April 8, 2019

MDIFW NEWS: Bonnie Holding Recognized As Legendary Maine Guide

AUGUSTA, Maine -- The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife honored longtime Maine guide Bonnie Holding of Coplin Plantation with the Wiggie Robinson Legendary Maine Guide Award on Saturday night. The award was presented by Commissioner Judy Camuso at the Maine Professional Guides Association annual banquet in Brewer.

"This award is extremely well-deserved, and it is an honor to recognize Bonnie for her distinguished work as a guide, and a pleasure to recognize the first female recipient of the award," said MDIFW Commissioner Judy Camuso.

Holding is a Master Maine Guide for over 30 years, and has guided every year for each of those 30 years. In 2008, she was honored by Outdoor Life Magazine as one of the top four women guides in the nation.

Along with guiding, Holding is a pioneer with Casting for Recovery, a national program that uses fly fishing and its related skills to help women recovering from breast cancer.

"Bonnie's passion and dedication for helping others through the Casting for Recovery program is legendary, and she is tireless when it comes to advocating and raising funds for this incredible program," said Camuso.

Maine has the longest running Casting for Recovery program in the country thanks to her hard work and dedication. She uses her knowledge of the outdoors, her fishing skills and her engaging personality to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for this program, and help hundreds of women. Maine is also the only state that hosts a Casting for Recovery reunion, comprised of alumnae from the program, that attracts survivors from all over the northeast.

Her annual fundraiser, Fish Tales and Cocktails, is a cant miss January event that attracts dozens of people from all walks of life who are willing to donate time and money to Casting for Recovery.

Holding's leadership of the Maine chapter of Casting for Recovery has helped hundreds of women cope with a devastating disease. Her tireless work has made Maines chapter of casting for recovery the envy of other states and she has spent countless hours teaching many women an appreciation of fly fishing and give them a moment to forget about their illness.

The Wiggie Robinson Legendary Maine Guide Award is presented annually at the Maine Professional Guides Association annual banquet. Winners must have been a Registered Maine Guide for 20 years and been an active guide for at least 10 of those years. Along with guiding, winners must be active in the local or outdoor community, or active on boards or committees that enhances and promotes the importance of Maine's outdoor resources.