Brook trout and brown trout fishing on the Medomak River in Waldoboro, Maine (May 13, 2017)

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The first half mile of the river downstream of the bridge is swift and rather shallow

The lower reach of the Medomak River flows from Medomak Pond through Waldoboro township (Lincoln County) before it becomes a tidal river downstream of the town of Waldoboro itself. I’m fishing this river because it is one of a select few in southern Maine which was stocked in the spring of 2017 with 13” to 14” one-pound trout. Most of the other streams in the region receive the smaller 9” to 10” trout. Also, because of the larger size of the river, there’s always the chance for catching a bigger holdover fish from last year or the year before. My target for exploration today is the 1.5-mile stretch that runs parallel to Route 32 (Winslow Mills Road) and Wagner Bridge Road (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13E5), located about three miles upstream from Waldoboro.





I only caught two small brookies in the swift-flowing section



I reach the bridge by the river at 9 am. Three other vehicles are parked along the shoulder but I won’t see another soul for the entire morning. The weather is also quite agreeable: air temperature in the mid-50’s, partially overcast skies, and a light breeze. I don my waders, grab my ultra-light spinning rod, and walk down towards the water. I’m immediately assaulted by swarms of blackflies and have, of course, forgotten to bring my bug dope or head net. Gggrrr!! I’m exploring the stretch of the Medomak River which flows downstream of the road bridge. This section is 25 to 40 ft wide. The first half mile or so below the bridge looks like classic trout water with nice current and a firm substrate consisting entirely of gravel, cobbles, and boulders. But here’s the twist as I quickly find out: most of this section consists of swift riffles in fairly shadow water with only a few holding pools, resulting in marginal trout habitat. I suspect that this section would totally loose its appeal once the water level falls lower than what it is today. I spend about one hour exploring this stretch and only catch two 10” brook trout.



Then the river flattens out, slows down, and deepens

Then the character of the river suddenly changes as I continue walking downstream: the current slows down drastically, the bottom becomes muddy, and the water deepens. This kind of habitat is much more to my liking because it is typically better at holding trout. Not surprisingly, I quickly catch two 13” brown trout but I don’t linger too long because I have more exploring to do. I reach a stretch of the Medomak River where the current picks up gently but then quickly drops back down again upon entering a very large pool. The upstream end of that pool would be a good ambush site for trout to linger in the hope of snagging insect snacks floating by. And then I see it: a rise in that exact location, the first one of the morning! I quietly position myself at the point where the current flows into the pool and toss my spinner across. I land a brown trout by the fifth cast. I hook four additional brown trout and land two of them over the next 15 min. All measure between 13” and 14”. I love it when everything lines up just right! Unfortunately, the commotion of five struggling fish in the same small area of the river spooks the rest of the tribe and the bite stops. That’s actually fine with me because it is high time to turn around and head back to the car.



I found the brown trout hiding in the deeper pools

I was quite impressed with the lower section of the stretch of the Medomak River I explored this morning. In addition, the water was fully accessible from shore and unobstructed by trees or bushes along the entire mile and half of river. I would resist the urge to loiter in the first half mile flowing below the bridge: your time will be much better spent fishing the slower-moving and deeper water further downstream. This lower stretch would also be ideal for fly fishing due to the lack of overhanging trees, although I must caution that the pools are muddy and quite deep (up to 4 ft, and perhaps more). Overall, I’d rate this section of the Medomak River as A-. The only two negatives are the shallow and swift first 0.5 mile and the fact that the din of traffic running along Route 32 occasionally breaks through to the water’s edge. I also recognize that much more river is available to explore downstream of the Cross Street Bridge, which connects Route 32 with Depot Street. But that’s for another trip!


The results: I landed two 10” brook trout and four 13”-14” brown trout in 2.5 hours of fun but buggy fishing.



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