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 stream can only be fished with flies or artificial lures. At this writing, an extended drought has affected water levels badly, especially in northern Maine. But some days of hard rain can turn that around almost overnight. Keep your fingers crossed, stream anglers.
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 hotspots. 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: Magallaway 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 to www.sportingjournal. com. Once there, simply click on “fishing.”