Maine Fly Fishing

Where to Fly Fish in Maine


This page contains a very large and general overview to the fly fishing opportunities in the state of Maine. You will find a lot of basic information on the larger fisheries in the state, including lakes and rivers, including links to books by expert authors. It should be enough information to get the average fly fisherman (and spin fisherman) started on their research for planning weekend trips, or extended vacations. Its by no means exhaustive. We dont pretend to be an expert in the area, but if you take the time to scroll through everything, we think it can help.

Maine stands out among other areas as a sanctuary for fishing lovers, still rugged, beautiful and unspoiled. Nearly 6000 lakes and ponds and 32,000 miles of rivers and streams along with some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Variety is but one of the rare pleasures Maine has in store for all fishermen. Whether it’s the silvery, lighting-like acrobatics of a Landlocked Salmon “tail-walking” at the end of your line, the powerful, deep-fighting surge of a heavy Squaretail or the explosive smashing tactics of a fighting Black Bass-its all here in Maine.

In depth articles on Maine fisheries

Keep scrolling down for more basic information…

When the conversation among friends planning a vacation in Maine suddenly turns to fishing, the tone takes on an air of excitement as Maine’s saltwater sport fishery becomes the focus. Maine has long been known for its reputation for having one of the finest saltwater sport fisheries on the east coast. It does not matter if anglers plan on top notch captains or guides, a vacation that includes a day of fishing in Maine can help create the memories of a lifetime.

Freshwater Fly Fishing
However, Maine has also been long renowned for its freshwater fishery as well. And, if a vacation to the coast of Maine is the plan, anglers can take advantage of a fishing opportunity very few places have to offer. Some of the states best freshwater fishing can be found only a few minutes drive from its remarkable saltwater fishery. It is even possible for an angler to take advantage of this fishing experience all in the same day.

For a day of freshwater fly fishing, an angler will probably prefer to bring along a rod and reel of six weight, or smaller persuasion, loaded with a weight forward floating line, backed with about 75 to 100 yards of Dacron backing. The floating line will be needed for casting everything from surface poppers and dry flies, to shallow fished streamers. Also, a spare spool loaded with a sink tip, or full sinking line backed with about 75 to 100 yards of Dacron backing should be included. The sink tip, or full sinking line will be needed to fish the deeper pools of rivers and streams and for dredging the deeper waters of lakes and ponds where larger fish are sometimes found holding on warm Summer days. As for what “flavor” flies to use, this will differ with the switch from saltwater to freshwater.

Types of Fish You Can Catch
Fishing for species such as Brown Trout, Brook Trout, Large and Smallmouth Bass, White Perch, or Landlock Salmon; to name just a few, can fulfill an anglers day with arm tiring results. Just as their saltwater cousins, these freshwater species can be brought to the net and camera with either a fly rod or spinning gear.

What Rods Do You Need?
As for what type of equipment to use, most any spinning rod and reel set-up used to catch “schoolie Stripers” and Mackerel, can double as a freshwater fishing set-up. Naturally, the type of lure or bait used will differ with the switch from saltwater to freshwater.

Fly Rods
If fly gear is the choice of equipment, most anglers will choose to fish the saltwater with a fast action eight weight, or larger fly rod, equipped with a reel of reputable drag, loaded with a fast sinking line backed with about 200 yards of Dacron, and carry along a spare spool loaded with a weight forward floating line; also supported by about 200 yards of Dacron backing line.

Hiring a Guide
Of course, the best way to learn the “How”, “What”, and “Where” of either saltwater, or freshwater fishing in Maine, is to hire a Registered Maine Guide, and gain access to his or her years of experience. Most guides, will even supply all of the equipment needed for a day of fishing. Hiring a guide is not only a safe ecological way to explore Maine, but can save an angler precious hours of research time that could be better spent catching fish and enjoying the rest of what Maine has to offer.

Bob Coombs is a Registered Maine Guide who lives in Rockport, Maine. FMI: The Right Drift Outfitters e-mail:

Where to Fish

Kennebec River

Route 201 parallels the Kennebec River for much of its length and serves as one of the primary routes for anglers heading north. With our shop located on Route 201 in Madison we are in the midst of, or on the way to, what we feel is the finest fishing in New England!

