Maine is a beautiful state for all types of outdoor lovers. With the long coastline, mountains, lakes, and some of the best brook trout fisheries in the country, it is an incredible destination. Below, you will find information on where to fish, the laws, and even guides that you can reach out to.
The Best Maine Rivers to Fly Fish
The rapid River is known for being one of the best brook trout fisheries in the entire country. Getting to the river involves either a boat ride or a decent hike, but the trip is well worth it. The river is not only beautiful, but it houses extremely large brook trout and a great salmon population. The sections from Lake Umbagog to the pond in the river are the most productive sections. You’ll find fly fishing anglers reeling in brook trout, salmon and even smallmouth bass (that they toss on-shore).
At the rapid river it is extremely important to get your flies deep. We recommend having heavy nymph set ups and streamers. You may want to check out our guide to fly fishing nymphs, or our guide to fly fishing streamers before you head to the rapid River.
The Magalloway River flows into Lake Umbagog and holds some pretty large brook trout and landlocked salmon. The upper stretches of the river are not dammed and contain lots of native fish. Both the upper and middle sections of the river fish best in spring and fall when the water temperatures are cooler. The lower section of the river fishes very well year-round due to lower water temperatures. The lower section of the river is heavily fished, but you still shouldn’t have problem landing big brookies.
The entirety of the Kennebec River houses good fishing due to the consistent flows and dams throughout the state. The river flows 170 miles in the state, but the upper section is most notably known for its great fly fishing. It is here that the brook trout grow to sizes greater than 5 pounds and the salmon are frequently longer than 15 inches. Anglers can also land rainbow trout and brown trout.
Lower sections of the river are extremely productive for other fish species. The river also get substantially larger as you get closer to the ocean.
Read More About the Kennebec River: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennebec_River
The Penobscot is Maine’s largest river with a length of 370 miles. It houses brook trout, salmon, warm water species, and even stripers further down south. This is a difficult river to wade. With its size is best navigated with a raft, kayak, or some other type of water transportation. If you can find the deep holes of which there are many, you will find some big fish. With the river this long and large you’ll find all types of water, so any angler can find what they are looking for.
The Roach River starts at First Roach Pond in Kokadjo and flows into Spencer Bay on Moosehead Lake. This 6.5 mile stretch is fly fishing only, making it an outstanding fishery. The river has as many pools and riffles making it a great fly fishing experience. Anglers frequently hook into salmon and brook trout. Most fish on the smaller side but the river does house 3+ pounders. Salmon average around 15 inches in the river.
The most productive sections of the Androscoggin River are from the New Hampshire border to around 30 miles in to Maine. With easy access from the road and large portions being wadable, this river is extremely productive for fly fisherman. This River is frequently stocked, and native brook trout and landlocked salmon can be caught.
This is by no means a complete list of rivers. There are countless others with great fishing. Don’t believe us? Here is a complete list of all of the rivers in Maine: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rivers_of_Maine
The Best Maine Lakes & Ponds to Fly Fish
When it comes to fly fishing lakes and ponds in Maine, there are absolutely endless opportunities. The northern portions of Maine are filled with lakes and ponds that house large brook trout, landlocked salmon, bass, crappie, pickerel, pike, and everything else you could imagine. A complete list of rivers is impossible, but a list of lakes and ponds is even harder. Your best bet is to talk with local guides for an area that you’d like to travel to.
Actually, we found one resource that does have a list: http://www.maineflyfishing.com/ffowater.htm
Here you’ll find a ridiculously long list of fly fishing only ponds in the state of Maine. You’ll also see rules and regulations for those waters.
Fly Fishing the Seacoast of Maine
People in New England simply loves striper fishing. If you’ve ever gone, you’d know why. If you haven’t gone, you need to. Stripers are big, they are strong, and they are damn fun to catch. With Maine’s rivers running into the ocean, and such a large amount of coastline, there is a ton of water for fly anglers.
It is important to take a look at Maine state regulations before heading out on the water.
This resource will give you the most up-to-date regulations.
You may find yourself asking: Where do I fish? The answer is pretty much everywhere. Wherever there is a bay, or wherever there’s a river flowing to the ocean, there’s probably a very good place to fish very close by. Keep your eyes open, or just contact a local guide. (see below)
Maine Fishing Season and Regulations
We obviously only condone legal fishing, so here’s just about everything you need to fish legally in state of Maine:
Licensing and permitting: https://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing-boating/fishing/licenses-permits/index.html
General fishing regulations: https://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing-boating/fishing/laws-rules/laws-definitions.html
Salt water fishing regulations: https://www.maine.gov/dmr/recreational-fishing/regs-tips/index.html
Special fishing laws: https://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing-boating/fishing/laws-rules/special-laws.html
For fly fishing, the trout rivers and streams in Maine generally 9 foot 5 weight and 6 weight fly rods, with fly reels, and floating lines being the go-to. See our recommendations below.
For fly fishing on Maine’s coast, an all-around setup would be a 9-foot 8-weight fly rod, sealed fly reel, and an intermediate fly line.
Maine Fly Fishing Guides & Lodges
Maine is a big state, it has an absurd amount of rivers, Lakes, and places to fish along the shoreline. It can be a bit overwhelming to decide where to go if you are not familiar with the state. That is why we recommend reaching out to local guides that can get you on the most productive fishing spots, tell you what flies are working, and give you a great experience.
If you are interested in striper fishing, Shoals Fly Fishing can get you onto stripers in both New Hampshire and Maine.
Maine Guide Fly Shop can get you on stripers, brook trout ponds, bass, rivers, and just about everything else you could want.
There are a large amount of fly fishing guides in the state of Maine, so this is below list may seem overwhelming. We recommend looking at several of these, and picking the one that serves the area you’re looking to fish in.
The article was written by Fly Lords team member Max DesMarais of hikingandfishing.com.