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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Orvis Names its 2012 Awards of the Very Finest Sporting Operations

The Orvis Company has announced the winners of the company’s 2012 Endorsed Lodges, Outfitters, and Guide Awards. There are eight categories; three for lodge operations, four for guiding operations and one lifetime achievement award. These awards are chosen based on customer survey feedback that Orvis solicits from their customers who patronize these operations. 

“Every year here at Orvis we ask how we can possibly have a better selection of quality lodges than we do now, and every year we are gratified with an ever remarkable collection of lodges that make up the Orvis endorsed group,” explains David Perkins, Vice Chairman of Orvis. “The difficulty in choosing who to recognize is indicative of the quality of the people who are part of the program. The good news is that winners are selected as a result of the feedback from the people who matter most to all of us, and that is the customer. Each of these operations adhere to the highest Orvis standards for customer service, professionalism, commitment to conservation, and respect for our natural world as well as continue to be an example not only to their peers, but to us at Orvis as well.”

This year’s winners are:
Wingshooting Lodge of the YearHighland Hills Ranch in The Dalles, Oregon, a 3,000 acre hunting preserve for ringneck pheasants, Hungarian partridge, valley quail and chukar, offers walk up hunts as well as a limited number of British driven shoots per season.
Fly-Fishing Lodge of the YearFalcon’s Ledge in Altamont, Utah is set in a private six hundred acre canyon, providing a bird’s eye view of the surrounding cliffs, stillwaters and wildlife. Utah’s finest fly fishing on unpressured mountain freestone streams, blue ribbon tail waters, or trophy stillwaters is available within minutes of the lodge, and adventures are led by Orvis endorsed guides and instructors.
International Lodge of the YearThe only Orvis endorsed wing shooting lodge in Argentina, Los Ombues is the ultimate experience for the wing shooter.
Outfitter of the Year Anglers Covey in Colorado Springs, Colorado has been providing the services, products and expertise that enhance the experience of the fly fishing angler for over 30 years. Their state-of-the-art facility allows for inside casting when the weather is bad, as well as two casting ponds outside the store.
Expedition of the YearDeep Canyon Outfitters in Bend, Oregon specializes in one-to-five day guided Oregon fly fishing trips on the Deschutes River and Crooked River. They are the only Orvis Endorsed operation on the Lower Deschutes River.
Guide Service of the YearJamie Rouse Fly-Fishing Adventures of Heber Springs, Arkansas, considered an instructional outfitter, has something to offer all skill levels from the new fly fisherman to the most advanced angler, and their trips consist of both wade and boat fishing.
Guide of the YearCaptain Kalil Boghdan of Downriver Charters in Hamilton, Massachusetts has over 25 years of experience on the Essex River and the waters of Crane Beach and Plum Island Sound and is thoroughly versed in the behavior of striped bass and bluefish, as well as the natural history and ecology of the area.
Lifetime Achievement Award Buzz Cox of The High Lonesome Ranch, which sits on the Western Slope of the Colorado Rockies, has been recognized with the Orvis Endorsed Guide Lifetime Achievement Award.  His career spans over 3 decades and ranges from the Northeast to the Rocky Mountains.
For over twenty years the Orvis Company has been recognizing excellence in sporting experiences through its Endorsed Lodges Outfitters and Guides program. Each endorsed operation has its own character, but all share the same high standards: great service, great fishing or wingshooting, and an experienced, professional staff. These standards of excellence are continually reviewed by the Orvis staff and evaluated by visiting guests in post-visit critiques sent directly to The Orvis Company. Orvis-Endorsed operations cater to every ability from beginners to experts.

Founded in 1856, Orvis pioneered the mail order industry in the United States, operates more than 80 retail stores in the U.S. and the U.K. 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 protecting nature. You can read more about Orvis on their website at www.orvis.com.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bassmaster Names 100 Best Bass Fishing Lakes in U.S.

Bassmaster magazine, the official publication for members of B.A.S.S., announced today the 100 best bass fishing lakes in the U.S.  The list was compiled in a months-long process that included research from state fisheries agencies, nominations from B.A.S.S. Federation Nation tournament organizers and a panel of widely traveled professional anglers, fishing writers and others.

Despite its reputation as a dangerous place to fish, Texas’ Falcon Lake ranked in first place. The 58-year-old impoundment straddles the Rio Grande and is shared by Texas and Mexico. The 83,000-acre reservoir has been in the news as much for drug cartel-related crime as for its enormous catches of largemouth bass.

Falcon produced the record winning catch for the Bassmaster Elite Series circuit when Paul Elias caught 132.5 pounds of bass during four days in 2008. Although the Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments have not returned to the lake since, it regularly gives up tournament-winning catches averaging more than 8 pounds per bass.

