May 17, 2023
By Fly Fisherman Staff
The Orvis Company recently held its 2023 awards ceremony at the Orvis-Endorsed Partners Meeting. The winners were chosen based on various criteria, with customer feedback playing a crucial role in determining their success. The event brought together guides and operations from around the country to celebrate their remarkable contributions to the industry.
Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide of the Year: Matt Miles
Hailing from Lynchburg, Virginia, Capt. Matt Miles briefly pursued his dream of becoming a guide in Colorado, but ultimately returned to his hometown to share his expertise on the James, Smith, Jackson, and Roanoke rivers. Specializing in muskies, smallmouth bass, trout, and striped bass, Matt's passion for guiding, teaching, and tying his own flies shines through in every trip he leads.
Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge of the Year: North Fork Ranch
Nestled in the picturesque mountains of Shawnee, Colorado, the North Fork Ranch is celebrating three decades as a sought-after dude ranch and over a decade as a premier fishing lodge. Visitors can fish the North Fork of the South Platte River, explore private waters in the valley, or the public waters of the South Platte River drainage.
Endorsed Fly-Fishing Outfitter of the Year: Lopstick Outfitters
Pittsburg, New Hampshire-based Lopstick Outfitters is located near the headwaters of the Connecticut River and offers some of the finest fly-fishing opportunities in the region. Native landlocked salmon, brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout are available in the 2-mile fly-fishing-only stretch of the Upper Connecticut River. Guests can also enjoy drift-boat guide services on the Connecticut and Androscoggin rivers.
International Destination of the Year: Blue Horizon Lodge
Belize’s Blue Horizon Lodge was founded by renowned Belizean fly-fishing guide Lincoln Westby in 1997, and operates within the protected waters of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, known as "Permit Alley." Anglers can experience world-class permit fishing with top-notch guides at this Caribbean paradise.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Thomas E. Baltz
Pennsylvania's Thomas E. Baltz was honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. With nearly 50 years of guiding experience, Baltz's contributions to the fly-fishing community have been immeasurable. From his early involvement in the Letort Limited Flyfishing School to his pioneering fly patterns adopted by Orvis including the ICSI Midge, Paranymph, Mudbugger, and Hatching Nymph, Baltz has left an indelible mark on the sport. Furthermore, his dedicated leadership in conservation projects with the Cumberland Valley Trout Unlimited chapter has earned him multiple esteemed awards, making him a true legend in the field.