How to fish the Kennebeck

Androscoggin River

Androscoggin River, Bethel to Rumford
Town: Bethel
Season: April 1 to November 30
Water Type: River
Wading Access: Moderate
Species: Brown Trout, Smallmouth Bass
Flow Information: (800)-557-FLOW
Recommended Rod: 9′ 6#
Recommended Flies: Wooly Bugger
The river offers riffles, runs and some scattered pools. wading is available in a number of places, but there are a lot of steep banks with poison ivy and land owner permission is advised. streamers and nymphs are the best bet for now. In June during the first or secound week a Hendrickson hatch will occur and caddis are plentiful. Think catch and release.
Wild River
Town: Gilead
Season: April 1 to September 30
Water Type: Stream
Wading Access: Easy
Species: Brown Trout, Smallmouth Bass
Recommended Rod: 9′ 5#
Recommended Flies: Wardens Worry
The Androscoggin River is a big and powerful river, although at first glace it may seem quite tame. The Andro is home to some mighty big fish as well. It offers many varieties, you have your chance at browns and brookies, bass, and even the occasional landlocked salmon or rainbow trout. The most likely catch in the area of Gilead is Brown Trout. I like to fish the area near the mouth of the wild river. Park on Route 2 and walk down the wild for about a quarter of a mile and you will meet the Andro. This is difficult water to fish, the current in the middle is very strong. I like to fish the seam that is created by the flow of the Wild River into the Andro. Just before dusk, tons of fish stack themselves up here for a feeding spree. Try a light cahill here, that has worked best for me. These fish are very picky though, and your presentation must be perfect. June is the best month for fishing the Andro here, although I have expierienced good fishing right through August.
androscoggin map
More info: Fly fishing the Androscoggin

Penobscot River

West Branch Penobscot River
Town: Millinocket
Season: April 1 to September 30
Wading Access: Moderate
Species: Brook Trout, Landlocked Salmon
Recommended Rod: 9′ 6#
Recommended Flies: Gray Ghost

The West Branch of the Penobscot River just below Ripogenus Dam if fabled in Maine to be the best landlocked Salmon water in the world. And those who have fished it know why. I took a trip here last summer in August and the fishing was still great. Yo u see, the water here comes from a pipe leading from the bottom of Ripogenus lake and therefore flows cold all summer long, never reaching the high 60’s. This makes for the unusual conditions of consistant fishing all summer long.

There are some huge fish in here, although the normal catch is between 12-14 inches. These fish are beautiful and healthy. There are a number of fine spots all down the river from the damn to the deadwater after Horserace Brook. The land around the river is gorgeous and unt ouched for the most part. You are in the middle of land owned by a large paper company on one side and Baxter State Park on the other. With Mount Katadhin looming in the background this might powerful river is a picture come to life. This area of Maine has so much to offer, it’s definately worth the trip to get there. Just take to Golden Road northwest out of Millonocket, straight to the damn. If you need a place to stay, and you will, I suggest Pray’s Big Eddy Campgrounds. They provide excellent ac comadation for a very affordable price. So if you can, get yourself up to the Penobscot this spring for some great outdoor beauty and some phenomanal salmon fishing.

East Branch Penobscot River
Town: Medway
Season: April 1 to September 30
Wading Access: Moderate
Species: Landlocked Salmon, Smallmouth Bass
Recommended Rod: 9′ 6#
Recommended Flies: Montreal Whore

Although we have little info on this great smallmouth fishery, it shouldn’t be passed up as a canoe/fishing trip. Mr. Bronzeback will fight you to the bone here, and leave you coming back for more.

‘I canoed the river a few years ago with a group. I didn’t have great success above Grand Falls although I did see a couple of large brookies near Haskell Rock Pitch. Below the falls I enjoyed some of the finest Smallmouth fishing I’ve ever had. Pretty much any streamer I used got a smallie. I had particular success with a cone headed muddler. Below Whetstone Falls the river widens and deepens quite a bit so a weighted fly is a must. It’s worth mentioning that if you plan to make a canoe trip out of it, there are four mandatory portages in the upper portion. They are all within a few miles of each other and they’re quite a workout.

