Maine Expedition Update II

Hello from Rangely Lakes State Park in the beautiful mountains of Maine! This morning we gathered our things and departed from the Lakewood Camps before driving roughly an hour to our current campsite. We now sit around a fire, enjoying sausages and peppers while the boys laugh and play with our new glow-in-the-dark frisbee.

The past few days since the start of our trip have been a blast. After collecting everybody at the airport and leaving Boston-Logan, we drove roughly four hours up to our first campsite, Asizcoos Valley, along the mighty Magalloway in northwestern Maine. The beginning of our trip was met with less agreeable weather, with temperatures dipping into the thirties and a consistent drizzle for the first night that, as it is known to do in Maine, turned into full-blown sun, bluebird skies, and 70-degree heat 12 hours later. We spent the first day fishing the "Mag"', catching a few fish, and acquainting ourselves with the waters of Maine. After everyone caught a few fish, we packed up and drove to the boat pickup for Lakewood Camps, a historic Maine fishing lodge with four-person cabins just 30 miles from the Canadian border. Not only did these cabins give us an opportunity to grab a shower, use a blanket, and make a fire, but they also gave us access to the headwaters of the Rapid River, home to some of the best native Brook trout fishing in the United States. The fish here are big, hungry, and aggressive, which our crew took full advantage of. Every kid landed some of these beautiful Brook Trout, some of which reached up to 19 inches, and several of the acrobatic a land-locked salmon that jump clear out of the water when hooked.

The second day of Lakewood we completed our service project for the trip, which consisted of removing invasive smallmouth bass from the Rapid River system that had been introduced a few decades ago. Every kid had a blast, catching upwards of 50 fish a piece and successfully removing them from the ecosystem. The invasive bass decimate the native brook trout populations, so felt good to help protect the world-class fishery we were lucky enough to experience. 

Now we look forward to the next chapter of our trip, which is centered around travels in the Moosehead lake region. We will depart for the Eastern Outlet of the Kennebec River at its headwaters tomorrow and fish for the massive Brook trout and Landlocked Salmon that call those waters home before spending the evening preparing for our 2 night backcountry float trip on the Western Outlet and lower branch of the Eastern outlet. The group has formed a great bond, and everyone is excited to try their hand at catching multiple different species of fish in the backcountry (including some of the best Smallmouth waters out here in Maine).

As we reach the middle of the trip, it's been awesome to see the group connecting and making fast friends. While simultaneously getting out there and catching fish, and we can't wait to get the canoes on the water, and head into the beautiful Indian Pond Backcountry.

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