WIN The Ultimate Fly-Fishing Vehicle...

WIN The Ultimate Fly-Fishing Vehicle...

... and drive it to your choice of three incomparable angling adventures!

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel
A brand-new Ford Expedition, fully customized for fly-fishing, is only part of the Grand Prize FR&R will be giving away in The Angling Expedition Sweepstakes. The winner and a companion will also get to drive The Ultimate Fly-Fishing Vehicle to his or her choice of three deluxe lodge-based fishing trips that will include all meals-unbelievable meals!-as well as at least six days of guided fly-fishing. In our January/February issue, we told you all about Dream Trip # 1: a six-day, seven-night adventure to Quebec's Dunkilllie Lodge (www.aspesalmon.com) where our Sweepstakes winner and a companion will fish the Grand Cascapedia and other Gaspe Peninsula rivers for some of the largest Atlantic salmon in North America-and also have the opportunity to catch some giant brook trout. But maybe you'd rather drive The Ultimate Fly-Fishing Vehicle to the West Coast and trying your luck at fishing-Spey-fishing, if you like-for wild, native steelhead instead. In that case, you'll be interested in reading about Dream Trip #2, to the Steamboat Inn on Oregon's Legendary North Umpqua River. And then again, perhaps you are not intrigued by the mysteries and uncertainties of angling for unpredictable anadromous fish. In that case, we offer Dream Trip #3-six days and eight nights divided between two Rocky Mountain fly-fishing lodges where you will fish famous trout rivers including the Henry's Fork in Idaho and Montana's Yellowstone. And if you haven't already been there, you'll also want to drive the Angling Expedition into Yellowstone National Park and fish the Madison, Slough Creek and some of the Park's other storied streams. We've fished in some breathtaking settings-New Zealand's South Island and the trout streams at the foot of the Chilean Andes, to name just a couple-but none were lovelier than the diamond-clear pools and glides of Oregon's North Umpqua River and the forests of towering old-growth fir trees that surround them. It is in this enchanted forest, right on the banks of the West Coast's most enchanting river, that you will find Steamboat Inn, a fine lodge that caters to steelhead anglers as well as to hikers and sightseers. (By the way, the North Umpqua River in Steamboat, Oregon, is not navigable, and there never were any steamboats here. The name refers to a bit of rueful slang from the bygone mining days: When a gullible miner was conned into buying a worthless claim, he was said to have been "steamboated.") But you won't get steamboated when it comes to steelhead, since the North Umpqua boasts good summer and winter runs of native fish that average eight pounds, with a few that reach 15. Actually catching steelhead is another matter however; you'll need a mixture of both luck and skill. However, since Steamboat owner and veteran steelhead angler Jim Van Loan will be providing you with an expert guide for your seven-day, eight-night stay at his lodge, luck is really the only thing you'll have to remain uncertain about… Not that the North Umpqua's 31 miles of fly-fishing-only water is an easy stretch to fish. The bottom is extremely slippery, the current is strong, the fish are moody and the banks are steep and densely wooded, making backcasting almost impossible. In addition, you'll have to find ways of reaching those steelhead holding in the deeper pools other than crimping a split-shot to your leader, since the technique is illegal on the fly-fishing water. We recommend that if you plan on fishing the North Umpqua with a single-handed rod, you practice your roll-casting and stack-mending. And whatever your fishing method, don't forget to bring your studded wading boots. By now, you've probably gotten the correct idea that North Umpqua steelheading is an incomparable challenge amid unforgettable surroundings. But if you don't happen to hook up on a particular day, you've got the solace of the Inn itself to look forward to. For accommodations there are private, pine-paneled streamside cabins, each with a deck overlooking the river, and there are also Hideaway Cottages with mini-kitchens located in the woods a half-mile from the lodge itself. Superb meals are served in the main lodge building, where you can browse through the angling books in the wonderful library, relax with a drink in a comfortable chair, or peruse the fly selection in the Inn's well-stocked fly shop. Within easy driving of Steamboat are the hiking trails of the Umpqusa National Forest, the vistas of Diamond Lake and Crater Lake, as well as wineries and a Wildlife Safari. So, if you are interested in an intense fishing experience and the person you choose to bring as your guest is not, this trip might be the one to choose. To reach Steamboat in The Ultimate Fly-Fishing Vehicle, you will probably exit from Interstate 5 in Roseburg, Oregon, and head East on Route 138. Once you get out of Roseburg, it's a scenic 38-mile drive that closely follows the North Umpqua, and makes you anxious to get your line in the water. For further information on Steamboat Inn, contact Jim Van Loan at 800-840-8825, or 541-498-2411; www.thesteamboatinn.com. So