Smallmouth bass fishing on the Androscoggin River in Lewiston, Maine (July 31, 2016)

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The informal put-in off Switzerland Road In Lewiston

The informal put-in off Switzerland Road In Lewiston

This blog is the last in a series of four entries pertaining to smallmouth bass fishing on the Androscoggin River flowing through the Lewiston/Auburn metro area (click here, here, and here for the other three related blogs). Today, my focus is on the area right below the Gulf Island Hydropower Dam. This sizable structure is responsible for maintaining Gulf Island Pond, which is the largest reservoir on the Androscoggin River in Maine. I’m not aware of the presence of a public boat launch between the Gulf Island Hydropower Dam and the Deer Run Hydropower Dam located about a mile further downstream. So, I use Google Maps prior to my departure to locate a potential access point for my canoe. To reach this informal put-in, drive north through Lewiston on Routes 11/100/202 and turn left on Switzerland Road. Stay on this road for 1.2 miles (pass the Saint Peters Cemetery). The put-in is on the left across from the first house after the cemetery. You’ve gone too far if you drive underneath the high-voltage power lines or reach Gulf Island Avenue. Note that one cannot drive directly to the dam from this side of the river because Switzerland Avenue turns into a CMP Company private road, which is posted and gated. The put-in is located about 2000 ft downstream of the dam. Parking is along the road shoulder. Note that I did not check for an alternative access point on the other side of the river.

 

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Androscoggin River in Auburn, Maine (July 22, 2016)

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The hard-top launch off North River Road in Auburn can accommodate big boats and provides lots of parking space

The hard-top launch off North River Road in Auburn can accommodate big boats and provides lots of parking space.

I discovered fishing for smallmouth bass on the Androscoggin River in the Lewiston/Auburn area over the last month (click here and here for details). I continue my investigation of this fascinating stretch of the river by exploring the section that flows between Great Falls in downtown Lewiston/Auburn and the Deer Rips Hydropower Dam located two miles further upstream. The public put-in is about one quarter mile down North River Road off Center Street in Auburn. This hard-top boat launch is clearly indicated from the road and can accommodate big boats. It also provides ample parking space for multiple vehicles and boat trailers.

 

 

 

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Androscoggin River in Auburn, Maine (July 10, 2016)

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The boat launch on the Auburn side of the river, with Longley Bridge in the background hiding the Great Falls

The boat launch on the Auburn side of the river, with Court Street Bridge in the background, hiding Great Falls

I discovered fishing for smallmouth bass on the Androscoggin River in Lewiston last week (click here for details). I decided that I need to continue exploring this section of the river further downstream of Great Falls to appreciate its full potential. So, this evening, I put my small motor boat in the water at the boat launch located off Main Street in Auburn, just below the Route 100/202 bridge (Court Street). The access to this launch is via an unnamed ally off Main Street (Route 136) right after the Festival Plaza, with its unique multi-colored, sail-like awning. The launch area, which is located next to the Auburn River Walk, can accommodate small trailered boats. What is bizarre, though, is the complete lack of public parking next to this hard boat launch. All parking in that general area is by permit only. One alternative is to drive back out onto Main Street and park in the municipal parking lot located directly across from the Festival Plaza. Since Main Street is one-way, it requires driving around the block. I easily find a double parking space (for my truck + trailer) because it’s early Sunday evening and the municipal parking lot is half empty. But I doubt that it would be easy to find space to park a vehicle and trailer at any other time during the week. I also notice lots of signs in that municipal parking lot stating that vehicles can only be parked for a maximum of 2 hours during the day. Keep these parking limitations in mind if you are planning on launching a motorized boat from this location.

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Androscoggin River in Lewiston, Maine (July 2, 2015)

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I put in my canoe at the Simard-Payne Memorial Park. The Court Street bridge is in the background further upstream.

I put in my canoe at the Simard-Payne Memorial Park. The Court Street bridge is in the background further upstream.

I love fishing for smallmouth bass on the Androscoggin River (click here and here for examples)! This waterway provides a premier bronzeback fishery in southern Maine. I focus my attention this afternoon in the general area at and downstream of Great Falls, located just upstream of the Court Street bridge (routes 100/202) in downtown Lewiston. I haven’t fished this area before, so I’m on the look-out for an access point. I first park at Heritage Park next to the bridge but the rip-rap shoreline is just too steep to safely launch – or retrieve – my canoe. I cross Court Street, drive down Water Street (which runs behind the Hampton Inn Hotel) and park my car on the public parking lot behind the hotel. A quick walk across the pedestrian bridge and into Simard-Payne Memorial Park confirms easy access to the river. I note here that this park also allows for ample shore fishing opportunities. I strap my canoe onto my “canoe wheels”, place my fishing equipment inside, and wheel the whole kit and caboodle to the water’s edge. The wind is ripping down the river. Fortunately, the shoreline is full of boulders, some of which I stack in the front of my boat to provide much-needed counter weight. I’m on the water and ready to fish by 1:30 pm.

