May 2009

May 2009
May 2009
May 2009
May 2009

Scott Burneski Guide Service

by Larry E. Stefanyk

I met Scott Burneski at the Victoria Sportsman Show where he was doing a seminar on the “Farr Better Flasher™” which he developed with his partner Justin Farr. The flasher is marketed by Gibbs/Nortac and has a quick release system. When the fish strikes, the Farr Better Flasher™ releases and starts moving up the line and it eventually floats to the top, leaving you to play only the fish - NOT the flasher!
Wanting to take my wife and me out for a day’s fishing to show us how his flasher works, Scott invited us to take an early-season trip for winter springs in Butte Inlet. He said we would stay overnight at his friends cabin on Dent Island and fish the following day.

We met up with Scott at Brown’s Bay and headed out in his 23-foot Aqua Sport powered with a 225-Yamaha and a backup 8hp Yamaha for trolling. As we motored west the water around us exploded with a huge school of Pacific white-sided dolphins that danced, dove and frolicked from one side of Discovery Passage to the other. We stopped to take photographs of the impressive sight. It was hard to leave these beautiful creatures, but we still had a 45-minute ride to Dent Island.

It turned out that Jason Farr, Scott’s partner, manages Dent Island Lodge with his wife Trish. The lodge is a jewel in the wild with excellent facilities and first class dining whether breakfast, lunch or dinner. The lodge can accommodate up to 18 people. It has meeting rooms, wireless Internet access, satellite TV, ocean-side hot tub, and unbelievable scenic views from the dining room and upper and lower decks.
The lodge’s marina offers 1000-feet of protected, deep water moorage with 30- 50- and 100-amp power service, and an ample supply of fresh water. They welcome visiting vessels up to 140-feet in length; you can hail them on marine VHF Channel 66A. Use of the hot tub, sauna and first class exercise facilities are included in the moorage fee.

We were given a full tour of the lodge, then enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the deck. Later, we were invited in for an excellent gourmet five-course dinner. After dinner we retired to the “Captains Cabin,” the original two bedroom cabin, complete with a full kitchen, a wood burning fireplace in the living room, and an expansive deck overlooking the ocean. What a great treat to a stay at a “friend’s place.”
Early the next morning Scott was waiting for us at the dock with box lunches for the three of us. Before heading up Butte Inlet for fishing, Scott pulled into one of the bays to check the prawn traps he’d set the previous evening. The prawns were scarce, so we decided to move the traps a little closer to shore and check on them on our way back.

Scott rigged up the 10 1/2-foot Trophy rods with the QR larger arbor reels. He used the Farr Better Flasher™ and a white hootchie with an anchovy inserted into the hootchie. On the port side he used blue-green hootchies with the anchovy inserts.

Fishing at 80- to 110-feet, it didn’t take long before we had our first 12-pound Chinook. I was impressed with the flashers quick release system. When the Chinook hit, the Farr Better Flasher™ released, and as described above, I played only the fish - not the flasher! We enjoyed a great afternoon experimenting with these unique flashers.

On our way back we stopped again and pulled the prawn traps. This time we were rewarded with a huge catch of little pink morsels. It was a great way to end a near perfect day.
Farr Better Flashers™ are, indeed, a great addition to every angler’s tackle box; especially give the purple haze or the glow model a try. The pin that inserts into the trailing edge pulls out when the fish bites, and thus you play the fish but not the flasher, a good thing in the winter when the fish are not as large as spawners. You can also change the amount of flasher snap because these flashers come with three different holes for inserting pins.

Scott Burneski Guide Service
(250) 897-0991

The Dent Island Lodge
(250) 203-2553

Huxley’s Run: 

May is April’s child. It springs forth into the world with the umbilical cord of true change. What April wrought from March it delivers unfettered into the folds of May’s dress. And May, in turn, will do the same for June and June for July and July for August and year for year and decade for decade, century for century. May then, is a stepping stone in the rich gravel of life.

The change is quiet. From the gradual greening of the trees on the Campbell River to the rivers and creeks themselves which full of melt, colored with spring’s chocolate glazing. All is fresh; all clinging to the shores of change.

With that the cutthroats are the first to appear. Not really, but to the naked eye and rod they are. Hidden from view and understanding are the awakenings of a bounty rich in bugs and in emerging fishes. It has been growing and emerging for weeks, filling the food chain with morsels of delight that bid fish, bird and bugs to the table. Among the cutthroats are the juvenile salmonids waiting for their preordained release to the sea and dining delicately until they, too, some months from now, can begin their great journey. And for the fortunate angler a steelhead in a late run sure, to shake the most solid resolve.

If May is nothing else, it is a warmth of spirit. It comes packaged with quick dawns and lingering dusks. May, by its very nature is the earth’s excuse to be out and do, to smell new smells, touch and feel an awakening vibrancy. May kills winter on this west coast and delivers summer.

My May includes many destinations. Not enough are to the interior. Not enough to Vancouver Island lakes. Not enough to the stream mouths I used to haunt when my stride was longer, my pace quicker and disappointment keener. But they are enough. One good fish well– fooled, or angler well-surprised, is as good now as three, four or five fish hooked when youth’s determination superseded what is now a well-worn appreciation of time and effort.

So, this May I will make probably the last trip into Bute Inlet and the rivers there. Their pure beauty appears destined for disfigurement. General Electric, a U.S. company, has plans to put run-of-river hydroelectric projects onto seventeen of the streams at and near the head of it, to build over 250-km of road and power lines, diversions, small dams, and on and on and on.

They say it’s green. It will have minimal impact. Not having the technical expertise to prove them wrong, I simply feel them wrong. I feel another diamond split into bitter pieces, better used not for its original and natural beauty, but for myopic industrial purposes. I feel now the great pain of those watersheds, feel now that no matter what assurances are made, the end will be as it has always been. Tragic. Simply tragic. And an end.

When industry plans these new projects they talk of footprints. They talk eloquently and with a disturbing honesty of creating a minimum footprint. It will preserve the fisheries and wildlife resources or, at least, have minimal impact: the footprint. I believe what they don’t understand about the opponents to these plans, is what I can only call the footprint equation. They don’t understand that most of their opponents have visited these wild places. They don’t understand that one of the disappointing things about visiting these wild places is, well, a footprint. A boot heel or two pressed into the bank of the river and the experience is the less for it.

Without understanding that, it is difficult for these developers to truly understand the ferocity of their opponents. Because when a’ footprint’ is so large it becomes and takes over the purpose of nature, it can have no greater, no equal, no comparable value than that which was originally intended.


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