Great old Maine outdoor books by awesome authors

Isolated in our house because of the corona virus, I started pulling favorite old Maine books from my shelves, and enjoying reading them again.

The first one was For Maine Only by Edmund Ware Smith, published in 1959. Smith was a very popular writer. You probably recognize the title of his book The One-Eyed Poacher and the Maine Woods.

For Maine Only is a wonderful collection of stories, some true and some fiction. They are all compelling and I love the way Smith includes humor in his stories.

In the second book I pulled off the shelf was Bud Leavitt’s Twelve Months In Maine, published in 1977. I was surprised when I opened the book and saw that Bud had autographed it to my dad who he called a grand Maine sportsman. Dad was certainly that. Many of my old Maine books were originally Dad’s.

Bud was the outdoor writer for the Bangor Daily News for many years, and I got to be friends with him. He even took me fishing once for Atlantic salmon. We fished from the shore of the Penobscot River on the Brewer side. I saw several huge salmon leap out of the river, but neither Bud nor I caught any.

But it was so much fun fishing with Bud. He had a great sense of humor and wonderful stories of his outdoor adventures all over Maine. Bud was a good friend of baseball legend Ted Williams, and wrote many columns about fishing with Ted all over Maine.

I enjoyed all the photos and drawings in Bud’s book, particularly those of Ted Williams enjoying fishing in Maine.

If you’d like to read these or other old Maine books, see if you can find them in your local library. I guarantee you’ll really enjoy them. And I was surprised to find that both are still available for purchase.

I have 2 books to review, and then my next old Maine book will be John Cole’s In Maine.



George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.