Maine Fishing Report
October 6th, 2023
It is peak fall fishing season here in Maine and though many of our northern fisheries have closed for the year, arguably some of the best trout and salmon fishing is yet to come, especially for the southern portion of the state. Striped bass fishing will soon be petering out but for now fishing remains fantastic with heavy fall feeds occurring on a daily basis. Now is the time to get out for that last shot at a striped bass or that last fall trout adventure before things get too cold!
In Maine, our open water fishing season technically occurs from April 1st until September 31st, however fishing opportunities exist year round. We refer to this as the "extended season." Though many of our northern Maine fisheries shut down after September 30th to protect spawning fish, all lakes and ponds in the southern zone (see IF&W website) of the state stay open (unless otherwise noted), as well as many of the larger major rivers across the state. Stillwater fishing can be fantastic this time of year and a very underutilized opportunity in southern Maine is targeting rainbow trout in ponds and lakes as they are not spawning and are often feeding heavily this time of year with an abundance of food and comfortable water temperatures. Brook trout, brown trout, and landlocked salmon are all fall spawners which is why they enter river systems this time of year and why many of the vulnerable northern rivers containing native trout and landlocked salmon shut down to fishing. It is not encouraged to fish for actively spawning fish (the ones that are paired up very shallow located on round patches of light colored gravel or "redds") but fishing for these species both pre and post spawn can produce great results in the fisheries that stay open to angling. Places like the Presumpscot River, the Royal River and the Saco River are all great extended season options if you prefer fishing in rivers. Northern Pike are another great option for this time of year and the fishing has been great. If you need help finding an extended season fishing option stop by the shop or give us a shout.
Things have really heated up over the past couple weeks and we have been experiencing a great fall for striped bass. There are still plenty of fish north of us that are still to come south and the fishing has become much more consistent than it was during the summer months that were much slower than average. Heavy feeds have been occuring on peanut bunker, sand eels and mackerel. Peanut Bunker have certainly been the main attraction and if you find peanuts there are likely stripers also in the area even if they are not actively feeding on them. Make sure to have a smaller but full body profile fly to imitate this forage. Olive over white is our favorite color combo for imitating peanut bunker. Topwater flies are producing good results as well. Larger patterns like the Hellfire Big Game Poppers are producing better results than gurglers and crease flies. Sometimes you need to do something to differentiate your fly from the abundant bait around and the smaller slimmer flies can kind of just get lost in the chaos of a heavy feed. Use something that displaces a lot of water. Crabs and Crousers also continue to give up great results and oftentimes tossing a weighted fly below a heavy fall feed will result in the biggest fish. If not on actively feeding fish, the crabs and Crousers are likely to give up the best results and will buy bites when the fish aren't interested in baitfish. Now is the last shot at some quality striped bass fishing as we are approaching the end and may only have another few weeks left before they've all headed out. Beaches, flats, ledges, rock piles, outflows and estuaries all have fish; it's just a matter of intercepting them as they move south. Get out there and enjoy one of the best times of year to be on the coast of Maine!
August 29th, 2023
Summer is coming to an end and it's starting to feel like fall here in Maine. This means many of our favorite and most loved fisheries will start to come into their prime and we are set up for some very favorable conditions. It's been a very long time since we had a summer season with as much rain and sustained cool temperatures as we have, which on the trout and landlocked salmon side of things is very exciting. Fresh runs of brook trout and landlocked salmon have already begun to move into rivers and streams and more fish are going to trickle in and begin to stage to spawn in coming weeks as temperatures begin to cool. Ponds have been fishing very well all season long and our southern maine rivers and streams will soon be stocked too. On the saltwater side of things we are starting to see an increase in striped bass activity. Fish are starting to gear up for their journey back south and are beginning to feed more regularly and in better numbers. The past month has been quite slow in the striped bass world here locally but we know there are a lot of fish that summered north of us that are starting to make their way back down and fish that have been hanging further offshore locally are starting to come in close to feed again. Warmwater bass fishing remains at its peak but as that starts to slow we will start to see an increase in northern pike activity as water cools. Now is the time to get ready for your fall fishing activities. Make your plans, check your leaders and tippet, restock your favorite flies, and get ready for a great fall season!
