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 Post subject: maine river floats
PostPosted: December 10th, 2019, 3:38 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: August 23rd, 2010, 6:49 pm
Posts: 106
Location: Rangeley Plantation, mooselookmeguntic
This is the time when, like many of you, I begin dreaming of the 2020 season. I would like to do a few more day trip river floats in my canoe or kayak. Smallmouth or for the fish with adipose fins. Within a reasonable drive of Rangeley, no class 3 rivers. I have done the Andro section from Mexico down to Dixfield a bunch of times. A fun Smallmouth fishery to be sure. I was thinking about Gilead to Bethel or Bethel to Hanover. Anyone float those? Mostly trout up there, or is it a mixed fishery with some smallies?
What other favorite floats would folks want to share??


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 Post subject: Re: maine river floats
PostPosted: December 10th, 2019, 6:33 pm 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5468
Location: Manchester, ME
I used to do a float on the Andro for salmonids, but it's been a long time. As I remember it, the best float was to start below the last dam in NH (Shelburne, I think) and take out just inside Maine at the Gilead access.

Two great floats on the Kennebec at Bingham and Solon. Evergreen Campground will run a shuttle for either one, and get you oriented to the put-ins and take outs. Bingham will be mostly wild rainbows and landlocks, with some brook trout. Solon will be wild landlocks, a few drop down rainbows, and stocked browns.

Another good float, though you've got to time it around the daily toilet flush, which means putting in early and planning to take out by noon on most days, is to put it just above the Route 201 bridge on the Kennebec and float down to Caratunk. This will be wild brookies and landlocks, with a few stocked salmon, brookies and splake that wander up from Wyman Lake or down from the Dead River. Fishing can be very good, especially in spring and early summer, but the downside of this one is that it's road side most of the way. Avoid warm days that bring out the innertube hatch. (That goes for Solon, too.)


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 Post subject: Re: maine river floats
PostPosted: December 11th, 2019, 8:36 am 
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FFIMer

Joined: August 23rd, 2010, 6:49 pm
Posts: 106
Location: Rangeley Plantation, mooselookmeguntic
Thanks Jeff, I have done the Bingham float once and enjoyed the rainbows. Will put that and your other suggestions on the list. Float fishing is one of the most enjoyable ways to see a river.


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 Post subject: Re: maine river floats
PostPosted: December 11th, 2019, 11:48 am 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: October 15th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 1464
Location: Bangor
The Andro float from Gilead to Bethel is a good float and mixed bag. I used to float Solon, a lot. I have heard it is hit or miss these days. What kind are craft are you using?


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 Post subject: Re: maine river floats
PostPosted: December 11th, 2019, 12:36 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: May 12th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 523
Location: Hampton, NH/Eustis
I remember years ago floating the the Solon stretch down to N. Anson in my buddy's 16' Lund side console. Though no Hyde or Clackacraft, was actually not a bad way to fish that stretch, and the LOOKS we got from other fishermen were priceless. Good times and quite a lot of nice fish were caught (mostly landlocks) on dry flies.


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 Post subject: Re: maine river floats
PostPosted: December 19th, 2019, 4:04 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: August 23rd, 2010, 6:49 pm
Posts: 106
Location: Rangeley Plantation, mooselookmeguntic
Titleguy,

I either use a 12 foot kayak or a 15 ft canoe, nothing fancy, but they get the job done.

Tom


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 Post subject: Re: maine river floats
PostPosted: December 20th, 2019, 8:37 am 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: October 15th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 1464
Location: Bangor
granger wrote:
Titleguy,

I either use a 12 foot kayak or a 15 ft canoe, nothing fancy, but they get the job done.

Tom


Do you have an anchor system?


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 Post subject: Re: maine river floats
PostPosted: December 20th, 2019, 4:11 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: August 23rd, 2010, 6:49 pm
Posts: 106
Location: Rangeley Plantation, mooselookmeguntic
No I do not use an anchor in these small, light craft. I have anchored canoes in fast water in the past, but I am not a fan of it. I do get out and wade fish some spots, but by and large just fish as I float.


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 Post subject: Re: maine river floats
PostPosted: December 22nd, 2019, 11:53 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: May 16th, 2013, 10:33 am
Posts: 134
Location: Norridgewock Maine
The Solon and Bingham floats are worth it. Good fishing and lots of fun. Just a thought would be the Waterville to Sidney boat landing stretch. There are a ton of smallmouth in there and if you time it up right Shad and Stripers as well ( June) or sometimes for stripers in Sept. few if any trout but just another cool option. I have run the stretch from the forks to Wyman lake and caught some nice fish in it. be sure to check to flows on the dead ( the day before you run) and Spencer stream as well because twice I have had that float thrown off because of a large pulse of warm water coming from the dead. Maybe my timing and luck really sucked but I feel like in both cases the fishing had been better with less water coming out of the dead on other trips. The Sandy might be worth a check if the water isnt too high. I have never run the strong to Farmington stretch but maybe someone can chime in here. I would be careful in the New Sharon to Mercer stretch. there are some Big Browns in there but that stretch on the wrong flow can be a little crazy. tried to run it one June, put an ex girlfriend in the drink right under the bridge, rolled the canoe again at another rapid downstream, bony with rapids, BUT can fish well. Talked to an old timer two weeks after the experience who told me that he would never run that stretch again. Ran the Farmington to Farmington falls stretch in Sept. lots of Bass and a couple of browns, at least two carries I can think of , with logjams in the corners. ( I would think that those logjams just might hold some smasher browns though). The Bingham , Solon are worth it for sure and not too complicated.


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