 

 

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Brown trout fishing on the Presumpscot River in Windham, Maine (May 14, 2016)

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The access point on the Presumpscot River by the Babbs Covered Bridge

The access point on the Presumpscot River by the Babbs Covered Bridge

The Presumpscot River represents the outlet of Sebago Lake. It flows for about 25 winding miles through the towns of Standish, Windham, Gorham, Westbrook, Falmouth, and Portland before reaching the Atlantic Ocean in Casco Bay. The river drops an impressive 270 feet through a series of falls, many of which lay submerged behind numerous dams. This waterway is richly stocked each spring and fall with a smorgasbord of salmonids, consisting of thousands of brook trout, brown trout, and landlocked salmon. The goal, of course, is to find the spots to catch these fish. Click here for more information on the fishing regulations that pertain to this river.

 

 

 

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Brook trout fishing on Panther Run in Raymond, Maine (April 21, 2016)

 

We launch the canoe in the large pool across from the retaining wall

We launch the canoe in the large pool across from the retaining wall

Panther Run (a.k.a. Jordan River) is formed by the outlet of Panther Pond in Raymond, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 C2). The river starts at the dam on Mill Street and flows for one or so convoluted mile towards Jordan Bay in Sebago Lake. The big pool along the retaining wall by the dam is an accessible and popular brook trout fishing hole (click here for details). The river in the immediate vicinity of the dam flows briskly in early spring and has a substrate consisting of coarse sand, gravel and cobbles. In fact, the water flow and substrate composition are such that landlocked Atlantic salmon migrate up from Sebago Lake every fall to lay their eggs in this stretch of the river. But don’t be fooled… The character of the river changes dramatically no more than about 1000 ft downstream of the dam: the current slows down considerably, the banks widen up and become severely eroded, the water deepens in many places, and the substrate is made up entirely of fine white sand. The bottom is also carpeted with branches and other woody debris.

 

 

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Trout fishing on the Pleasant River, Windham, Maine (October 17, 2015)

A quiet morning fishing for trout on the Pleasant River while leaf peeing. What a combination!

A quiet fall morning trout fishing on the Pleasant River while leaf peeping… How better does life get??

The Pleasant River is a major tributary of the Presumpscot River. It originates in Gray and flows in a south-westerly direction to its confluence with the Presumpscot located at a spot a few miles downstream of Dundee Pond in Windham.  A favorite stretch of the Pleasant River flows from Route 302 by Foster Corner to Pope Road, located about 1.5 miles further downstream (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 D2 and D3). This is the stretch I am exploring this morning with Christian, my 12-year old nephew. He’s excited about this trip because he has never used waders before and it will also be his first time fishing for trout using spinners, instead of worms and bobbers. I’m lending him one of my spare waders. We get a good laugh during the pre-fishing fitting session at home when we realize that the top of the waders hit his chin! He looks like an oversized gnome with hanging skin but he takes it all in good strides.

 

 

 

 

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Brook trout fishing on the Northwest River, Sebago, Maine (May 21, 2015)

View of the Northwest River upstream of Fitch Road. Notice the lack of holding pools

View of the Northwest River upstream of Fitch Road. Notice the lack of holding pools

The Northwest River is a short stream which starts as the outlet of Peabody Pond in the town of Sebago and flows for about five river miles until it reaches the western shore of Sebago Lake, also in the town of Sebago (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 B4 C4 C5). It picks up water not only from the overflow of Peabody Pond itself, but also from several small named (e.g., Hill Brook and Mill Brook) and unnamed tributaries along the way. The State stocks this body of water several times each spring with between 400 and 500 8” to 10” brook trout (click here for more details). I’m spending some time this morning exploring the lower 1.5 miles of the Northwest River to assess its potential as a trout fishery.

 

 

 

 

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Trout fishing on the Kennebunk River in Kennebunk, Maine (May 10, 2014)

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The Kennebunk River upstream of the Route 1 bridge provides great trout habitat

The Kennebunk River upstream of the Route 1 bridge provides great trout habitat

The Kennebunk River has it source in the area of Waterboro, Maine. It flows in a generally southeasterly direction through Kennebunk before emptying out in the Atlantic Ocean in Kennebunkport. Every spring, the State stocks this river three or four times in April and May with (give or take) around 2,000 brook trout and brown trout measuring between 8” and 10”. General fishing rules apply on this body of water. Click here for more details on the regulations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trout fishing on Pierce Pond Stream in Carrying Place Township, Maine (May 26, 2014)

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One of the many spectacular water falls on Pierce Pond Stream

One of the many spectacular water falls on Pierce Pond Stream

Pierce Pond Stream flows for about 3.5 miles between Pierce Pond and the Kennebec River (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 B2). We explore this stream during our annual Memorial Day weekend fishing trip on Pierce Pond. We motor over from Cobb’s Camp and tie up at the Harrison Camp landing at the dam by the outlet. We find the Appalachian Trail (AT) which runs parallel to the stream and explore this natural beauty for about 1 mile downstream from the dam. Google Maps shows that Otter Pond Road provides direct driving access to the stream (note that The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer calls it Bowtown Road). This road, as viewed from the bridge over the stream, looks like a well-maintained gravel road.

 

 

 

 

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