As kids, my brother Mark and I would drive our bicycles around our hometown of Lisbon Falls fishing the local brooks and streams. We learned early how to thread a worm on a hook so that the small brookies would not be able to steal the bait without getting caught and how to keep our line out of the bushes. These are all fond memories that have helped shape me into the person I am today.
Back in those days- the late 1960’s, if we caught a 12-inch trout, we thought we had a big one that was worthy of showing off to Dad.
As we got older, Dad would take us on spring fishing trips with him. He took us to places like: Kennebago, Munsungan, Parmachenee and Grand Lake Stream. I have some very special memories of those expeditions that will stay with me for a lifetime!
As young adults, my brother and I started fishing the North Maine Woods. We were not experienced fishermen back then, but we caught plenty of brookies and had some wonderful adventures.
Mark and I have settled into a pattern over the last several years of fishing the lakes and streams that makeup the headwaters of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW). We usually take our trip in early June when the flies are just starting to hatch and the togue have settled in at about 30 feet of water.
The fly fishing has been so good on the streams during the first week of June that we don’t have the desire to go try other places. We have caught some beautiful wild trout over the last few years. Nice fat brookies in the 14 to16 inch range are common with an occasional 18-inch fish being caught!
I like to try different waters once in a while- sometimes we find a new hotspot and sometimes the trip turns out to be a dud. Either way the exploratory trip is usually eventful.
A couple of years ago, my brother-in-law, Russell went with me because Mark couldn’t go on our annual spring trip. Another buddy of mine left his boat in the Chamberlain Bridge parking lot, he said we could borrow the boat and that he had a couple fishing rods rigged up with lead line and a fish finder in the boat. We decided to go fish Telos Lake on one of our days at camp.
When we got to his boat we found the rods but not the fish finder. I knew it was pretty good ice fishing off the Red Pine Point about halfway down lake, so we went there and let out five colors of lead line and started fishing.
On our first pass, Russell caught a nice 20-inch togue. He caught a little bigger one on the second pass. On the third pass Russell caught one over 24-inches, a nice fat healthy looking fish.
The wind picked-up after that and we had to call it a day for lake fishing. Russell had caught those three nice togue on a weird looking green lure and I had gotten skunked. That’s the way it goes when it comes to fishing sometime!
Spring fishing only happens once a year, and the waters of the AWW are brimming with native brook trout, togue and whitefish- I encourage you to get out there and make some memories.
The Allagash Wilderness Waterway is managed by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Bureau of Parks and Lands.
For current ice out information on the AWW headwater lakes, go to: www.maine.gov/allagash.
For an information packet or general information on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, go to: www.maine.gov/allagashor call 941-4014. If you have specific questions about the Waterway send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org give me a call at 207-695-3721 x3.
Matthew LaRoche is Superintendent of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.