Trout and Landlocked Salmon:
It's been a wet one this summer and the fish are certainly happy. The concern this fall might be that the rivers are too high to fish your favorite spot but that's much better than the alternative. As of now things are looking good and there are plenty of opportunities to be had but caution should be taken when wading this year as most rivers are flowing above average. Aside from the challenge of wading, there is a big advantage to the high water; the fish eager to hop on a fly. And with the cooler temps we have already seen fish begin to make their fall runs into rivers and streams. Some fisheries sustained good fishing throughout the summer this year but more fish are starting to show up to the party and others that just simply don't produce in summer months even on the best years are starting to see fish make their first appearances of the fall. It is still early but we are set up to have some fantastic conditions for this coming fall season. And don't get discouraged by high water. Fish will oftentimes move onto the edges close to the banks in high water to escape the current and can often be found right at your feet! Take advantage of it rather than let it hinder your plans. High water means big and bright streamers. Flies like Montreal Floozies, Black Ghosts, and Gartside Soft Hackles are some of the top producers for this time of year. For nymphs and dries, bring the kitchen sink. Sometimes they want something very specific and you need to go with a match the hatch mentality, other times it's big and flashy and you'll get a fish everytime you change your fly but never two on the same fly. In the fall you just never know and it certainly varies in different fisheries. But this time of year it's generally beneficial to have a wide array of flies. Some of our favorite fall dry flies are Stimulators, Foam Run Caddis (orange size 8) and Parawulffs. For nymphs never leave home without pheasant tails, copper johns and hare's ears but this fall some of the modern flashy jig nymphs may be particularly productive if high and off color water continues to be present. Don't underestimate a partridge and orange soft hackle this time of year either.
Warmwater Bass and Northern Pike:
Smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing remains very productive. Northern pike are being caught but the fishing will get better as temps cool down. Generally speaking northern pike will go a little deeper in the summer months and return to shallow areas to feed in the fall. Fall can be one of the best times to target northern pike but in Maine it is often overshadowed by other options. Don't be afraid to get out for some pike this season as things cool down. These fish can be caught all the way up until bodies of water freeze and especially in the extended open water fishing season when fishing options become limited they can be a great option to get into some hot and heavy action for big fish. Upsize flies this time of year. Use flies that could eat the flies you were throwing in the spring.
Saltwater:After what was a pretty disappointing summer locally in the world of striped bass, things have definitely taken a turn with fishing becoming more consistent and productive. This summer it seemed as if a lot of bass either summered over to the north of us, or stayed offshore away from all the freshwater that has been dumping out of the rivers over the past couple months. Over the past week this has changed and reports have indicated a positive trend in fishing with better numbers to be had and some very sizable fish caught. Persistence has been the name of the game this season and those who are putting in their time are doing well. Covering water to find fish has been key with some areas being loaded one day and empty the next. Crabs and crousers on dragged on the bottom continue to produce good results and are must haves especially when the going is tough and the fish aren't feeding heavily. Fish however are starting to feed more heavily on baitfish so having general baitfish patterns in the 4"-8" are important as well. Clousers, Half and Half's, Deceivers and Hollow Fly patterns will all produce results. Hellfire Big Game Poppers have also given up some great fish over the past couple weeks. Rock piles, ledges, beaches, marshes, flats and river mouths are all in play. Fall is one of the best times to target striped bass in Maine so don't miss out on the action! We still have a couple months of great fishing ahead!
July 8th, 2023
As of now, fishing remains productive for both our freshwater and saltwater fisheries. We have had no shortage of rain this season, throughout the state, which has prolonged quality trout and landlocked salmon fishing. In some areas this has kept rivers higher and colder than in previous years. In many cases there were periods where it seemed almost every river in Maine was flowing at "ice out" water levels (cfs) but it was mid June. The consistent rain and cloudy days throughout most of June kept trout/salmon conditions good. Random bouts of sunshine intertwined with the grey-ness would trigger some different hatches which also kept things interesting.
For saltwater, the bite this season has certainly been more spotty than in previous years, but when it's good, it's been very good. High numbers of large fish have been brought to hand if you can be at the right place at the right time. Northern pike and smallmouth + largemouth bass are all great options this time of year as well. We are certainly moving into summer mode but there is still great fishing to be had!
Trout + Landlocked Salmon flies:
May 28th, 2023
It's prime time! All across the state fishing has picked up and it is one of the best times of year to get out. All species and fisheries are producing good results and our striped bass have arrived in pretty good numbers with some very sizable fish already reported. For the freshwater side of things trout and salmon fishing has steadily improved and our season is off to a great start. Both rivers and streams as well as ponds and lakes are fishing well for trout and landlocked salmon right now. In an interesting turn of events, it seems that anglers continue to show just as much interest in the northern pike and smallmouth bass fishing as the trout and salmon. Both northern pike and smallmouth bass fishing continues to produce good results and these fisheries can be found very close to home here in southern Maine. In the saltwater world we are seeing the fishing improve on a daily basis as more and more striped bass make their way up the coast.
Trout + Landlocked Salmon flies:
Northern Pike + Smallmouth Bass Flies:
April 24th, 2023
Trout and Salmon:
September 29th, 2022
Words + Photos by: Josh Thelin & Joe Webster
It has been great to experience a wet fall like this again. It has been a long time since (the right areas in) Maine have received as much water as we have this month. It was a bit of a slow start as far as water temperature goes but that has since changed and we have seen and heard good things. Water levels have for the most part been great for most areas. Use caution when wading in rivers around high water and always check the flows of rivers before going if at all possible. Reports from anglers targeting trout and salmon have been positive. As far as fly selection goes, nothing much has changed since our last report. Bring the kitchen sink and be versatile. Dry flies, emergers, nymphs and streamers all can and will catch fish this time of year. With the good amount of rain that we have had, it is common to see hatches of small BWOs (size 16-20). A good fall rain and BWOs go together like PB+J. Plus the usual suspects of caddis (including October caddis) have been seen regularly.
