Wild River

Key Species: brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout possible

Best Way to Fish: wading

Best Time to Fish: May through June

MAG: 10, B-1

Description: This freestone mountain stream runs through the White Mountain National Forest. Wading can be difficult during periods of high water, but the large number of streamside boulders enables the angler to hop about and reach prime spots. Maine Route 113 bounds the eastern side of the river, providing unlimited access. The Wild River flows between Maine and New Hampshire and enters the Androscoggin River in Gilead. The daily bag limit on trout is two fish. In 1995, Wild River was stocked with 1,600 brook trout and 2,000 brown trout. The White Mountain National Forest has five campgrounds in Maine. Motels and inns are available in Bethel.

Fishing index: Fishing is good from where the Wild River joins the Androscoggin all the way to the New Hampshire border. The river is stocked with brook trout and brown trout, but rainbow trout, originating in New Hampshire, provide unexpected bonuses. Huge boulders in the stream create numerous pockets as well as medium-sized pools. Trout seem to hang on the edges of these pockets near the swift sections, and will dart out into the pockets to intercept a lure or fly. Try Slaymaker’s Thunder Creek series streamer flies. These sparsely tied flies are ideal in clear water and the painted eye is helpful in drawing strikes. Variants and size 14 royal coachman dry flies are good choices for dry flies. Angleworms are the most popular bait. Anglers using spinning gear should try small spinners fished with ultralight spinning gear. Cast your streamer fly, worm, or spinner to the head of a pool and slowly work it back. Fish dry flies with a dead drift.

The following tips should help you get the most out of this site. Water levels are low from July through September, so early morning and evening are the best times then. On bright days, concentrate your efforts on shaded sec-

Wild River s studded with boulders. The calm pocket water on the downstream side of each boulder provides a perfect spot for trout to lie in wait for foodtions of the deeper pools. Since some of the large boulders here create considerable shade, finding good locations should not be a problem. Use special care while wading.

The intense clarity of the water can be deceiving. It is usually deeper than it appears. Use the lightest tackle you have, since the river has no snags for a trout to get wrapped up in. As in other crystal-clear streams, you will have the best luck using the lightest possible line.

Directions: From Bethel, take U.S. Route 2 west to a bridge over the Wild River in Gilead. You can park on the left, just before the bridge, on Maine Route 113. From there, you can also follow Maine Route 113 south, and find numerous places to park and fish along the way.

For more information: Contact the Forest Service, Northeast Forest Experimental Station.

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Wild River

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