Ogunquit River, Ogunquit, Maine

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View of the lower reach of the Ogunquit River

The Ogunquit River originates west of Highway 95 in the town of Wells and flows in an easterly direction underneath Highway 95 towards the town of Ogunquit. It reaches the ocean at Ogunquit Beach after flowing underneath Route 1. The stream is accessible either from Route 1 or from the washed-out bridge on Old County Road off Tatnic Road. Keep in mind that parking on Route 1 is problematic. The stretch of river most popular with trout anglers flows for about 1.5 miles between Highway 95 and Route 1.

 

 

 

 

 

View of the middle section of the Ogunquit River below the falls

View of the middle section of the Ogunquit River below the falls

 

 

The Ogunquit River shows three distinct personalities over this short distance. The first 1000 ft or so upstream from Route 1 consist of several deep muddy pools. Both banks are steep and overgrown with vegetation, which can make casting or just walking a challenge. The next 2000 ft or so consists of a more classical riffle-and-run stream that flows within a wider flood plain. The substrate consists of silty cobble and boulders. The numerous felled trees along both banks suggest strong erosion when the water runs high. This part ends at a large deep pool next to a substantial set of falls that cascade down a rocky bluff (upstream of Old County Road). Fishing in that pool is excellent.

 

View of the large pool and the cascading falls on the Ogunquit River

By far the longest part of the river is located behind the falls. This stretch has little flow, appears like on long narrow pool, and is fairly straight and wide. It is also quite deep and mostly unwadable.  The banks are steep and wooded. During my visit, a beaver dam several 100 ft above the falls caused the water level to be unusually high.

 

 

 

 

 

View of the Ogunquit River above the falls

The State stocks the Ogunquit River with brook trout and brown trout several times in the spring between late April and early May. The river is also stocked with trout in the first half of October. The fishing season on the river opens on April 1 and closes on October 31. Only artificial lures are allowed. Fly fishing would be a challenge due to the many trees and overhanging branches and the relative narrowness of the stream. The one exception would be in the stretch above the falls, if it were possible to fly fish using a portable floating device.

 

Finally, this stretch of the Ogunquit River flows between two very busy roads. The traffic on Route 1 is perceptible for quite a ways upstream, whereas the constant rumble of Highway 95 is audible on the stretch of river above the falls.

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