old Man’s memory isn’t showing signs of improvement lately, but he’ll remember this trip the rest of his days.  It’s a glimpse of paradise.

He knows this lake and longs to go back.  With the right encouragement, there’s no way he can turn down your invitation.  But what if he can’t bust free?  Let’s say he gives the usual objection that he’s too busy.  Here’s what you do:

20150623-_JAJ0933402 Northern Pike

Justification

Figure out what’s got him tied down.  In this case it’s Chicago startups.  So you point out this is one of Chicago’s hottest startups and qualifies as a business trip.

Sure, it’s way north of the North Side.  It’s north of the 55th parallel.  That puts it at the northern fringe of the Boreal forest.  North of that lies tundra.  Last year the ice still measured four feet in early June.  But according to Mark T. Wayne, it qualifies as a Chicago Startup for two good reasons:

  • Most all the patrons either hail from Chicago, once enjoyed that honor, or pass through O’Hare Field on their way.
  • This is only their second season of operation.

They don’t even stock the waters.  You cast barbless hooks and release every fish unharmed—except, of course, the big fat walleye you eat for shore lunch.  Ever experience waters as virgin as that?  Wanna go?  I guarantee he’ll say yes.

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Fresh Walleye for Shore Lunch

Solitude

A huge part of the value of this excursion is the solitude of the north woods.  Solitude has no price tag, so shoot the works!   Surprise the old man!  RENT THE WHOLE LODGE!  Sure, the facility holds 25 guests.  So what?  It’s only money!

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Think of it—just the two of you.  The only habitation on the lake.  No civilization for hundreds of miles!  No roads.  No phones.  Nothing but a 45-mile-long stretch of ice-cold drinking water.  150 islands.  More shoreline than Lake Michigan.  Fir and aspen trees as far as you can see.  Beaver, deer, and bear.  The bald eagle.  The blue heron.  The loon.  Loads of pike and walleye.  A comfortable boat and the best fishing guide in Canada.  A top-pro staff that caters to the old fart’s every whim.

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Did I remind you to get a big plane?  There’ll be 40 empty seats on that turboprop when it whisks the two of you from DuPage Airport to this wilderness paradise.

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That empty plane gives a good, strong first impression.  Don’t underestimate the value of a first impression.  And the stewardess has little to do but serve drink after drink to the old goat!  Congratulations on beating the O’Hare rat race!

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Your destination is a 4,000 ft. landing strip carved out of the forest and paved with gravel quarried on site.  The harvested trees make up the raw material for building such a facility.

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Comfort

You pick this particular outpost because it boasts all the amenities and you know the Old Relic loves the lake with a passion.

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Suppertime, he sits quietly on the deck, gazing at the magnificent view as if in a trance. You grill up a thick steaks and he tucks his away with obvious relish, then pats his profound middle and pronounces himself satisfied.

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Remember how old he really is.  Fishing from a plush swivel seat will wear him out, even after that nap at shore lunch. No, he doesn’t have any energy left in him tonight—not even enough for a quiet game of chess.  But don’t let that trouble you.  At that latitude and time of year, the day peaks at 17 hours and 22 minutes of sunshine.  Neither of you will see the dark of night and you’ve got the place to yourselves.  So just tell him stories till he happily nods off.  Then slip over to the lodge to sharpen your skills at the pool table.

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Don’t Laugh

Show the old codger some respect.  He doesn’t deserve it and sure doesn’t get any at the office.  It will take him off guard and make him happy.

  • Don’t laugh when he dresses in camo from head to foot so the fish don’t see him. He really believes it helps.

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  • Don’t chuckle when he flails away with his fly rod while you’re fishing spoons with a fast reel. Sure you cast twice as far as he can.  Sure, you boat a pike before he completes his first cast. Sure, you boat another before he strips in six feet of line.

He finally hooks a five-pound hammer handle.

Naturally you put away your rod as soon as he hooks that little fish.  You stand mum as he plays it for a ridiculously long time.  You don’t even snicker when he mentions his light tippet. Sure, you could’ve boated five more lunkers in that time span and you’re itching to get back in the game.

You refrain from casting your lure. You praise him effusively. You give him a sense of victory and you’re patient. That pike he just caught has rows of sharp teeth that will destroy his hand-made creation. Eventually he must run out of flies and start fishing your way.