St. George River

Town: Liberty to Thomaston
Season: April 1 to September 30
Water Type: River
Wading Access: Easy
Recommended Rod: 9′ 5#
The St. George River rises from Lake St. George in Liberty, and enters the salt water in Thomaston. The upper reaches, in Liberty, Searsmont, and Appleton, offer good fishing for brown trout, with the occasional brookie in May and early June. There are excellent mayfly hatches, especially red quills, from about mid may to early June. Caddis abound for the remainder of the season, along with the usual array of terrestrials, especially along stretches that border grassy meadows. The state does yearly stockings of brown trout, and there are quite a few holdover fish – those who know the river catch fish in the 14 to 18 inch range occasionally; in may 2003, a 22 inch, 4 pound brown was taken. The water warms considerably by early to mid July, and after that time the good trout fishing is early and late in the day. But, there are numerous smallmouth in the river as well that offer good action late in the summer, and some grow to prodigious size

Grand Lake Stream

Town: Grand Lake Stream
Season: April 1 to September 30
Wading Access: Moderate
Recommended Rod: 9′ 6#
West Grand Lake has been noted for almost a century for it’s landlocked salmon and is one of the original salmon lakes. Grand Lake Stream also provides excellent fishing for the fly enthusiast. The Stream is two miles of fast water, boulder falls and deep quiet pools.
Abundant in our St. Croix watershed are Landlocked salmon, square-tailed trout, lake trout and some of the best small-mouthed bass fishing in Maine. Few are the fisherman to whom Grand Lake Stream means merely a location on the map of eastern Maine.
As soon as the ice is out in the spring, trolling is the order of things on waters such as West Grand Lake, Big Lake, and Pocumcus Lake. Grand Lake Stream itself is one of the most premier fly fishing streams for landlocked salmon country. May and June is the enthusiastic fly fisherman’s ‘Happy Hour’ on the stream as well as the many lakes and ponds that cover this area. No matter what your fishing preference is, the Grand Lake Stream region offers a variety of waters and species bound to make your fishing experience memorable .
Grand Lake Stream has the most concentrated number of Registered Maine Guides than anywhere else in the State of Maine.


Presumpscot River

Town: Windham
Season: January 1 to December 31
Water Type: River
Wading Access: Easy
Species: Brook Trout, Landlocked Salmon, Smallmouth Bass
Recommended Rod: 9′ 5#
Recommended Flies: Green Rock Worm Caddis
The section of the Presumcot River along route 35 in Windham is heavily stocked each spring with an abundance of Brook and Brown Trout as well as Land-LockedSalmon. Also note that this area is FLY FISHING ONLY.:) These fish can get fairly big, however the average catch is about 10 inches for all species, not a bad catch though! Along with the heavy stocking comes heavy fishing pressure, especially early in the season. This is also the only time of the year I would recommend fishing here, as the water warms to well past 70 degrees after the first of July. So come early and get a good spot at the big pool just on the downstream side of the route 35 bridge. There is a chance for some appreciable fish if you know how to get ’em here, but the big ones are tough, they’ve seen most every thing after the first couple weeks of the season and they seem to smarten up fast. Good luck and tight lines.
Presumcot River

Pleasant River

Town: Windham
Season: April 1 to October 31
Water Type: Stream
Wading Access: Easy
Species: Brook Trout, Brown Trout
Recommended Rod: 9′ 4#
Recommended Flies: Chernobyl Hopper
Most people, along with myself, fish the Fly Fishing Only section of the Pleasant River just up from Windham Center. The river is stocked each spring with Brook and Brown Trout in the 8 – 12 inch range. I would suggest tackling this river early in the year, as it seems that most fish are caught before the first of July when the temps heat it up and the fishing slow. Try again in October. Try fishing streamers in the big pools by the bridge and also at the pool below the small falls downstream. This has been most productive for me. Also I’ve had luck fishing dries at dusk, especially elk wing caddis and blue-wing olives, sizes 14-16. As the season goes on you may find better luck with nymph patterns, however, as I mentioned before, fish the Pleasant before the month of July as fishing slows considerably then. Good luck and tight lines!
pleasant river

