Do I need a fishing license since I am fishing with a guide?
Yes, and it’s the client’s responsibility to obtain a license before the drift trip. Not to worry as a license can be obtained online at Maine’s Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife’s website. Children, residents or nonresidents, 15 years of age or younger are not required to purchase a license. You can also get your license at major retailers like Wal-Mart.
When does the season typically begin?
Each year Mother nature makes that call for us. With the early ice outs in recent years I find the season is underway by late May. Of course a lot depends on runoff as major rain events in May can postpone the fishing for a couple of weeks.
What’s the story with gear? Are clients expected to provide their own?
I encouraged all my clients to bring their own gear. It often makes for an even better day to fish with the equipment you are most familiar with. But not to worry, as I supply both fly rods and spinning gear for those without the proper gear. I always have an ample supply of the “right” flies and lures.
What sort of fishing can we expect in the heat of Maine’s summer?
In a word, the answer is excellent. In my experience, the fishing remains very productive throughout late July, August and early September. During a Maine heat wave, water temperatures may reach the low 80s but the smallmouths seem to remain cooperative. In fact, it makes wet wading even more enticing. That said, there may be periods throughout any given day when the bass appear to lose interest in our very best efforts.
Is there a typical start time?
Most days I arrange to meet clients on the river, or at a prearranged meeting place, between 7:00 and 7:30 A.M.
How long can we expect to be on the river?
Well, that depends on the clients’ schedule and desire. When you contact me to book a trip we will discuss your plans and expectations. Many of the river sections I fish are six to eight miles in length so you can expect at least eight hours on the river.
Will we have an opportunity to wade fish?
To a large extent the river flows dictate the answer to this question. By a wide margin, the Penobscot River is the most amendable to wade fishing. With its numerous gravel bars and islands, the Penobscot provides anglers with many opportunities to get out of the boat for wading. The Kennebec also provides ample wading opportunities, but only during the summer months when flows drop below 5,000 cfs.
Will we catch smallies with top water flies?
That’s my primary aim! Once the water temperatures reach 60 degrees, you can be sure we will do our best to entice the bass to take floating flies and lures. Fly rodders can expect to catch fish on the surface throughout the summer. However, some days the bass simply prefer subsurface flies. I have a handful of clients that insist on top water action and that occasionally limits their catch rate but it’s hard to beat the thrill of watching a smallie take a surface bug.
Sure, I want to catch fish, but what about the sights along the way?
Not to worry, the rivers I float have more to offer than outstanding smallmouth bass fishing. Each year canoeist and kayakers take to these rivers simply to enjoy the spectacular scenery and wildlife. With the return of the river herring, it’s near impossible to drift the Kennebec without seeing bald eagles, osprey and great blue heron. If you find yourself on the free flowing section of the Kennebec in June or July you may be dazzled by the sight of an Atlantic sturgeon (4 to 8 feet in length) launching itself from the river’s depths. The Penobscot River will captivate you with its numerous islands, riffles and gravel bars. In fact, the “distraction” of the scenery and wildlife invariably result in lost fish as clients find themselves watching a Bald Eagle perched in a nearby tree while a smallie inhales the popping bug.
Can Three Rivers Guide Service prepare a lunch consistent with my dietary restrictions?
I certainly will. I always inquire about any dietary restrictions and will be sure to prepare an appropriate lunch.
What happens if I have booked a trip and the weather looks less than ideal?
Given Maine’s fickle weather I do my best to remain flexible and work with your schedule. I seldom postpone a trip if rain is in the forecast. In fact, we have had some of our best days in the rain. That said, I will postpone a scheduled trip if the forecast calls for hazardous weather. If we are unable to reschedule a trip postponed due hazardous weather, Three Rivers Guide Service will return your deposit or apply it to a future trip.
Can you accommodate more than two fishers?
In general, my drift boat is designed to handle one or two people very comfortably. That said, it’s possible to accommodate three people if the two seated in front are spin fishers and not too large. Last season I did two trips with three in the boat and it worked out fabulously. Please give me a call to discuss the possibility.