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One of the last remaining wild rivers in America, the Rapid River is situated in the heart of 22,000 acres of the Richardson Public Reserved Land, in Maine’s Western Mountains. The 3.2 miles of wild brook trout and landlocked salmon waters are reserved for fly fishing only. If you're anoviceflyangler, you may find the raging white water and deep, flat pools a bit daunting—butthe environment may be perfectif you're anintermediateorexpert fly angler.


Reaching the Rapid River will require some effort—you'll need to take a boat, canoe, floatplane or a long drive over gravel roads and a brisk hike through wilderness pathways. Public access is reached via Andover to a public boat launch on Lower Richardson Lake. Anglers may tie up at Middle Dam on the western shore, at the headwaters of the river. A footpath and carriage road run parallel to the river for its entire length, from Middle Dam to where the river empties into Lake Umbagog on the New Hampshire border.


Whileyoucan easily reach brook trout and salmon-holding pools from the boulder-strewn shorelines,you'll findlittle room for back casts,so you'll need to have strongroll-casting skills or don chest waders. Only anglers experienced in wading white water should attempt venturing more than knee-deep in theriverbecause ofitsobvious namesake.

You canexpect to findnative brook trout averaging one to three pounds,with larger fish possible,and landlocked salmon in the 12-to 20-inchrange. Special regulations apply and you should review Maine’s Open Water Fishing Laws & Rules. You can obtain guides and lodging information through the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.