The Allagash Wilderness Waterway is the largest watershed in Maine where the Eastern brook trout is still the top predator fish in the ecosystem. From Telos Dam to Allagash Falls, big brookies rule the lakes and river that make up the 92-mile-long wilderness waterway.
Springtime — May and June — is when brook trout are most active and feed ravenously. They are fairly easy to catch when they are on a feeding frenzy and will hit almost anything. As fishermen, we just need to find that special place where the fish congregate at the right time.
These special places abound in the waterway and are too numerous to list. It seems that the spring fishing groups that return to the waterway year after year at the same time have found their special places.
I’m not going to tell you exactly where to go, but a good bet is anywhere that water runs into a lake or dead water. Go find that spot you will never forget and come back to every year.
My brother Mark and I were fishing one spring at one of our favorite spots just outside of the AWW. We decided to go check out the spot, where we just knew lunker trout would be lurking. It was a long walk through pristine woods to that place where we just knew big, hungry trout would be holed up waiting to take the first fly that was drifted over them. When we got there, we were disappointed to find the water too high to even give the spot a good try.
We made the long hike back to where we left our canoe a little disappointed with ourselves for not anticipating that the water would be so high. On the way back, we came upon a mother partridge and her brood of chicks. She tried the wing-dragging routine and acting like she was injured to draw us away from her chicks. It was quite a show.
When we finally got back to our canoe, we were famished. So I built a fire at the campsite and sliced some Spam for lunch. We grilled the famous canned meat on sticks — like you would a hotdog. Hot, grilled Spam on bread with mustard — something you might turn your nose up to at home never tasted so good. There is just something about lunch cooked over an open fire when you’re really hungry.
Spring fishing can be excellent when you hit it right. There are many variables to contend with: water levels, weather, insect hatches and water temperature, just to name a few. When it all comes together, you will be rewarded with the fishing of a lifetime. One thing is sure — if you don’t go, you won’t hit the good fishing.
I suggest that you come up to the waterway, set up on a campsite for as many days as you can get off and make forays to different spots in the Allagash. You just might find that special spot that you will return to year after year.
The new management plan for the AWW should be coming out for public review and comment very soon. Check the website to view the plan. We would like to hear feedback from you regarding the plan that will guide management of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway over the next 15 years.
The ice should be out by the time this article goes to press. Call Heidi at 941-4014 for current conditions on the waterway.
For information on the AWW, visit www.maine.gov/doc/parks/, call 941-4014, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to the Bureau of Parks & Lands, 106 Hogan Road, Bangor 04401.
Matthew LaRoche is the superintendent of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.