Friday, October 10, 2014

Fly Fishing Maine: Middle Dam & Rapid River

How to use this blog?  Use the blog search engine and type in key words such as Float Trip, Walk-Wade, Float Tube, Lessons, DIY, Pesos, Fy Rods, Lodging, Food, Wine, Flies, Best Months, etc.  The search engine is located on the right side, just below the weather.  FYI, there are over 100 post about fishing Patagonia...the information you are looking for, is probably on this blog. Thanks.

Arial view of middle dam and the Rapid River. Photo taken by Monsters of

Middle Dam and Upper Rapid River Facts

Location:  Rangeley and Oquossoc Maine area. Google Maps:
Fishing Season: April 01 to September 30th.  Please visit
Special Rules: Fly fishing and catch-n-release only, on barbless hooks.  Please see special rules at
Licensed Required: Yes, general fishing only.
Floating:  There is white water rafting; however, for the angler this is walk-wade only. The use of watercraft in Pond in the River, is only allowed to private home owners and guest.
Entrance Fee: No.
Camping: Yes. Search nearby options in Oquossoc or Rangeley.
Length:  Total length, including Pond in the River, 6.0 Miles.  
Depth:  At the dam pool, depending on water flow, expect depths +10ft.  Downstream, until Pond in the River, expect depths to range between 5ft and +10ft.  
Access: Entrance is off of Route 16.  You must park 1.5 miles away and walk down to the dam.  If you want to access lower dam by foot or bike, there is a path.

Steady action from wild EBT and LLS

Why Fish the Middle Dam and Upper Rapid River
  • Native Species:  Wild Eastern Brook Trout and Land Locked Salmon.
  • Non-Native Species: Small Mouth Bass. You are legally allowed, and encouraged to catch-n-kill Small Mouth Bass.  Don't be surprised if a heron or mink follows you around = they are looking for a SMB snack.
  • Stocked Fish:  Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has stocked EBT and LLS in Richardson Lake.
  • Structure: The middle dam pool offers deep water.  Both nymphing and streamers are effective. Moving downstream, you mainly encounter pocket water, ranging in depths. At Pond in the River, you'll have a funneling effect before water drains into the pond.  Streamers and nymphs are highly effective here.
  • Location: From Oquossoc, it's a solid 40 minute drive to the entrance.  From the Route 16 entrance, its another +9 miles to the locked gate and parking area. The dirt road is accessible by all vehicles. 
  • Experience:  Less likely to encounter anglers because it takes more time to access by vehicle; it's a lengthy walk to middle dam; walking-wading downstream to the Pond in the River is lengthy, but possible by path, on the both sides of the river. This stretch of water offers high quality tailwater fishing.  Good wild EBT/LLS action.
  • Scenery:  At the dam, expect to see a few anglers and private homes/camps.  Lakewood Camps is located at the dam.  Moving downstream, there are no camps until you reach the Pond in the River area. Between the dam and the pond, the scenery is wild and scenic. 

To my left shoulder is Pond in the River; a +500 acre pond and highly protected/regulated fishery (please see special regulations). Beyond the pond is lower dam and the Rapid River continues to flow downstream to Lake Umbagog. Upstream from this position, is the upper Rapid River and middle dam. 

How to Fish the Middle Dam and Upper Rapid River

Final Word

Due to the length of the drive, from Route 16 to the locked gate/parking area, and then the walking distance to middle dam and Pond in the River, you may not find as many anglers on this stretch of water.  So, pack a lunch and make a solid day of it.  You won't regret the experience.  

Thanks for reading.  We hope you enjoyed this post.

Gone Fishing,