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  • Don’t gloat when the Old Fogey finally switches to conventional tackle. “After all,” he says, “the fish are so aggressive, it’s inefficient to fish a slow retrieve.” But he insists on using a fancy and expensive bait casting setup rather than simple spinning gear. Naturally, he experiences the usual backlash incidents and you boat more pike every time he digs a mess of line out of his reel. At such times you avoid snide remarks that others will thoughtlessly make, such as, “I’ve yet to catch a fish while my lure is in the boat.”

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  • You intend to use just one lure the entire trip. Your tackle box merely carries spares of the same design. His carries every pattern known to man. Don’t criticize him for constantly switching baits. He acquired this habit over decades of fishing unproductive waters close to home and he’s trying to match the hatch. Avoid such comments as, “Fish are not impressed with the time you spend fiddling with your tackle box.” No, let him stalk his prey slowly, in his own way as appropriate to his age.

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  • Show an extra measure of kindness. Give him the boat’s casting deck for the whole trip. He’ll appreciate that. Don’t make derisive comments when he asks the guide to mount the swivel seat up front. Remember, his feet are as old as he is.

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  • Don’t laugh when his expensive 16-inch-long stainless steel needle nosed pliers goes over the side. That can happen to anybody.

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  • Hold your tongue when the Old Geezer methodically de-barbs the hooks on that snazzy new lure, using a special and expensive tool. He then plops the bait into the lake, forgetting to attach the line. It sinks to the bottom before the guide can reach for the net. You’ll be glad you remained silent when he gives you a wan smile and says, “I forgot to remember.”

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  • There are plenty of legitimate ways to lose lures.  Like that monster pike that strikes right at the boat, just as the Old Fossil lifts his lure from the water.  As you and the guide watch, it shakes its awesome head once, twice, three times, straightens out a new and expensive 50 lb. titanium leader, and then makes wake as it swims away with a precious hand-painted spoon.  Naturally you’re thinking, “I hope that thing tastes good,” and “I wonder if that paint job will give the fish indigestion.”   But of course, you keep those comments to yourself.  Losing a fish that big hurts real bad and you want to treat the Old Man real good.

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  • Don’t scoff when he wonders where on the lake you are at any given time. Admit it. You don’t know either.

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  • Above all, hide your smirk when, every day, you outfish him almost 2 to 1. He’ll face the numbers when he pays off the bets. He’s not so competitive these days and after such terrific quantities of fish, he really won’t care if you get more than he does.  He may even prefer it, and where does that leave you if you crack wise?

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I Got the Whole World

You and the guide untangle a small Pike from the net.  Eventually, you look up to see the Old Man’s line snagged on another rock.  As usual, he keeps his rod bent in an exaggerated manner and his line taught way too long —  just to make sure.  There’s no movement whatsoever.  He’s telling you it’s a big one, but even the guide doesn’t buy it. “You’re towing the boat,” he says softly.  Yeah, the Old Reprobate’s got bottom.  But you humor him and in a couple minutes you’re glad you did because his reel slowly goes click, click, click.  That’s life at the end of the line!  Something with a lot of weight!

When the fish decides to swim, it peels off line fast and at will, making the reel sing.  That happens again and again — every time the Old Man works it close.  You get several good looks and cry out in awe like any faithful son.

Finally, the monster tires and doesn’t shy from the boat.

Now it’s safe in the enormous net.

The Old Man hoists it and you snap a photo.

Have you ever seen a pike so healthy?   That fish measures 43 in. and weighs maybe 30 lb.  He caught it on a homemade lure and it puts him in the record books a fourth time.

And it’s Father’s Day!

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Now you note fresh tooth marks across that lunker’s midriff.  That also happened last year when he brought the magazine staff up here.   The guide will bring you back to this spot to cast for that bigger one nobody saw—an opportunity of a lifetime!

The Old Man is bending over the side of the boat, gently reviving the fish.  Pike are sprinters, not marathon runners, and after the long fight, it’s exhausted.  He slowly moves it back and forth, forcing water through the gills.  Artificial respiration.  It finally requires a rap to the head to wake it from its stupor and the trophy pike slowly, slowly disappears deep into the cold clear lake.

And that’s how to treat the Old Man.

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The Numbers

(Because of standard boat bets, you keep an accurate tally of northern pike.  All fish are caught on barbless hooks and released unharmed. 4 days on the water, less shore lunch = 27 hours in the boat.)

27 hrs / 402 northern pike = 4 min. per pike by actual count.  You don’t count walleye because they’re too easy to catch and this is a protected northern pike habitat.

