Maine Advanced Expedition 3 (Dayton's Group)

Paddle class

The Maine Expedition is trucking along strong with our backcountry trip already behind us. For our expedition into the Maine North Woods, the group set out onto Indian Pond, a large tailwater fed pond (more like a lake) that grows some absolutely monstrous fish.  We paddled to a secluded campsite where the East Outlet of the Kennebec River flows into the pond, where we set up camp and immediately got to fishing for the native brook trout, salmon, and the aggressive smallmouth bass. Fishing was difficult during the day, but our group still managed to net some nice fish. The real highlight of the East outlet is the evening hatch. As predicted the once glass like stretch of water where the East Outlet hits Indian Pond erupted during the last hour of light. It started slowly with some bugs flying and a fish or two rising, and before we knew it the sky was dark with caddis and mayflies and the fish were rising ferociously. The group that braved the mosquito hatch that coincided with the blanket caddis and mayfly hatch experienced a site most fly fisherman only dream about.

The next day, we were shuttled to the West outlet of the Kennebec river to float in canoes for smallmouth bass.  This section of river contains some fish that can get above four pounds which is a pretty awesome fight on the fly rod, but the kids were definitely up for the challenge. Everyone was able to land at least a couple of good sized smallmouth bass with a some really nice fish hooked and a few of those landed.

Reilly Bass
Bridge canoe shot

After big dinners of buffalo mac and cheese and pita pizza’s, the kids were able to fish the evening hatch on the pond, which again was one of the biggest hatches I’ve ever seen in my time fly fishing. With blanket hatches of caddis and mayflies swarming a couple of feet above the water the trout and salmon had no shortage of food, and we were able to catch a number of fish. After stories around the campfire we went to sleep under a crystal clear star filled sky with the sound of loons calling and the rambling river in the background. 

After two days of phenomenal fishing for trout and smallmouth bass, the kids made their way back to the front country in the canoes. Once at the front country everyone was pretty exhausted from paddling, so the whole group was rewarded with a dinner of burgers and fries from one of the local restaurants, then a fun game of ultimate Frisbee in town. After we had worked off the burgers playing ultimate, we made a quick stop at the market for root beer floats. Once everyone had their fill of ice cream we adjourned to our tents in preparation for the drive out to the Rangeley lakes region of Maine where we will be fishing mostly for the native brook trout and salmon on two of Maines most famous rivers. Of course we couldn’t leave Moosehead without some hot showers at the campground, which everyone was excited for, as well as laundry.

So this morning we packed up our tents, had a hot pancake breakfast and set out to the laundromat before our next few days of what should be more excellent fishing, and what most people consider the highlight of the trip. We will wrap up our Expedition with the chance at some of the biggest wild and native brook trout in the Lower 48 on the Magalloway and the Rapid Rivers. Not to mention two nights in a bed at the Historic Lakewood Camps! We are all very excited for the next few day and we will send another update when we make the drive back down to MA for our Banquet Dinner.

Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions was started in 2010 as a graduate thesis for my Master's Degree in Environmental Conservation Education at NYU. The operating premise was simple - by coupling amazing wilderness fly fishing camps for teens with environmental education and service learning we can help inspire future generations of fly fishing conservationists. We have been growing our unique list of trips and experiences ever since.

When it comes to choosing a summer program for your teen the options are endless. For the teen who loves to fish, be outside, and has a strong sense of adventure we have made the choice easy. We are the leader in teen fly fishing adventures and are dedicated to providing the best backcountry fly fishing experience with opportunities for teens to engage in leadership training, community service, and backcountry camping.


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Will Lillard, Founder/Director/Guide

Contact Us

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Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions
2540 King Road
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768

(828) 577-8204