I received a call from the state of Minnesota the other day. A friendly voice asked if I'm ready for something big. I said, "I'm all in." Then, she followed by saying that Governor, Mark Dayton, would like to fish with me on the opener. I don't recall my exact response, but I think it was something like, "I think you have the wrong number!"
Seriously? How cool is that?!
I'm extremely humbled and grateful for this opportunity. There are so many anglers in my home town that are willing, able and deserving of this honor. Somehow I feel unworthy.
Growing up as a young fisherman, I remember thinking about how cool it would be to guide the Governor on the opener. I remember watching the news one year at the end of opening day. Al Lindner was talking to the camera about his adventure guiding the Governor. At the time, I remember thinking...some day I want that to be me.
By the grace of God, "some day," is now less than two weeks away. I'm at a loss for words. I still don't think it has hit me. On May 12, I will do my best to represent my hometown of Waconia, Minnesota. My good friend, guiding mentor and fishing partner, Matt Peters, will take the honor of guiding our Lieutenant Governor. Together, we hope to make our home town proud.
If I play my cards right, you'll be reading a story of how the Governor caught his walleye on opening day. That, and a picture of the big catch! In my years of guiding I've felt the pressure to perform many times. I think this time it will hit a whole new level. At the moment I'm still at peace about the big day. That may change.
I'm still in awe of how this whole thing has evolved. Four years ago I sat down with Kellie Sites, president of the Waconia Chamber. We talked about a plan to entice the Governor to our home town. We formed a team, then sent a proposal to Explore Minnesota Tourism. It took a few tries, but a year ago we got a call saying that we'd been chosen as the host community for 2012. I won't bore you with all of the details, but after 12 months of intense planning we now have a few hundred volunteers and several days of activities set in stone. I am proud to be a part of this team and I'm excited for everything to unfold. We have so much to be proud of. For myself, just being a part of this team would be enough. The chance to guide our Governor is like the icing on this incredible cake.
The Governor's Fishing Opener is a tradition in its 64th year. It is not about politics. It is about celebrating the tradition of fishing in Minnesota. This year, it's about celebrating Waconia and the people that call it home. It's only the second time it's been held in the metro. The event spans 3 days. It starts with a fishing host dinner on Thursday evening. Friday is basically an all day party. Then, Saturday we get down to the business of fishing. Some of the festivities are open to the public. If you want to attend, we'd love to have you. www.destinationwaconia.org will give you the details. (p.s. everything is FREE!)
Here's to the Governor catching a trophy! Until then, keep on Livin' the Dream!