Orvis, the family-owned-and-operated outdoor retailer that specializes in fly-fishing and wing-shooting gear, dog products, and active lifestyle apparel, has recognized Alaska guide Brian Kraft and legendary Montana guide Paul Roos as the 2021 Conservationist of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award winner, respectively. Both awards were recently delivered during the annual Orvis Guide Rendezvous, which took place virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every year, the Orvis-Endorsed Awards recognize the best of the brand’s endorsed partners and designate the Fly Fishing Lodge of the Year, Wingshooting Lodge of the Year, Fly Fishing Guide of the Year, Wingshooting Guide of the Year, Outfitter of the Year, Conservationist of the Year, and recognizes the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. The Orvis-Endorsed winners are selected based on customer feedback of the nominated lodges, guides, and outfitters, as well as the operations’ commitment to stewardship of natural resources. The awards are announced annually at the Orvis Guide Rendezvous.
“The Guide Rendezvous is one of my favorite events every year, as it brings together so many at the forefront of fly-fishing and wing-shooting world,” says Orvis President Simon Perkins. “The Orvis-Endorsed Awards and the Lifetime Achievement Award are a chance to celebrate those whose passion and commitment are pushing the sport forward – for their guests, their industry peers, the greater community, and the natural resource.”
This year, Orvis named Brian Kraft of Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge as the 2021 Conservationist of the Year in recognition of Kraft’s commitment to protecting the Bristol Bay watershed, the largest and most important salmon fishery in the world. Kraft has worked tirelessly alongside the local fishing community, the indigenous leaders of Bristol Bay, and Trout Unlimited to put a stop to the Pebble Mine project.
“From the very beginning, Brian has been in the thick of the battle, lending an endless amount of his time, energy, airplane hours, and money to stopping the Pebble Mine. Brian’s leadership, passion, generosity, commitment, and partnership with the indigenous leaders of Bristol Bay has been pivotal to keeping the Pebble Mine from being built in the heart of Bristol Bay,” says Nelli Williams, Alaska director for Trout Unlimited. “His dedication to conservation has inspired thousands of people around the country to get involved, take action, and make a difference.”
Orvis awarded its 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award to Paul Roos, a legendary angler, conservationist, and Montana-based fly fishing guide. Roos is remembered for his passion for conservation, and for creating meaningful relationships and memorable experiences on the water with clients and friends.
The 2021 Orvis-Endorsed Award winners:
Fly Fishing Lodge of the Year — Madison Valley Ranch, Montana
Wingshooting Lodge of the Year — Flying B Ranch, Idaho
Fly Fishing Guide of the Year — Alberto Rey, New York
Wingshooting Guide of the Year — Mike Goldsmith, Joshua Greek Ranch, Texas
Fly Fishing Outfitter of the Year — Lillard’s Fly Fishing Expeditions, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Maine
Conservationist of the Year — Brian Kraft, Alaska Sportsman Lodge, Alaska
Lifetime Achievement Award — Paul Roos, Montana