New Berlin, Wis. (June 21, 2010) – Sportsman Channel’s hosts and experts spend their lives hunting, fishing and shooting in many of North America’s most beautiful outdoor destinations. So, with summer officially here, Sportsman Channel surveyed its talent, as well as its newly appointed CEO, an avid outdoorsman, to create the Top “Sportsman” Summer Destinations list.
Additionally, Sportsman’s Facebook fans can win money towards their summer destinations through the “Dollars for Destinations” giveaway on Facebook. Starting today and through the week, Sportsman will post five “Dollars for Destinations” messages for fans to comment about their own experiences. Five comments will be randomly chosen to win $100 Visa gift cards; but you have to be a Sportsman Channel Facebook “fan” to win! Check us out at http://www.facebook.com/sportsmanchannel.
We couldn’t do a summer destinations list without mentioning the Gulf Coast, especially in light of the current situation. The beautiful Gulf Coast provides ample activities for sportsmen and vacationers alike. Many local sportsmen make their living fishing the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico and now their livelihoods are in jeopardy. We want to support the region and our fellow sportsmen by encouraging people to not forget the Gulf Coast this summer season.
1) Wollaston Lake, Saskatchewan – Fishing for Giant Northern Pike – Wollaston Lake Lodge: In-Fisherman TV host Steve Hoffman selected this Canadian lake as his top summer sportsman destination: “A trip to this fly-in destination in northern Saskatchewan is one-stop shopping for the angler looking for superb fishing for giant northern pike, plus plenty of walleyes and lake trout. The lodge and lodging are plush, with the meals prepared by a top chef. Kick back in the bar and tie a few more flies and tell a few lies before dinner after a long day on the water. A guide will also prepare a classic midday shore lunch if you want, with walleyes as fresh as can be from crystal clear water. Pampering aside, the trip is all about the fishing—world-class fishing in some of the most beautiful country in North America.” www.wollastonlakelodge.com.
2) Grand Cascapedia Valley – Fly fishing on the Gaspe’ Peninsula in Quebec – Salmon Lodge: Diana Rudolph, co-host of Breaking the Surface: “Salmon Lodge lies on the fabled banks of the Grand Cascapedia, a historical river known for its unbelievably huge Atlantic salmon. This ‘camp’ offers angler’s beats on three rivers: the Cascapedia, the Petite Cascapedia and the Bonaventure, the later being my favorite because of its gin-clear water and boulder-studded bottom. In this river, the immense fish appear almost ghostlike, levitating around the rocks. And when one gulps your colossal size-2 dry fly and rockets from the water like a bright silver bullet, you’ll be hooked for life. In addition to the tremendous fishing, the accommodations are very welcoming and comfortable with an understated charm, and the guides and staff are extremely attentive and knowledgeable. It is always both a treat and pleasure to stay at this lodge and wade these waters. It’s Atlantic salmon fishing at its finest.” www.thesalmonlodge.ca
3) Bitterroot Valley, Montana – Fly fishing the Bitterroot/Blackwater Rivers – Backdoor Outfitters: Jed Fiebelkorn, host of TU’s On the Rise: “The combination of location, affordability and the friendliness and expertise of the guides at Backdoor Outfitters makes it the place where I’d like to spend my summer vacation. Located in the heart of Montana’s picturesque Bitterroot Valley, Backdoor Outfitters offers guided fly-fishing trips on the Bitterroot and Blackfoot rivers, two of western Montana’s most storied fly-fishing waters. With comfortable, cozy accommodations, hearty breakfasts and streamside lunches, Backdoor Outfitters offers fly-fishing trips that will surely be etched in your memory forever. Their expert guides can help beginners and experienced anglers alike. Situated on a trout-filled stream, Backdoor Outfitters is the perfect place to spend a fly-fishing vacation.” www.backdooroutfitters.com
4) Truckee River, Sierra Nevada – Fishing with Reno Fly Shop Guides – El Dorado Hotel Casino in Reno: Chad Belding of The Fowl Life: “My favorite summer destination is the Truckee River between Lake Tahoe and Reno in the beautiful eastern Sierra Nevada mountains. The river provides some excellent fishing during the summer months and the guides at the Reno Fly Shop are experts on the local water. They know the hatches, the timetables, the riverbeds, and food beds. Bottom line, they know how to get you on the fish. This in addition to these guided trips, being very affordable is what keeps me coming back to this area year after year. I love to either navigate the river on a float trip or by cruising the shorelines in search of some new honey holes. My favorite locations to fly fish on the Truckee River are literally minutes from Downtown Reno Nevada and Lake Tahoe. There is a ton to do after I get off of the river with great food, summertime activities, concerts, sporting events, and of course the mountains. I suggest staying at the El Dorado Hotel Casino in Reno. The Eldorado is a locally owned Hotel-Casino that offers nothing but first class accommodations.” www.renoflyshop.com www.EldoradoReno.com
5) Tres Piedras, New Mexico – Antelope Hunting with United States Outfitters – Running Elk Lodge Bed & Breakfast: Jason Say of Wired Outdoors: “When it comes to hunting in the summer, sometimes the options are limited. There is nothing like getting out in August and matching wits with the wary Antelope. As far as why we hunt New Mexico with United States Outfitters is because they are simply one of the best. Whether they are guiding you for elk, or Kansas whitetail, they run a first-class operation and always deliver on their promises. By far my favorite summertime “Sportsman” destination is chasing antelope in New Mexico with United States Outfitters. There is nothing better than staying in the rolling hills of New Mexico in a small hunting camp and hunting the speedy antelope.” www.huntuso.com
