Fishing in Maine

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With nearly 6,500 ponds and lakes throughout Maine, and over 32,000 miles of rivers and streams, Maine has a seemingly endless amount of water for anglers to explore. Within this abundance of water, the country?s largest population of wild eastern brook trout are found along with browns, rainbows, and landlocked Atlantic salmon.

Trout are found all throughout the state, but the majority of Maine?s treasured cache of wild, native brook trout reside in the ponds and lakes of the northern portion of the state. Around 1,200 of Maine?s lakes and ponds are designated as Principal Brook Trout Fisheries; roughly 660 haven?t been stocked in ten years or more; and 335 have never been stocked. And these incredible self-sustaining populations aren?t made up entirely of the tiny brookies found elsewhere in the country; Maine?s brook trout grow very large, up to 4 pounds in some areas. While many of these small, prolific brook trout ponds and lakes are located on privately owned logging land, or land owned by conservation groups and sporting clubs, there are many with public access like those found in Baxter State Park. Some of these lakes and ponds, 120 to be exact, are well off the beaten path and are classified as ?remote? by Maine?s Land Use Planning Commission, but the reward of catching a pure, wild, native fish, is very much worth the effort.

Fly fishing in Maine isn?t limited to remote wilderness ponds; famous rivers like the Kennebec, the Rapid, and the West Branch of the Penobscot are an important part of the Maine fly fishing experience. These rivers are home to abundant populations of landlocked Atlantic salmon, brook trout, browns, and rainbows. One of Maine?s other prominent fisheries is the Atlantic Ocean, where fly anglers cast from the beaches and jetties or from small boats along the shore for massive striped bass, bluefish, pollock, and mackerel. Due to Maine?s far north location, much of the state?s fly fishing activity happens from April through September, as the cold of winter freezes over most waters.

ME Department of Fish & Wildlife
284 State Street
Augusta, ME 04333-0041
P: (207) 287-8000

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