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Looking for Maine fly-fishing advice - DIY landlocked salmon

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boon hogganbeck

Now that my son is old enough to take multi-day camping, we're thinking of doing a long Maine camping trip this summer once travel opens up to fish for landlocked salmon... Money is skinny so this will have to be DIY, no guides etc.  We'll be wade-fishing, but we'll have a canoe along.    I'm  an experienced fly-fisherman but this is a new species for me, so if you have any advice I'd appreciate it.  (Should I just target them like I would trout, or do they have their own eccentricities?)   And if you're willing to PM me with a tip of a watershed to focus on, I'd appreciate it.  I've never fished Maine so we're starting from scratch.  Thanks!

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I don't think it's spot burning to say basing your trip out of the Rangeley area is a good option. A good  range of camping options from full service to remote.

You say "summer" but in July and August things can really slow down for river fishing as the water heat up, although LL tend to stay active longer than the brook trout in my experience. Personally I'd target going from the 3rd week of June to very early July to have the best chance at rivers being at reasonable levels for fishing but not too warm yet. Do know that the biting bugs during that time can be horrendous. Black flies and midgies (no-see-ums) in particular don't seem to care much about bug repellent; cigars work but might not be the best option for your son if you want mom to stay happy. Pack a few bug nets as cheap insurance.


Fishing is always weather dependent and several of the best spots are tailwaters where one change at the dam shuts things down for a bit. Not getting your heart set on one particular river on a certain day can be helpful. 


Other thoughts. Get a paper copy of the Delorme Maine Atlas and Gazetteer (MAG). Plan on no cell coverage in a lot of spots. Plan on walking past locked gates to get to the best spots. Bring mountain bikes (commuter or gravel bikes are fine) to get to non-drivable areas faster (usually OK past locked gates unless specifically posted otherwise). Try not to drive a low clearance vehicle. Remember, logging trucks have the right of way.


I'm sure other's will be along shortly with other thoughts. I'll try to send a PM with a bit more info when I have a moment.

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