Daily Dirt: Bristol Fisherman Wins Award, Cycling Center in N.C., J.H. Whitley Acquires Confluence Watersports

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Patrick Fulkrod, a native of Bristol, Virginia, has been named the Orvis National Fly Fishing Guide of the Year. Chosen from hundreds of candidates, Fulkrod took the top prize.

Citing his good humor and outgoing personality, Fulkrod, 28, now has another outstanding accomplishment under his waders for such a young career. He is a guide at Mountain Sports Ltd. in Bristol, where he has been fishing since he was 10 years old. Mountain Sports is a locally owned business that has been in operation since 1981. Fulkrod has already made several notable accomplishments prior to this award including: national recognition as a 2012 Orvis-Endorsed Guide of the Year Finalist, graduate of the Western Rivers Professional Guide School (2006), Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide since 2007, and a Clackacraft Pro Staff Member.

If you’re interested in taking a fly fishing excursion with Fulkrod, stop by Mountain Sports Limited at 1021 Commonwealth Avenue in Bristol, Va.,


A vacant 42,000-square-foot building in downtown Winston-Salem is set to become a premier cyclist training center and a leading candidate for an official U.S. Olympic Cycling training center.

The city has been an active hotspot for cycling enthusiasts over the past few years, with the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic drawing national attention and thousands of racers and fans.

Dr. Rick Rauck, chairman of the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic committee, toyed with the idea of a training center in response to area interest in the sport. Steve Johnson, CEO of USA Cycling, came to Winston-Salem for a site visit last November, and has since expressed his support.

While the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic committee is working with both the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Cycling to bring the official Olympic training facility to downtown, the facility will become a cycle training center regardless of official U.S. Olympic use.


Private equity firm J.H. Whitney has acquired industry mega-weight Confluence Watersports. With this partnership, Confluence says it will continue to be a leading presence in the paddlesports arena. This opportunity will allow the company to reassess and identify new facets for growth into a full-service outdoor recreation company — and with this new mindset in place, the company has opted to be renamed Confluence Outdoor.

The company’s operations and facilities – including manufacturing, design and engineering, research and development, customer service, sales and marketing teams – will remain in its current Greenville, S.C., location. Confluence Outdoor will continue to invest and play an active leadership role in paddlesports and the outdoor recreation industry.

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