Each year, for thirty-six years, the Orvis Company has recognized excellence in sporting experiences through its Endorsed Lodges, Outfitters, and Guides Program (ELOG). Awards are allocated based on a number of criteria, the most important of which is customer feedback: the reviews from the customers who have experienced these operations are the ultimate arbiters of success. Also taken into consideration are the operation’s environmental commitment to and stewardship of their resources, and their partnership with Orvis in providing the finest sporting experience possible.
After a couple years off, due to public-health concerns and travel restrictions, the 2022 Orvis Guide Rendezvous was held in Missoula, Montana, last weekend. It was wonderful to get everyone together again to recognize these incredible partners. Click here to see the lists of nominees for each category.
Here are this year’s winners, along with customer comments that caught our eyes. Click on the highlighted name of the guide or the operation to learn more about each winner.
2022 Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide of the Year
Bryan Donoway, based in Jarrettsville, Maryland
Bryan is a full-service fly-fishing guide on the Gunpowder River watershed. He practices catch-and-release fishing in all waters that he fishes, to sustain a healthy population of trout for all to share and enjoy. Bryan offers instruction for all skill levels and loves to cater trips to anglers’ specific fly-fishing needs, such as improving their streamer game or introducing them to effective European nymphing strategies.Here is what one customer had to say about time on the water with Bryan:
Thoroughly enjoyed my first fly-fishing experience. Been fishing my whole life, but never fly fishing. It was something I always was interested in, but thought it looked too difficult. My hubby arranged for Bryan to take us out to learn as a birthday gift for me. One of the best gifts ever! Had so much fun and learned A LOT! I learned that it’s definitely a different way to fish, but not hard at all like I thought. Bryan answered all of my many questions and never complained about fixing my tree-snagged line over and over. HAHA! Bryan was versed in everything about the Gunpowder Falls waterway we were fishing in, right down to every bug around! You could tell he loves the water and teaching others about its wonder. We highly recommend asking Bryan to take you out for a fun-filled educational day on the water.
2022 Endorsed Wingshooting Guide of the Year
Dave Brown, based in Patagonia, Arizona
Dave Brown offers a wild bird-only guided Arizona quail and dove hunts on a mix of private and public land, for wingshooters of all levels of expertise. Surrounded by the Coronado National Forest–home to the best Mearns quail hunting in the world–Dave also pursues Gambels and scaled quail. Here’s what one such happy customer had to say about Dave:
I spent a couple days with Dave and his guys in mid-December chasing quail. As Dave let me know, Mearns were a little spotty this year, however, I was able to cross off a “bucket list” bird. Great dude, great dog work. Mearns country is beautiful, which made the trip worth it in itself. Another day we set out for gambles and scaled quail. We definitely got into birds. It was a memorable day. It’s obvious that Dave and his guys put in the time scouting and know how to find coveys. It’s apparent that their dogs work a lot of birds. Lunch from the local bakery in Patagonia was way better than a tailgate lunch should be, too! The customer service from Dave and Lisa leading up to and after the hunt was excellent.
2022 Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge of the Year
Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge, in Bristol Bay, Alaska
Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge is located at the head of the “braids” on the Kvichak River, four miles downstream from its origin at Lake Iliamna. It’s perfectly-situated to enjoy unsurpassed fishing opportunities for salmon and Alaska’s largest wild rainbow trout. Their professional guides, pilots, chefs, and hospitality personnel are committed to customer service and ensuring that guests have a safe, high-quality fishing adventure. Set in a remote, pristine setting with no infrastructure, the lodge offers fishing on a variety of rivers, including many inside Katmai National Park. Here’s what one satisfied guest had to say:
This was my first time going to Alaska and first time fly fishing. I was absolutely amazed by the facilities and what they offered. I can’t even begin to comment on the staff, they were simply AMAZING! They do everything humanly possible to ensure you have an incredible experience. I can’t wait to go back.
