Every year The Orvis Company plays host to a multitude of Endorsed Guides,Outfitters and Lodge Operators (E.L.O.G) in Missoula MT. This tradition has been going on for sometime,the first one I attended was 14 years ago in Cody Wyoming.
Since then I have faded in and out of the Orvis scene as I was not an Endorsed Operator,I was a dealer trying to run a fly-shop.I was approached by Orvis three years ago to join their new Endorsed Wingshooting Guide Program ,since then our Fly-Fishing Guide Service has also become endorsed and soon we along with The Kootenay Fly-Shop will be moving into an Endorsed Outfitter Category.Contray to what some may say, becoming part of the program is not as simple as writing a check.Orvis does do research on potential partners as they are putting their name out there with operators to use.From The Dave Brown Outfitters angle Orvis reflects what we are all about,quality expereinces in The Great Outdoors.From a marketing prespective it puts us in front of folks via Orvis’s marketing endevours and for Orvis it puts our customers in front of some great Orvis gear.As the cliche goes “win -win”.
Who really benefits is the Consumer,after all what other fly-fishing or wingshooting retail goods company offers a similar program? Or invests so heavily into the conservation and education aspect of these two sports ?
Off I went to Missoula and it was great.Like everyone else that attended I learned a lot as there are a ton of different workshops covering a number of topics ranging from swift water rescue to the latest social media craze,in the long run it increases our knowledge which of course benefits the consumer.As always it is also awesome to see some friends that I have met over the years and meet new acquaintances.There is an awards Banquet reconizing The Endorsed Guide,Outfitter,and Lodge of The Year along with a couple of cocktail parties in the evenings,most who attend enjoy the benefits of Free Beer.It is also an opportunity to say “howdy ” to the folks back in Vermont putting a face to a name.
The last night of the Rendezvous features the famous Down The Hatch Film Festival and is open to the public with a lll the proceeds going to Trout Unlimited,it to was an awesome experience.
Sunday found myself and two friends heading for The Missouri River for some much needed fishing,despite the wind the fishing was decent,we picked some fish up nymphing then got bored with that and switched to streamers which also produced.Back in Craig Montana we consumed more beer and some great BBQ an awesome end to a great four days.