The terrain in Western Maine creates an endless supply of cold, swift-running streams and rivers, and nearly every pond or lake offers up a fishing challenge. Trout, bass, and salmon are waiting to be lured onto your hook whether summer or winter, from the shore, in waders, on a boat, or through a hole in the ice. This known hot spot for fly-fishing also boasts no shortage of outstanding bass fishing. It’s all here.

Heritage sports traditions go back centuries in Maine’s Lakes and Mountains. With some of the finest lakes and streams in Maine, as well as some acres of unspoiled forestland, the pieces are all here for a true sportsmans adventure. To get in the fishing mood visit the Outdoor Heritage Museum in Oquossoc and see examples of some of the most successful flies ever tied that came out of this part of the state. Add in a stay at a traditional sporting camp and the services of a Registered Maine Guide to make it an experience to remember.

fish year-round

Brown Trout are abundant and popular for fishing in Maine's Lakes and Mountains


The Rapid River is known for being one of the best brook trout fisheries in the entire country, with an extremely large brook trout and a significant salmon population. The sections from Lake Umbagog to the pond in the river are some of the best spots. You will want to use heavy nymph setups and streamers and get your flies deep. 

The Magalloway River flows into Lake Umbagog and holds some pretty large brook trout and landlocked salmon. The Androscoggin River from the New Hampshire border to around 30 miles into Maine offers easy access from the road and large portions are wadable making it excellent for native brook trout and landlocked salmon.

Some rivers, lakes, and ponds in Maine are designated fly fishing only. Overset Pond in Greenwood allows fly casting and flying trolling only with single-hooked or tandem-hooked flies. 

Richardson Ponds and Upper Dam Pool between Mooselookmeguntic Lake dam and a line drawn between the two cribwork piers are open October 1 to 31 to fly fishing only; again, all fish caught must be released alive at once. 

Freshwater Lake and River Fishing in Maine's Lakes and Mountains

Fresh Water fishing

When it comes to fishing on the lakes and ponds in the region, smallmouth and largemouth bass, as well as perch and sunfish, are abundant and fun to catch. The folks at Bassmaster Magazine even identified the crystal-clear waters of Kezar Lake as a prime spot for big bass.

Many bodies of water top the list of Maine bass anglers, including Androscoggin Lake and Androscoggin River. In Greenwood, head to Twitchell, Indian, and Round ponds, as well as Moose Pond in West Paris, for a great day of fishing. Sebago Lake is the place to be for early spring trout fishing. Its southerly position makes it pretty popular, once the ice is out. Nearby, Long Pond provides a very good habitat for warmwater species with annual stockings of brown trout to maintain a strong fishery.

Anyone fishing in Maine must possess the proper license. Be sure to read up on the rules for the region you will be in. We also recommend you hire a Registered Maine Guide; they are definitely worth the investment and will help ensure a safe and successful outdoor adventure.


Ice fishing in Maine's Lakes and Mountains

Ice fishing

Don’t forget that when the weather turns cold, the water under the ice is still filled with hungry fish. Folks drag shacks onto their favorite pond and start setting up traps as soon as the ice is thick enough to withstand it safely. Maine’s “Hardwater” culture has grown in popularity, with families joining derbies that offer prizes. What an excellent way for kids to fall in love with this timeless sport.

Once you have chosen where you will fish, you will need a few essentials. Dress for the conditions; the temps will likely be below freezing. Insulated boots, waterproof gloves, thermal layers, a warm beanie, and wool socks are some of the staples. Bring extras in case anything gets wet. Be smart about the weather. 

At the most basic level, an angler can go ice fishing with just an ice chisel and a jig rod with bait or lure. “Traps” or “tip-ups” paired with live bait are popular. 

Before heading ice fishing, you must buy your Maine fishing license. Children under 16 do not need a fishing license to ice fish. During Maine’s Free Fishing Weekend in February, everyone fishes for free.

fishing Shops and outfitters

Ways to Adventure

Plan Your Trip

Maine’s Lakes and Mountains offers a variety of resources to help you plan your next visit, including an annual visitor’s guide, stand alone map, and the new Adventure Guide App.

Visitor's Guide

Our Free Visitor's Guide will help inspire your next adventure along our mountain trails, lakes, scenic byways, bustling towns and more.

Map of the Region

Companion to the Visitor Guide, our dual-sided planning map will help you find your way to adventure in every season throughout the region.

Adventure Guide App

The App will point the way to all kinds of adventures, experiences and destinations in Maine’s Lakes and Mountains with GPS location maps and alerts.

Adventure Respectfully

Our lakes, mountains, and forests are worthy of respect. Whether you’re venturing out into our vast public or private lands or parks, here’s what you can do to conserve the area’s natural resources for all.

other resources

Take Care of the Land

Tread lightly and leave no trace. Keep this place as pristine as you found it.

Where ya headed?

Check if you’ll be on public or private land and if there are any restrictions or fees. Always research your destination ahead of time.

Stick to established trails & roads.

Whether hiking, biking, angling, or ATVing, always stay on a designated trail.


To protect the forest, only build fires in approved sites, don’t leave them unattended, and extinguish them thoroughly.

Avoid spreading invasive species.

Don’t transport firewood, brush your boots, and wash and dry your boat before heading to your next adventure.

Avoid peak hours

Plan around peak hours midday to avoid crowds. Have a Plan B in case the parking lot is already full.

No litterbugs allowed

If you pack it in, pack it out, including food waste like apple cores. Bring bags for pet waste.

When nature calls

If you have to go, pick a spot at least 100′ off the trail or away from a body of water, and bury your poop 6″ deep.

Maine's Lakes and Mountains by the numbers

4,000+ footers
Mountain Peaks
Lakes and Ponds
+Towns and Villages
Square Miles of Adventure
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