By Dave Sherwood
Pick up a topographical map of Maine. Look closely. See those squiggly blue lines that run across it like veins? Those are Maine’s trout rivers and streams—more miles of native brook trout water than you’ll find in any other state in the country.
These are fish that have been swimming and reproducing in the wild, without the aid of a stocking truck, since the last Ice Age. They're relics of a forgotten era, a work of art and history in a setting that’s still as wild as any left in the lower 48.
Maine has Miles of Streams and Brooks
For the visiting fisherman, that means one thing: hundreds upon hundreds of miles of streams and brooks to explore with a fishing rod, most of them within a day’s drive of Boston, New York or Washington D.C.
Maine is blessed with millions of acres of remote, largely undeveloped forests. Unless you choose one of the popular streams or rivers, you’re more likely to see a moose than another angler.
Maine’s Kennebec River
The Kennebec River, once crowded by log drives, now runs thick with fish. It’s a fishery unique in the United States. Where else can you catch a native brook trout, a shad, a striped bass, a rainbow and a brown trout—even smallmouth bass—all on the river?
Further north, you can try your luck on world-class brown and rainbow trout fishing below Shawmut Dam, in Fairfield, or head to Bingham, where you can float dry flies over a wild population of rainbow trout that grow to six pounds or more and test even the most experienced anglers. You can wade, you can cast from shore, you can hire a drift boat or a traditional square-stern canoe.
Fish by the Hundreds: Smallmouth Bass, Landlocked Salmon & Brook Trout
If remote, backcountry fishing is more your fancy, hike into the Rapid River and enjoy some of the largest, wild river brook trout found anywhere south of Labrador.
Want to catch smallmouth bass on poppers by the hundreds, in a fishery many magazines have heralded as the best in the lower 48? Try the Penobscot River. Landlocked salmon on streamers and soft-hackles? How about Grand Lake Stream?
If it’s the natives—Maine’s prized brook trout, that you seek - the list is endless, the secrets limited only by your imagination.
Pick up a map, your fly rod, and begin the adventure.
Find all of Maine’s fishing regions on our Interactive Map of Maine.