Texas tops the list of states with eight lakes or rivers in the Top 100, followed by Florida, which has seven fisheries on the list, including No. 2-ranked Lake Okeechobee. Rounding out the Top 10 are Lake Guntersville in Alabama, Lake Erie in Michigan/Ohio/New York/Pennsylvania, Lake Champlain in New York/Vermont, Lake Amistad in Texas, Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota, San Joaquin Delta in California, Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho and Clear Lake in California.

According to Bassmaster editor James Hall, the idea for ranking the best lakes emerged at a B.A.S.S. tournament during a lively discussion among outdoor writers with definite ideas about the nation’s top performing lakes. Hall decided the debate warranted a more in-depth investigation.

“Instead of just having opinions, we wanted to put science behind the opinion to rate the ‘100 Best Bass Lakes,’” Hall said. “The method was as scientific as we could make it. The result is a list of outstanding fisheries. I think it will be fun for people to consider where their favorite lake stands compared to the best in another state.”
The 100 Best Bass Lakes list was ranked using a variety of qualifiers. Department of Natural Resource representatives provided the five most productive lakes in each state based on electroshock surveys and angler catch rates. B.A.S.S. Federation Nation presidents offered top lake recommendations based on tournament catches, while conservation directors supplied details on lake accessibility and best fish stocking practices.

A blue ribbon panel of outdoor writers, editors, Bassmaster Elite Series professional anglers and fishing industry veterans ranked the final list based on current fishability of each lake, considering its history, big fish and overall quantity potential and aesthetic surroundings of the area.

The list is slated to appear annually. For full details about each of the lakes ranked, as well as more details about each one, visit http://www.bassmaster.com/news/100-best-bass-lakes.

Bassmaster Magazine 2012 100 Best Bass Lakes in the U.S.

1. Falcon Lake, Texas
2. Lake Okeechobee, Florida
3. Lake Guntersville, Alabama
4. Lake Erie, Michigan/Ohio/New York/Pennsylvania
5. Lake Champlain, New York/Vermont
6. Lake Amistad, Texas
7. Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota
8. San Joaquin Delta, California
9. Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
10. Clear Lake, California
11. Rainy Lake, Minnesota
12. Pickwick Lake, Alabama/Mississippi/Tennessee
13. Lake St. Clair, Michigan
14. Oneida Lake, New York
15. Toledo Bend, Texas/Louisiana
16. Kentucky Lake/Barkley Lake, Kentucky/Tennessee
17. Grand Lake, Oklahoma
18. Kezar Lake, Maine
19. Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Texas
20. Columbia River, Washington/Oregon
21. Kissimmee Chain Of Lakes, Florida
22. Candlewood Lake, Connecticut
23. Santee Cooper lakes, South Carolina
24. Roosevelt Lake, Arizona
25. Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin
26. Lake Fork, Texas
27. Louisiana Delta, Louisiana
28. Lake Ouachita, Arkansas
29. Lake Konawa, Oklahoma
30. Lake Of The Ozarks, Missouri
31. Potomac River, Maryland/Virginia
32. Shasta Lake, California
33. Lake Havasu, Arizona
34. Lake Michigan, Wisconsin/Illinois/Indiana/Michigan
35. Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota
36. Florida Everglades, Florida
37. Lake Charlevoix, Michigan
38. Lake Mead, Nevada
39. Choke Canyon Lake, Texas
40. Lake Seminole, Georgia/Florida
41. Congamond Lakes, Massachusetts
42. Table Rock Lake, Missouri
43. Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
44. Falls Lake, North Carolina
45. Umpqua River, Oregon
46. Okoboji Lake, Iowa
47. Red River, Louisiana
48. Pueblo Reservoir, Colorado
49. DeGray Lake, Arkansas
50. Trap Pond, Delaware
51. Bull Shoals Lake, Arkansas/Missouri
52. Spirit Lake, Iowa
53. St. Lawrence River, New York
54. Squam Lake, New Hampshire
55. High Rock Lake, North Carolina
56. Arbuckle Lake, Oklahoma
57. Lake Tarpon, Florida
58. Apache Lake, Arizona
59. Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona
60. Perry Reservoir, Kansas
61. Chickamauga Lake, Tennessee
62. Lake Wawasee, Indiana
63. Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia
64. Lake Conroe, Texas
65. Noxon Rapids, Montana
66. Diamond Valley Lake, California
67. Summit Reservoir, Nebraska
68. Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey
69. Rend Lake, Illinois
70. Lake Pleasant, Arizona
71. Lake Audubon, North Dakota
72. Flaming Gorge Reservoir, Wyoming
73. Harris Chain Of Lakes, Florida
74. Cobbosseecontee Lake, Maine
75. Ute Lake, New Mexico
76. Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania
77. Wilson Reservoir, Kansas
78. Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico
79. Lake Oahe, South Dakota
80. Gull Lake, Minnesota
81. Kerr Reservoir/Buggs Island, N.C./Virginia
82. Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee/Kentucky
83. Lake Gaston, North Carolina
84. Bullards Bar Reservoir, California
85. Dworshak Reservoir, Idaho
86. Tygart Lake, West Virginia
87. Keith Sebelius Reservoir, Kansas
88. O.H. Ivie, Texas
89. Lake Wallenpaupack, Pennsylvania
90. Lake Murray, South Carolina
91. Lake Sammamish, Washington
92. Lake Eufaula, Alabama/Georgia
93. Enid Reservoir, Mississippi
94. Old Hickory Lake, Tennessee
95. Fort Peck Reservoir, Montana
96. Manasquan Reservoir, New Jersey
97. Lake Mohave, Nevada
98. Lake Lanier, Georgia
99. Sebago Lake, Maine
100. McPhee Lake, Colorado

