RiverQuest Charters owner and fishing guide Dave Gunn adds spectacular photos and videos of the beautiful Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island to his social media channels all the time. Gunn had no idea he was creating a viral video when he scaled down an embankment with his chainsaw, on Dec. 16, to cut away a tree blocking the river.
The tree posed an extreme hazard for river users just below RiverQuest’s lodge on Riverbottom Road.
“I don’t know what was so special with this one,” Dunn said.
The video has a healthy 20,000 reactions on Facebook but the total number of views has surpassed 24 million in just a few weeks.
Dunn noticed a lot of negative reaction to the video.
“I think a lot of people thought I was trying to show off,” he said, adding many of the negative comments came from south of the border and he wasn’t going to let them bother him.
“I told my kids not to worry about the negative stuff. There’s now 24 million people in the world now who know who RiverQuest Charters is,” Dunn said. “I think of it as a gift for doing a good deed.”
The gift is in the form of free marketing. Once those fishermen and women see the beauty that is the Cowichan Valley and the sweet fishing available on the Cowichan River, they may just want to visit and book his services.
As for the video, Dunn said it’s all in a day’s work: he takes care of the river that takes care of him.
“I have cleaned up truck loads of garbage,” he said. “I’ve witnessed three men capsize on the river and rescued them while I was guiding a couple from Vancouver.”
Of course he cuts away hazard trees, too. Just ask his 24 million viewers.