All posts by John Holyoke

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.

840 Atlantic salmon counted on the Penobscot this year

River-watchers saw a small uptick in the number of Atlantic salmon that returned to the Penobscot River this year, but the total — 840 — still meant that for a sixth consecutive year, fewer than 1,000 salmon were counted, according to data compiled by the Maine Department of Marine Resources Division of Sea Run Fisheries […]

Know a legendary Maine guide? Nominate them for the ‘Wiggie’ award

If you’ve ever employed the services of a registered Maine guide, you’ve treated yourself to one of the state’s best outdoor traditions. For generations, guides have taken their “sports” into the woods and onto our waters, introducing many to a way of life they didn’t know existed. Among those guides are a few that eventually […]

It’s time to win a classic hand-crafted salmon reel

Several years ago, I had the chance to tour Paul Hermann’s Castine workshop as he showed me how he hand-crafted beautiful fly reels that were coveted by anglers across the nation. For an un-handy guy like me, the experience was eye-opening; tiny parts were spread across one table, all of them machined and built by […]

Fly Tying Symposium, tying classes on tap

It’s getting colder outside, and some of our favorite fishing spots are beginning to ice up a bit. For avid fly fishers, that’s not a big deal. In fact, when it gets frigid and icy, many simply switch to their favorite winter fly fishing activity: They begin tying the flies that they’ll use next year. […]

Have a successful hunting season? Why not donate some meat to Hunters for the Hungry?

At some point Thursday, most of us will gather with family or friends to share a meal and give thanks for any number of blessings. Some, however, just aren’t that fortunate. Getting enough food to put on the table can be a problem year-round, and many of our neighbors struggle in silence. On Monday, I […]

Maine hunters: What do you think about the U.S. ban on elephant trophy imports?

Late last week, the Trump administration announced its intention to begin allowing the importation of “trophies” taken from African elephants, a practice that had been banned in 2014. Over the weekend, that decision became more muddied, as the president tweeted his intention to study the matter more fully before any ban was lifted. Today, the […]

4-year-old’s first ‘hunt’: Dad bags a 15-point buck

Braylynn Mitchell has been eager to accompany her dad, Jason Mitchell, on past hunting trips, but her mom wouldn’t allow it … until this year. “I was always hesitant,” admitted her mom, Kendra Wilder of Bradley. “This was her first hunting trip.” When the opening day for Maine residents rolled around on Oct. 28, Wilder […]

Retired Maine game warden pilot receives top FAA award

Retired Maine game warden pilot Gary Dumond on Monday received the Federal Aviation Administration’s most prestigious honor, the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, according to a Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife press release. Dumond, who lives in Eagle Lake with his wife, Pauline, was a game warden pilot from 1972 until 1992, but […]

8-year-old describes first successful deer hunt in a letter

In one of my favorite traditions, Maine deer hunters are usually pretty eager to tell their local outdoor writer their tales from the field. And as those stories continue to make their way to my desk, I’m happy to share them with BDN readers. Today’s tale is especially cool, as you’ll see. Hunting is not […]

Youth Deer Day success: Orono boy bags 8-pointer, scores a touchdown

Brock Parks has been heading into the woods with his father during hunting season for years. Now 12, Brock can tell you about sitting in blinds and treestands, riding in a backpack as his father crept slowly through the forest, and the time he was nearly pelted by the geese that his dad and a […]