March 20, 2018
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It’s time to win a drift boat trip!

John Holyoke | BDN
John Holyoke | BDN
Guide Dan Legere of the Maine Guide Fly Shop in Greenville (right) takes a photo of Jasper Walsh fishing in the East Outlet of the Kennebec River during a drift boat trip on Sunday, June 15, 2012. Walsh, of Newburgh, won the BDN's annual "Win a Drift Boat Trip" contest. When Legere stopped on a sandbar to prepare lunch, Walsh was tempted by rising fish in the river and waded in to cast flies to them.
By John Holyoke, BDN Staff

When late winter rolls around and the snowbanks (hopefully) have begun to shrink and some brown grass (hopefully) has begun to appear on the lawn, many Mainers start to think about springtime activities.

To us, that means fishing, hunting, hiking, biking … and going to outdoor expos to chat with like-minded folks.

And at those expos, the BDN crew sets up shop and accepts entry into one of our most popular promotions, our Win a Drift Boat Trip contest.

Nowadays, our promotions gurus have taken to calling that trip “Float with Holyoke,” since I serve as ballast on this annual adventure that has paired one lucky angler with Registered Maine Guide Dan Legere for a daylong fly fishing trip on the East Outlet of the Kennebec River.

This year’s trip will be held on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 17.

Legere graciously hopped on board for this promotion in the beginning, and we’re glad he did. All of our winners have commented on how much fun they had, and how much they learned from Legere in the process.

This marks the 16th time that we’ve given the trip away, dating back to 2003. The trip’s origin: We were looking for a way to get visitors to the Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show to stop at our booth and meet our new outdoors columnist: Me.

The trip has been a hit, and each year hundreds of BDN readers enter the contest. When we began this promotion, we decided that raffling off the trip wouldn’t serve our purpose as well — we didn’t want to sell anything, after all … we just wanted to give something away — and that approach has remained a constant.

Stop by the Cabin Fever Reliever at the Brewer Auditorium this weekend, or the Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show in Orono in two weeks, visit our booth, and sign up (for free) for a chance to float with me.

Mike Horvers was the first winner of the BDN’s “Win a Drift Boat Trip” contest back in 2003. Others followed: Jason McCubbin in 2004, Doug Saunders in 2005, Tom Nichols in 2006, James Rolph in 2007, Dick Fortier in 2008, Tiffany Shepard in 2010, Don Factor in 2011, Jasper Walsh in 2012, John Craig in 2013, Byron Hale in 2014, Harvey Siebert in 2015 and John St. Onge in 2016 and Brandon Prescott in 2017. In 2009, the prize was not given, as the winner could not find a date that fit into their schedule.

If you can’t get to one of the shows to fill out an entry blank, don’t fret. We’ll be running the entry blanks in print editions of the BDN in the weeks ahead, and you can find a digital entry form at

Aislinn’s signing her book

If you’re looking for another reason to attend this weekend’s Cabin Fever Reliever, here it is: The BDN’s Aislinn Sarnacki will be on hand for a few hours on Saturday, and she’ll be selling and signing her first book, “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine.”

Aislinn’s book was released in June of 2017 — after the outdoor show season — so this will be the first time she’s had the books available at an outdoor expo, and if you don’t already have a copy, I’m sure you’ll want to stop by and say “Hi.”

Aislinn will be at the show from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday. And not only can you get her to sign a book for you, you can also pick up an official “autograph” from her famous pooch, Oreo. (Before you ask, the answer is “No.” Oreo himself won’t be there … he’s a pretty private guy, and doesn’t enjoy crowds. But the always-inventive Aislinn has come up with a way for him to get his paws into the act, and she’d be glad to show you).

John Holyoke can be reached at or 990-8214. Follow him on Twitter: @JohnHolyoke

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