Fall fishing hot spots abound in Maine

Although the fall fishing action rarely compares with springtime, the fish do start moving and feeding this time of the year as the autumn nights bring water temperatures back into comfortable ranges for our favorite game fish. Plus, the absence of pesky insects and the presence of brilliant fall foliage make fall fishing extra special.


The added autumn bonus, of course, is the extended seasons. Just remember that after Aug. 16, brooks and streams can only be fished with flies or artificial lures. At this writing an extended drought has impacted water levels badly, especially in northern Maine. But some days of hard rain can turn that around almost overnight. Stream anglers keep your fingers crossed.


Maine, with its vast, expansive watersheds and diverse topography, always  has great fishing to offer, though fall water levels mean some shopping around for the angling hot spots. To their credit, the Maine state regional fisheries biologists – all seven of them – have put together a wonderful list of fall fishing opportunities, from Sebago Lake to the Fish River Lakes in the County.


Here are some selected excerpts:


Sebago — Region A: Little Ossipee Lake in Waterboro ( Rainbows)


Belgrades — Region B: Kennebec River in Madison. Access by the Arnold Trail in Madison ( Big Browns). Lake St. George ( trout and salmon).


Grand Lakes — Region C: West Pike, Spectacle Ponds, Echo Lake and Young’s Pond (trout). Tunk Lake, Green Lake and West Grand lake for salmon and lake trout.


Rangeley — Region D: Magalloway River, Kennebago River and Rapid River (trout). All the Rangeley Lakes and West Richardson Pond.


Moosehead — Region E: Rivers very dry, including the east Outlet and the Roach. Even the  fabled West Branch of the Penobscot River below Rip Dam has excessively low water levels for a tailwater fishery.  Moosehead Lake may be your best bet, if the drought persists.


Penobscot — Region F: Pleasant lake in Island Falls, East Grand Lake and the Togue Ponds at Baxter Park. Good salmon fishing can be expected this fall along the stretch between Elbow Lake dam and Quakish Lake off Route # 11.


Fish River Lakes — Region G:  B Stream in Houlton, Presque Isle Stream in Presque Isle.  The County boasts 7,000 miles of flowing streams, brooks and rivers, most of which contain brookies. Keep an eye on water levels.


As you may have gathered, late fall fishing remains nature-dependent in many sections of the state. That can change, and I’d bet on a rainy fall.


You can view the biologists’ entire, detailed statewide fall fishing recommendations by going online: www.sportingjournal. com. Once there, simply click on fishing.

The author is editor of the “Northwoods Sporting Journal.” He is also a Maine guide and host of a weekly radio program — “Maine Outdoors” — heard Sundays at 7 p.m. on “The Voice of Maine News – Talk Network.” He has authored three books; online purchase information is available at or at Contact email is:

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