When you work for Orvis, you discover that lots of people have preconceived notions of the company and its owners. Especially in the West, there’s an impression that Orvis is somehow “tweedy,” upper-crusty, and tradition-bound, and I would guess that most people who believe this also assume that Orvis executives are the kinds of guys who only fish with guides on private waters. I mean, they may fly-fish, but surely they’re not hardcore anglers, right? Guess again.
Above is a piece of video I shot of Orvis vice chairman Dave Perkins during the 2012 Orvis-Endorsed Guide Rendezvous in Missoula, Montana, last week. The gathering was lots of fun, with more than 200 guides, shop owners, and lodge employees making the trip. As part of the festivities, attendees could participate in a “Guide Olympics,” testing their skills against their peers. Events included a casting course, throwing a rescue bag from a raft, and assembling a complete fly-fishing outfit while racing against the clock. Dave stepped up to the table and calmly crushed most of the professional guides in the rigging challenge.
As you’ll see, though, Dave was only interested in beating one man: Orvis Western Regional Business Manager Hutch Hutchinson. You may remember that Hutch is an accomplished casting competitor who came in second in this year’s Best of the West Casting Event. In the video below, you can see how Hutch fared in this contest.
If you think this is easy, you haven’t tried it. Many competitors fell apart under the pressure of the ticking clock. So go ahead and give it a whirl at home. Lay out all the components and time yourself putting the whole outfit together. Post your time in the comments below.