The Presumpscot River is 25 miles long and flows from Sebago Lake to Casco Bay at Portland. The name Presumpscot has its origin from local native culture and means “many falls” or “many rough places.” Prior to industry, the Presumpscot featured 12 major falls or rapids. Brook trout and landlocked salmon are the most popular fish to be found in the stretch from Sebago Lake to two ponds that form in the river, North Gorham Pond and Dundee Pond. While a few wild brook trout remain in the river, the current population is stocked with brook trout, brown trout, and a few landlocked salmon annually. This stretch of the river is open to year round fishing and is very popular with winter anglers and is designated as fly fishing only from Sebago Lake to North Gorham Pond.
The river is easy to wade but anglers should exercise caution in the upper section just downstream from Route 35, due to periods of rising water due to releases from Sebago Lake. Visit the Portland Water District website for more information.
Early in the spring, and throughout the winter, trout feed on submerged aquatic insect larvae. Therefore, nymph imitations especially flies tied behind a weighted bead head work best. In warmer weather the river is best fished using terrestrial imitations such as grasshoppers and ants.
Downstream from Dundee Pond the river becomes regulated as General Law. Smallmouth bass anglers have excellent luck using rubber shad and plastic worms, both in small sizes and surface lures at daybreak and dusk. Combinations of soft plastic baits and spinner blades work well as do swimming stickbaits and crankbaits, also in smaller sizes.
While smallmouth bass angling is viable in the midsections of the river, in North Gorham Pond and Dundee Pond in particular, the fly fishing only section just below Sebago Lake is by far the most visited section of river.
Downstream the river winds its way down through Windham, Gorham, Westbrook, Falmouth and empties into Casco Bay at Portland. Striped bass and bluefish enter the lower end of the river during the summer months.