6) Eastern Texas – Fishing at Sam Rayburn Lake – Tiger Creek Lodge: Scott Turnage of G3 Sportsman: “My favorite summer ‘Sportsman’ destination is fishing the Sam Rayburn Lake in East Texas. I enjoy crappie fishing and Sam Rayburn offers some fantastic opportunities to catch big numbers. I always stay at Tiger Creek Lodge near Brookeland, TX (about 20 miles north of Jasper) and my favorite guide is ‘Uncle’ Bill Fondren. Bill is well known throughout Texas for his crappie expertise and has been guiding for over 20 years. The food at Tiger Creek Lodge is fantastic! Home cooked meals featuring everything from chicken-n-dumplings to juicy rib eye steaks. The lodging rates are extremely affordable and the rooms are clean very comfortable. No problems with boat storage either. The lodge is on the water so, slide your boat in and go. In close proximity to Tiger Creek Lodge are golf courses, restaurants, convenience stores, and bait shops, all less than 10 minutes away. Sam Rayburn is a beautiful lake with over 114,000 acres of water and also the number two big bass lake in the country. Ten-pound largemouth bass are common and anglers from across the nation flock to Rayburn in hopes of landing a trophy.” www.3-stexasoutdoors.com
7) Fairfield County, Connecticut – Fly fishing the western Long Island Sound – The Delamar Hotel – Newly named Sportsman Channel CEO Gavin Harvey prefers to stay local for his summer outing: “After Memorial Day when the New England weather turns warm and the days are long, I beg for invitations from FWBs (Friends With Boats) to chase stripers on the Sound. Launching out of Fairfield County’s coastal towns like Greenwich, Norwalk, and Westport, a small navy of dedicated fly fisherman relentlessly patrol the nooks and hooks, reefs and rocks of this beautiful shoreline for our local treasure, striped bass. For this angler, there is no greater rush than launching a clouser fly into a mad frenzy of stripers – who have penned a few acres of baitfish against the surface – and then hooking, playing and landing one of these crazy beasts. Check out Fishermansworld.net or Orvis.com/Darien to get hooked up. If you get hungry waiting for the tide to change, cruise up Five Mile River in Rowayton and tether up the boat at ‘The Restaurant’. And since you’re going to feel like a king, you might as well live like one by staying at The Delamar on Greenwich Harbor, where you might see some stripers from your room.” www.thedelamar.com www.rowaytonseafoodcompany.com
8) South Texas – Nilgai & Hog Hunting – River Walk and King Ranch –Haley Heath, host of Family Traditions: “The summer time is a wonderful time to get your children involved in hunting and shooting. This summer, we went to South Texas and to hunt the elusive Nilgai and hogs. Gunner (age 5) and Dakota (age 3) had a great time and both had successful hunts! An all together great adventure for the whole family. When traveling for the Nilgai hunt you fly into San Antonio, which is a great family destination already with attractions such as the River Walk and Sea World. You can add in these attractions and pick two to three days out to travel to the King Ranch where they will provide lodging and great South Texas food!” www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com
9) Wellsboro, Pennsylvania – Fishing the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon – Antler’s Inn: Alan Probst, host of All Outdoors w/ Alan Probst: “One of the best summer destinations in all of North America is in my home state of Pennsylvania. In the North Central part of the state near Wellsboro is the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon that has Pine Creek and many of its tributaries meandering through the center. I always stay at the rustic log cabins and subsequent restaurant at the Antler’s Inn right outside of Ansonia, Pa. No guide is needed as Pine Creek and most all of the streams that cascade into it are full of brown, brook and rainbow trout as well as a few Class A wild brook trout streams that are there to wet your line in. This area truly is majestic in its beauty and fishing on any of these streams can take an angler back in time to a vision of yesteryear with its solitude.” http://www.antlerinninc.com
10) Southern Utah – Hunting/Exploring in the southern Utah desert – Tent/Roughing it: Modern Rifle Adventures hosts J. Guthrie and Dick Metcalf had a hard time agreeing on their favorite destinations – so we went with Dick’s wild, roughing-it destination: “Myself, I like to go out stalking predators alone in the southern Utah desert, sleeping on the ground, eating roots and berries and lizards, with only one magazine for my AR. At least it would get me away from Guthrie… My favorite destinations don’t involve lodges or outfitters, and nowhere reputable will let Guthrie in the door,” says Metcalf. “I like lap-of-luxury lodges,” muses Guthrie, “where scantily-clad cocktail waitresses greet returning safari vehicles at day’s end with icy drinks on silver trays. Don’t know why I keep getting turned away at the door.” No wonder this show is entertaining! www.utah.com
About Sportsman Channel: Launched in 2003, Sportsman Channel is the only television and digital media company fully devoted to the more than 82 million sportsmen in the United States, delivering entertaining and educational programming focused exclusively on hunting, shooting and fishing activities. Sportsman Channel is now available in HD, check with your local cable or satellite provider. Acquired by InterMedia Outdoors Holdings in 2006, Sportsman Channel reaches nearly 26 million U.S. television households and is a part of the nation’s largest multimedia company targeted exclusively to serving the information and entertainment needs of outdoors enthusiasts. Visit www.thesportsmanchannel.com, follow on Twitter, @SPORTSMANchnl (www.twitter.com/SPORTSMANchnl), or become a Fan on Facebook, www.facebook.com/sportsmanchannel.