HomeWaters Club: Designing The Link Between Flyfishing And Religion
For many, the acquisition of deep inner peace come not from sitting in church or walking in the California Redwoods, but from fly fishing. There is indeed, in my fly fishing experience, a kind of flow derived from the engagement of all the senses: the physical sense of great casting, hearing the rush, and feeling the clear cold of a river, searching for that Trout, and finally, Zen-like, becoming one with the surroundings. As Yeats once wrote, how can you tell the dancer from the dance? Well, you can't, if you are the dance. Or, as Norman McLean wrote in his classic A River Runs Through It, " In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing." HomeWaters Club appears to understand this invisible link, and appeals to those who understand it also.
In the era of destination clubs and private residence clubs, there have been theme-based hybrid clubs that have been successful, and whose themes are based on certain passions: golf, equestrian, wine/food, and yes, a few years ago, even surfing. But HomeWaters Club is a new one, whose theme is fishing -- fly fishing and trout fishing mainly, and whose resources, eco-sensitivity and desire for legacy, appear to be substantial.
HomeWaters Club is a theme based private club, with multiple locations and reciprocal rights of use in each, similar to an equity-based destination club, but with a fly-fishing identity. It was formed in 2009 as an alliance between Spring Ridge Club of Pennsylvania and Alpine River Club of Colorado, to preserve, and offer members access to 35 miles of trout and steelhead waters across Pennsylvania and 40 miles of the streams and rivers in Colorado. At present, there are nearly 200 members, and the club is expanding to other areas of the US. But right now, the locations span from central, northeastern and Erie, Pennsylvania, to Vail and Steamboat Springs Colorado areas.
Recently, a new dimension was added to HomeWaters Club, and that is is HomeWaters University. This is a new program designed to offer a two-day fly-fishing immersion experience. With a staff of 20 fishing guides, HomeWaters University can teach beginners and experts, children and parents, from how to cast for the first time, all the way to learning new casting skills. Housed at the HomeWaters Club new River Village in Spruce Creek, Pennsylvania, the center-piece of HomeWaters University is the first-ever Lefty Kreh Challenge Course offering a range of dry-land, still-water and moving-water stations. HomeWaters University classes begin in June 2010. Accommodations in the River Village at the HomeWaters Club include the Family Lodge offering a 3 bedroom/4 bath lodge with a gourmet kitchen, ideal for the family or group of friends who want to share a house, and the River Suites consisting of 3, one-bedroom suites with wood-burning fireplaces, kitchenettes and log gazebos overlooking the confluence of Spruce Creek and the Little Juniata River.
There are accommodations at all of the areas where HomeWaters Club have access -- clusters of cottages and houses that are quaint cabins to log homes. As an example, in Colorado HomeWaters Club has accommodations at the new Elk River Lodge, close to Steamboat Springs. Or, after a day of fishing on the Piney River near Vail valley, members can stay in luxury Yerts, or large log cabins.
Pricing for club membership ranges from a full family unlimited time (in terms of fishing days) membership of $89,500, with $8,000 a year in annual dues, to $49,500, for 12 days, with $3,000 a year dues.