Ice Out at Allagash Lake

Allagash Lake is the Holy Grail for fishing in Maine.  With vehicular access limited to a mile or more from the shore, and motorized equipment off limits there, a trip to Allagash Lake is among the last of Maine’s true wilderness adventures.

Spring, around the time of ice out, is a very special time for anglers at Allagash Lake.  That’s not to say that all seasons don’t have a special allure, but spring ushers in the rebirth of life in the woods after a long winter.  As the woods shed the last shards of their winter blanket of snow, the lake’s ice sheet changes in color from white to black.  Open water begins to appear at places along the shore, and especially at the mouth of its major inlet, Allagash Stream.  Encouraged by the wind, ice crystals at the edge of the diminishing ice sheet clink together, sounding like wind chimes.

In early May, it’s a race to see who arrives at Allagash Lake first, the loons or the anglers.  But one thing is for sure, the first of either to arrive are treated to some excellent fishing at the mouth of Allagash Stream, where smelts gather for their annual spawning run up the stream.  For human anglers, after a day of exciting fishing and catching, enjoying a fresh caught lake trout broiled over an open campfire while being serenaded by spring peepers makes for a pretty fine conclusion to the day.  It does not get any better!