This section has rapids that range from class 3-5. Every section holds different water for everyone’s skill level. You can fish small pockets of water to big raging white water. You really need to be careful, don’t just go stepping into the river. Some spots are very wadable but others are over your head, only inches off the bank. One thing you will find fun is the variety of fishing. If you want, you could fish all day with dries for small wild brooks with a 7’ three weight or throw streamers with sinking line for monster land locks. The fishery is endless. An added bonus is this is probably the prettiest river in the state of Maine with Mt. Kahatadin in the back drop and big gorges.
I use a 9 foot 5 weight rod for nymphing and dries and use a 6 weight 9 footer to throw streamers on 150 to 200 grain lines.
The Major Hatches :
Blue Wing Olive
The Main Stem:
The main part of the Penobscot is by far one of the best small mouth bass rivers in the country. It is big and beautiful with many islands and bald eagles. It is not uncommon to catch 50 or more fish in one day of fishing. If you really want to explore the river you need a jet boat because the river can go from 15 feet deep to only inches of water. Another way to fish the river is by canoe or drift boat. If you put in at one boat ramp and float to the other boat ramp down river, you can fish a lot of water. There is no major white water to speak of but, use caution because the flows can change without notice. The Penobscot is known for its logging history. Many logs were run down this river and there are still remnants of them. You will see the heads of old logs sticking out of the water and small gravel islands where they would tie up the logs.
The fish range from 10 inches to five pounds but, one thing you will notice is that they feel a lot bigger than they are. They spend their days fighting the mighty current and become very powerful. So a 12 inch small mouth will feel more like a 15 inch fish found in most lakes.
I use 6 to 8 weight rods depending on the size of flies I am throwing but, mostly I use a 6 weight and you can fish all day. You don’t have the big hatches like up on the west branch but, you will see some stone flies, caddis and damsel fly hatches.
A nice selection of flies would be, clousers in different colors and sizes, big and small poppers, buggers in all sizes and colors and terrestrial pattern.