Falcon Lake, Texas

Lake Okeechobee, Florida

Lake Guntersville, Alabama

2012 Upper Delaware River Fishing Reports

Once again, Cross Current Guide Service & Outfitters will be doing the Orvis Fishing Reports.  These reports will be updated whenever a change occurs, but in any event no less than on a weekly basis.

To Check on the conditions and happenings for the Main Stem of the Delaware River follow this link: http://www.orvis.com/fishing_report.aspx?locationid=600

East Branch conditions and fishing reports can be found here: http://www.orvis.com/fishing_report.aspx?locationid=6004

See whats happening on the Neversink River: http://www.orvis.com/fishing_report.aspx?locationid=7433

For other fly fishing destinations in the US in both fresh and saltwater check out: US Fly Fishing Reports

New York White Nose Syndrome Losses at 90%

The results of the winter survey of hibernating bats in New York are now available, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. This survey was a cooperative effort among state wildlife officials, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and numerous volunteers to monitor the effects of white-nose disease, a fungal infection that has devastated regional bat populations since it was first documented in New York in 2006.

The most encouraging observations came from surveys of the five hibernation caves in the greater Albany area where the disease was first discovered. Previous reports have suggested that little brown bat counts at these sites seem to be stabilizing in recent years. This year's surveys saw substantial increases in little brown bats at three out of five of these caves. The largest and best documented of these sites saw an increase from 1,496 little brown bats in 2011 to 2,402 this year. It is premature to conclude that population recovery is underway for this species, however, because of the small number of hibernation sites that have experienced increases and the fact that alternate explanations are plausible. Bats are highly social animals and observed increases could be the result of consolidation of individuals from other hibernation sites, for example.

"While we remain cautiously optimistic of encouraging trends for some species seen more recently, it will likely take several years before we fully know how to interpret this," said Kathleen Moser, DEC's Assistant Commissioner of Natural Resources. "DEC is assisting in national bat research and with those seeking solutions to the effects of the white nose disease. As a preventative measure we can take now, we encourage the public who enter caves recreationally, to refrain from entering hibernation sites while bats are there."

Based on this year's survey, total observed declines in population attributed to the disease for tri-colored bats have been revised upward. Prior to the arrival of white-nose disease in 2007, a total of 2,285 tri-colored bats were counted at 37 representative hibernation sites in the state. Since that time, a total of 112 bats were observed during surveys of those same sites, suggesting a statewide decline of 95 percent for the species. Northern long-eared bats have also been affected with a 98 percent observed decline (18 individuals observed in 36 sites compared to a pre-disease total of 911 bats at the same sites). Although neither bat was considered a threatened species prior to the arrival of white-nose disease, both species are now extremely rare in New York.

No surveys were performed this year for the federal and state endangered Indiana bat. Previous surveys indicate that losses for this species have totaled 71 percent statewide (15,650 individuals remaining, down from a high of 54,689). The population status of Indiana bats in New York will be reassessed in 2013.

Records of small-footed bats, a rare species even prior to the disease, show only a relatively small decline of 13 percent. This species is difficult to count due to its secretive habits when hibernating, but focused survey efforts this season have bolstered previous observations that the impact of the disease is far less severe for small-footed's than for most other hibernating bats.

Prior to the arrival of white-nose disease, the little brown bat was the most common bat species in New York State and has been observed hibernating in more than 100 caves and mines here. Statewide losses for the species attributed to white-nose disease remain at approximately 90 percent.

For more information on white nose syndrome in New York, visit the DEC website.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Hardy Bros. Cup.

Cane rod casting competition
August 4 & 5, 2012 is the date that Hardy USA & the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum will be holding the Hardy Bros. Cup, cane rod casting competition.  
The event ties in with the museums Summerfest celebration and will be held on the casting field that bears the Hardy Bros. name.
This competition is open to everyone with a single handed bamboo fly rod 9’ or less with reel, line and 7.5’ leader. Competitors will accumulate points for two distance casts and an accuracy target. Qualifying distance will be based on 8’ and over rods at 50’, with handicaps for rods under 8’.