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Fishing for the big one 

Long Story Short

Author Izaak Walton, who penned The Compleat Angler in the 17th century, once wrote, "I have laid aside business, and gone a-fishing."

For writers, philosophers and complete laymen long before and ever since, fishing has perpetuated great metaphoric value, beyond symbolizing the ultimate leisure activity. Angling into uncertain waters, goes the wisdom, is a lot like living life ... or seeking love ... or taking a big risk — especially in business, that ever-present bully that often keeps us too long from stream side.

In this week's cover story (starting here), a local entrepreneur goes fishing in that monetary way, betting big and risking a family's purse, hoping to haul a story-worthy beast up from the challenging depths. He also literally banks on fish as part of his investment, inside of a large aquaponics system that will need to pump out a lot of protein to support an unconventional model.

Though there's nothing new about the closed-loop cycle of fish feeding plants who clean the water again for the fish, there's a groundbreaking element to testing the whole system inside warehouse space, bereft of the sun's assistance and reliant on expensive lighting and an appreciative marketplace.

The prize on the line here, assuming it doesn't snag or snap, is the truest of local food, a treat for local chefs seeking sustainability during Colorado's fourth season. With this long cast of the rod, there is no laying aside business: The revenue stream is everything.

— Matthew Schniper

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