April 25, 2022
By Fly Fisherman Staff
Orvis announced Belizean guide Lincoln Westby as the Lifetime Achievement Award winner at its annual Orvis Guide Rendezvous over the weekend in Missoula, Montana. Westby was also highlighted in a 2020 Fly Fisherman magazine article entitled, "The Father of the Fish."
“Lincoln was born on the water, and it has since become the focal point of his life,” says Orvis Endorsed Operations Manager, Tom Evenson. “His passion is contagious, it’s obvious to all guests when they walk through the door that they will have their very best experience out on the water with Lincoln, whether it’s their first or 400th time.”
Westby’s commitment to conserving habitat in Belize and willingness to share his passion to with area’s top guides was cited as two main reasons he won. The fly-fishing legend is considered the “permit master” with over 2,000 permit to hand. Since the beginning of his career in 1971, Westby has retained his passion for fishing and shared with others by not only training new guides, but also leading seminars and lectures.
Belize is also home to the International Destination of the Year recipient, El Pescador Lodge. Located on Ambergris Caye, El Pescador Lodge was founded in the early 1970s and today offers all-inclusive vacations and fishing trips for anglers, eco-adventurers, couples, and families.
Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge on the Kvichak River won the Orvis’s Fly-Fishing Lodge of the Year Award. It is located four miles downstream of Lake Iliamna and specializes in salmon and wild rainbow trout fishing.
Willowfly Anglers in Almont, Colorado took home Orvis’s Fly-Fishing Outfitter of the Year Award. Willowfly is located at the headwaters of the Gunnison River, where the East River and Taylor River converge, giving it access to some of Colorado’s best trout water.
Maryland’s Bryan Donoway won the Fly-Fishing Guide of the Year Award. Donoway guides for trout on the Gunpowder River drainage, and offers fly-fishing instruction on a variety of topics.
Fly Shop of the Year honors went to Northwest Outfitters in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Northwest Outfitters offers services around the North Fork of the Clearwater, Kelly Creek, and the Lochsa River.
Orvis also released its 2021 Impact Report, highlighting the contributions the brand and its patrons made to protect wild places, increase participation in sporting activities and improve canine well-being throughout the year. According to the report, in 2021, Orvis supported 115 non-profit organizations and raised $1.5 million through donations and customer and non-profit partner matches.
“From preserving and restoring massive ecosystems to fly-fishing retreats for those battling severe illness, working with our partners to sustain wild places and building pathways to enjoy them is fundamental to Orvis,” Laura Schaffer, Vice President of Conservation and Sustainability at Orvis said. “A deep connection with the natural world gives our lives purpose, connects us with one another and makes us happy and healthy. These are values we share with millions of anglers, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts everywhere, and it is our responsibility and privilege to ensure something so important is sustained for future generations.”
Orvis also announced a slew of new and improved fly-fishing products, including rods, reels, waders, boots, nets, apparel, product designs, and colors. Along with the gear, the company announced a new streamlined system for rod repair in which entire rods will no longer need to be sent in. Orvis can simply send you a new section of the broken rod, which will save anglers time and get them back on the water faster.