May 24, 2018
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Bucksport angler wins drift boat trip contest

By John Holyoke, BDN Staff

Some people are lucky. Others, not so lucky. And some formerly unlucky folks who learn that the tide has changed, that their ship (or drift boat) has finally come in, simply are unwilling to believe their good fortune.

That was the case Tuesday, when I informed the winner of BDN Maine’s 11th annual Win a Drift Boat Trip contest that he was going fishing with guide Dan Legere and me on June 16.

“Are you sure my son-in-law didn’t put you up to this?” our winner, John Craig of Bucksport asked me a half-dozen times in our short conversation. “Are you really sure?”

I’m sure, John. And congratulations.

It seems that Craig’s son-in-law is quite a prankster, and even though notification came via a genuine BDN email account, he was leery. Even though I asked him to call back on a real, live BDN phone line, he was a non-believer. Even though I swore I was who I said I was … well, you get the point.

“This is something he could do,” Craig told me with a chuckle. “He’s really good at [pranks] like this.”

Craig said he’s been an avid fly fisherman since 2007, and admitted he had hoped to win the trip that Legere, the proprietor of the Maine Guide Fly Shop in Greenville, has taken us on since 2003. In fact, just a week ago, Craig had sent me an email that somehow ended up in the spam hopper without making it to my desk.

Craig was looking for some advice. He was heading to Grand Lake Stream, and thought I could help. (At this point, it ought to be obvious that Craig has never fished with me.)

“I haven’t heard from Mr. Legere so I guess I didn’t win the float trip AGAIN,” Craig concluded in his message.

On Tuesday, Craig pointed out that although he loves fly fishing, the sport doesn’t seem to reciprocate.

“I’ve been unsuccessful on more big-name rivers than anyone else I know,” he said.

Among those are Maine’s West Branch of the Penobscot and Grand Lake Stream, and Colorado’s fabled Gunnison River.

“Don’t worry,” I assured Craig. “You’ve never fished with Dan Legere before. Everyone catches fish with Dan.”

Again, Craig was skeptical. But I’m not kidding about Legere’s track record. Ask any of our past contest winners, and they’ll tell you the same: Mike Horvers, back in 2003? He caught fish. So did 2004 winner Jason McCubbin. And Doug Saunders (2005), Tom Nichols (2006), James Rolph (2007), Dick Fortier (2008), Tiffany Shepard (2010), Don Factor (2011), and Jasper Walsh (2012).

Two points you might want to consider: First, including Walsh in this list is a bit unfair; the guy’s such a good fishermen, I think he’d hook something if he was fishing in a bathtub. Second, we did have one contest winner who didn’t catch a single fish. That’s because back in 2009, the trip was canceled because of scheduling conflicts.

Thanks to all who entered this year’s contest, and for continuing to tell us how much you’d love to fish with me.

OK. Maybe nobody actually said that.

But many of you want to fish with Dan. And hundreds of you were willing to tolerate me, just to be able to fish with Dan.

And that’s good enough for me.

John Holyoke may be reached at or 990-8214. Check out his blog at and follow him on Twitter @JohnHolyoke.

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