Grand Lake Stream
One of only four rivers in Maine that can claim to hold native populations of landlocked salmon,Grand Lake Stream, which flows through the Downeast Maine town of the same name, attracts salmon anglers from around the globe. The village boasts the greatest concentration of professional fishing guides in Maine and consists of a group of sporting camps and outfitters and a state salmon hatchery.
Flowing from West Grand Lake the river covers only 3.6 miles of moderate rapids and pools to Big Lake and can be fished from shorelines or with only moderate wading skills. As with other Maine rivers, a working knowledge of roll casting will keep anglers out of streamside foliage.
More than a hundred years of Maine fishing tradition are packaged in the small village that is the birthplace of the “Grand Laker Canoe,” one of Maine’s best-known treasures.
Besides its trademark landlocked salmon, the waters surrounding Grand Lake Stream offer record-setting smallmouth bass and lake trout, called “togue” by native Mainers. However, Grand Lake Stream offers anglers only an occasional brook trout and is not considered to be a principal brook trout fishery. In Grand Lake Stream, anglers will be best suited with light fly rods in the #5 and #6 range with double-taper lines and 5X to 7X 9-foot tapered leaders.
Designated by Maine law as “Fly fishing only” waters, anglers have their own favorites but seasonal patterns are well-defined. Salmon will follow the smelt into Grand Lake Stream right after ice out and by May, and into early June, the hatches feature mayflies, caddis and alders in that order. Dead-drifting nymph patterns are a commonly used technique with some dry flies as the water begins to warm.
During the heat of the summer, the salmon return to the deep waters of the lake and will not return to spawn until late August or early September. Once again the smelt imitations, in the form of streamer flies are the most productive. Popular patterns include the Mickey Finn, Black Ghost and Gray Ghost.
Portions of Grand Lake Stream are open to fishing from April 1 through October 20. Between October 1 and October 20 all fish must be released immediately.