Where to Fly Fish in New England

When your mind begins to wander about fly fishing, it doesn’t typically think of New England fly fishing first, since some of the most well-known fly fishing spots are in the Midwest. This doesn’t mean there aren’t some great places to fish in New England, you just have to know how to find them.

Some great acknowledgments to the number of fly fishing locations include the Androscoggin River in New Hampshire, the Deerfield River in Massachusetts, Kennebec River in Maine. Among these locations, you’ll find some great secluded spots, calm or raging water, and varieties of fish that include Rainbow Trout, Landlocked Salmon, and Smallmouth Bass.

If you’re traveling to New England or you’re a local, your first stop should be the Androscoggin River in New Hampshire. The river spans across Maine and New Hampshire, traveling over 178 miles before emptying out in the Gulf of Maine. The Androscoggin River used to be heavily polluted, but since environmental laws were introduced in the 1940s, it has greatly benefited and thrives off the put-and-take fishery that manages it, where it is stocked heavily. The northern part of the river is especially popular for fly fishers and anglers, providing brook, rainbow, and brown trout, which can all be caught by fly and casting anglers. Venturing to the southern part of the river shows a sharp decline in fish, but will still offer species like yellow perch, redbreast sunfish, and white suckers.

They say that the Deerfield River in Massachusetts is one of the most heavily used rivers in the country. There’s a dam along the river every 7 miles and has been providing power to nearby towns since 1910. Don’t let this stop you from fly fishing in New England though, since the river has a number of secluded spots, surrounded by gorgeous scenery as the water descends nearly 1,100 feet over 50 miles. Five dams along the river control the flow and offer those times on their website which shows when’s a good time to come out a fish. There are two areas between Fife Brook dam and the Route 2 bridge which provide catch and release areas. The best times to fish are in the spring, summer, and fall, where you can find stocked trout, walleye, dace, brown and rainbow trout, and smallmouth bass.

Last but not least the Kennebec River in Maine is one of the best places to go to when you’re looking to get your feet wet. The 170-mile long river provides a great spot for fly fishing in New England thanks to its popularity fishermen seeking to catch the Eastern brook trout, where the large fish are measured in pounds, not inches. The other popular fish that can be caught along the river includes brown trout, coldwater fish, striped bass, and rainbow smelt. The Kennebec River has some great wading places too, but chest waders are necessary every month except for July and August due to the cold water. Right off the river is Austin Stream, a “kid’s only” fishing place where children can fish safely.

No matter where you’re headed, the open space and great expanses of wilderness that cover New England offer up the best places where fly fishers can enjoy themselves in peace.

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