Penobscot River, West Branch

Millinocket, Maine

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One of Maine’s premiere landlocked salmon fisheries. Holds up all season, but is best in late spring and early fall. When a paved road runs alongside a section of water no matter how beautiful, I have a tendency to thumb my nose at it. Obviously it gets hammered by too many anglers, and for me that means spooky and usually small fish. Flows in the river are, of course, controlled by the Rip Dam. However, unless heavy rains have saturated the central part of the state, the river is normally fishable. Guides run McKenzie River drift boats on the West Branch so you can fish it as you would the Yellowstone when it’s flowing high, wide, and handsome. Canoeists are equally at home here, picking their paths down the river and working its myriad pockets and runs. Scores of trails penetrate the forest of firs and spruce leading to the river’s shore. Anglers who wade will be able to work good areas of the river more thoroughly than drift-boaters. The campground at Big Eddy plus a number of sporting lodges in the region provide accommodations for West Branch anglers. Unless you float the river, odds are you won’t be alone. But the beauty of the West Branch is that there’s enough water and fish to go around. Species: Landlocked salmon, brook. Angling methods: spin, and fly-fishing.
America's 100 Best Trout Streams

DESCRIPTION FROM:

America's 100 Best Trout Streams

by John Ross (Falcon Guides)

One of Maine’s premiere landlocked salmon fisheries. Holds up all season, but is best in late spring and early fall. When a paved road runs alongside a section of water no matter how beautiful, I have a tendency to thumb my nose at it. Obviously it gets hammered by too many anglers, and for me that means spooky and usually small fish. Flows in the river are, of course, controlled by the Rip Dam. However, unless heavy rains have saturated the central part of the state, the river is normally fishable. Guides run McKenzie River drift boats on the West Branch so you can fish it as you would the Yellowstone when it’s flowing high, wide, and handsome.

Canoeists are equally at home here, picking their paths down the river and working its myriad pockets and runs. Scores of trails penetrate the forest of firs and spruce leading to the river’s shore. Anglers who wade will be able to work good areas of the river more thoroughly than drift-boaters. The campground at Big Eddy plus a number of sporting lodges in the region provide accommodations for West Branch anglers. Unless you float the river, odds are you won’t be alone. But the beauty of the West Branch is that there’s enough water and fish to go around. Species: Landlocked salmon, brook. Angling methods: spin, and fly-fishing.

©  John Ross/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Fly-Fishing
Nearby City: Millinocket
Access: Easy to Moderate
Season & Limits: April through September
Local Maps: Maine DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer
Driving Directions: Directions to Penobscot River, West Branch

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Apr 2018