Crooked River

Town: Harrison
Season: April 1 to October 15
Water Type: River
Wading Access: Moderate
Species: Brook Trout, Landlocked Salmon
Recommended Rod: 9′ 5#
Recommended Flies: Chernobyl Ant
The Crooked River offers some of the finest landlocked salmon fishing in southern Maine. Considered by many to be the finest river in southern Maine for landlocks, the Crooked gets considerable fishing pressure initially in the spring. But after June, pressure dies down, and so does the fishing unfortunatley. But if you do fish the Crooked you have your shot at some fine fish that can get up to the and 6 pound range for salmon and 2 pounds for the occasional brookie. The waters between Scribner’s Mill and Bolster’s Mills is loaded with excellent holding pools and is some really beautiful water. This water will hold fish all summer long but can be difficult in the really hot and dry months of July and August. In these months you are more likely to contact with the smaller fry and must be very careful in handling these young fish you want them to become the 5 and 6 pounders someday, don’t you?
crooked river

Allagash Lake

Season: April 1 to September 30
Wading Access: Moderate
Species: Brook Trout, Lake Trout, Whitefish
Recommended Rod: 9′ 7#
Recommended Flies: Joe’s Smelt, Green Drakes

Allagash Lake can easily be called the gem of the north Maine woods. It was ranked by the Maine Sportsman as one of Maine’s top ten trout waters. Just the scenery alone is well worth the trip in, but add to that the fantastic fishing for native brookies and you have something very special. Getting to Allagash Lake is no easy task though. First of all Allagash Lake is located in the North Maine Woods about 80 road miles(most of which is gravel) north of Greenville on Moosehead Lake. You must pay a fee to enter the NMW’s checkpoints into this area. Once you get close to the lake the work begins, there are several access points. The first one is the canoe launch on Allagash Stream about 4 miles above the lake.

The other water access point is Johnson Pond also about 4 miles above the lake. Access to the lake from these points is usually fairly easy but remember there is absolutely no road access to the lake so you must drag your canoe back up stream to the put in points. These access points are located on the northwest side of the lake.The other two access points are not any easier. They are located on the south end of the lake. Both are portage trails that are a mile long. The first of these is The Carry Trail on the far south end of the lake. The second access trail is to the Islands campsite on the southeast end of the lake. A canoe carrier with wheels makes access to these two point much easier.Once you are in on Allagash Lake there are eight campsites located at various points around the lake. These campsites are maintained by the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Rangers and there is a fee to stay in them. The only lodging in the area is three miles south of Allagash Lake at Loon Lodge on Round Pond.Fishing is usually best at two times of the year.

Right after iceout in mid May fish are near the surface and the action is often great. Trolling streamers like Joe’s Smelt is usually very productive. The other time when Allagash gets hot is from mid-June to the second week of July. This is the time of the large green drake hatches and if you hit the hatch right you will not find any better fishing. The rules and regulations for the lake are quite strict. Artifical lures only (flies or lures) with only one hook. Limits on fish are 2 brook trout with a slot limit. Trout need to be 12 inches to keep but only one over 14 inches. For lake trout you can now also keep two fish but they need to be 18 inches. The only type of watercraft allowed on the lake is canoes and kayaks. For more information on this lake you can contact The Bureau of Parks and Recreation at (207)941-4014.

Remote Ponds

The “Remote Ponds” scattered throughout the Kennebec valley from Pleasant Ridge all the way to the Canadian border vary radically. While one pond may be less than 10′ deep, a pond less than a mile away may be more than 30′ deep. As such, ponds different ponds fish best at different times of year. While Pond-A may “Ice-Out” in early-May, Pond-B may not be free of ice until mid-May.
The same holds true for summer fishing where one pond may warm up and be all but done by mid-June, and another pond may peak in early to mid-July just in time for the “Hex” hatch. At some point in the summer, the surface temperature in most ponds reaches a level where the fishing really slows down. Even though the hatches may continue, the fish may not come to the surface due to the uncomfortable temperatures.
More info on Remote Ponds

