Best Rapid River Fly Fishing

The 5th most popular fly fishing river in Maine.

  Maine, US


  March 22, 2019

Northwest of Portland and Bethel, the Rapid River is highlighted by bountiful hatches and beautiful brook trout. Overall, the Rapid River is a 7 mile long river flowing from Lower Richardson Lake to Lake Umbagog. But, the most popular section by far is the upper section from the Lower Richardson Lake dam (Middle Dam) heading west to Pond In The River, which is about one mile long. Many flyfishermen love the tailwater dam pool where there is reasonably consistent cool water temp deep into the season. Below the dam downstream to Pond In The River, there is fast pocket water with several deep pools. The best pool is known as Chubb Pool, which is the last one just before Pond. It holds the most fish of any of the pools.

This upper section is ideal for nymph fly fishing. Since the water holds a high percentage of oxygen, the main hatches are stoneflies and caddis. If you have good patience, the brook trout will rise from behind their hiding rocks. In addition to the stoneflies and caddis, there are spring hatches of blue-winged olives and mayflies. While the river does warm up, there is a strong July adler hatch which can be prolific.

When fly fishing on the Rapid River, you can expect to find brook trout and some land locked salmon. The river is managed under strict fly-fishing only regulations, with catch-and-release only on trout, barbless hooks only, and a three fish limit on salmon.

To reach the Rapid River fly fishing, you’ll need to have patience while driving, too. It’s not directly accessible from the south. While in Maine, the easiest access is coming from Errol, New Hampshire via SR 16. Alternately, you’ll have to drive up through Rangeley, Maine, on SR 17 up to Pleasant Island, and then doubleback southwest on SR 16. That’s a long way around.

Overall, Rapid River is the 5th most popular fly fishing river of all 14 fly fishing spots in Maine.

Local Contacts:  Maine Tourism (800) 533-9595; Mountain Woman Guide Service (207) 562-4971

Best Season:  Apr. - Sep.

Average Difficulty:  Easy

Base Camp:  Lakewood Camps, Middledam (207) 243-2959

GPS:  44.775741, -70.921285

Date Published:  12/27/2015

Date Updated:  3/22/2019

ID:  21329

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