2022 Endorsed Wingshooting Lodge of the Year
Greystone Castle Sporting Club, in Mingus, Texas
Greystone Castle offers the upland gunner large fields of sorghum, millet, and switch grass to help create memories of great gun dogs, flushing pheasants, bobwhite covey rises, and days in the field with friends. Guests can also enjoy great sporting clays and pyramid 5-stand courses that will test the best of shooters. The ownership and staff have been dedicated to creating one of the finest sporting experiences found anywhere in the world. Long-term habitat improvement and wildlife management have made Greystone an extraordinary hunting venue. This coupled with the unique castle facility and outstanding customer service makes Greystone Castle a destination without equal. Guests said the following of their experiences at Flying B:
The staff is courteous and no request is ignored, too big, or too small. The food is exceptional. The facilities are clean, up-to-date, and well-appointed. Hunting is some of the best in the industry. Abundant hard-flying birds over beautiful and forgiving terrain. Most importantly, the dog work and the knowledge and conduct of the handlers are simply unrivaled. Do not miss out on an opportunity to relax and hunt at Greystone!
2022 Endorsed Fly-Fishing Outfitter of the Year
Willowfly Anglers, in Almont, Colorado
Willowfly Anglers is located in Almont, Colorado, at Three Rivers Resort, where the East and Taylor Rivers come together to form the Gunnison River. This geographical location puts them in an incredibly central location to many rivers, streams, reservoirs, and natural lakes. The guides are true professionals who care about sharing their passion with each guest. A day spent on the water is a special time to learn, enjoy the beautiful outdoors, and walk away with lifetime memories. Here’s what one satisfied client had to say:
Honestly, since I had never fly fished before, to say I was a little anxious and intimidated would be an understatement! However, after our guide got us loaded up and on our way, my anxiety soon turned to pure enjoyment! Their professionalism, kind words of encouragement, and downright great attitude made my first day of fly fishing an unforgettable memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I’m hooked!
2022 International Destination of the Year
El Pescador is an Orvis-endorsed fly-fishing lodge located on the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize, offering the flats-fishing experience of a lifetime. Most El Pescador guides are native San Pedranos, born and raised on the island, and many of them have been with the lodge for over 20 years; now the second and third generation of El Pescador guides are in full swing! The guides’ encyclopedic knowledge of this fishery comes from a lifetime dedicated to learning where the fish are and how they behave. They also also offer complimentary fly-casting lessons daily on the dock, where guests can work of some skills that take time to develop, like a double haul or getting rid of a tailing loop. Here’s what one happy guest wrote:
My family had an experience we will remember for the rest of our lives! Every member of the staff goes above and beyond to make sure the details of your stay are taken care of quickly and with a smile. The fishing was great, but it’s the staff that will keep me coming back. The lodge staff goes out of their way to ensure non-angling guests have a great time and receive the same amazing customer service as the angling clients. Don’t be afraid to bring your non-angling spouse or friends; they will enjoy every moment!
2022 Orvis Fly Shop of the Year
Northwest Outfitters, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Northwest Outfitters is north Idaho’s premier locally owned fly shop and only Full Line Authorized Orvis Dealer. Their staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and they love what they do–something that shows in the attentive, personalized service they offer each customer who walks through their doors. Their unique location, in the Village at Riverstone, is within easy driving distance of the most beautiful rivers and lakes in world. Here’s what one loyal customer had to say:
Great local fly shop. If I lived closer I would be in trouble and probably broke. Tough to leave here without buying something. I think the expression is, ‘don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.’ Well, don’t go to this shop if you are hungry for fly-fishing equipment and materials. Great staff, very informative and helpful. Visit if you are in the area and be prepared for a great experience.
2022 Orvis Lifetime Achievement Award
Lincoln Westby, Blue Horizon Lodge, in Placencia, Belize
Lincoln Westby began his guiding career in 1971, and at 79 years old today, he’s the head guide at Blue Horizon Lodge and still getting out on the water. Few other guides have been able to retain his passion for fishing for as long as he has. You won’t hear him complaining about anything . . . because he plain loves being on the water and helping guests catch permit. With more than 2,000 permit to hand, Lincoln is considered the “permit master” and has gained legendary status in the world of fly fishing. He has led seminars and lectures about fishing for permit and conserving their habitat in Belize. He has trained dozens of the top guides in Belize and is eager to share his knowledge with anyone who is interested in learning more about permit.