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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

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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2 Comments

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