Also a reminder, as it's that time of year, please be cautious of spawning fish. If you see redds, staging fish, or similar indications that trout or salmon are spawning, please use your best judgement and leave fish alone that have other things on their mind. There are plenty of fish around and simply moving locations (even within that same water) can put you on different fish.
Pike fishing has picked up quite a bit as well with fish coming back into shallower water where they are more accessible to fly anglers. Pike fishing will remain good until their haunts freeze over. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are still readily available too. Though our regular season is soon coming to a close, there are still very many extended season and year round fly fishing opportunities to be had. Stop by the shop or shoot us an email for any help you need with your fall fishing adventures.
Trout and Salmon Flies:Black Ghost (size 4-8)
Mickey Finn (size 4-8)
Golden Retriever (size 6-10)
White Retriever (size 6-10)
Woolly bugger (size 4-10)
Muddler Minnow (size 8-10)
Kiwi Muddler (size 6-4)
Bunny Leech (size 8-4)
Blossom Special (size 6-4)
Skiddish Smolt (size 4)
Morrish Mouse (size 6-4)
Bead Head Stonefly (size 10-6)
Hare’s Ear (size 18-12)
Pheasant Tail (size 20-14)
Zebra Midge (size 20-16)
Prince Nymph (size 12-8)
Copper John (size 18-12)
RS2 (size 18-20)
Partridge Soft Hackle (size 12-18)
Stimulator (size 12-6)
Elk Hair Caddis (size 16-8)
Parachute Adam’s (size 12-18)
Para Wulff (size 14-18)
Royal Coachman (size 14-16)
Pike and Bass Flies:
Half and Half (2/0)
Brush Bunny (1/0)
Brammer’s Finger Mullet (size 2)
Flash Dance (size 2/0)
Hellfire Indestructible Baitfish (4/0)
Hellfire Articulated Popper (4/0)
Hellfire Big Game Popper (4/0)
Staying consistent with the freshwater side of things, our fall run took it’s sweet time to come into full swing but we are there. The past couple weeks have given up some great action and there are certainly still opportunities at catching striped bass in the coming weeks. The trend over the past few years seems to be that they come earlier and stay later every year. Fall fishing can be a high risk high reward scenario as far as catching goes. Patterning fish can be much more difficult than the spring and one spot will often be great one day and dead the next. Fish are now for the most part in large pods and on the move so you are most likely either catching a lot or catching nothing. There is a large amount of forage currently around for the striped bass including mackerel, pollock, peanut bunker, sand eels, crabs and shrimp. Generally bigger baitfish patterns will work best at night and low light hours, whereas smaller offerings like sand eels, peanut bunker and crab imitation seem to be more reliable bets when fishing on bright sunny days. Weather has been tough. High winds and big seas have made things difficult recently but that is typical fall fishing. Don’t be afraid to poke up into the mouths of rivers and estuaries as fish will find themselves back up in those areas where they were in the spring, but had vacated for the hot summer months. These are great places to go when the wind and the waves are too much to deal with. We were pretty lucky last year with great fishing that sustained well into October and it looks like we are setting up for a similar season this year. Things can and will change fast this time of year but for now the fishing remains strong.
Striped Bass Flies:Crouser (size 2-1/0)
Clouser (size 2-2/0)
Half & Half (1/0-4/0)
Bucktail Deceiver (2/0)
Big Game Deceiver (4/0)
Squimpish Hollow Fly (6/0)
Tactical Tungsten Crab (1/0)
Tactical Tungsten Shrimp (size 2)
Maine Merkin Crab (1/0)
RIO’s Kahuna Crab (1/0)
RIO’s Playbate (2/0)
RIO’s Flash Dance (size 2-2/0)
RIO’s Pipe Eel (size 2)
RIO’s Brammer Finger Mullet (size 2)
RIO’s Participation Trophy (size 6)
Hellfire Eel Slider (4/0)
Hellfire Traditional Popper (2/0)
Hellfire Crease Fly (2/0)
Hellfire Indestructible Baitfish (4/0)
September 1st, 2022
Words + Photos by: Josh Thelin & Joe Webster
With the rain we’ve received recently and more coming in the forecast, things are looking promising for our fall trout and landlocked salmon fishing. Start getting ready and keeping an eye out for cooler nights and rain storms which will trigger fish to run from lakes and ponds and refresh and move around resident river populations. We are still in the "late summer mode" in terms of conditions for the most part, but it will change quickly. For flies, fall is the time to bring the kitchen sink. Dry flies, streamers and nymphs will all produce results in both large and small sizes depending on the mood of the fish that day. Sometimes it is more important to match the hatch whereas other days throwing a giant dry attractor pattern, or flashy streamer may be the ticket to success. Sometimes it’s a combination of both. It’s all about experimentation on a given day to find what will produce the best results. Sometimes the fish are sipping tiny BWOs and sometimes they are smashing streamers. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something different whether that be a fly change, presentation change or location change. Keep in mind that brook trout and landlocked salmon spawn in the fall. So, during their "pre-spawn" time they are moody and mostly focused on their task at hand...Their behavior can be very different than during the spring and summer. Sometimes success means dialing-in their mood and not necessarily their specific food source/hatch.
