A Full Retreat
Nortek Global Hvac, LLC, a global leader in air handling technology, decided to send some customers, engineers, sales reps and company executives from all over North America on a three-day corporate retreat to Scott Lake Lodge. But they didn’t retreat. They attacked. And it turns out that they can handle more than air: they can handle fish. In between meetings and bar time, they fished Scott Lake and a few of our 22 fly out destinations, taking up the challenge of moving some northern pike, lake trout and arctic grayling from the water to their guides’ nets. Some were seasoned anglers. Many were not. But everyone caught a lot of fish. Bruno Blasietta led the way, getting a trophy in all three species, to take home a Trophy Triple hat. Dave Williams and Tim Willoughby each landed a 44” pike. Joe Sbarra found himself tied to a heavy 38” lake trout and brought that fish to the net. Brian Black won the Biggest Lake Trout bet with a girthy 39 incher, a close race. The battle for the Biggest Pike of the trip wasn’t even close. On the last day of the trip Mike Tzimentos was on the winning side of a battle with a monster 49” northern pike, the biggest pike off Scott Lake this season. The scene of the battle was just a 15-minute boat ride from the lodge, a time and place Mike will never forget.
There were many highlights, including some northern lights, for this geographically dispersed group but nearly all rated the final full group shore lunch mid-afternoon on the last day as #1. All hands were on deck as the Scott Lake guides demonstrated their culinary skills. The site was a beautiful beach just a mile north of the lodge—Tundra Beach. There is a firepit there big enough to roast a pig. On this day though it was fresh caught northern pike, perfectly filleted. It’s a show to watch the teamwork of 13 guides, most with 15 or more years at Scott, as they put together an incredible spread of food. The menu included, of course, the traditional deep-fried fish and the “supers”—French fries like you’ve never had them. But our guides go way beyond the standard Canadian shore lunch fare. They had a baked fish, pike stir fry, buffalo jack, butter chicken pike and pike chili. All of that with onion rings washed down with lots of beer.
As the plates emptied everyone knew that the trip was reaching its end. It was all too short. After the final boat ride back to the lodge, it was time to make the mental adjustment to the “other world”, the one with meetings, schedules, deadlines, conference calls, full inboxes and dozens of texts. All that was still for tomorrow. They had one more float plane flight to Stony Rapids ahead of them and they had memories of three days of spectacular sunrises and sunsets, the haunting calls of loons, the adrenaline rush of a savage hit by an angry pike and pleasant conversations with colleagues. For that time the only HVAC these guys had to deal with was the breeze off the big, cool lake. They will be back.