The Androscoggin River runs through the heart of Maine – from Gilead, at the New Hampshire border, to Merrymeeting Bay, where its waters combine with the Kennebec River. It is the third largest river in the state and one of the largest in all of New England. The river, long ago one of the most polluted rivers in the Northeast, is now a four-season recreational area. Anglers divide the river, which runs from the New Hampshire border to Bath/Brunswick, into the "Upper Androscoggin" and the "Lower Androscoggin." You can fish the entire length of the river year-round, subject to various regulations on different sections of the river.
The Upper Androscoggin runs from Gilead to Bethel. In this region, you can fly-fish or spin-cast for salmon, rainbow and brook trout, and even larger brown trout. You can easily wade in the river or fish from a boat and pull out some beauties. This part of the river is also great for scenic paddling and there are canoe and kayak outfitters in Bethel that offer one- to four-hour day trips. Public access is available in cooperation with landowners all along the river and parking and footpaths are well-marked.
The Lower Androscoggin runs downstream through Lewiston/Auburn to Merrymeeting Bay, where it joins with the Kennebec River. This section of river is a combination of slow, wide stretches with moderate rapids and is more often frequented by shoreline anglers and boaters as opposed to wading. Here you can fish for smallmouth bass in the one- to five-pound range and for northern pike. Smallmouth bass anglers have had success using a variety of plastic worms, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Fly anglers commonly use surface and subsurface insect imitations as well as terrestrials. Northern pike anglers are advised to come prepared with steel leaders and medium-to-heavy gear as some of the pike tip the scales at more than 20 pounds.