Mar/Apr 2009

Mar/Apr 2009
Mar/Apr 2009
Mar/Apr 2009
Mar/Apr 2009
Mar/Apr 2009

Fishing Variety and Opportunities at Ole’s

by Larry E Stefanyk

Ole's, a floating fishing lodge in Barney Bay, Hakai Passage, was established in 1982 by Irv and Joanne Olsen and is located 250 air miles northwest of Vancouver on the west coast of British Columbia.
The Olsen family logged on the coast since the 50’s and were familiar with Hakai Passage and its fantastic fishing. They knew that Barney Bay, a sheltered bay close to the fishing grounds with an abundant freshwater supply, was the ideal location for a fishing Lodge. The Olsen family members operated the lodge for 14 years until 1996 when Ernie Daley joined them as General Manager. To this day Ernie's staff has continued the tradition of excellent customer service that the Olsen’s started in this world-class location. Ernie started a program in 1996 called the “Decade Club” which meant if you came to Ole’s for nine conservative years, your tenth trip was free. In 2007 they had six guests that reached the Decade Club, 2008 had nine, and in 2009 seven more will received their free trip.

Why, over the years, do these guests keep coming back? They come back to the un-crowded, protected waters to enjoy a wide variety of fishing opportunities. Always there to catch, are all species of salmon, bottom fish, which include species such as lingcod, yelloweye and black rockfish and rock greenling. Abundant halibut are found at grounds within a short distance from the lodge.

Many of Ole’s guests have never been to British Columbia and the experience of being in a remote, floating fishing lodge can be a little overwhelming. Ernie and his crew put guests at ease the moment they step from the plane and are warmly welcomed by the entire crew. Guests are quickly assigned accommodations. The comfortable rooms are complete with a private bathroom and shower. Double or twin-bedded rooms are available to suit every need. Daily housekeeping ensures your room is always clean and fresh. Then it’s off to the welcome lunch, where it’s a tradition to have Ole’s famous, locally-caught halibut and chips which is just the beginning of the many amazing meals that will be enjoyed over the next few days.

After lunch it’s off to “School” - fishing school, that is. Ole’s puts on a training session for their guests, which includes experienced and novice anglers, who are shown how to fish in these waters. The time spent with the “Fish Master,” who has been fishing here for years and years, is priceless. Not only does his instructions cover angling techniques but all the safety and technical aspects of handling the boats. Ole’s provide two separate training sessions, one on the techniques of halibut fishing and one on salmon fishing. Even the most experienced angler will pick up a pointer or two.

Using Ole’s top quality equipment, salmon fishing is done with cut-plug herring with a 4, 6 or 8-ounce round weight and no downrigger or flasher. You hold the rod in your hand and count out the recommended number of pulls. (A pull is the distance from the reel to the first guide on your rod - usually two feet). When a fish strikes it’s you and the fish, no hardware to weigh you down. It’s not uncommon to catch Chinook, coho, pink, sockeye and maybe even a silver-bright chum, if your timing is right. Guests fishing off Barney Point or off the "Race Track" have the opportunity to catch tyee (Chinook) within minutes of the lodge.

While fishing at Hakai, guests will also experience viewing a variety of wildlife such as Orcas (killer whales), humpback whales, dolphins, sea lions, seals, eagles, puffins, wolf and deer.

With it’s amazing fishing opportunities within protected waters and breathtaking scenery, it’s easy to see why Ole’s Fishing Lodge at Hakai Pass rates as one of the top lodges in British Columbia. For more information on booking your trip check out their website.

Ole’s Fishing Lodge at Hakai Pass
PO Box 753
Campbell River, B.C.
V9W 6J3

T: 250.287.8303
F: 250.287.2311

Huxley’s Run: 

When I heard about the passing of Bob Jones, I thought first of an excerpt from Van Egan's book, Waterside Reflections. The passage is a classic and I went to it immediately. Van was writing at the time about dealing with the death of his long-time friend Roderick Haig-Brown.