you've never visited the Rocky Mountain West-North America's undisputed fly-fishing Mecca? Or you want trout, lots of trout-brown trout, rainbow trout and cutthroat trout, with perhaps an occasional brookie thrown in-preferably on dry flies, and you don't care for the odds on catching Atlantic salmon or steelhead? And perhaps you and your traveling companion want to see Yellowstone National Park in all its God-given glory? Then Dream Trip # 3 is the right one for you. You'll start your trip in Last Chance, Idaho, at a terrific new lodge called TroutHunter On The Henry's Fork. As the name implies, the angling here centers around the famous Henry's Fork of the Snake River-one of the world's largest spring creeks, and one of the most beautiful and challenging pieces of fishing water anywhere. The rich insect life of this river makes angling here a constant guessing game, and the clear water and gentle flow will test your fish-stalking and casting skills. TroutHunter lodge consists of a brand-new 11,000-square-foot structure sided in antique fir reclaimed from an older building, and it contains 11 rooms with river views, a pair of queen beds, in-floor radiant heat, and even fishing-gear storage and a fly-tying desk. Amenities include a large outdoor spa and a hand-made pool table, and a bar and grill that serves everything from yellowfin tuna steak to New Zealand rack of lamb. Across the road from the lodge is the TroutHunter fly shop, which carries everything you'll need for catching those finicky rainbows on the Henry's Fork and its Idaho tributaries-or the cagey trout of the Madison River in Yellowstone Park, which is an easy drive from the lodge. After three days and four nights of superb accommodations and guided fishing at TroutHunter, you and your companion will travel about 75 miles in the FR&R Angling Expedition to your second lodge-Hubbard's Yellowstone Lodge-in Emigrant, Montana, not far from the fly-fishing epicenter of Livingstone. The waters that can be fished from Hubbard's are countless and incredibly diverse, from the cutthroat-trout sanctuaries of Yellowstone Park's Slough Creek and Buffalo Ford to the world-famous Paradise Valley Spring Creeks to the storied Madison-and of course, the brawling Yellowstone itself. If you haven't done much driftboat fishing-or even if you have-you'll enjoy pounding the Yellowstone's banks and pockets with large flies while your guide rows you from one promising spot to the next. In addition, right behind the lodge itself is an 85-acre lake stuffed with trout, and this stillwater fishing is available for the angling pleasure of Hubbard's guests as well. This lodge sits at 6,000 feet of elevation, and it commands breathtaking views of the Yellowstone as it flows through Paradise Valley between grass-covered bluffs. The North Entrance to Yellowstone Park is a short drive away, and you and your companion will probably want to take The Ultimate Fly-Fishing Vehicle into the Park for at least a day of fishing combined with wildlife viewing. You may even want to visit Old Faithful in the Angling Expedition… Hubbard's is a first-class lodge all the way, with its huge, vaulted great room decorated with hunting trophies, books and a large flagstone fireplace. There's a full-service fly shop right on the premises, and the food at Hubbard's is so good that when FR&R sent a writer there a couple of years ago, he complained that he felt powerless to keep himself from overeating! You and your companion will have three days of guided fly-fishing along with a four-night stay at Hubbard's. You can bet it will go by quickly… For further information on Hubard's, contact the lodge at 406-848-7755; www.hubbardslodge.com. Our Grand Prize: Fly Rod&Reel's Angling Expedition: The Ultimate Fly-Fishing Vehicle The 2003 Expedition that Ford Motor Company gave us, before we added any of the custom fly-fishing touches, was pretty spectacular to begin with. Of course, it comes with a Control Trac 4X4 system; it's also got a big 5.4-liter overhead-cam engine; a four-speed automatic overdrive transmission; four-wheel disk brakes with ABS; power brakes and steering; and air conditioning with front and rear temperature control. Some of its other many features include a Securilock anti-theft system; fog lamps; leather captain's chairs in front; a third-row bench seat; adjustable tilt steering and a door-mounted keyless entry keypad (which ought to bring peace of mind to any angler who's ever misplaced their keys at a remote river or lake.) Ford tells us the vehicle is also the safety leader in its class, with the largest brakes, largest rear axle and highest towing capacity (for those of us who like to pull boats around.) Other Expedition Firsts: It's got the largest cargo volume as measured without removing the seats (110 cubic feet); the most first-, second- and third-row hip room; the most second-and third-row leg room; the most rear cargo width at the wheelhouses, the largest front center console, and the highest base and maximum payload. Anglers who like to fish with all their fishing buddies-and maybe a relative or two as well-will appreciate the fact that the Angling Expedition can carry eight people! To all the above, Cabela's, official outfitter of the FR&R Angling Expedtion (www.cabelas.com), added