62% by Son, 38% by Old Man.  Naturally you refrain from gloating and you don’t even consider saying, “If you stopped fooling around, we’d catch more fish.”

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How do they get a big ornate pool table and all that other stuff to such a remote place?  Check out the episode of Ice Road Truckers that involves a winter convoy to this lake over the frozen river system leading to Hudson Bay.

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The Hot New Startup

This is North Star Executive Outpost on Knee Lake, Manitoba, a protected pike sanctuary.

northstarresort.ca

Talk to Hope Levenhagen at 800-563-7151

hopelevenhagen@northhavenresort.ca

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Personal Notes

This advice is for others, because you, my son, adroitly accomplished it.

Heartfelt thanks to Curry Fequet, Doug Woodland, Lynn Peters, Hope Levenhagan, and the entire North Star crew for giving the Old Man a slice of heaven on earth.

Read BEST GIFT

Read ROUGHING IT

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Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press.

www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com

Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link. This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2015 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

All photos by the author.

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Filed under angel, angel capital, angel investor, big money, Canada, Chicago Ventures, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Mark T Wayne, vc, venture capital

LIES ABOUT PARADISE

Canada 2014-8643ATas told by Mark T Wayne

I recognize a sharp character flaw among outdoorsmen of all sorts—an uncontrollable urge to exaggerate—particularly after an excursion to a wilderness such as northern Manitoba. Permit me to treat you to a few horror stories of the Great North Woods.  I promise to debunk them all.

 Mobs of Tourists

Multitudes of crude drinking-age folk and their dirty urchins shack up in run-down resorts and shabby private cabins. They dot the shores and pollute these once-fine waters. Long, loud lines form at boat ramps.  Rough individuals engage in open hostility.

Mark T Wayne

Huge speedboats, stinking of gasoline and oil, cut across fishermen’s lines. Meanwhile, high-speed suicide boats equipped with 150 horsepower motors shoot up rooster tails of greasy water as they propel themselves gunnel to gunnel at 70 miles per hour in a desperate competition for the rare undisturbed fishing spot.

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That may be true of many waters one might fish.  But my experience is entirely different. Ours is THE ONLY LODGE ON THE LAKE.  I am speaking of a body of pristine water almost FIFTY MILES LONG with close to 150 islands!  Dense forest surrounds us for hundreds of miles.  NO ROADS.  That is correct sir!  Our magazine staff and I have the place all to ourselves and for a span of four days, we OWN this vast stretch of wilderness paradise.

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Yes, I must congratulate Jonelis, no matter what anybody says about the man. He picked a plumb spot!  This is the NORTHSTAR RESORT on KNEE LAKE, MANITOBA—one of the newest of Chicago’s startups.

“Chicago Startup?” you ask. “Aren’t you gentlemen thousands of miles north of that distinguished metropolis?”

Canada 2014-8343pAPermit me to justify my claim:

  • Most all the patrons either hail from Chicago, once enjoyed that honor, or pass through O’Hare Field on their way here.
  • This is Northstar’s first full season.

I submit that they qualify as a Chicago Startup.

We are guests of the Cree Nation and they provide abundant hospitality. Canada 2014-8168AThis is Cree water—a protected Trophy Northern Pike Lake.  Professional management handles the lodge.  The Cree handle our boats, chop our wood, fillet and cook our fish.  Most important of all, they bring us to the best fishing spots.  My only responsibilities are fishing, eating, drinking, gambling, and indulging in the time-honored tradition of gross exaggeration.Canada 2014-8722A. 150jpg

One note—Manitoba Law: Barbless hooks.  Artificial lures.  All pike released unharmed. But consider—if we kept them all, our boats would sink from the weight of our daily catch.  These fish live to bite again and according to local lore, some of the largest pike have names.

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Pike Set Free

Harsh Conditions

I hear ugly reports of outdoor privies with no walls or roof whatsoever—one’s rump exposed to swarms of biting flies and mosquitoes, and interested bystanders.

My experience is entirely different. No pit toilets here.  The plumbing is all indoors—modern, new and clean.  Hot and cold running water.  Showers.  Facilities that rival fine hotels.

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Our Cabin

I have heard a typical base camp described as a set of rotting clapboard shacks or moldering canvas tents Canada 2014-8512Adating back to frontier times, swarming with biting flies, mosquitoes, and other vermin, and periodically overrun by man-eating bears.