The current water levels around the state are generally high. Most of the rivers have higher flows with more water available in the lakes and ponds to continue into the fall. Although this certainly presents challenges for wading and might move fish into different areas, I would certainly rather have more water in the fall than low and warm. So this is a good thing! If you do decide to wade a river that is higher than normal, please take care to not wade deeply and bring a wading staff. This also presents an opportunity to maybe try different water than you are used to fishing. Exploring new water is fun and forces you to learn new things! Don’t overlook ponds this fall either as they are often the best way to get away from fall crowds on the more popular rivers.
Warm water species remain very productive with smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and pike being readily available and still willing to come up and take a top water fly. Water temps are very comfortable for these species right now and they are happy and hungry.
Trout and Salmon Flies:
After a pretty slow few weeks things are starting to pick up again. This summer lull happens at some point every year in Maine usually around late July-early August and the bass just seem to shut down and not want much to do with taking a fly. If you’ve been out on the water without any success using techniques that produced for you in the spring and early summer, odds are you are not doing anything wrong, the bass just aren’t cooperating. As temperatures cool and fall weather sets in this can and will change fast. Persistence will eventually pay off. We have already started to see this happen with the bait, young-of-the-year river herring have begun to flush out of our river systems and clouds of sand eels have taken over our beaches and flats. Now it is just a matter of time until the bass start to move and heavy feeds begin more regularly again. Currently the night bite into first light is the most productive. We will start to see feeds during the day as fall progresses but concentrating on low light to no light conditions is always your best bet, especially if you are after the larger fish. Bigger flies in the 8”-12” range are producing the best results at night. To no surprise black has been the most productive color at night. During the day it has been a mix of dragging crabs and clousers on the bottom or suspending small subtle sand eel and shrimp patterns high in the water column. If your lucky enough to see the fish you are targeting, and notice they are swimming near the surface, a floating, suspending, or very slow sinking fly with a floating or intermediate line will be your best bet. If you notice the bass glued to the bottom they are probably picking away at crustaceans and burrowing sand eels which is the time to be using the crabs and crousers right on the bottom with a sink tip fly line. Bluefish have also been present in Maine in pretty good numbers which is a welcomed surprise. Numerous reports of big bluefish too have been regular! Bringing a spool of wire bite tippet is not a bad idea with the above average numbers we have been seeing this year. The best is yet to come! Most anglers in Maine give up before the fall run comes into full swing however if you stick with it you will be rewarded with some of the hottest and heaviest action of the year.
Striped Bass Flies:
July 22nd, 2022
Freshwater:This year's spring/early summer season has been a real treat compared to last. Somewhat consistent rainfall, and more importantly cool nights and mornings, have kept our trout and salmon fisheries in great shape. However, it has been a little while since our last trout/salmon fishing report so quite a bit has changed. River trout season is definitely coming to an end until fall, but mornings should still be cool enough to fish for the time being (depending on location). If you do go out for trout + salmon, start focusing on mornings and carrying a thermometer to look for water under 68 degrees. Pond fishing however is still going strong with Hex/drake hatches still popping off...further north will have better concentrations at this point. July can be one of the best times of year to dry fly fish for brook trout in Maine, especially on ponds, as fish are still willing to come up to the surface for absurdly large dry flies. Don't forget about our completely underutilized warmwater fisheries as well. Smallmouth and largemouth bass, pike and musky are all great options here in the summer months and will almost certainly produce larger and more fish than targeting trout and salmon. Grab a frog popper and work it around weed beds and lily pads or strip a baitfish pattern around structure for some hot and heavy action.
May 29th, 2022
Words + Photos by: Josh Thelin & Joe Webster
May 5th, 2022
October 25th, 2021
Though most of our northern trout and salmon fisheries have closed for the year, extended season options remain plentiful and trout and salmon can now readily be targeted in the southern half of the state. Many of our favorite close to home rivers are fishing quite well right now. Fishing wooly buggers and various streamer patterns remains a productive method of catching trout and salmon. Standard nymphs such as hares ear and pheasant tail patterns have also been working. Check out our article on extended season information or stop by the shop to ask about the many options still available to fish. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and pike aren’t out of the mix yet either. This is a fantastic time of year to be out on the water.
