More than 100 years ago, the first Registered Maine Guide, Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby wrote fishing columns that were carried in newspapers across the country. In what might have been one of her most inspired moments, she coined Maine’s onetime slogan – “The Nation’s Playground.” At that time, “sports” from New York, Philadelphia, and Boston journeyed to the legendary lakes of Maine.
Today, Maine’s fishing playground is still open and thriving with thousands of miles of rivers and streams, hundreds of freshwater lakes, and a rugged coastline that is the stuff of angling legend. The variety of species includes brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, landlocked salmon, striped bass, bluefin tuna, bluefish, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, pike and musky.
Visitors looking for the best places to cast a line often turn to Registered Maine Guides, a title that has been a badge of honor and distinction that was first awarded to Crosby in 1897 and only issued to those who have demonstrated thorough knowledge of Maine’s outdoors. Today, there are more than 4,000 licensed guides in Maine, most operating as small independent businesses that offer highly personal, customized experiences.
For a complete immersion into the Maine sporting life, pair a guided fishing adventure with a stay at a traditional Maine sporting camp. Many camps are either owned by Maine guides or have arrangements with local guides, many of whom belonging to the Maine Professional Guides Association or the Maine Wilderness Guides Organization.