Perhaps one can find such conditions if looking for trouble, but my experience is entirely different. I find solidly and exquisitely constructed log cabins gorgeously appointed with appropriate and tastefully rustic furniture.  Everything is meticulously maintained.  Tight-fitting screens grace all windows and the roofs do not leak.  We sleep upon firm new mattresses and choose between wood fire and electric heat.  The lodge generates its own electricity.

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Canada 2014-8505A

The main lodge boasts a full commercial kitchen, bar, billiards, and poker tables. Yes, they spared no expense constructing this magnificent facility.

I must admit that a bear pays us a kind visit.Canada 2014-8138A The abundant scent of cooking explains the presence of this noble predator.  The kitchen staff wastes no time chasing the animal off with angry shouts and vigorous gesticulations.

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I hear agonized complaints of Black Flies so thick they crawl across your eyeballs and into your mouth. The Mosquito is called the National Bird and you are out of Deet.

Canada 2014-8600AThat is enough, sir! Permit me to address this repeated barrage of braggadocio regarding swarming insects.  Fishermen love to blather about such things in polite conversation.  I will set the record straight forthwith.  Canada has no national bird.  Manitoba’s provincial bird is the Great Grey Owl.  Canada 2014-8602AOur sightings of flying creatures include the Bald Eagle, the Golden Eagle, and the Blue Heron.

It is true that some fishermen who have not done their research arrive at these shores during Black Fly Season. Such is the price of ignorance!  But a well-designed lodge is strategically perched on a high peninsula where cool lake breezes waft away flying vermin.  I do not require insect repellent on this entire trip!

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Our Cabin

According to popular wisdom, there is no protection in an open boat. Exposed to the elements all day, one is cold and miserable.  You endure constant driving rain and sleet.  You are constantly wet from head to foot, your energy and spirits entirely sapped. 

Canada 2014-8380AIt is true that on this trip, we experience the full range of weather. One day reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit and finds me decked out in short pants, my pale hairy legs exposed for all the wildlife to see.  The next day brings wind and rain but in my Gore-Tex rain gear, it cannot touch me.  The next day is refreshingly cold, but the simple addition of an insulated sweatshirt turns my rain gear into winter garb.  I laugh at the weather, sir!  Laugh, I say!

 

I am full to the eyeballs with stories of leaky boats with motors that sputter, stutter, then die. Others tell of harrowing canoe romps, paddling until—I suppose until one cannot paddle any longer.  Your frail craft pitches in the waves miles from shore as you frantically bail water from the bottom. 

My experience is entirely different. Canada 2014-8805AWe explore this enormous lake in comfortable fishing boats—ample even for Bill Blaire, the Paul Bunyan of Chicago.  These boats are tricked out with carpeted casting decks and plush swivel seats.  Depth finders and live wells.  Ice coolers and communication radios.  Fine big motors and guides to operate them.

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Horrible Grub

I am told that for breakfast, a surly cook serves up execrable mush slopped into dirty leaking bowls.

Canada 2014-8135AUp here, we awake to the heady aroma of bacon and eggs, flapjacks with real maple syrup, Red River cereal, and piping-hot coffee. We congregate at the well-appointed main lodge and roll up our sleeves to punish that food in a proper manner.  Blaire asserts that bacon is a basic food group and I concur.  He didn’t attain such gargantuan stature eating boiled vegetables.

I am led to believe that, likely as not, we will catch nothing fit to eat. At noon, we may be 20 miles or more from the lodge and will go hungry till supper. “Bring sandwiches,” they say. Then they go on to suggest peanut butter and jelly or cold canned beans shoveled down the gullet in a pitching boat. 

Canada 2014-8153AFirst let me state unequivocally that we suffer no difficulty catching our lunch. The only delay in capturing fat delicious Walleye are trophy Northern Pike that grab our twister tails before the jigs can reach the bottom.  Many times, we hook two of these savage water wolves at once!  To be fair, I must admit that the Walleye grab the Pike baits too.

After a full morning exerting oneself in the raw elements, no food on earth tastes better than freshly caught walleye!Canada 2014-8210A   Walleye is a delicacy served in the finest restaurants but these are not anonymous fish—no sir, these are OUR walleye.  This is an important point if you wish to understand the joys of a wilderness excursion.  An intimate connection with the source of food is emotionally satisfying in a profound way.  I admit it is difficult to convey the feeling in words.  One must experience such a thing to appreciate the bliss it engenders in one’s whole being.

