The mighty Penobscot, the longest river entirely in Maine and with its north, south, east, and west branches, is an outdoor sportsman’s dream.
Sections of this 190-mile-long beauty contain some of Maine’s most challenging and breathtaking whitewater rafting opportunities, as well as sections perfect for smooth and easy paddling. Many outfitters in the area offer a variety of trips.
The Penobscot also supports many game fish species, including brook trout, landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass, white perch, and chain pickerel. Anglers can select sections of river to fish based on their preferences. Here’s a brief overview:
- The West Branch of the Penobscot
Downstream from Seboomook Lake, just north of Moosehead Lake, is noted for both wild brook trout and landlocked salmon. The river is accessible by gravel road from either Greenville or Millinocket.
Northwest of Millinocket is renowned for its landlocked salmon fishery. The heavy rapids, deep runs, large pools, and two sections of slower moving water in the 12 miles of river immediately downstream from Ripogenus Dam at the outlet of Chesuncook Lake offer a variety of opportunities to fish for salmon. The icing on the cake here is the exceptionally scenic setting.
- The East Branch of the Penobscot
A more remote section with limited access, canoeing down the east branch is a great place for a multi-day backcountry experience. The area is noted for wild brook trout and landlocked salmon. Primitive campsites are available along this section for canoe trippers. The remoteness rewards anglers with better fishing than routinely found in more accessible Maine rivers.
- The Main Stem of the Penobscot
Below the confluence of its East and West Branches the main stem of the Penobscot flows south for 60 miles past forest, farms, and towns to Old Town. Stretches of both fast-moving and slow-moving water make up this section noted for smallmouth bass with many opportunities for access. That easy access continues to the lowermost section where anglers love to fish for stripers.