You can read our article about extended season options HERE
Our striper bite remains very strong. They certainly have not left yet with some great fishing being reported over the past several weeks. Size has varied greatly from very small to very large. This time of year you never know what might grab your fly. Surface activity has been quite regular with a plentiful amount of sand eels, peanut bunker, and various other small bait fish. Clousers, small decievers, and even poppers have been working to catch these hungry fish on the move south. Crabs continue to produce as well. It is hard to say how long we have left but with fishing being well above average this fall and still remaining very productive we may see quality striped bass fishing well into November.
- Joe Webster
September 28th, 2021
Things are looking up. In the northern part of the state trout and salmon have begun to make their fall spawning runs. Cooler temperatures and some much needed rain have been a relief to our fish. Most of the dams on our major rivers have begun to release some water and water temperatures are now less worrisome to play trout and salmon in. Fall time for trout and salmon means a few things. The first thing to understand is that the fish are there for one purpose; spawning. This means they are not actively feeding, but are biting out of territorial aggression which is why certain attractor patterns such as Mickey Finn and Montreal whore streamers work so well this time of year. It is important to have a variety of flies and to switch flies often. It is a very common occurrence to have a fish ignore several different patterns before committing to one. Streamers, nymphs, and dry flies can all produce fish this time of year and it is all about finding what specific pattern, style of fly, or presentation is working best in the given moment you are on the water. Some reliable streamer patterns are of course Mickey Finns and Montreal whores as mentioned above as well as the grey ghosts, black ghosts, and golden retrievers. Nymphs with flash, or copper John’s with brightly colored wire are known to produce strikes when natural colors are not. Tiny dry flies and emergers are often useful this time of year, and don’t be afraid to skate a large stimulator or muddler across the surface of faster moving water. Another important thing to understand is that the fall season is when trout and salmon are most vulnerable and susceptible to human impact. Keep this in mind as you go in your fall adventures and as always remember to move often, rest water, and never be afraid to explore where other people aren’t. Warm water species are still fishing very well so don’t forget about smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and northern pike as they are still all very viable options especially in the southern part of the state. Also, keep in mind as we are towards the end of September, a lot of Maine's water closes to fishing soon. So keep an eye on the specific rules/laws for where you want to fish. Feel free to give us a call or stop in the shop to help plan your next fall trip!
We are currently nearing the peak of our fall run for striped bass if we are not there already. We have not received a ton of reports in recent weeks (which means angling pressure is down), but what we have heard has for the most part been very positive. The general consensus is that numbers are down but size is up. Some very large bass have been caught in recent weeks and the trend seems to be continuing. You can expect several more weeks of very good striper fishing before they head south for the winter. Right now we are still seeing a very large number of sand eels, as well as peanut bunker, mackerel, and of course the life of the party; green crabs. Crab patterns fished on sand or mud flats continue to be the top producer. This being said we have definitely seen an increase of fish being caught on rocks with larger flies like mackerel patterns and beast flies. Time of day is becoming less and less significant and fish are being caught mid day on a regular basis now. Weather is always tricky this time of year so always keep an eye on the marine forecast to plan your outings. We have dealt with some pretty big seas in the past couple weeks which can make the bass very active, however can be limiting to a fly angler. Be aware before heading out. This is possibly the best time of year to target striped bass. Beaches and popular vacation spots are now void of tourists, anglers are few and far between, and the fish are aggressive and easy to catch when you find them. Now is definitely not time to give up. Stop on by for up to date information and browse our fully stocked inventory of rods, reels, flies, and accessories.
- Joe Webster
August 21st, 2021
It’s August in Maine and historically that means the lowest and warmest water of the year. That being said, we received some much needed rain since our last report so it is not all bad news. Most of the rain was concentrated in the southern portion of the state so keep doing the rain dance for our neighbors to the north. For now, most anglers are choosing to focus on saltwater, or target warm water species such as smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, or pike. We have had very good reports of big largemouth bass coming from lakes and ponds. Also our river smallmouth fisheries are continuing to fish well and are your best bet at catching high numbers of fish. Hellfire Flies Frog Poppers are our top producing fly and fish best next to structure or around weed beds and lily pads. For those who choose to continue to fish for trout and landlocked salmon, high elevation streams and ponds in the northern part of the state have been producing the best results. Options are currently limited for trout and landlocked salmon, especially in southern Maine, but that will be changing very soon as the fish begin their fall spawning run. Fall is right around the corner and we will have a plethora of opportunities to be had in the very near future. Time to start gearing up for the changing seasons!