Canada 2014-8208APermit me to expound upon our lunch experience because it gives me a great deal of pleasure. Every day, our boats rendezvous at a different rocky island and we conclave among the jack pine and birch to tell lies and drink beer.  Meanwhile, the guides fillet our fish, chop wood, and start a bonfire on which they will cook our meal.  Yes sir—we indulge in that glorious, overwhelmingly delightful tradition known as SHORE LUNCH.  To those of you lucky enough to experience this ritual please indulge me while I explain it to the uninitiated.

.While the food cooks, we explore the island, beer in hand. Naturally, everyone is in jovial spirits.  Kren casts a line from shore.  Ludditis snaps a photo of Jonelis and Bill Blair.  For some reason they wear camouflage.  Strange.  Can it be that those two actually believe fish cannot see them when dressed in such garb?

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Jonelis and Bill Blair in Camo

The head guide calls us to table. Our first shore lunch yields deep-fried walleye with onions and potatoes, hot beans and corn. To my tastes, this represents the ultimate in wilderness cuisine.  I am subsequently proven wrong.  Canada 2014-8576AThe next day, we are introduced to Walleye with peppers and sharp seasoning.  The day following that, they roll out Honey Garlic Walleye!  I squeeze my eyes closed to concentrate fully on that exquisite flavor!  I will always remember shore lunch as the pinnacle of life as we know it.

On this particular day, Alexander Harbinger is first to spot a floatplane headed directly to our island. The plane lands on the water and taxies to a rock slab.Canada 2014-8201A  Out the door pops the manager, dressed in his Sunday best, balancing a platter high like a professional waiter.  Martinis in long stemmed glasses!  I tell you sir this is my idea of roughing it!

After a full meal, we lay about on huge slabs of rock, looking perhaps like beached whales. Jim Kren finds sleeping quarters more to his liking.  If this is the wilderness, we lack for nothing.

Canada 2014-8211A 300When traveling to remote areas of the world, one is frequently warned about the dangers of drinking the local water. Consequences are colloquially known as Montezuma’s Revenge.

On this lake, I bring a mug along on the boat and dip it in the freezing water whenever the thirst takes me—no ice cubes required. And I suffer no unseemly maladies whatsoever!

Lousy FishingCanada 2014-8261h 2X3A F-500b

I have it on competent authority that fishermen typically sit in boats all day and return perhaps with a small bass and a couple puny pike of no account. 

Canada 2014-8558AUp here, we are well beyond the habitat of the Bass and Musky. The great Northern Pike is king and grows to prodigious proportions not seen further south.  The lake is virgin.  They do not even stock it!  No sir!  Yet, a man can almost walk on water across the backs of these ferocious predators.

And indeed, our hearty crew experiences glorious fishing with a pike strike about every five casts.Canada 2014-8360A The only impediment to a man landing 150 worthy fish is overindulgence in Canadian beer.  There is no other excuse sir!  And I repeat—they do not stock the lake!  These fish are aggressive!  Large Pike attack anything we attempt to bring to boat, including their own kind!

Canada 2014-8403AThis is akin to pulling pan fish out of a favorite fishing hole one after another. But we are throwing heavy lures on stout lines and steel leaders.  We cast with rigid rods at toothy giants that savagely attack the bait with a jolt that sends a shiver down a man’s shoulder.  These fish splash gallons of water, jump and dance on their tails, roll up in your line, dive under the boat, and generally do everything possible to escape.Canada 2014-8356A  With barbless hooks, it requires only a momentary slack in one’s line and the fish is free!  Repeated tug-a-war matches such as these strain a man’s entire body.

No one can call a pike fisherman lazy!

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No Night Life

Friends who travel to the wild tell of returning after a day of howling rain to dark leaky quarters buzzing with biting flies and mosquitoes. In total exhaustion and utter defeat, the intrepid explorers crawl under inadequate blankets and share body heat with friendly field mice, marmots and perhaps a snake or two.

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.I have yet to see these vermin you continually reference, sir!  We are back in the shelter of our fine log cabin. Weary but satisfied, I treat myself to a warm shower and then slip into the white terrycloth robe kindly placed on my king-size bed by the excellent maid staff.

.We all indulge in cocktails while Jonelis grills thick steaks on the deck in full view of the lake.

