We live and fish in the wild heart of one of the countries least populated and remote areas, the headwaters of the Allagash, Penobscot and Aroostook watersheds. Stunning scenery, unparalleled variety and number of waters: large and small lakes, rivers and streams. Almost 4 million acres of vast wilderness means very LOW pressure. Large and numerous Wild Brook Trout and Landlocked Salmon in their most vivid spawning colors, virtually no bugs and easy wading.
Northern Maine’s northerly latitude means our waters cool earlier than almost anywhere else in the country. Our Brook Trout and Landlocked Salmon in turn begin to stage and spawn sooner. Spawning fish are fat, healthy and big, following months of warm temps and intense feeding.
Spawning fish are looking for moving water and we are too. The biggest fish will be found at the inlet and outlets of our largest deep water lakes and its interconnecting rivers and streams. With cooling temps we need early fall rains, the changing of leaves and dropping water temps its hard to imagine a better time of year in the North Woods. When most people think of fishing the north country they focus on ice-out, smelt runs and high water which leads to tough wading and cold water, providing great fishing following the long winter BUT we have another option.
If we had the choice and needed to focus on one season alone, it would be fall fishing and for a number of reasons. First and foremost, with the days getting shorter, early fall rains and increasing flows the water is cooling, drawing wild brook trout and Landlocked salmon from the depths, spring holes and flat water where they have put on the feed bag gaining weight and length over the past several months. Add to this their strong urge to spawn and you have everything you need to have fantastic fishing opportunities, usually producing the largest fish of the season. With this cooling water and increased flows water levels are generally still much lower then they are in the spring of the year. Wadeability of even our largest rivers is nearly unlimited creating access to many pools and runs that are normally unfishable in the spring. Great fish numbers, low pressure and unlimited opportunities. We primarily fish 5 wt rods with floating and light sink tip lines. We pair this with nine to twelve foot tapered leaders, bright colored streamers and soft hackles like the Montreal Whore, Woods Special and other bright bait fish patterns. Think big and bright flies with lots of action,making the fly dance so the fish is forced to make a quick decision, whether striking to feed or protecting its territory. Aggressive pre-spawn fish are generally looking for a meal or a fight, sometimes both. We fish fast and aggressive, stripping all the way to our feet. This aggressive action usually triggers the interest and at times drawing in fish from the opposite side of good size pools. At times when our fall days start to warm, finer tippets, attractor dry flies, nymphs and emergers may be just the ticket. Some of our most productive patterns being Royal Wulffs, Red Humpies and Orange Stimulators and others.
SO, when the colors begin to change and the stars line up with fall rains and cooling temps. Its game on in the North Country. Just a wonderful time of year, and by far our favorite. Plan early to head north and join us at your earliest opportunity. We offer great, experienced, enthusiastic professional guides to assist you along the way.