Our striped bass fishing remains strong and should get nothing but better. Some days are better than others but generally speaking reports we have been hearing have been positive. Right now there is a large variety of bait that stripers are picking away at. Mackerel, pogies, pollock, green crabs, and sand eels are all on the menu. The amount of sand eels around this season is notable, and if you find yourself around high concentrations of them, odds are bass aren’t too far away, even if they are not actively feeding on them. Green crab imitations fished on the bottom with a sink tip line continues to be a top producing method as well. Low light hours are still crucial but we will see this matter less as things cool down. If there is fog, take advantage of it as the fish will often continue to feed until it clears out. Beaches and rocks/ledges are currently where most fish are being found, but we will see fish start to poke their heads up into rivers and estuaries again soon. We’ve been seeing an increase in surface activity, especially in the mornings, so be ready with your floating line and some poppers. Surface activity will become more consistent as we move into fall. Another exciting opportunity that has arrived at our doorstep is bluefish. Yes, bluefish! Several reports of them have been reported. That being said, it is not a bad idea to carry some wire leader material with you if you are lucky enough to encounter these hard fighting unicorns. With the fall run approaching, tourists starting to return home, and most fly fisherman heading north for trout and salmon, the upcoming months are many avid striper fisherman’s favorite time of year to get out. Time of day will matter less, beaches will be void of summer crowds, and most importantly, the fish will be putting on the feed for their journey back down south. Have patience and don’t give up. It’s about to get really good.
- Joe Webster
July 15th, 2021
Finally some rain! We need more but what we have received has been a welcomed change. This being said we are in full summer mode so always keep a stream thermometer with you if targeting cold water species. Catching trout and salmon in water above 68 degrees can greatly harm them and increase mortality rates when practicing catch and release. If going out looking for trout and salmon, higher elevations or bottom fed dams are going to be your best bet for colder water. We are still receiving good reports of evening dry fly action from ponds in northern Maine. Some higher elevation streams are fishing well for small wild trout but again, always check temperatures. Warm water species is currently the hot topic here at the shop. World class river smallmouth bass as well as big northern pike and largemouth bass are all fishing great right now and gives us a lot of options locally here in southern Maine. Hellfire Frog poppers and sliders have been producing great top water action recently. Baitfish patterns such as clousers and decievers are also a good choice when targeting these predatory warm water species. River smallmouth action imparticular has been growing in popularity. When fishing some of our bigger rivers for smallmouth, search for structure such as rock outcroppings, weed lines and dams. Both largemouth snd smallmouth bass will congregate around structure that they use to ambush prey. If you have any questions on planning your next adventure please reach out to us here at the shop.
We are in full summer mode here. That means most of the bass have settled into their normal haunts and are casually picking away at the plentiful amounts of food they have access to here on the Maine coast. The fish have for the most part dropped out of rivers and estuaries and are now cruising the beaches and holding around ledges and rock piles. Night time is the right time. If you’re not willing to pull an all nighter casting in the dark, focus on early mornings, evenings, and overcast/rainy days. Productive flies for low light hours are sliders, large hollow flies, and patterns that push a lot of water. Black is the way to go for color at night. When throwing black flies silhouette is the Maine objective when choosing what pattern to tie on. Mackerel, pollock, and of course pogies (menhaden/bunker) have all been present and are good profiles to imitate. Mackerel tend to be the slimmest profile where as pogies would be the widest. If you are fishing the day downsizing is almost essential. There are still sight fishing opportunities on sand and mud flats when wind is calm and light is good. For the most part these will be smaller fish eating smaller bait but the visual experience of seeing fish in skinny water and watching them eat (or refuse) your fly is an adrenaline rush no matter how big the fish is. For these situations crab flies and crousers (half clouser, half crab) in olive tones have been the hot ticket. Striped bass love green crabs so this makes a lot of sense. If dragging crustaceans on the bottom isn’t appealing to you, small sand eel patterns and poppers have also been catching fish. Though the bite has not been consistently hot and heavy, some very impressive fish have been brought to hand recently and if you put your time in, rewards can be great. Get out there.
- Joe Webster
June 14th, 2021
Our Maine trout waters are continuing to fish well, though our concern for the summer drought conditions continues to grow immensely. We still have some opportunities left for great trout and salmon fishing but within the next few weeks we may be sounding the alarm due to low and warm water. Southern Maine will get warmer faster than the northern part of the state and there is a high likelihood that in the near future most close to home spots will become too warm to ethically fish for cold water species if that time has not come already. Northern Maine will hold up longer but water is certainly heating up faster than normal. Once water temps reach the upper 60’s it is suggested that trout and salmon be left alone as to not stress them in water less than ideal for them. Stop in and grab a stream thermometer so you can stay up to date with where you are fishing. For what to use; bugs, bugs, and more bugs.
