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.

Lengthy cold snap doesn’t mean all ice is safe

After 10 days or so of freeze-your-beard-off weather, it would seem that anything that can freeze (toes, fingers, your car’s engine, lakes, ponds) would have done so. But as I enjoyed a week off from work during the holidays, I had a conversation with a game warden who’s hoping that folks won’t assume their local […]

Determined bobcat snacks on a coyote bait

A couple weeks back, as we engaged in the popular Maine pastime of debating the existence of mountain lions in our state, wildlife biologist Walter Jakubas of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife checked in with some information I hadn’t really considered. Bobcats, Jakubas said, are also known predators of deer. A couple […]

Brewer Fly Tying Symposium was worth a visit

On Saturday, I was one of dozens of fly fishing enthusiasts who took a bit of time to stop by the Penobscot Fly Fishers’ annual Fly Tying Symposium and chat with a bunch of like-minded folks. While I’ve not spent much time at the tying vise over the past several years (save a few marathon […]

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 […]