If you are a fly fisher, you have likely at one time or another heard the tales of, read the articles about, or seen television shows featuring fly fishing western Maine’s tailwaters. There, great stocks of trophy native brook trout reside.
Maybe you’ve seen an incredible acrobatic image of a cartwheeling landlocked Atlantic salmon tumbling through the air, and that made you raise a brow. Perhaps the romantic in you was intrigued by hearing the history of the classic sporting camps or timeless fly patterns developed and proven here. Or just maybe, you had no idea such a place existed. Well it does, and that place is in the mountains of western Maine. The watersheds of this area eventually merge together as one and form the Androscoggin River. They are the world class fisheries, with some of the best native brook trout fishing in the United States.
Believe it or not, part of the allure to fishing here are the man-made dams. While the brook trout have always inhabited these waters, the dams have not, and when they went up, they created remarkable tailwater fisheries. What defines a tailwater, is the water released through the dam comes from the bottom of the deep lake above where the water temperatures are consistently cold throughout the season. In turn, the river is supplied with cool oxyge- rich water that helps contribute to abundant aquatic insect life. The bugs spark a metabolic rate in the fish conducive to heavy feeding and rapid growth. One of the best known tailwaters of the area, the Rapid River, boasts some of the best native brook trout fishing in the U.S.
With good fishing comes fishermen. Anglers have traveled from far and wide for more than a hundred years to try their hand at catching these magnificent fish. The fish have seen it all, and have become masters of identifying the flaws of anglers. This is where a good guide can be your most valuable tool. I cut my teeth on these waters and have spent my years learning the subtleties that make the difference between an amazing day on the water and a frustrating day. Save yourself some time and frustration and give me a call. You won’t regret it. Come spend a few days fly fishing western Maine’s tailwaters, and see firsthand what makes this place – and these fish – so special.