An Orvis endorsed Lodge has leased a section of my home river. The Colorado Division of Wildlife had a lease on the river for which they paid the landowner $2500 per year. Well, the Orvis endorsed Lodge offered the landowner $10,000 per year, and he took it without even consulting the DOW. Not satisfied with this, the lodge has now leased about two miles of river from several other landowners and will probably grab the last DOW fishing lease on the lower river when the lease comes up for renewal. The Lodge now charges over $1600 for 2 days of fishing on their leased waters.
My question is, does Orvis approve of their endorsed lodges grabbing up public fishing access rights and closing streams to the public?
The river is the White in N.W. Colorado. Forrest Nelson, Meeker, CO is the landowner who leased his land to the Colorado Division of Wildlife for public fishing access within 25 feet of the river for $2500 which was subsequently leased by the High Lonesome for $10,000. The Orvis endorsed Lodge is called the High Lonesome ( 2011 K-T Ranch Fly Fishing | The High Lonesome Ranch - DeBeque, Colorado (CO) - Exactly As Wild As You Want It To Be). This link should provide much of the information you might need. The rest of the information can be provided by Mr. John Wangnild, District Wildlife Manager, Wildlife Officer, Colorado Division of Wildlife, (970)878-6067. He is the one who told me that the High Lonesome had leased the Nelson/Prather fishing lease as well as the Pearce Ranch and Edingers.
I have a difficult time believing that there are "2,000 trout per mile" as stated in the video. I can't help but wonder where they came up with that number. Does Orvis require documentation of facts as you have before endorsing a lodge? I can't imagine that Orvis would endorse a Lodge that has taken a publicly leased stretch of river and turned it into a private playground for folks who can afford $1650 for two days fishing (see the website listed above to confirm these rates).
Private property is what it is and I have no problem with the owners leasing it to whoever they choose.
My question was whether Orvis was aware of how the High Lonesome Lodge had gotten their fishing access. I cannot imagine that Orvis, that makes their money by selling fly fishing equipment and contributes so much to improve trout habitat in public waters, would "approve" a Lodge that aquires their fishing rights by outbidding a State Wildlife Agency on a public fishing area.
Seriously? You are surprised by this? Orvis sponsored Crystal Creek lodge managed to leak about a thousand gallons of diesel in the lake coating a few miles of shoreline. Werent going to talk much to the authorities until they got turned in over it.
They never hired locals, and in many cases were outright hostile.
With that being said and I can go into detail about some very bad operational behavoir by the staff there, Orvis doesnt own the lodge, they only sponsor it, and the "owners" only lease the land here.
My experience has been that the lodge owner was acting in a way that was not respectful of the resource and is still in partnership with Orvis nearly 10 years after that incident could suggest that Orvis like just about any business is more focused on the bottom line.
In a few years you will see a trout video produced from that stretch of river, it will be played on any number of channels and be in commericals and print ads. You will drool in the off season and seeing those pro staff catch trout exclusively with such and such gear...It will inspire you to save money until you can afford that piece of gear that is so over priced and the profits are to be had for all, and the guy who would otherwise fish those waters, has to find thier fix somewhere else.
So this is not the first time Orvis has endorsed a.......well, never mind.
Anyone else have anything to say in Orvis' defense? I cannot believe they choose to do things to reduce the number of fishing licenses sold. Fisherman retention and increasing the number of fishermen is where their bottom line comes from. Removing more miles of stream from the public resource is cutting their throat in the long run. Doesn't seem like a very good business model to me.
i'm not worried about internet liability bullshit,
**** ORVIS...this seems to be standard practice by them, and no it is not surprising in the least bit. And their bottom line doesn't come from increasing fishing license or retaining fishermen long term, its about selling average products at a well above average cost per goods. Its hard to keep your name out of the ****, when your company practices continuously keep dragging it back into it....
Live and learn, DONT SUPPORT ORVIS...*i never have anyway...*
I would like to thank Cabelas, Dicks, Simms, Feather-Craft, Wflies, The Fly Stop, JStockard, LL Bean, TPO, etc etc etc, lol
Come on, guys. Public water access is the responsibility of the state to provide for. If private water rights are bought and sold, that is no violation of our system of private enterprise. The state can always exercise public domain on private waters that the state, representing its citizens, believes should be in the public domain.
And I'd add that I think Nerka, BigDog and Verseman are way out of line with their unsupported allegations of wrongdoing by Orvis, one of the most responsible purveyors of fly-fishing gear. If any of you have VERIFIABLE evidence of wrongdoing by Orvis, please put it forth. Otherwise, cease this slander.