Page 20 - WCM Summer 2022
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Mount Blue State Park beach. The shoreline at the park has picnic tables and grills for gatherings, making this the perfect place for a group kayak trip and cookout.
Rangeley Lake is a substantial body that can be fished by kayak from several launch sites around the shoreline. The best (calmest) parts of the lake are accessed in Oquossoc, at the bridge over the Rangeley River, and another at the launch right at the park in Rangeley. Both locations offer good protection from prevailing winds.
At first thought, kayaking big Sebago Lake might sound intimidating, but anglers shouldn’t worry if they are first equipped with a quality kayak; folks take kayaks on the ocean all the time. My own pedal model kayak handles whitecaps with amazing ease, and the pedal system allows me to swiftly jump to shore if a storm kicks up. Sebago Lake also has loads of shoreline coves that offer protection from strong winds that can push boats around out in the center. At Jordan Bay, near Raymond, you can slip a kayak into the access launch off Route 302. There you’ll also take advantage of Sebago’s remarkable fishing while enjoying sheltered locations.
River Adventures
I enjoy fishing rivers from a kayak for many rea- sons: I can easily slip the craft into and out of tight spots; I can stop, anchor, and get out to wade if I choose; and I can carefully drag my anchor in slow current while fishing nearby slack waters, eddies, and unhurried water that might conceal fish. Also, with my pedal-powered servant, I can scoot upriver and float back to the put-in area, an efficient way to fish a river without shuttling vehicles.
The Androscoggin River, from the New Hampshire border to the Atlantic Ocean, offers a wide variety of fishing habitat. Most of the launch sites divide the river into five- or six-mile segments that can each be covered in a day with ease. There are plenty of restaurants and
Lake fishing offers quiet and smooth time on the water.
stores along these river routes, but I prefer to pack a lunch in a small cooler and eat right on the water.
The upper sections of the river start at the boat launch off Route 2 in Gilead near the bridge, continuing along Route 2 downriver to Newt’s Landing (the big steps) in West Bethel, to the launch at Davis Park right in Bethel, to Morin’s Landing in Newry, and down to the launch in Hanover next to the town office.
The Bear River in Newry pours into the Androscoggin where Route 26 meets Route 2. Follow Route 26 north, and you’ll spot the many turnouts that can be used as launch sites. A lot of places on this little river aren’t even big enough for kayaking, so be prepared to drag your craft in some shallow places. The state hatcheries stock the river with trout where it meets the Androscoggin River, and plenty of fish can be found upstream.
The Sandy River follows Route 4 from the Rangeley region south to Farmington and beyond. Fishing
is great the full length of this scenic and pleasantly rolling waterway, and while some places are shallow and require a little wading, most places can be fished directly from your vessel. Hatchery officials also keep this river filled with plenty of trout.
Immerse Yourself
There’s just something about kayak fishing that really settles my soul. I get so relaxed while floating down
a river, or sitting in a lake, that I forget to fish. The gentle current or lapping waves lull me into a state of total bliss. When I do fish, then get a strike, I’m jolted back into a struggle between man and aquatic life,
an age-old battle. I can choose to keep the catch for a meal, or let the fish grow and maybe tantalize another angler in the future. Sometimes it isn’t at all about catching fish, but more about finding a connection to the world around you. For me, that connection begins with the mesmerizing sparkle of sunlight on water. ❧

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