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After a satisfying meal, we repair to the lodge for a night of poker and aggressive wagering. You may criticize such vice, but in defense of the entire group, let me point out that cards provide scant diversion after the experiences of such a day unless real money is at stake.  We trade our petty empires back and forth across that table.  Seated around me are men who know how to live!

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Sweet Home Chicago

Such experiences often come to an end before reaching a climax. The return flight yields none of the drama of our journey to paradise.  Canada 2014-8883

Too soon we find ourselves in the magazine’s corporate offices—the backroom of Ludditis Shots & Beer where you find the best potato pancakes in town.  Jonelis raises his feet to his battered WWII Air Force desk.  I raise a jigger of Sour Mash and read the words emblazoned upon his shirt:  SURGEON GENERAL WARNING:  FISHING IS EXPENSIVE, ADDICTIVE, AND MAY LEAD TO AN UNCONTROLLABLE URGE TO EXAGGERATE.

.Ludditis Shots and Beer 3

Our Corporate Offices

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The Real Thing

Ludditis discovers an online video that shows, in slow motion, a Northern Pike attacking its prey. I place it here for your edification.

Pike StrikesVideo of Pike Strike [click here]

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Go to – HOW TO TREAT THE OLD MAN

Go back to Episode One – ROUGHING IT

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Northstar Resort on Knee Lake can be reached at northstarresort.ca  Northstar Resort makes no endorsement of the statements and views expressed in this article.

Photographs by John Jonelis and Donatas Ludditis

Video of Pike Strike from Underwater-Ireland.com

T-shirt text ©earthSUNmoon.

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Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link. This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2014 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

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2 Comments

Filed under big money, Bill Blaire., Canada, Characters, chicago, Chicago Venture Magazine, Chicago Ventures, Donatas Ludditis, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, investor, loop lonagan, Man's Favorite Sport, Mark T Wayne, new companies

FISH STORY

Canada 2014-8780Atas told by Mark T Wayne

Fishermen are liars!

After a superb day of fishing in the Canadian Wilderness, I prepare to utter my first exaggeration when Jonelis comes in with this monstrous THING.  Look at it sir!  This stretches all limits of credulity!

Naturally I object and make accusations of foul play.  Just look at that fish!

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Fish Story JAJ

Jonelis and his “Pike”

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Catch and Release

I have no way to prove fraud.  Knee Lake is 500 miles north of civilization – a protected Manitoba Trophy Lake.  We must obey strict rules.  Catch and release, of all things!  Quickly lifting a Pike from the water for photographic purposes is as far as one can stretch it.  Then the fish goes free!

Since Jonelis followed the law and released that THING unharmed, the only souls who actually saw it are himself, his toady Jim Kren, and their Cree guide.  These witnesses all swear to it!  There is the picture, sir—right on the back screen of his Nikon—the appalling photograph that I share with you here.

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Mark T Wayne

Examining the Evidence

Speculation among our group runs hot and fast, yielding various methods by which Jonelis might pull off such an elaborate hoax, given his limited mental faculties:

  • First, there is the CONSPIRACY angle—Loop Lonagan calls it “Da Chicago Way”—influence, power plays, and deals under the table. Alexander Harbinger agrees and points to the “clout” the guide will enjoy in his circles. Yes, he may name any price for his services, sir! Nobody has seen a Northern Pike that big in a hundred years! But the photograph stands as mute evidence—a horrific image that cannot be ignored. No, we must refute it directly.  I adroitly reach to press the DELETE key but Kren holds the camera too tight and close for even the most skilled tactical maneuver.  The lot of us huddle around and commit to a meticulous study of the image on the screen.
  • Bill Blaire, the giant, speaks first, saying in a slow, deep rumble, “He’s holdin’ da fish real close to da camera.”   CLOSE TO THE LENS is the common practice among all men of our ilk. But no—I direct your attention to his hands. The digits do not appear oversized, as they would in such an amateur stunt and his arms stretch wide with everything in sharp focus. The answer must lie elsewhere.
  • Donatas Ludditis suggests in Eastern European English that the Nikon possesses a BIG FISH BUTTON hidden deep in some arcane sub-menu. In an age of useless technological advances, this seems plausible enough. But I do not know of any advertisement that makes such a claim. A camera manufacturer is bound to trumpet a revolutionary feature such as that! Imagine trying to keep it secret once an enthusiastic and slavering marketing department finds out. No, this line of thought bears no fruit whatsoever.
  • I conclude that the man brought along an INFLATABLE FISH in his luggage so he could finance the trip off the sweat of the workers.  Joe Perogi goes so far as to slip off and search his gear. He returns dejected.  To my quizzically raised brows he returns a brief shake of the head.  Jonelis must have sunk the thing in the lake where it will forever rest in peace under a fifty-mile stretch of icy water. Yes, this seems the most likely answer. But how can I prove it?

