Copyright 2019 James Marsh
Fly Fishing on the Rapid River In Maine
You can probably guess where the Rapid River got its
name. The water flows rapidly due to its steep decline. It
drops over a hundred feet in a short distance on its
way to Lake Umbagog from Lower Richardson Lake. This
is considered the best place in the United States to catch
a trophy brook trout. They average from three to five
pounds. Its also has the best landlocked Atlantic Salmon
fishing in the United States. They average from 16 to 18
inches and run up to five pounds. The river is protected
and managed by the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust

The Rapid River is a part of the Androscoggin River
system. The river flows about three and a half miles to the
inlet of Lake Umbagog, dropping at a rate of about forty
feet per mile. It requires some hiking or boat travel to get
to its waters. There are three areas of the river - the
Upper Dam, Middle Dam and Lower Dam areas.

The Upper Dam pool is between Lake
Moose­lookmeguntic and Upper Richardson Lake. It
requires a half mile hike to get there.  The large brook
trout and landlocked Atlantic salmon hold in the deep

The water that's below Middle Dam below Lower
Richardson Lake and Pond in the River is mostly fast
pocket water. You can access it from a road over the river
at Middle Dam. There is a trail on the south side of the

About a half-mile downstream from Middle Dam is Pond in
the River. It's a small lake backed up from Lower Dam. It
can be accessed from Carry Road. It also provides
access to the better water below Lower Dam downstream
to Umbagog Lake.

The best fishing on he Rapid River is between Lower Dam
and Lake Umbagog. It's approximately two and a half
miles of pocket water and pools. It has less pressure
because it requires a lengthy hike to access most of the
river.  The brook trout at very large in this section and the
salmon are as plentiful as they get. The best fishing is in
the pocket water. It requires wading slowly to prevent
ripples from showing in the calm water.

Wading carefully so you don’t push too much water is a
key to success on this calm water. Even when everything
goes well, you may only have one opportunity to put the
fly in the right place.  

This stream has lots of aquatic insects including Blue-
winged Olives, Light Cahills, Hendricksons and
caddisflies. There are some very large brook trout in the
pool below the dam. The best salmon fishing takes place
when the water is high.

The season runs from April through September 30.
Fly fishing the Rapid River is great during the Spring
months if the stream levels are okay.
Fishing is generally good all summer long.
The best fishing picks up again during the Fall season.
September is the best month.
Type of Stream