Southern Maine Freshwater:
All of our local trout streams have been stocked and options are plentiful. Pretty much any blue line on your atlas should have fish. Check water temps before fishing. Bugs are out big time and the fish know it. Our top producers for close to home waters have been elk hair caddis, stimulators, and wooly buggers. Warm water species such as smallmouth and pike are great options as well, especially given current conditions. Try throwing a popper or baitfish pattern next to weed beds and lily pads for best results with largemouth and pike. Southern Maine rivers have great smallmouth action and they will eat pretty much anything from a wooly bugger to a top water frog pattern. Ticks are really bad this year so if your out on a small stream walking through the woods be aware and check yourself after getting off the water.
Northern Maine Freshwater:
Memorial Day weekend brought out the crowds but luckily it seemed like there were enough fish around to make all of those who braved the black flies happy. The little rain we’ve gotten has been good but at this point it has really just been a band-aid on a gaping wound. Hope for as much rain as we can get. Rivers are still low (to a concerning degree), but are fishing quite well as water temps have still be relatively comfortable. Ponds are hot right now with lots of dry fly action to be had especially in the evenings. Mayflies have been abundant including Quill Gordons, Hendricksons, and BWOs. Caddis are making significant appearances with large hatches becoming regular, and stoneflies fished along the bottom have given up some impressive fish. We’ve had reports of hex’s as well. For dry flies; Elk Hair Caddis in tan an olive, parachute Adam’s in size 12-16, and stimulators have all been catching fish consistently. Top flies to nymph with have been hare’s ears, pheasant tails, various caddis pupas, and larger yellow/golden stonefly patterns. Days can sometimes be a mixed bag with a fair amount of fly pattern experimentation until you can dial in what the fish are looking for. It has also been changing regularly throughout the day so be prepared to make adjustments. Black flies have been out in full along with No-See-Ums. Luckily ticks aren’t as much of an issue up north. Start checking water temperature’s to make sure they are not too warm to safely play a trout or salmon if your intentions are to release it. Concentrate on mornings and evenings for best results.
Currently we are in one of the best times of the year to target striped bass. The migration is in full swing with some fish settling in to their summer feeding grounds and new fish filtering in with every tide. The bite has been on and off but the fish are in and if you put in your time and effort the fishing can be fantastic. Bigger fish in the 30”-40” inch range have been reported and the schoolies are numerous and hungry. There is a wide variety of bait available to the bass right now. Brit herring and sand eels are abundant in estuaries and beaches. Our rivers have been full of river herring making their annual spawning run and on top of that crustaceans have started to produce some impressive numbers. Mackerel have also made an appearance and we have seen pogies in Maine now as well. Bigger flies such as our SF minnows, mackerel flies, and beast flies are going to start to come into play especially if targeting bigger bass in deeper water. Clousers and Decievers will always produce fish and are important to keep in your box as well. Clousers, decievers, and crabs will often out fish the big flies in shallower water. Our top producers in the last couple weeks have been black clousers, bucktail decievers and SF minnows. Crouser’s and crab flies dragged along the bottom have also been super productive for sight fishing to spooky fish. Surface activity has become a regular occurrence and if you’ve never caught a striper on a popper, it is an experience worth pursuing. Options are plentiful as most fishing situations are producing fish; beaches, rocks, estuaries, flats, and rivers. In coming weeks most fish will be dropping out of rivers and estuaries and will start to look for deeper water, or locations adjacent to deeper water where there can seek shelter during the day and feed at night. Another note is that the further we get into the season the more you’ll want to concentrate on low light situations unless sight fishing on flats. Heavy feeds will most likely be taking place at sunrise/sunset though there are always exceptions to the rule. If you have any questions specific to the locations you are fishing please feel free to stop in and pick our brains about up to date information.
- Joe Webster & Josh Thelin
May 15th, 2021
The time has come. Our rivers, lakes and streams have come alive and it certainly feels like spring out there. Ice out came very early on all of our lakes and ponds. Lack of runoff and generally dry weather have left our rivers low even with the rain we recently received. Normal spring flows really just didn’t happen to the extent that they normally do which is a factor with fish moving into river systems. This lack of water will result in an interesting season if we don’t start to pick up some steady precipitation. Right now we are hoping for as much rain as we can get.
For southern Maine, the stocking truck has started making its rounds and has put fish in many of our favorite early season close-to-home locations. The stocking report can be viewed online HERE. These stocked fish are great fun and are usually pretty easy to catch with a wooly bugger or golden retriever. If fishing more popular locations a more technical nymph set up may be a better bet. Pheasant tail, hare’s ear, and copper John nymphs will all catch fish. Warm water species have started to pick up steam as well with a handful of very impressive pike and largemouth being caught in the last few weeks.
