A popular Outdoor Channel show is working with West Virginia to promote the state and honor fallen first responders.
Friday night at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston, the West Virginia Department of Commerce announced it’s sponsorship with the hit outdoor show “Fly Rod Chronicles with Curtis Fleming.”
Department of Commerce Cabinet Secretary Keith Burdette believes this is a great opportunity for the state.
“He will let the rest of the country know a lot more about West Virginia and it’s people and the type of people we are than just West Virginia is a great place to catch fish,” said Burdette.
Burdette said this show will highlight not only the natural beauty of the state but also the wonderful people that live within it’s borders.
The show, which is in it’s 10th season, features Bridgeport native Curtis Fleming traveling the world in search of the best hunting and fishing spots.
But Fleming adds that the show is more than just hunting and fishing.
“It’s about the people I meet and the travels,” said Fleming. “We have been coined as reality fly fishing and I always tell people if you want to learn how to fly fish, go buy a DVD , but if you wanna have fun and be entertained, check out “Fly Rod Chronicles.”
Fleming said the show will really show off what West Virginia has to offer in it’s beauty and natural resources.
As part of the partnership, as Fleming calls it, with the state for 2013, six of 13 episodes scheduled for this year will be filmed on streams, rivers or lakes in the state. West Virginia will be integrated into the other seven shows.
“We will get to highlight both public and private venues, state parks and private streams,” said Burdette. “It will give us, over time, a variety of footprints to explore.”
But the show won’t just be highlighting West Virginia’s beauty, but also honoring the state’s first responders in a special episode set to air next week.
“We like to call it a celebration for Trooper Workman and Trooper Bailey,” said Fleming. “But it’s in memory of all law enforcement and first responders.”
West Virginia State Police Trooper Eric Workman, who is remembered as a avid hunter and angler, and Cpl. Marshall Bailey were gunned down in August.
Trooper Brian Young worked with Workman and agreed with the episode being a celebration.
“He wasn’t one to be down. Every time you talked to Eric he was upbeat, ready to go. I mean you had to pull the breaks on him half the time,” said Young. “A lot of energy, always fun to be around.”
Young said he and Eric were planning to build a fishing deck at his place on the Elk River before the trooper was killed.
Friday night’s event featured a preview of that special tribute episode and Workman’s family was in attendance.
“Fly Rod Chronicles with Curtis Fleming” boasts a viewership of nearly one million viewers per episode and was filmed at Pipestem Resort State Park in it’s 2013 season premiere on Jan. 1.
The West Virginia Development Office, Division of Tourism and the Division of Natural Resources’ State Parks and Forests are the primary commerce agencies contributing to the sponsorship and show content.