Penobscot River Fishing
The eleven miles of river from Ripogenus Dam to the Abol Bridge holds some of the most productive and captivating fly fishing water in the state of Maine. From powerful class V rapids filling deep pools in narrow and misty Ripogenus Gorge to long broad riffles and runs, the West Branch of the Penobscot River hosts a thriving population of Wild Landlocked Salmon and Brook Trout. Due to powerful falls and deep pools, wading many sections of this river are impossible. We find the best way to reach, and fish the most productive water is to fish by inflatable rafts or driftboats customized for fly fishing. The best water to float varies with the seasonal movement of the fish and the forage, and the natural progression of hatches makes each trip unique.
The season opens on April 1st but doesn’t get rolling until the smelt run shortly after ice out. Fishing this time of year can be unpredictable, but fishing streamers are the best bet for enticing strikes from big salmon hungry from the long winter.
May into June gives way to the first descent hatches of Mayflies and the start of the rivers often epic Caddis hatches, which can sometimes carry well into fall. Stone flies hatches occur throughout the season, and can often bring some of the rivers biggest fish to the surface for a big bite.
Anglers fishing the West Branch should be prepared to fish (or learn) a variety of techniques from “drag free” dry fly and nymph presentations, to swinging streamers and wets for smashing strikes.
Come enjoy the land that Henry David Thoreau once described as “moosey and mossy”, and the river that has carved its way through a sea of beautiful green forest. Fish and float in the company of Bald Eagles, Loons, and Moose, all in the presence of Mount Kathadin, Maine’s highest mountain.