Maine Fly Fishing Articles

A Sea-Run Fish for Every Season
The Kennebec River A Sea-Run Fish for Every Season
Blue Duns – They’re not related but they all hatch early and look alike
This selection and a couple more early season mayflies are the reason the “Blue Dun” mayfly pattern is such a killing fly
Buy Maine Fishing Licenses Online
MOSES is the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife’s online hunting and fishing licensing
Fishes of Maine
Fishing the Kennebec River
The Kennebec River begins at two dams on the west side of Moosehead Lake.
…Maine stands out among other areas as a sanctuary for fishing lovers, still rugged, beautiful and unspoiled. Nearly 6000 lakes and ponds and 32,000 miles of rivers and streams along with some of th
Game and Fish magazine
Game & Fish brings you the latest hotspots, tactics & outdoor news, no matter where you hunt or fish.
Grand Lake Stream
This web site offers information on hunting, fishing, obtaining a Maine Guide and businesses in the Grand Lake Stream area.
Grand Lake Stream
Grand Lake Stream Fly Fishing
Abundant in our St. Croix watershed are Landlocked salmon, square-tailed trout, lake trout and some of the best small-mouthed bass fishing in Maine
Kennebago River
The Kennebago River is located just outside of Rangeley, Maine, in the heart of the Western Maine mountain region.
Kennebago Streamer – Old Flies
The fly was named for Kennabago Stream, a famous trout and landlocked salmon water in the Rangeley section of the state of Maine.
Kennebec Anadromous Fish
a sea-run fish for every season
Kennebec and Dead River Profiles
The Upper Kennebec and Dead Rivers offer some of the best fishing to be had in the Northeast…
Kennebec Dam Removal – Freeing Maine
The Kennebec River, which drains one-fifth of the state of Maine, is comparable only to Hudson River and Chesapeake Bay in its importance as a fish spawning ground.
Kennebec River
Kennebec River – Bingham
Kennebec River – East Outlet
Kennebec River – Madison
Kennebec River – Skowhegan
Kennebec River – Solon
Kennebec River – The Forks
Kennebec River brook trout
The brook trout fishing continues to get better in the Upper Kennebec Valley of Maine
Kennebec River info
The Kennebec River from Waterville to Sidney offers beautiful scenery, wildlife viewing (including bald eagles, ospreys, ducks, and the occasional deer and red fox) and fantastic fishing for smallmout
Kennebec River Page
The Kennebec River from Moosehead Lake to Tide Water
Kennebec River-Shawmut Dam
Lakewood Camps
Lakewood Camps, because of its ideal location, has the unique distinction of allowing guests the opportunity to either fly fish on the famous Rapid River or troll the waters of the Richardson Lakes.
Lower Kennebec River description
Maine Guides Online
largest index of Maine Recreational Guides on the Internet
Maine Harbors
Tide Charts and related Nautical information
Maine ponds
Ponds for fly fishing in Maine
Maine Sportsman
New England’s Largest Outdoor Publication
Maine’s Androscoggin River Comeback
By Rod Cochran
Maine’s Rapid River spurs digital conservation
When non-native smallmouth bass encroached on a brook trout stream, one group of anglers used the internet as a conservation tool
Maine’s Rapid River spurs digital conservation
When non-native smallmouth bass encroached on a brook trout stream, one group of anglers used the internet as a conservation tool
tml Outdoors Fishing
Moosehead Lake Region
the Moosehead Lake Region lies in the west central portion of Maine…
Moosehead Lake Region fishing
The Moosehead Region is best known for Maine’s three premier coldwater game fish species – brook trout, lake trout, and landlocked salmon.
Moosehead Lake Region Greenville Area Trout Pond Guide
Our Top Five Spring Salmon Rivers
Northern New England is the place to be for spring landlocks, and these five proven waters should provide great angling action this spring.
Penobscot River – East Branch
Penobscot River – West Branch
Penobscot River info
Ramblings on the Roach
On the far shore, the silhouette of a mountain walled in the horizon, while below it Moosehead Lake shimmered in the last light of day.
Rangeley Lake Region fishing
The Rangeley Lakes Region is an accessible wilderness as vast as it is beautiful.
Rapid River
This river boasts an average brook trout at 2-3 lbs. according to locals, and fish topping 5 are not uncommon.
Salmon count affirms recovery
Salmon In The Penobscot River Are Continuing Their Recent Recovery
The Maine attraction
The area around Maine’s largest lake is a flyfisher’s dream
The Smallmouth
Who is THAT fish? Sometimes it’s hard to tell
Top North Country Trout Rivers
For just the right combination of solitude, great fishing and easy access, these highly recommended trout rivers can’t be beat.
Upper Kennebec
The Upper Kennebec and Dead Rivers offer some of the best fishing to be had in the Northeast!
Where to Saltwater Fish Along Maine’s Coast
The following section includes information about and directions to many of Maine’s saltwater boat ramp and shore fishing sites

