For the past decade, the BDN has combined forces with Dan Legere of the Maine Guide Fly Shop for a promotion that has been immensely popular.
The premise is simple: It’s not a raffle. It’s simply a drawing. Anglers enter for free, either by clipping forms that appear in the newspaper, or stopping by our booth at outdoor expos. This year, we even added an Internet component so that people could fill out the form on line.
Up for grabs: A day of fishing on the East Outlet of the Kennebec River, in Legere’s drift boat. For free. Lunch included.
I tag along each year. Sometimes, I’m taking notes about the day, and planning a column that will document our success. Other times, I’m … well … ballast.
But each Fathers Day, we fish. Me, a lucky winner, and Legere. And each Fathers Day, we catch and release a lot of fish.
Legere, you see, is a fantastic guide. He’s also a top-notch teacher, and I have watched him instruct anglers who have never held a fly rod, calmly tell them what they’re seeing, and what they ought be doing, and celebrate as they catch fish after fish after fish.
After taking the final entries at the State of Maine Sportsman’s Show over the weekend — the fourth show we staffed this season — we drew the name of this year’s lucky winner.
Congratulations to Jasper Walsh of Newburgh, who will spend June 17 on one of the state’s most beautiful stretches of water.
Walsh is an avid fly fisherman and said he actually built his own drift boat, which he used to spend 100 days last year, drifting both the East Outlet and the West Branch of the Penobscot.
When he found out that his name had been drawn, his reaction was predictable (after all, we’ve been staging this contest for quite some time).
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” he exclaimed.
No, we’re not.
Walsh joins Don Factor (2011), Tiffany Shepard (2010), Dick Fortier (2008), James Rolph (2007), Tom Nichols (2006), Doug Saunders (2005), Jason McCubbin (2004) and Mike Horvers (2003) as winners of the contest. Due to scheduling conflicts, the 2009 trip went unclaimed.
And although Walsh was excited to learn that he’d be fishing with Legere, he did admit that winning the contest might cost him.
“A couple of buddies actually entered me in the contest,” he said with a laugh. “I think I might owe them an ice-cold beer.”
Again, congrats to Walsh, and to the hundreds of others who took the time to enter our contest.