Northern Maine is starting to fish better but it is still a bit early and we need water. The rivers are low for this time of year and may not have the concentrations of fish they would normally have so keep stillwater fishing on ponds and lakes in mind as a good back up options. Another advantage to Stillwater fishing is that it is a good way to get away from the crowds on some of our popular rivers that have seen an increase in pressure in recent years. For flies, be sure to have a good variety of smelt patterns as this is what most of the fish have been keyed in on for the past couple of weeks. Generally speaking, most smelt spawning runs have already happened, or are coming to an end. Mayfly nymphs and caddis nymphs are also a good idea to have and don’t be surprised if you see some rising fish so be sure to have a couple dry flies on deck too! The fish will become more and more interested in bugs as smelt runs and the sucker spawn end and bug activity increases. We are expecting most major hatches to be early this year if trends continue so be prepared.
- Joe Webster
The striped bass have arrived in southern Maine and so far the fishing has been good! Most of your fishing should be focused in and around marshes and estuaries. These areas are not only going to provide great food resources for bass, but also a more comfortable water temp. The warmer temps created from darker sand rivers and given the chance to warm further inland away from the colder early season open ocean make it a happy resource for stripers. Herring/alewife patterns tend to work very well in these areas this time of year. Around river mouths you might see schools of "brit" herring which are the juvenile Atlantic herring. These are smaller and can be easily imitated with a darker color (black, blurple, dark green) clouser or deceiver. One of my favorite early season "brit" flies is the "Vader Clouser" which we carry here at the shop. You can strip it along like a baitfish or bump it on the bottom with a sinking line.
The water temps off the coast of Portland have been hitting around 50-51F. I would expect to see another push of larger fish start to arrive in the next couple of weeks with slightly warmer water temps on the ocean side. When I see that 55 degree mark I can usually bet that another run of larger fish have arrived.
- Josh Thelin
April 1, 2021
Well the day we’ve all been waiting for has come! Open water fishing season is here and there are plenty of good opportunities to get out and wet a line. It looks like things are shaping up to be a little ahead of schedule this year but we also know that April in Maine can be unpredictable so always keep your eyes on the forecast. Versatility, flexibility, and adaptation are key to spring fishing in Maine as conditions are always changing. Please feel free to stop by the shop and talk specifics.
Our southern Maine fisheries are mostly ice free and rivers and streams are lower than average. The rain today helped but we could use more. The stocking truck will start making its rounds this month and will provide many great options for us close to the shop. The stocking report can be viewed online at https://www.maine.gov/ifw/
Generally speaking it is still a bit early for most of our northern Maine fisheries. There is still plenty of ice and snow that needs to melt before things start to get going. We expect ice out on our major lakes to be early but it really depends on what happens with weather in the next few weeks. What we look for is ice free lakes and water temperatures in the low to mid 40’s before we start to get excited. If you don’t have a stream thermometer we highly recommend picking one up at the shop as they can be a very useful tool.
The bass are on the move but they are not here yet. We are eagerly waiting their arrival and preparing for the day when the schoolies arrive to the Maine coast. In the meantime, we are getting our gear organized, tying flies, and scouting locations for the upcoming season. We have continued to expand our saltwater fly and fly tying selection and are ready to get you going on the water!
- Joe Webster
February 17, 2021
What better time to start a Maine open water fly fishing report than in the middle of February?! I think we’re just bored from lack of fishing. This will be a new regular addition to the All Points website and we hope it will help to give you a better understanding of what is happening in Maine for fishing opportunities. Though fishing opportunities are few and far between here currently, we are fully stocked with all the tying materials and necessities to get you ready for the upcoming season. Come in and check out our new and improved shop or view our expanded inventory online!
Saltwater fishing report:
Well not a whole lot happening in the salt right now. Stripers are so close yet so far away. Another couple months and we’ll be in business. Until then there are limited opportunities to fish for sea-run brown trout that were stocked by the state in several coastal rivers in southern Maine. These fish will readily bite all through the winter, however these opportunities are few and far between and totally weather dependent due to ice . Another option that is almost unknown in Maine is winter pollock fishing with a fly rod. Pollock will hold along ledges and rocky areas of the Maine coast and can be caught throughout the winter months. Try a clouser in an area where you may have found striped bass 6 months ago. You might be surprised. Please be careful if you decide to try.
Freshwater fishing report:
Most of our extended season freshwater options are either inaccessible due to ice or void of fish. With the exception of a few rivers that are big enough and fast enough not to ice over, we are playing the waiting game. There may be some fish still kicking around the popular winter areas but expectations should be low. This time of year catching one or two fish in an outing is respectable to say the least.
On another note, we would like to make everyone aware of some conservation happenings taking place across the state. The first we want to mention is a project that potentially could remove 4 dams from the mousam river opening up the entire lower river to anadromous fish. This could potentially create a reestablished sea run brook trout population and will certainly help the alewives that still attempt to run the river every year. The other project is on a much bigger scale and involves the kennebec river and again the opportunity to remove dams to improve fish passage and water quality. The stakes are a little bigger here as the potential project would be on a massive scale and would involve the attempted restoration of Atlantic Salmon. If you care about the future of our water, our fish, and our environment, please make your voices heard when you hear updates about these projects and opportunities to speak out.
- Joe Webster