Maine Fly Fishing Clubs
Down East Salmon Federation
Merry Meeting Bay Chapter of Trout Unlimited
We at Merry Meeting Bay Chapter of Trout Unlimited (MMBTU) believe in the conversavation, protection, and restoration of Maine’s trout and salmon fisheries and their wartersheds.

Maine Fly Fishing Guides
Grand Lake Stream Guides
Kennebec River guide service
Smallmouth bass Fishing in Lincoln, Maine

Maine Hatch Charts
Allagash River hatch chart
Hatch chart data for Kennebec River
Hatch chart data for Penobscot River
Hatch chart data for Roach River
Hatch chart data for Saco River
Hatch data for Allagash River
Hatch data for Androscoggin River
Hatch data for Grand Lake Stream
Hatch data for Kennebago River
Maine Hatches
Hatch Guide for New England Trout Streams.
Penobscot River hatch chart
Rapid River hatch chart

Maine Fly Fishing Maps
Delorme Maine Maps
Maine Lake Charts, Inc.
Creators of detailed maps of Maine lakes and ponds
Maine lake maps
Shawmut Dam, Penobscot River
The Shawmut Dam Landing is a Canoe Launch maintained by Central Maine Power

Maine Fly Fishing Photos
Fly Fising in Maine photos
Maine fly fishing photos

Maine Fly Fishing Reports
Aroostock Headwaters
Belgrade Lakes Fishing Reports
Belgrade Region
Casco Bay fishing reports
Down East reports
Kennebec Report>
Kennebec River Fishing Report
Maine Fishing reports from
reports for major areas of Maine
Maine weekly fishing reports
Broken down by region-by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife
Moosehead Reports
Northern Maine/Eagle Lake Region Reports
Portland Region reports
Rangeley Region fishing reports
SE Striper Reports
Southern Coast Region Reports
Statewide Reports
Upper Androscoggin Region Reports
Upper Kennebec & Somerset County fishing reports
York & Cumberland Counties fishing report

Maine Stream Flows
Real Time Streamflow Conditions (Maine)
Tide Charts for Southern Maine and Casco Bay

Maine Fly Fishing Forums
Maine Fly Fishing Only
Coastal Maine/NH Fishing – StripersOnline SurfTalk
Fly Fishing Only Forums
Maine fly fishing forum

Maine Fly Fishing Shops

Maine Sport Outfitters
Rockport area outfitter; Route 1 PO Box 956 Rockport ME 04856; phone: 207 236 7120
Fly Fishing Only
230 Main Street, Fairfield ME 04937; phone: (207) 453-6242; Check out their Canoe Shuttle Service!
Mountain Valley Flies
790 Lower Street, Turner, Maine 04282; phone: 207-212-9909
Maine Guide Fly Shop and Guide Service
PO Box 1202, Greenville, Maine 04441; phone: 207 695-2266
Eldredge Brothers Fly Shop
Down East Maine fly shop; 1480 US Route One, PO Box 69, Cape Neddick, ME 03902; phone: 207-363-9269/9279
Rob’s Fly Shop
Route 4, North Jay, Maine 04262; phone: (207) 645-4508
Sun Valley Sports
129 Sunday River Road, Bethel, Maine 04217; phone: 1-207-824-7533
Kittery Trading Post
Rte. 1, Kittery, Maine; phone: 888-KTP-MAINE

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