The fly-in fisherman

At least once a summer, Joe Greene escapes the constant ring of his phone and flood of emails to his inbox with fly-in fishing trips to remote parts of northern Canada, where communication with the outside world is nearly impossible.

Greene is executive director of Racine-based nonprofit Careers Industries Inc. and its Greater Grain Gluten-Free Goods retail store.

For the past 25 years, he has been leading week-long fishing trips to Canada with groups of about eight. After two trips this summer, he will have visited 45 different Canadian lakes.

“I love the outdoors, and I’m so wrapped up in our society with all the telephones, the Internet, the voicemails,” Greene said. “I’m at a job where I have people needing me and talking to me every day all day, and when I go fishing to Canada or when I take a week off in the fall to go bow hunting I have none of that. And that’s what really draws me – just the time away and doing something that I love to do.”

Greene, who has fished all his life, takes fishermen and women of all skill levels on his trips, so long as they can get along with others on the trip and live a week in the wilderness without electricity or running water.

Greene steers a boat during a 2010 fishing trip. Greene’s Canadian fishing trips often take him to Ontario, but he has also visited Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

For each trip, he organizes each minute detail since his groups are completely on their own once their floatplane leaves.

While the trips can be chaotic – Greene has had to deal with everything from severe storms to serious cuts and minor fractures – they give Greene a chance to recharge in the midst of “great scenery” and “great wildlife.”

“You can actually sit there at times and hear no human sound,” he said.

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