He wrote: "But Rod dead? Giants don't die, do they? Not giants that leave behind the best of their powerful thinking, that know that their time is a blip in the history of mankind, but who think and feel in a kind of timelessness of what is right and precious, not just for their times but for the times of those yet to come."

Because I know him, Van would not mind me applying those words to Bob Jones. And I believe quite sharply that Haig-Brown would join in that sentiment.

I don't think the sport fishing-fishing-outdoors fraternities understand what we lost when Bob died. We lost a man whose webs of concern and knowledge stretched from community to community, from coast to coast, province to province and, in some cases, countries to countries. We lost a man of incredible perception of what was right and what was wrong in yesterday's, today's and tomorrow's management of our outdoor assets.

We lost a man who could find humor in the darkest of times. We lost a man who smiled in the face of 'impossible' and then went forward to slay the beast. We lost, more than anything, a true, loving friend.

Bob was my father. Not many realize that, probably not even his darling wife Vera. It was a wonderful birth, not nine months long, not protracted by hours of labor. It came, birthed, over a couple of pints.

My real name is Neil Cameron. When I was honored with the editorship of BC Outdoors, I quickly realized that one of my most valuable resources was my magazine's Fishing Editor, one Robert H. Jones. As Editor in Chief I also had a hunting editor, back-roads editor, etc, etc. I asked Bob on our first meeting, "I have all these editors who report to me on everything. What am I supposed to do?" He took a sip of his beer and his eyes seemed like the northern lights above his smile. "Listening would be a good start," he said.

So back to the birthing. BCO was taking a direction I wasn't comfortable with. On my last trip from BCO's Vancouver office to my Campbell River home I stopped into Bob's in Courtenay. I had decided to accept my former company's offer to return to their fold as Publisher and Editor of the Campbell River Courier-Islander newspaper.

But, during those ferry trips back and forth I had the good fortune to meet and become friends with Larry Stefaniuk, the tight-fisted tyrant who won't pay me $50,000 per for this column. Larry was working for OP Publications at the time, who published a number of magazines including BCO, and at the time he was thinking of starting his own, and what is now, this great magazine. Bob was to be his editor and I would be one of his columnists, having settled for only $37,000 per column.

But there was a problem. I wouldn't be comfortable using my real name because of the circumstances. So I sat across from Bob in his living room and put it out there.

"Adipose Huxley," I said. He didn't flinch, his eyes didn't flicker. His stare held me in that gaze of his that only those who have been fortunate, or unfortunate, enough to experience it, would understand.

"Adipose," he said, taking a sip. "Huxley," he said, taking another sip. "I like it." And so it was, the birth of Adipose Huxley.

And so it went for a few months until it was time for another visit to Bob.

"Doctor Adipose Huxley," I said.

"Doctor?" Bob's eyebrows raised only slightly. "And what academic institution, in their right mind, mind you, would bestow that hefty title on the well-intentioned, but somewhat delusional, Mr. Huxley?"

I was waiting and anticipating. "UBJ," I said.

"UBJ?" Bob asked, perplexed, "never heard of it."

"The University of Bob Jones," I smiled, leaning across to steal another beer.

Bob almost coughed his up. But then, after a lengthy discourse on the merits and qualities necessary for him, in good conscience, to bestow a doctorate upon my meager shoulders, he put his beer down and said, "Doctor Adipose Huxley it is then."

Fast forward to January 2009. I am partaking of Van Egan's rations and explaining to him this history of Dr. Adipose Huxley. Van's eyes light up and he informs me that, kidding aside, there is, actually, a Bob Jones University in Southern Carolina. It's a religious institution, with high moral standards that would, undoubtedly, have immense problems should a doctorate from that hallowed facility be bestowed upon one Adipose Huxley. As it were.

Bob would have said, "Obviously not, you're simply too wild...Adipose."

He would have grinned that beatific grin of his. We would have laughed.

And, if not?

Isn't it pretty to think so?

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