I cannot. I am stuck in the mud.

That excellent essay by America’s greatest author comes to mind, ON THE DECAY OF THE ART OF LYING, and I wonder if this man has singlehandedly reversed that long-term trend. With abundant clarity of thinking, I reason that none of us will ever catch a fish close to the scale of that THING and our money will be measured out by the inch. When we pay off our wagers, this joy ride might end in outright hostility. Yes, there is little doubt—we must pay the man!

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Record Breaker

Now those three reprobates are signing the official Manitoba Master Angler papers.  Each scrawls his distinct and individual X.  According to Jim Kren, the boat’s official measuring stick is insufficiently long for an accurate report.  That much is true.  They write up that fish at 70 inches and brag that it’s probably more! Do you, sir, have an inkling what a Northern Pike such as that weighs?  Of course not.  Nobody does.  No such fish exists–I think.

The end result?  Jonelis goes into the record books for a third time.  And I still say it’s a fish story.  Probably.

For his part, in the midst of our group’s raucous opinions and heavy drinking, Jonelis appears stunned and numb.  With glazed eyes, he stares at something seemingly far away.  Practically in a trance, he responds to questions with inarticulate mumbling, and only after long pauses–apparently for deep thought.  We get nothing useful out of the man except for his unseemly state of bliss.

We all turn to Kren for the exact location of the crime so we might repeat it.

With utmost cruelty, Kren stands mum on that one essential fact.  Then to my utter disgust, he relates a far-flung account of the three of them fighting the fish in shifts for hours and hours.  In his version—which seems highly suspicious to a man of my sensitive nature—the monster jumps clear from the water and then sounds fifty feet deep several times—peeling off line as if a big Ambassadeur reel possesses no stopping power!

When I object, the man shows real audacity and claims that the fish was taken on a fly rod.  One wonders why fishermen must embellish a yarn so far beyond reason.

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Fish Stories Grow

Then Kren zooms the display close to the fish’s flanks and points out lacerations on its hide.  In my outrage, I have overlooked this, but there they are!  Tooth marks!  Fresh blood, sir!  A significantly more massive fish attacked this lunker during the fight!  This is too much.  I blanch at the magnitude of such propaganda!

.Tooth Marks

Tooth Marks

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Up until now, old man Ludditis has behaved reasonably well and even held his liquor.  Now he whips out his huge Galaxy Note and searches till he produces a picture of a pike eating another pike at boatside.  Then he finds a video.  The infernal internet!  One cannot avoid that wicked web of deceit—not even in such a desolate locale.  I post those files below for your edification.

What conclusion can a thinking man draw from such events?  Let me say that it is not an opportune time to tell my own lies, which seem to me rather meager by comparison.

I might also mention that I brought my swim trunks along but WILL NOT take a dip in Knee Lake!  If invited, I will simply point to the fact that the water is too cold.  ♠

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Go to Episode 4 – LIES ABOUT PARADISE

Go back to Part 1 – ROUGHING IT

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Pike eats Pike www-northernpikefishing-ca 500

Pike eats Pike 

 

 

pike-eat-pike underwater www-fighnhunt-co-nz

WATCH YOU TUBE VIDEO HERE

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Photographs of Boat and Big Fish Copyright © John Jonelis 2014, taken at Northstar Resort on Knee Lake, Manitoba.  Northstar makes no endorsement of this story.

Northstar Resort on Knee Lake can be reached at northstarresort.ca

Photograph of “Fish Eats Fish” from www.northernpikefishing.ca

Video of “fish eats fish” from www.youtube.com/watch?v=K45YcVyAATw

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Go to Episode 4 – LIES ABOUT PARADISE

Go back to Part 1 – ROUGHING IT

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Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link. This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2014 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

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Filed under big money, Bill Blaire., Canada, Characters, chicago, Chicago Venture Magazine, Chicago Ventures, Conflict, Donatas Ludditis, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, loop lonagan, Mark T Wayne, Marketing, Mobile, Mobile App, new companies, the chicago machine, the machine