The pool at Cheeca Lodge, site of the first All-American Backcountry Tournament in November on Veteran's Day Weekend.




The stars and stripes will be flying high at the Cheeca Lodge All American Backcountry Tournament, set for Veteran’s Day Weekend, November 9-11, 2012.  In honor of our nation’s soldiers, the resort will partner with the Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation to bring two wounded servicemen to compete in the tournament as a team.

Based in Bozeman, Montana, the non-profit Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation’s mission is to provide traumatically injured servicemen and women from Iraq and Afghanistan with a high quality restorative program, utilizing loving service and the sport of fly fishing in serene surroundings as a healing therapy.  Over the past six years, W&QW Foundation has been bringing wounded warriors to Montana for a six-day, all expenses paid program of guided fly fishing.  “Angling brings hope and serenity to the mind; it is wholesome therapy without a therapist or unwanted side-effects from chemical forms of coping,” said W&QW President, Col Eric Hastings, USMC (Ret).  “Fly fishing helps these wounded warriors learn to deal with the impact of life-altering injuries while staying fully engaged in a productive life.  It builds resilience.”

The wounded veterans will join the All American angler roster to compete for trophies and prizes for releasing five different species of fish:  snook, redfish, bonefish, tarpon and permit.  Three different divisions are offered:  General, Artificial and Fly.  All social events, including a spectacular All American Barbecue on the Beach, will be held at Cheeca.  “We are very honored to have these distinguished servicemen at our event.  Our goal is to make the All American the most impressive and celebrated fishing tournament in the Keys,” said Cheeca Lodge General Manager Herbert Spiegel.

Fishing headquarters for this tournament is World Wide Sportsman, Islamorada’s premier headquarters for fishing in the Florida Keys.  All participating boats will leave and return to the World Wide Sportsman marina during the two days of fishing.  Fishing days are Saturday, November 10 and Sunday, November 11, 2012.

Proceeds will benefit the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, an organization of concerned anglers and guides who are dedicated to conserving and enhancing global bonefish, tarpon and permit fisheries and their environments through stewardship, research, education and advocacy.  Since its formation in 1998, BTT has grown to include members from over 20 countries.

The entry fee is $2,000 per angler and includes entry into all three social events for the angler, a guest and the angler’s guide and his guest.   Awards for Grand Champion, Runner-Up, Grand Champion Team and winners in the Fly, Artificial and General Tackle Divisions will be presented.

The First Annual Cheeca Lodge & Spa All American Backcountry Fishing Tournament will kick off with an elaborate Welcome Reception and Cocktail party on Friday, November 9.  A spectacular All American Beachside Barbecue will be held on Saturday evening, followed by a lavish Awards Banquet on Sunday, November 11.

Cheeca’s fishing tournament history is impressive.  In addition to the famed George Bush/Cheeca Lodge Bonefish Tournament, Cheeca launched its Presidential Sailfish Tournament in 1989.  That tournament has become the largest, most prestigious offshore tournament of its kind in the Florida Keys.

For more information, tournament brochure and entry forms, please visit or contact Tournament Organizer Julie Olsen at (360)288-2436 PST or e-mail

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