1. Dinner at Hamersley’s Bistro
Treat your friends – and yourself. Chef Hamersley has offered to prepare a sumptuous tasting menu for you and five guests. Enjoy world-class contemporary cuisine that highlights the ingredients of local purveyors. Always fresh, always seasonal – there are few restaurants in the country that capture the casual elegance of bistro-fare as well as Hamersley’s Bistro.
Donated by Gordon Hamersley.
2. Experience Montana Fly Fishing – or Hunting
Spend three days and four nights with Linehan Outfitting Company in Yaak, Montana (you will remember Tim Linehan from TU’s first television series, TUTV). Fishing options include trips on the Kootenai, Clark Fork, Yaak, and other local streams for rainbows, west slope cutts and bull trout. Is upland bird hunting more to your liking? Either way, Tim and Joanne Linehan will customize a trip that meets your individual needs. The winning bidder and a friend will stay in one of their handcrafted log cabins, each with a queen bedroom, sleeping loft with two twin beds, one bathroom, a full kitchen and a gas grill on the porch.
Donated by Tim and Joanne Linehan.
3. Farmington River Package -
Guided Float with Andy Bonzagni&One-Night Stay at Pine Meadow House
Spend a day walking and wading the Farmington River, fishing for monster brown trout in Connecticut’s northwest corner with experienced guide and owner of Concord Outfitters, Andy Bonzagni. You and a friend will experience one of the most scenic parts of the state. This river is one of New England’s best tailwater fisheries and offers fantastic dry fly action.
After your day of hauling in the big guns, relax at Pine Meadow House B&B. Situated on the banks of the river, in the heart of the Historical District of New Hartford, CT, this antique colonial home was built in 1836 and is beautifully furnished with museum quality antiques – including vintage fishing gear.
Donated by Andy Bonzagni, Concord Outfitters and Paul Rossman, Pine Meadow House
4. Searching for Stripers
Take your pick between two exceptional trips with local guide, Sam Barnard.
You and a friend will join Sam for ¾ day guided kayak trip in Buzzard’s Bay on the Slocum, the Westport or the Little River, where you will fly fish for stripers, up close and personal. Includes kayaking equipment, lunch and magic flies for two people.
You and a friend can enjoy a half-day guided excursion, exploring the beautiful and productive Westport and Sakonnet Rivers with Sam in his shallow-water 18’ center console. Drift the flats sight fishing for big stipers in May or June, or hunt for the “football” tuna within a mile of shore during late July or August.
And to equip yourself adequately, you’ll also receive an 8-weight outfit.
Donated by Sam Barnard and Waterworks-Lamson.
5. Learn the Art of the Spey Cast
Impress your friends with the ease in which you can drive long casts despite powerful wind conditions. Patagonia Fly Fishing Ambassador Topher Browne will have you casting from both the right and left bank in a single two-hour lesson. As co-producer of the DVD “Spey to Z” for Scientific Anglers, he has the expertise to teach any level of caster to be proficient with a spey outfit. And since your instructor suggests you bring your own rod to the lesson (so you can practice, practice, practice at home) – we’ll hook you up with that, too!
Included in this package is an Echo TR 7130 (#7, 13’ spey rod) and matching Airflo Scandi Compact Head with Airflo Ridge Running Line. The new Echo TR rods were specifically designed by Tim Rajeff to perform like they mean business. With modest tip power combined with a little extra butt power, Echo TR rods will throw tighter loops farther than you ever dreamed possible.
Donated by Topher Browne and Rajeff Sports
6. Bluefin Mania
Got the bug for bluefin tuna? U.S. Coast Guard Captains Rich Armstrong and John Mendelson – the Boston FishStix – are who to call. They’ve been fishing out of Boston Harbor since 1994 and specialize in fly and light tackle angling. This day trip for two will depart from Marina Bay or Plymouth Center, depending on where the bite is best.
And since you’ll need the best protection against the glaring sun of open water, you’ll also receive a
$150 gift certificate to outfit yourself appropriately by RailRiders – The Toughest Clothes on the Planet. Originally designed for sailors, their quick-drying nylon is incredibly wear resistant, has SPF protection, and comes in contemporary styles for both men and women.
So you’ll look picture perfect when you’re holding up your day’s best catch for the camera.
Donated by Rich Armstrong and John Mendelson of Boston FishStix; and John d’Arbeloff of RailRiders.
7. The Jewel of the Great North Woods
Or so says Angus Boezeman, an upper Connecticut River guide. Angus will guide you and a friend for a full-day of fishing for native brook trout or landlocked salmon on a selection of trophy waters. You will be joined by Joe Norton, who manages TU’s Home Rivers Initiative for the area.
The second day, join Joe for a tour of Indian Stream and see his conservation work first-hand (to learn more about it, read Trout magazine’s Fall, 2009 edition). After lunch, spend the afternoon fishing Terrill Pond on the West Branch of Indian Stream – a fly fishing only section.
Your accommodations and meals are provided by Tall Timber Lodge on Back Lake in Pittsburg, NH.
Donated by Angus Boezeman and Tall Timber Lodge.
8. Salmon Fishing on the Matapedia River, Quebec
Matapedia River in Routhierville, Quebec. La Chapelle Lodge, once a charming chapel and school house, was converted years ago into a salmon camp overlooking one of the premier salmon pools, the Routhierville Pool. The lodge has four single beds with fluffy comforters, a four-footer cast iron tub, shower, full kitchen with all the amenities and outdoor gas grill. Renowned guide Jim Rusher will provide complimentary guiding the first two days of your stay.
Donated by Jim and Marna Rusher.
9. The Backwoods of Maine Doesn't Have to Mean "Roughing It": Priceless
Kennebago Lake is classified as one of Maine's "wilderness gem lakes." Located in the northwest corner of the state, about a five-hour drive from Boston and ten miles down a gated logging road, Kennebago is the largest fly-fishing-only body of water east of the Mississippi River. It provides stellar fishing for native brook trout and for self-sustaining landlocked salmon. A few large brown trout are also rumored to prowl its depths.
You and three friends will stay in a log-style cabin located on the lake’s southern shore, less than a half-mile from Grants Kennebago Camps and less than a mile from the Kennebago River (listed in TU’s America’s Hundred Best Trout Streams). The cabin sleeps six and provides all of the amenities of home, except TV and laundry. Two freighter canoes powered by small outboards (10 HP limit) enable four fishermen to ply the lake, while a short car ride and walk provide access to several productive pools on the river. Dinners will be prepared by renowned chef Gordon Hamersley, and guide service provided by the estimable Charles Gauvin and the cabin's owner, Jim Lukens.
Donated by Jim Lukens and Gordon Hamersley.