Aroostook River

Key Species: brook trout Best Way to Fish: canoe, wading Best Time to Fish: May through July MAG: 64, E-2

Description: This fertile, gravel-bottomed river flows through the woods and potato fields of Aroostook County. The sections of river in Ashland and Washburn are easily accessible. The river can be waded or fished from the bank in most sections, but a canoe is useful during periods of high water. Wood ticks are prevalent in this area, so try not to come in contact with the brush.

Fishing index: The Aroostook River contains a sizeable population of native brook trout. While the average length is less than 12 inches, the sheer numbers make for fast action. This is prime water for fly fishers. May and June are best for dry-fly techniques. Use hairwing royal coachman, Adams, red quills, Hendricksons, mosquitos, any caddis patterns, and creme variants. Small bucktails such as red-and-white, black-nosed dace, and Edson tiger light will take fish almost anytime. Anglers using bait sometimes take large brook trout by fishing a night crawler on the bottom. Fish weighing up to 4 pounds sometimes fall to this method.

The mouths of feeder brooks are good places to try for brook trout and landlocked salmon. Search for these areas with a canoe and fish them thoroughly. You might even leave your canoe on the shore while you fish up these streams. This is a good practice in summer, since the cooler water of the small streams attracts trout.

Low water on the Aroostook River. Angler is casting a fly to one of the river’s brilliantly cobred native brook trout.

Directions: From Ashland, take Maine Route 11 north. Look for a bridge over the Aroostook River, just outside of town. A canoe launching area is on the right, just before the bridge. You can fish downstream from this point. An alternate site is located at Pudding Rock. To get there, take Maine Route 227 east from Ashland, then take the second road to the left. This road ends at the river, near another canoe launching area. You can fish either upstream or downstream from here. Another canoe launching area is located about a mile south of Washburn on Maine Route 164. You can fish upstream or downstream from that spot.

For more information: Call the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Regional Office in Ashland.

Aroostook River Photo Gallery

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