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St. John River

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You can take amulti-day canoeing and fishing trip through Maine's North Woodsbyvisitingthe St. John River.You can canoe more than 100 miles through undeveloped forest along the uppersectionof the riverwhile you fish formuskellunge(or "musky").Along the lowersection, you can fish formuskyand smallmouth bass.

Upper St. John

The upper section of the St. John River flows from Fifth St. John Pond north toAllagashVillage, and roadaccess to the water is very limited.You should be an experienced canoeist to take on this stretch—or you may want to hire a guide—because of thedifficulty of the rapids in several stretches.Although the upper St. John was noted as a wild brooktrout fishery, muskyintroduced intotheQuebec waters of the drainage in the early 1970s are now the dominant fishery. Fishing for native brook trout is limited to the many cooler tributaries found along its course.

The upper St. John is very wide throughout much of its length, requiring a good flow of water to travel downstream without the need for dragging and portaging. As flows in the St. John are entirely dependent on runoff, the best timefor youto scheduleatrip isaround the time ofspring runoff, which occurs from May through themid-June. After mid-June, easily negotiable flows usually occur only after significant rain events, limitingyourability to schedule a trip well in advance from July through October.

Lower St. John

The lower St. John from Allagash Village to Hamlin, where the river enters Canada, flows past forests, farms and small towns in the St. John Valley. For 70 miles,it comprises theborderbetween Maine and New Brunswick, Canada.Muskyand smallmouth bass have replaced brook trout and landlocked salmon as principal fisheries inthis section. Both species provide season-long action. In August,you can attendthe Fort Kent Musky Derby.The lower St. John is fished most effectively from a boat or canoe.You canaccessthe lower St. John from severalpoints,as Maine Route 161 follows the river closely from Allagash to Fort Kent and U.S. Route 1 parallels the river for the entire distance between Fort Kent and Hamlin.