Fishing is one of the latest tools the state is using to hook the interest of business executives. The state will be featured on the Outdoor Channel's "Fly Rod Chronicles with Curtis Fleming" beginning this month.
The West Virginia Department of Commerce has made West Virginia a presenting sponsor for the 2013 season of "Fly Rod Chronicles." Primary Commerce agencies contributing to the sponsorship and show content are West Virginia Tourism and State Parks.
The sponsorship includes 13 original 30-minute episodes. Six shows will be filmed on public streams, rivers or lakes in the state; West Virginia will be integrated into the other seven shows. Three individuals will be selected by the West Virginia Department of Commerce as special guests. In addition, Fleming will make several personal appearances throughout the state.
A West Virginia native from Bridgeport, Host and executive producer Curtis Fleming travels the world to find and experience the best hunting and fishing.
The Jan. 1 episode, entitled "Pipestem Trout Wrangler," was shot on a remote portion of the Bluestone River in November. The shows will give viewers a chance to see species specific to West Virginia rivers such as the rainbow and golden trout.
Beyond the passionate audience of those who love to fly fish - along with many outdoor and recreational enthusiasts - the show provides an opportunity to nationally showcase West Virginia, as Fleming spends time with the locals, tours the communities and provides viewers with an opportunity to learn about the culture and scenic landmarks of the state.
Pipestem Resort State Park offers sport fishermen a Trout Wrangler package which includes horseback transportation to the Bluestone River Gorge, meals, lodging and a fly fishing guide, said Ed Wooton, outdoor specialist at Pipestem.
"Pipestem, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Pipestem Resort, and WVU and Concord universities worked cooperatively to develop a fly-fishing experience in a remote area of West Virginia as part of a 2007 marketing strategy," Wooton said. "The object was to create more interest in the Mountain State for destination fishing."
The Trout Wrangler package also courts fishing license sales and retention of a returning angler to other streams in the Mountain State.
The Outdoor Channel is known to sportsmen and women across the country and around the world for its programming on all aspects of the sporting life. Now in its ninth season, "Fly Rod Chronicles" boasts a viewership of nearly 1 million viewers per episode. The show is a true passion for Fleming. Having developed a deep love and appreciation for the outdoors from his dad, a coal miner, the two of them spent as much time as possible camping by trout streams and hunting whitetail deer in the woods of West Virginia.
The "Trout Wrangler" episode of "Fly Rod Chronicles" will air on the Outdoor Channel at noon Friday and 6:30 p.m. Saturday. All times are Eastern. A repeat broadcast of the episode will air on the same days in the same time slots approximately eight weeks later.
Please check your local listings and cable channels. The upcoming season of "Fly Rod Chronicles" also will shoot at several other locations around West Virginia including the Cranberry, Potomac and Greenbrier rivers.
To learn more about Fly Rod Chronicles visit www.flyrodchronicles.tv. To find out more about West Virginia State Parks click www.wvstateparks.com.
Please visit the West Virginia Division of Tourism online at www.wvtourism.com or call 1-800-225-5982 for a free copy of the 2013 West Virginia Official State Guide.