Brook Trout
Landlocked Atlantic Salmon


Northwestern Maine

Nearest Towns

April through September

Fair, hiking required for most access

Non-Resident License
State of Maine

National Weather Service Link

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Flies
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Fishing Report Updated 05/25/18
(Bottom Of Page)
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. Email us (
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $100 are shipped via
Priority Mail.  
Rapid River Fishing Report:
05/04/14 The Rapid River fishing season has
started and we will be posting fly fishing
reports weekly.
05/11/14 No fishing reports were received this
past week. You could fish south of Rumford
but otherwise, it is very limited at this tiime.
05/18/14 The ice is off the river and lakes but
the water has been high. The water is warming
and conditions will improve in a short time.
05/25/14 High water levels are hampering the
fishing opportunities but the water is warming
and some insects have begin to hatch.
06/01/14 The weather is getting a little cooler for
the next few days with rain in the forecast. The
water levels could rise some but for now, it is in
much better shape.
06/08/14 The river is just now getting into
shape to fish.
06/15/14 Stream levels have been high but
falling down into good shape fast. Lots of
insects hatching.
07/06/14 Water levels have been a problem.
No reports from anglers or customers for the
past week.
07/20/14 High water on the weekends has
hampered the fishing but otherwise, conditions
are fairly normal. Cinnamon Caddis are very
07/27/14 Levels have been high for rafters
but that helps cool the water. A few brookies
and salmon have been caught recently.
08/10/14 Some good report came in this
past week. Plenty of brookies are being
caught below the second dam.
08/17/14 More good fishing reports came in
the past week. Brook trout and a few salmon
were caught.
08/31/14 Cooler weather is helping. Two
good reports from the past week came in.
09/14/14 Several good reports from customers
came in the past two weeks. Brook trout and
Salmon being caught in good numbers.
10/05/14 Lots of salmon have been
caught along with some brook trout that
have moved out of the ponds into the
river. Season is currently closed.
12/31/14 Season Closed
01/20/15 We will resume these reports
when the season opens.
04/22/15 Let us help you plan your next fly
fishing trip to the Rapid River. Call us or
send us an email. Numbers and email
address above under options for flies.
05/06/15 Ice is melting fast and should be
gone very soon. No signs of the Smelt yet.
05/20/15 The water has warmed up and a
few insects are hatching including Little
Black caddis.
05/27/15 Still molstly BWOs and Little Black
Caddis. It is getting close, water temp. wise,
for the big hatches but not yet.
06/10/15 Still flowing high to fill up
Richardsons Lake but should drop soon.
06/17/15 Still getting higher flows. No
reports from anyone fishing this past week.
07/08/15 Good stream levels and plenty of
brook trout being caught. Little Yellow
stones, Cinnamon Sedge and others.
08/08/15 Sorry for the lack of reports but it
wasn't that the fishing hasn't been great.
Lots of brook trout being caught. Excellent
08/19/15 The rapid is still flowing "rapid" and
brookies and salmon are being caught.
Cooler weather is helping.
08/26/15 Two good reports from the past
two weeks. The river is producing well.
09/09/15 Check out our Salmon Flies. Two
more good reports from the past week.
Good levels and weather.
09/16/15 The fishing is red hot. Lots of
trout and some salmon being caught.
09/23/15 Lots of rain has fell since the last
report but little change has taken place in
the stream levels. Anglers still catching lots
of trout.
10/28/15 The Season is closed. Just to let
you know we added a map in the upper left
hand corner of this page.  
Rapid River Map
02/10/16 Send us an email and let us help
you plan your next Rapid River fly fishing
trip. We have taken samples of the insects
using professional equipment and know,
what we are doing. It isn't guess work.
05/04/16 Most of the ice was gone in late
April. Cream Midges and Blue-winged
olives, size 20/16, are hatching. The water
temperature is still in the low forties.
05/18/16 The season is off to a good start
with anglers catching some nice brook
trout. Some hatches are getting underway.
06/01/16 Little Black caddis,
Hendricksons/Red quills, and BWOs hatching
06/15/16 A. March Browns, Light Cahills,
BWOs, Hend/Red Quills, Green Sedges
(caddisflies), and other insects are hatching.
06/29/16 The river is in good shape and
our customers are reporting catching a lot
of brook trout. Light Cahills, Cinnamon
Caddis, Spotted Sedges, Green sedges,
Little Yellow stoneflies, and more.
07/13/16 Fishing continues to be very
good. We are receiving some excellent
reports from customers. Continue look
good for the coming week. Now is the time.
07/27/16 More good reports from
customers. Lots of brook trout are being
caught. Lots of hatches are still taking
place. Send us an email for a list of flies.
08/10/16 More good brook trout reports
from customers. Below the second dam is
good. There are lots of caddisflies.
08/24/16 Terrestrials are working good -
ants, beetles and hoppers. Tricos are
hatching with lots of caddisflies.
09/30/16 The season is over but it is never
too early to start planning that next fly
fishing trip. Give us a call and let us help.
01/18/17 Just an update to change to the
new year 2017.
02/15/17 We have taken samples of the food
and insects using professional entomology
eqpt. several times and know exactly what flies
you need to use. Send us an email and let us
help you The email address is just above.
04/01/17 The season is open but the river is
not in shape to fish. Keep checking back with
us for updates.
05/03/17 The ice is clearing out and fishing
should be getting very good. Little Brown
stoneflies are hatching. Little Black caddis
and BWOs should start anytime if not already.
05/24/17 Conditions are good with lots of fish
being caught. We received one good report
from a customer. There are lots of hatches
taking place.
06/14/17 The stream levels are in decent
shape and lots of trout are being caught.
Expecting Light Cahills, Sulphurs, little Yellow
stones, Green sedges, A. March Browns,
Cinnamon sedges to start soon if not already.
07/05/17 Conditions are good right now, with
lots of hatches and lots of brook trout being
caught by our customers.
07/19/17 Lots of brook trout are being
caught. Sulphurs, Light cahills, Spotted
sedge, Cinnamon Caddis, little Yellow stones,
and others.
08/16/17 We are getting some very good
reports. There are still some good hatches
and lots of brook trout being caught by
09/06/17 Good conditions and good reports
from customers continue. Now is an excellent
time to fish the river.
09/27/17 Great conditions exist but only a
few days left in the season.
11/16/17 Season is closed but you can
always send us an email for planning next
year's trip.
04/20/18 The season is open and most of the
ice gone but we have yet to receive a report
from anyone fishing.
05/04/18 Trout have been caught in decent
numbers. There are some hatches taking
place. Fish the Lower Dam area. Stream
levels are high.
05/25/18 The lakes are clear of ice and the
water is getting warmer. Hatches are starting
to take place. Few anglers are fishing.
06/29/18 Conditions are very good with good
stream levels, lots of hatches and trout being
caught. Send an email for a fly list.
08/17/18 The river is in great shape and lots
of trout are being caught. There are some
very good hatches taking place.
08/31/18 The river is still in good shape in all
respects with good numbers of trout being
05/25/19 The season has been open but
until recently, the water had a lot of slush
ice, bank and shelf ice. It is coming into good
shape and some good hatches will be
starting soon.