There are seven categories, three for lodge operations and four for guiding operations. The awards are chosen based on customer survey feedback that Orvis solicits from their customers who patronize these operations.
“We feel the best criteria for these awards is customer response,” said David Perkins, Vice Chairman of Orvis. “What we at Orvis think is not nearly as important as the quality of the experience the customer receives. Each year we go through these surveys and find those operations that have given our customers an extraordinary experience and service. It is a difficult task because all of our endorsed operations are excellent or they wouldn’t be in the program, but each year there are those that really stand out.”
This year’s winners are:
Wingshooting Lodge of the Year – Greystone Castle in Mingus, Texas, a 5,000 acre hunting preserve for upland birds and waterfowl, specializes in providing large numbers of hard flying birds and high volumes of shooting.
Fly-Fishing Lodge of the Year – Crystal Creek Lodge on the Naknek River in the Bristol Bay Region of southwest Alaska. Crystal Creek has been endorsed by the Orvis Company for nearly two decades and is considered one of the finest fishing lodges in the world.
International Lodge of the Year – Estancia Tecka in Patagonia is one of the biggest ranches in South America. The fly fishing lodge is set up with some of the best English-speaking guides in Argentina and they are well outfitted with drift boats to get to the best pools on the Corcovado River.
Outfitter of the Year – CB’s Saltwater Outfitters in Sarasota, Florida. Their Fishing Charter Service serves Siesta Key as well as Longboat Key, Lido Key, Sarasota, and Venice and offers inshore/backcountry & offshore fishing charters for both fly-fishing and spin anglers.
Expedition of the Year – Fortress Lake Retreat of Alberta, Canada provides a full service lodge accommodation and guided fishing experience as well as providing hikers, canoeists, and kayakers a back country oasis near Jasper and Banff National Parks and Lake Louise.
Guide Service of the Year – Sunrise Anglers of Boulder, Colorado offers a tremendous diversity of fishing on the Front Range of the Rockies, fishing the Colorado, Blue, South Platte, and Roaring Fork Rivers as well as a number of small rivers, creeks and still waters.
Guide of the Year – Derek Young of Snoqualmie, Washington specializes in fishing the Yakima River, famous for its wild cutthroat and rainbow trout.
Founded in 1856, Orvis pioneered the mail order industry in the United States, operates a chain of retail stores in the U.S. and England including its Flagship store in Manchester, VT; and maintains a network of over 400 dealers worldwide. Orvis donates five percent of pre-tax profits each year to environmental programs. You can read more about Orvis on their website at www.orvis.com.