Copyright 2014 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide for the Roach River Maine
This river is more like a small stream than a river. It probably averages about thirty to forty
feet wide. It's a very important hatchery for salmon and brook trout and is the only stream
in Maine that is for fly fishing, catch and release only. It is difficult to impossible to fish from
the bank. Almost all of the fly fishing is done wading.
The fishing is done mostly from the many pools, all of which have names. The Dam Pool is
a deep pool located under the bridge at Kokadjo. The fish from Moosehead Lake tend to
hold there. It's a popular area to fish because it's very easy to access, yet it produces well.
Corner, Warden's and Dump pools are other popular places to fish. They can be accessed
by taking about a half mile hike. Large brook trout and salmon can be caught there as well
as other pools on the Roach River, especially during the spring and fall.
Highlander, Flatlander, Corner, Spring and Slaughter pools are connected by a streamside
trail. They can all be fished in a series without having to walk so much. Other pools are
mostly accessed by individual trails. The pools on the lower section are Flat Rock, Ledge,
and Moose Hole pools. The best way to fish the lower Lake Pool is by boat from
The river flows fast between these pools. The water would be classified as Class 2 rapids
in most areas of the six mile run. The river is very rocky with lots of riffles and runs.
Spring is a good time to fish because of all the salmon and brook trout in the river eating
the spawning smelt. Fishing is normally very good until the water warms up in July. Flows
above 400 feet can be difficult, so you should check on the water levels before traveling
there to fish. Streamers that imitate small baitfish such as our Perfect Fly Marabou Sculpin
work great as long as the smelt are in the river.
Later in the season, nymphs and dry flies begin to produce well. Most of the dry fly fishing
is done at the tails of the pools where the water is shallower. The fish can become very
picky as the season progresses, depending on the fishing pressure. When the water cools
in the early fall season, the fishing usually picks up again.
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Roach River Maine
Photo Courtesy of Dennis McCarthy