Maine has is known as one of the best fly fishing destination in the country to land stunningly beautiful and big brook trout. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know before you head on a fishing trip in the great state of Maine.
Maine Fishing Season and Regulations
Before fishing anywhere in Maine, you should be sure to look up the rules and regulations for that particular river, lake, pond, or saltwater regulations. Maine has plenty of rivers with fly fishing only sections, and reciprocal saltwater licensing with New Hampshire.
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 regulations & laws: https://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing-boating/fishing/laws-rules/special-laws.html
What Types Of Fish Are In Maine?
- Brook Trout
- Brown Trout
- Rainbow Trout
- Striped Bass
- Lake Trout
- Atlantic Salmon
- Pike / Pickerel
- Tons of other species
The Best Maine Rivers to Fly Fish
The Androscoggin is one of New Hampshire’s top fly fishing rivers, as well as Maine’s. From the New Hampshire border, the Maine section of this river is extremely productive for 30+ miles into Maine. There is a ton of publicly accessible water that is both stocked, and features native brook trout and landlocked salmon.
Interested in the Andro in New Hampshire? Check out our guide here: https://hikingandfishing.com/androscoggin-river-fishing-nh/
If you speak to any fly fisherman in the state of Maine, they will tell you that you have to try the Rapid River. Known as one of, if not, the best brook trout fisheries in the country, this river houses a healthy population of big brook trout and salmon.
Fishing this river requires a walk into the river of a couple of miles, or a boat trip on Umbagog Lake. From Lake Umbagog to The Pond In The River. In this stretch, anglers are asked to toss any caught bass on the shore. The water here is pretty fast, making it essential to get down when you are nymphing or using streamers. If you find yourself hooked into a big fish in fast water, it is commonplace to lose it.
The Magalloway River houses a healthy brook trout and landlocked salmon population. This river flows into Lake Umbagog. In the northern stretches of the river lies lots of native and smaller fish. After the dams, you’ll find more larger trout, but more fisherman as well. This river is productive at different sections at nearly all times.
The Kennebec is a 170 mile long river that features lots of brook trout, salmon, rainbows, browns and more. Here, fish that are 5+ pounds are not that uncommon. The upper sections of the river are most well known as the best fly fishing waters. This river has dams scattered all throughout, which keeps relatively consistent flows throughout the year.
Moving towards the ocean, you’ll find more warm water species, and even stripers. The water gets significantly larger as well.
The Penobscot is 370 miles long, making it Maine’s longest river. With healthy populations of brook trout, salmon, warm water species, and stripers as you approach the ocean, this is a fly fisherman’s dream. It houses big fish, and may just be best fished from a boat given the size.
The Roach River features some amazing fly fishing only waters on a 6.5 mile stretch of river. This river has a healthy salmon and brook trout population. Comparatively to other rivers on this list, the fish are on the smaller size, however there are plenty of bigger fish in here as well. The fly fishing only section starts at First Roach Pond in Kokadjo and flows into Spencer Bay on Moosehead Lake.
There are a lot more rivers in Maine than what we have listed above: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rivers_of_Maine
The Best Maine Lakes & Ponds to Fly Fish
Maine is filled with gorgeous mountain streams, tons of coastal waters, and an endless supply of small lakes, big lakes and ponds that hold some awesome fish. You can find populated lakes, or completely empty bodies of water just begging for some angler’s attention. Whether you want to target big trout, salmon, native fish, or warmwater species, you can find whatever you are looking for. Here is a list of all of Maine’s fly fishing only waters – though there are plenty of non ffo waters that are also great to hit up.
Here is that list: http://www.maineflyfishing.com/ffowater.htm
Fly Fishing the Seacoast of Maine
Before heading out on any water in Maine, be sure to check out the regulations: https://www.maine.gov/dmr/recreational-fishing/regs-tips/index.html
Maine Fly Fishing Guides & Lodges
If you are looking to get on the water, definitely catch fish, and learn some valuable lessons – or just pick up some flies, check out our list of Maine Fly Fishing Guides below:
If you are interested in fly fishing for stripers, Shoals Fly Fishing can help in either New Hampshire or Maine. Maine Guide Fly Shop can get you on stripers, brook trout ponds, bass, rivers, and just about everything else you could want.
This list is by no means complete. Message us if you’d like to see more added.
Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about