a tough-but-gorgeous grille guard; a Garmin V Deluxe GPS system; a full set of Husky custom-molded floor liners; seat covers, to shield the leather from wet waders; a molded wood dashboard kit; Husky mud guards; Cabela's hood shield; an Igloo Kool-Mate cooler-and a Cooler/Warmer that plugs into any 12-volt D.C. accessory outlet. Some other, one-of-a-kind touches include a Truck Vault lockable storage unit, a couple of custom-built fly-tying tables and Advanced Graphic vinyl appliqués that dress up the rear windshield and side rear windows with exciting fly-fishing scenes. - Second Prize is a Creek Company ODC 1220 two-man pontoon boat, available exclusively through Cabela's and valued at $999.99. In a recent review of the ODC, New Gear editor Buzz Bryson praised the craft's "Extremely sturdy rowing system," and added, "Fishing from the ODC, there was little I missed in comparison to a conventional drift boat." - Third Prize is a 7-piece Cabela's Drake Stowaway rod and reel combo (retail value $235) in the line weight (4-10) of the winner's choice. The 40-million Modulus graphite Stowaways boast nickel-silver hardware and their own handy and handsome rod-and-reel carrying case. In his 2001 review of the Stowaway rod series, Buzz Bryson called the Stowaways "Quite a handsome rod… Well finished and [at the price], outstanding." The Drake reel is the finest reel Cabela's offers in its Stowaway rod-and-reel combos. - Fourth Prize: Cabela's will be giving away 40 14-piece terrestrial fly assortments. The flies come complete with a medium-size foam fly box. How about with Logos of Cortland, Diamondback and Hardy More Stuff For The Ultimate Truck…If you're lucky enough to win our sweepstakes, you'll need a lot of fishing gear in order to take full advantage of The Ultimate Fly-Fishing Vehicle. Our equipment sponsors, Cortland (www.cortlandline.com), Diamondback (www.diamondbackflyrods.com) and Hardy (www.hardyusa.com) want to make sure you have everything you need for when fishing for any species under just about any conditions. The $3,000 worth of superb fishing gear contributed by these three fine companies includes: (photo here) - Three of Diamondback's top-of-the line VSF fly rods, in sizes for just about any fishing situation: a 5-weight for trout; a 7-weight for bass, salmon and steelhead; and a 9-weight for saltwater angling. (photo here) - Hardy, the legendary English reel company, has given us three Hardy Gem Mid Arbor reels to match those Diamondback rods. These fine reels are rated to carry lines in weights 5/6, 7/8 and 9/10. (photo(s) here) - Then of course, the winner will need lines. Cortland, one of the world's most well-known and well-respected line companies, will spool those Hardy reels with a WF5F Green Ghost Tip Line; a 7-weight 555 Rocket Quick Descent Line; and a WF9F Tropic Plus Flats Line. Plus, Cortland will be giving our winner three of the company's Deluxe Vests, and Cortland's Climax affiliate will round out the treasure trove with $300 worth of assorted trout, salmon/steelhead and saltwater flies, along with $150 in Climax trout, salmon/steelhead and saltwater leaders. (photo) And where, exactly, will you store all that stuff? Well thanks to the RodMounts company (www.rodmounts.com) you'll be able to keep your three outfits in the Angling Expedition, strung up and ready for action-and with room to spare for at least three other ready-to-go rod-and-reel sets. RodMounts has pitched in with its newest product, the deluxe Rod Loft Pro flyrod rack. The Rod Loft Pro will hold six angling rigs-more, if you want to add capacity-keeping them keeping them safe and out of the way until you are ready to hit the water. See the FR&R Angling Expedition "In person" This Winter…Even though this is our March issue, you may still have time to see the vehicle and visit with the staff of FR&R at one of three East Coast Fly Fishing Shows: - January 10&11 in College Park, Maryland, Rockford Armory, at the University of Maryland - January 16-18 in Marlbrough, Massachusetts, at the Royal Plaza Trade Center - January 23-25 in Somerset, New Jersey, at the Garden State Exhibit Center Come by our booth and we'll give you an extra opportunity to enter the Angling Expedition Sweepstakes, even if you have already mailed in all your coupons/entry forms and entered via our Web site (www.flyrodreel.com). For more information on the 2004 Fly Fishing Shows, visit www.flyfishingshow.com, or call 800-420-7582. How To WIN The Sweepstakes… Sure with thousands of people entering the contest, the odds are pretty long. But you can give yourself the best possible chance to win by taking advantage of every opportunity to enter. In this issue of FR&R as well as in the previous two issues, we included one clip-out Sweepstakes coupon, and two pre-addressed Official Entry Forms. Fill out and send in all of them you can find-just make sure you observe our one entry per envelope rule. You may also enter one time on our Web site. Just visit FR&R Online (www.flyrodreel.com) and follow the instructions. Bonus opportunities to enter the Sweeptakes will also be available at three Fly Fishing Shows in January. For details, see the sidebar titled "See The FR&R Angling Expedition 'In Person This Winter.'" Paul Guernsey is FR&R's Editor-in-Chief.