Just got back from a week of fishing in the Rangeley region.
We fished both rivers and ponds and I caught plenty of brookies to 16" and land locked salmon to 20". While that was the largest salmon that I saw, I witnessed others catching brook trout that were larger. My partner says he got one better than 26" in one remote pond that we fished but wasn't able to get a picture.
The black flies can be brutal, but most of the time that we were out the breeze kept them down. That and a good dose of DEET.
They wont come near you if you have a stinky cigar in your mouth either. It's the only time that I'll smoke the things.
nickj, there's some C&R water but mostly just reduced harvest. Maine ponds contain 95% of the USA's remaining native brook trout population and you can bet those ponds are well protected.
There's plenty of FFO water where they have "wild" trout and the wild trout designation means that there has been no stocking in at least 25 years.
Where we were fishing last week all streams and rivers are FFO and any harvest is limited to 2 fish. I think the Rapid River is C&R only except for the smallmouth.... people throw them in the woods
The little brook that ran next to our campsite had at least 200 six inch brookies in just that short stretch next to our site.
Maybe not officially designated blue ribbon water but there's 3 areas that would qualify.
The West Branch of the Penobscot. the east outlet of the Kennebec, and the rivers of the Rangeley region. The Rapid, the Rangeley, the Kennebago, and the Magalloway.
Fishing season ends Sept 30... there are very few exceptions.
critterhunter8, first thing that you need to do is get yourself a MAG
(Maine Atlas & Gazetteer
). It's an absolute necessity. Do not count on your GPS. Half the state is private logging roads and a GPS is not as accurate as a current MAG.