It was a whirlwind weekend that started with a Friday evening flight out of Nashville. Fighting the crazy downtown traffic from my office to get to the airport is not for the faint of heart. Couple that with a train stopped on the tracks blocking the direction I needed to go- I honestly wasn't sure I was going to make it!
Thankfully, once I made it BNA, it was pretty dead. I got through ticketing and security in 5 minutes. Just like that, I was on my way to Minneapolis.
My folks graciously picked me up at the airport and drove me to my childhood home in North Branch. After a quick visit, I had to call it a night as an early morning awaited me. I would be driving up to Brainerd for the Fishing Career Workshop put on by Al Lindner and crew, which was set to begin at 8:30 a.m.
I've been wanting to check out this workshop since I heard about it last year, which was the first year. Troy Lindner further strengthened my desire after interviewing him for episode 3 of the "It Pays to Fish" podcast.
The workshop wasn't the only reason I decided to make this trip, however. This would be the first time I would be meeting my new Woman Angler & Adventurer podcast co-host, Barb Carey, in person! Barb was tapped by Al Lindner to be one of the 10 presenters at the workshop, and the only female presenter with a segment to herself.
After a very foggy 2 hour and 17 minute drive to Madden's on Gull Lake in Brainerd, I couldn't wait to get the day started. I got their early enough to check-in at the reception desk. To my delight, they had my room already ready for me. I was able to check out the accommodations and unload my things before the workshop began.
I was super impressed with the room. It looked brand new! (I later found out that though Madden's has been around since the early 1900's, in 2015 an epic storm destroyed 85 guest rooms and more. I happened to be staying in one of the newly rebuilt buildings). I quickly did a Facebook Live from the room for The Woman Angler & Adventurer Facebook Group so they could get a taste of the resort and the wonderful view from the balcony overlooking Gull Lake.
Now it was off to the workshop, and meeting Barb!
Soon after I received my "swag bag" (which included some fish hooks, baits, decals and more) I caught a glimpse of Barb rushing past.
I called out, "Barb!"
She turned around in a frenzy, we said hello and BOOM, we had our 1st in-person encounter. It was strange, through all of our phone calls, texts and email correspondence it didn't feel like we were meeting for the first time at all.
I was happy to run into Facebook Group members Chanda Gebhardt and Maddy Ogg as I was searching for a place to sit. We found a table down front where the three of us would camp out for the remainder of the day.
Al Lindner gave a passion-filled opening presentation. It's hard not to get pumped up about a career in the fishing industry after listening to him talk about it. There were a wide-range of presenters from manufacturing, television, pro-anglers, guides, internet sites and much more. It was an action packed day with very few breaks so they could squeeze it all in!
Barb gave her presentation mid-afternoon and there's no question she is an absolute pro. I did a Facebook Live video of it on our Facebook Group page so do yourself a favor and check it out! Towards the end Barb gave shout-outs to Maddy who had just caught the MN state record catch-and-release Northern Pike and to myself for our podcast. Al gave us some great words of encouragement which you will hear in the intro of this podcast episode.
After the event wrapped up, we took a group photo and Barb and myself did some promo videos which they will use to promote next year's event which they hope to make even bigger and better than this year's. I also got a little one-on-one time with Al where he asked me how the podcast is going and reiterated about how happy he is that Barb and I have teamed up. It was a really cool moment.
We would have been remiss if we didn't take the time to record a couple of episodes on-site before heading back. One we did that evening with Maddy about her record catch, and the other we recorded bright and early the next morning. That's the episode you are listening to today.
Barb and I recap our experience at the workshop, talk about some of the present challenges women in the industry face, progress that has been made thus far, and ways we want to help continue the growth of women in the sport.
One of those ways is by providing our listeners with a list of resources. As promised in this episode, I've started building this list. You can find this list at thewomanangler.com/resources. We need your help. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any other resources you know of that should be added here.
From there, I drove back up to North Branch, had a nice lunch with my family, tailgated at US Bank Stadium for the Vikings game and found myself back at the airport very early Monday morning and headed straight into work after landing in Nashville.
But it was worth every minute. I hope you enjoyed my recap and that you also enjoy myself and Barb's conversation on today's podcast.
MUCH more to come, thank you all for being along for the ride!
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