Fly Fishing,    alpine valley club,    donnie beaver,    News,    privatizing fly fishing waters,    spring ridge club

Donny Beaver's Back In the Crosshairs (or, How Much Fun Is He Having in The "No Luxuries" Economy?)

By Tom Chandler 8/19/2009

Underground whipping boy Donny Beaver's back in the news, though this time he's only promising to privatize, post, and stock more waters with oversized pellethead trout before selling the experience to those with way more money than common sense.

The Alpine River Club - the Western version of Donny's Spring Ridge Club (which has repeatedly tried to keep anglers from lawfully floating the Little Juniata and illegally strung barbed wire on property it it didn't even own) - bought a high-end property on Colorado's Yampa River, and now - only a couple years later - is trying to sell it (for a sizable profit).

I'd suggest the economy hasn't exactly been kind to the luxury fly fishing membership market, and that a "liqudity event" is being sought by Donny and his investors.

The Steamboat newspaper's story consists mostly of realtor spin, but some is worth repeating:

One of the best angling spots on the Yampa River is back on the market for $28 million "” and just 22 months after it sold for $19.4 million.

That's quite a price premium given that - in the intervening years - the economy has largely cratered.

The rest of the article - accompanied by a realtor-supplied hero shot of one of the realtors holding a sizable brown trout (is this journalism, or simply free advertising on the part of the Steamboat newspaper?) - is largely realtor boilerplate, though one statement stands out (chillingly):

Smith said the current owners think they can tie up more miles of trout stream on behalf of their members by selling Tailwaters Preserve and using the proceeds to acquire less expensive properties.

Oh goodie. We've got that to look forward to.

Then again, it's probably just more spin.

The world spins constantly, and right now, it's not rotating in the direction of high-dollar fly fishing members-only clubs, and those that invested heavily in that kind of property might just be realizing it.

via The Steamboat Pilot && Today: 514-acre prime angling spot lists for $28M.


Tom Chandler

As the author of the decade leading fly fishing blog Trout Underground, Tom believes that fishing is not about measuring the experience but instead of about having fun. As a staunch environmentalist, he brings to the Yobi Community thought leadership on environmental and access issues facing us today.

I haven't checked recently for updates about the attempted sale of the property; maybe it's time to sneak a look...
Well, pundit is several steps above gadfly so keep up the punditry. I'm hoping there's enough belt tightening going on so that the market for this sort of fishing experience is a whole lot smaller. Seems like this could be a sliver of a silver lining in the economic downturn.
Thanks, but this might only be considered journalism under a pretty loose definition (the Steamboat paper did the reporting, though I'd suggest they didn't do a bang-up job of it). Perhaps analysis and commentary is more accurate. I always wanted to be a pundit.
Thank goodness for the T.U.(that's trout underground not the other conservative, disguised as fisherman friendly T.U.) I never get to read any Donny Beaver news in the Fort Worth Star Telegram. What you do is important Tom. Journalism lives!

Discover Your Own Fishing and Hunting Adventures

With top destinations, guided trips, outfitters and guides, and river reports, you have everything you need.