Legendary guide award goes to Matt Libby

I received some fantastic news on Tuesday when the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife issued a press release announcing this year’s winner of the Wilmot “Wiggie” Robinson Legendary Maine Guide Award.

This year’s honoree: Matt Libby of Libby Camps.

I’ve dealt with Libby periodically for more than a decade, and though I’ve never shared a canoe or hitched a ride in his float plane, I can tell you this: He’s an impressive guy.

Libby is a true Maine woodsman, following in a family tradition that stretches back more than a century: This year marks the 124th year for Libby Camps, located in scenic T8, R9.

If you’re not up on your townships and ranges, grab your map. Put your finger on Baxter State Park. Now look above the park’s northern boundary and find Millinocket Lake. That’s where you’ll find Matt Libby … and Libby Camps.

The Maine Professional Guides Association handed out the award at an annual dinner and banquet held in Brewer. Libby is the fifth recipient of the award, following Robinson, Gil Gilpatrick (2010), Gary Corson (2011) and Gardner Defoe (2012).

Libby has been a guide in the North Maine Woods since he was 18, and has been active in outdoor resource management issues as well, serving three terms as Aroostook County’s representative on the DIF&W’s advisory council. He’s also a board member of the Maine Professional Guides Association.

If state lawmakers are looking to learn more about brook trout or deer, they’ll often make sure Libby is on the panel that’s discussing pertinent issues.

“Matt has devoted his whole life to the sporting tradition and has shared that passion for hunting and fishing with both his clients and his family,” Maine Gov. Paul R. LePage said in the press release. “He truly represents the best of Maine’s legendary guides.”

Chandler Woodcock, commissioner of the DIF&W, seconded that sentiment.

“The Libby family has upheld the traditions of Maine’s sporting camps for four generations,” Woodcock said in the release. “Thousands of visitors have returned to Maine through the experience at Libby Camps. No one is more deserving of this award than Matt.”

Congrats to Matt for a well-deserved honor.


John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.