Maine Fishing Report
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