Each year, when the sportsman’s show season rolls around, I become a popular guy … or something like that.
Truthfully, I realize that my popularity doesn’t go up at all. Equally truthfully, I do end up having many more conversations from people who think if they’re nice to me, it might help them win the fishing trip of a lifetime.
Alas, on that front, I can’t help. The “Win a Drift Boat Trip” contestant who emerges from the pile of several hundred entry blanks during our random drawing is always a surprise to me.
Seems like just yesterday when Dan Legere, the owner of the Maine Guide Fly Shop, and I hatched a plan to give one lucky angler a free fly fishing trip with him.
And it’s hard to believe that we’ve been running this contest for 11 years. Mike Horvers was our first winner, back in 2003. Future winners followed: Jason McCubbin in 2004, Doug Saunders in 2005, Tom Nichols in 2006, James Rolph in 2007, Dick Fortier in 2008, Tiffany Shepard in 2010, Don Factor in 2011, Jasper Walsh in 2012 and John Craig in 2013.
How good has our trip been over the years?
Let me put it to you this way: All of our winners have caught lots of fish. All have left smiling. Saunders? He had such a good time he has booked several trips with Legere since he won nine years ago. And several of our winners re-enter each year, hoping to strike gold again.
The reason for the unqualified success of the trip has a lot more to do with the guy manning the oars (Legere) than it does with the chubby guy in the back of the boat (me). Legere is simply one of the best teachers I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. After 11 years sharing time in his boat, I walk away each year with newfound skills or knowledge.
The particulars of the trip are pretty simple: You sign up for free, either by clipping the coupon that will appear in print editions of the BDN or by stopping by our booth at the Cabin Fever Reliever show in Brewer (March 1-2), the Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show in Orono (March 7-9) or the Presque Isle Fish & Game Club’s show (April 6).
After the final show, we’ll draw one lucky winner who will meet Legere and I in Greenville on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 15. Then we’ll adjourn to the East Outlet of the Kennebec River, where we’ll fish our fool heads off for the entire day.
So make sure you stop by and say “Hi” at the shows in the coming weeks. Spend some time talking about the outdoors. Tell us what you’d like to see us cover more.