Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Kennebago River In
The Kennebago River begins near the Quebec/Maine
border at Big Island Pond in the Township of Seven
Ponds. The river flows thorough an extremely remote
and difficult to access location. It flows through Little
Kennebago Lake and into Kennebago Lake. The stream
flows out of the little lake at a good rate of flow and
continues to terminate at Cupsuptic Lake.
Access is very limited. There are several camps along
the stream that you can stay at with good access but
other than that, you are just about limited to the bridge
area where state highway 16 crosses the stream. There
you can follow a short section of the stream via a dirt
road. There is another access located about eight miles
out of Rangely but it too is short. The camps do charge
reasonable rates and are worth the price.
The entire stream is fly fishing only. From August 15
until the season closes, it is strictly catch and release
The river is noted for its dry fly fishing for large brook
trout. It also has landlocked salmon and a few brown
trout. Brook trout of around two to three pounds are
Free Shipping Continental U. S.
100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
Photo Courtesy of David Knapp Photography
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us with the dates you will be
fishing this stream and we will send
you a list of our fly suggestions. Please
allow up to 24 hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will
help you decide which flies you need.
3. Call or email us with a budget for
flies and we will select them and get
them to you in time for your trip.
Shipping is free in the U. S. Orders
over $50 are shipped Priority Mail.
The season begins in April but you
cannot really fish until the ice on the
lakes has melted which is usually
around mid May.
The fishing really doesn't begin until
late May with the best coming in June.
Fly Fishing Guide to the Kennebago River
The Upper Kennebago River can be waded and fished
both above and below Little Kennebago Lake. This
area offers great small stream fly fishing opportunities.
It is truly a remote and beautiful area. The lakes
themselves provide great fishing and can be fished
from float tubes or boats.
The early season fly fishing is done mostly using
streamers, nymphs and wet flies. The Kennebago
brook trout are big. Thinking of them in normal small
brook trout terms will really throw you off. The salmon
can get as large as five pounds and put on some very
hard, fast runs. Whenever you are fishing, keep the
size of these fish in mind and be prepared for their
large size. Don't end up loosing a trophy trout or
salmon because you were under equipped in terms of
tackle and gear.
The salmon stay in the river all year unless the water
gets low and warm. They will move to the cooler deep
water of the lakes if that happens. The salmon will
return to the river around the middle of August when
and if they do move into the lake in July. The brook
trout will normally stay in the river but they may seek
the coolest water.
The uppermost part flows through a series of lakes
like areas and pools, runs, riffle section are mixed in
between them. The fish are small compared to the
lower section of the river. It can only be reached by
back country roads and hiking. The stream changes
below Little Lake Kennebago. Access to the middle
section of the river is also difficult. You must walk in to
fish any of the middle section or either stay with one of
the local camps along the river.
There are many named pools along the river. Wading
is possible along the banks of the river in many
places. Again, hiking in is required unless you are
fishing out of a local camp. There are two salmon
spawning runs per year when the salmon swim
upstream to Lake Cusuptic but the fall run is what the
river is noted for.
Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 &12 ft., 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 71/2
ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rod:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five or
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Loon Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Kennebago River Hatches and
Our information on aquatic insects is
based on our stream samples of larvae
and nymphs, not guess work. We base fly
suggestions on imitating the most plentiful
and most available insects and other foods
at the particular time you are fishing.
Unlike the generic fly shop trout flies, we
have specific imitations of all the insects in
the Kennebago River and in all stages of
life that are applicable to fishing. If you
want to fish better, more realistic trout flies,
have a much higher degree of success,
give us a call. We not only will help you
with selections, you will learn why, after
trying Perfect Flies, 92% of the thousands
of our customers will use nothing else.
The river and lakes have a very high
population of smelt. This is the main food
supply that keeps the salmon fishery in
The river has a very good Green Drake
hatch. It starts in late June. Blue-winged
Olives are also present and hatch both
early and late in the season.
There are several species of caddisflies
that reside in the Kennebago River and
Lakes. The Green Sedge, Cinnamon and
Spotted Sedges, Little Black Caddis and a
mixture of several other species hatch
during the summer and early fall.
Dragon Flies and Damsel Files both exist,
mostly in the areas of slow moving water.
Imitations of the nymphs of either one
produce during the summer.
Terrestrial insects including grass
hoppers, ants and beetles are found along
the stream and provide food for the brook
trout when they get blown or fall into the
The Black and Gray Ghosts streamers are
the favorite local flies for the salmon. The
Kennebago Mudler is also a favorite fly.
We think our Perfect Fly Mudler Sculpin is
a great fly for this river.
The locals don't fish that much during July
and August but there are plenty of trout to
Fall is certainly the most scenic time for fly
fishing the Kennebago River. The month
of September brings on the fall run of
Kennebago River Fly Fishing