Fishing Holes Along the Northern Forest Canoe Trail

For Immediate Release
May 27, 2010

Contact: Kate Williams, NFCT Executive Director
802-496-2285 or [email protected]Fishing NFCT in Maine, by Libbey Siegers

WAITSFIELD, Vt. – Native Americans spent a lot of time on the waterways of the present-day Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) in part because of the plentiful fish the lakes and rivers yielded.

Today, the linked waterways of northern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine continue to be favorite fishing destinations for recreational anglers. The mapped, 13-section NFCT offers fishing holes on big lakes, remote ponds, rushing rivers and gentle streams. There are landlocked salmon, small and largemouth bass, lake trout, brook trout, bullhead, northern pike and catfish waiting to be caught on multi-day fishing trips with a canoe or kayak.

Here’s a sampling of fishing opportunities in the four states the trail passes through. 

New York

In New York, the NFCT stretches from the Fulton Chain of Lakes to the mouth of the Saranac River at Lake Champlain. The trail touches legendary fishing grounds in the Adirondack Park.

Cast a line in one of Raquette Lake’s many bays for lake trout, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass. The lake is more than 10 miles long and has multiple campsites along its shore. Seventh and Eighth Lake are connected by a portage trail and hold enough landlocked salmon to keep two anglers busy for a weekend. Eighth Lake State Campground is between the two lakes.  

Landlocks can also be hooked on the Saranac River from its mouth to the Imperial Dam approximately three miles upstream in the city of Plattsburgh. Brown trout are plentiful on the river between the villages of Clayburg and Saranac.

There are more than 30 public access points on the NFCT in New York, and more than 70 waterside campsites. Contact the New York Department of Environmental Conservation about fishing licenses and regulations.


The NFCT follows the entire west flowing Missisquoi River from East Richford to Lake Champlain. Fly casters seek out the river’s deep pools holding brown trout, and its tributaries where brook trout are dependable.

At 6,300 acres Lake Memphremagog is home to a variety of species from brown, rainbow and lake trout, to small and largemouth bass, landlocked salmon, northern pike, chain pickerel, walleye and panfish. The city of Newport makes a great base for a week of fishing on the lake.

Island Pond in Brighton and the Northeast Kingdom has an equally diverse lineup of fish on a much smaller landscape. A state park campground borders the pond which drains into the Clyde River. The snaking Nulhegan River, east of Island Pond, is a destination for brookies.

 Anglers can access the Vermont section of the NFCT in nearly 50 locations, and rest at more than 30 campsites. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is a great resource for recreational anglers seeking information about licenses, fish species and stocking programs.


New Hampshire

The wide and gentle flowing Connecticut River has a fishery with lots of action. Brook, brown and rainbow trout are dependable on this 22-mile stretch of the NFCT from North Stratford south to Groveton. Landlocked salmon can also be taken from the river. There are two primitive campsites on the way to Groveton.

Swift water on sections of the west flowing Upper Ammonoosuc River between West Milan and Groveton make it a popular spot for catching brook trout by fly rod. More trout and landlocked salmon can be found in the rapids and pools along the Androscoggin River from Errol to Dummer. A quiet section of the river beside Bofinger Wayside State Park is a hotspot for smallmouth bass.

The easternmost portion of the NFCT in New Hampshire takes paddlers across Umbagog Lake and into Maine. The lake’s many coves and small islands make it popular for bass and lake trout fishing. A campground on the southern shore of the lake in Cambridge has 35 sites.

To purchase a state license and learn more about fishing opportunities on the NFCT waterways visit the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department online at Fishing on the NFCT, by Libbey Siegers


The NFCT passes through the Rangeley Lakes region of Maine on the Richardson Lakes, Mooselookmeguntic Lake, Rangeley Lake and the South Branch of the Dead River. Each of the lakes hold wild brook trout and landlocked salmon. The South Branch provides a remote setting for brook trout anglers. Stay at a local sporting camp to keep the experience authentic.

Moosehead Lake is a destination for lake trout, along with Chamberlain and Eagle Lake on the southern end of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. On the Allagash River, anglers can reel in lake whitefish, cusk and brook trout. There are many waterside campsites despite the remoteness of this portion of the NFCT.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife is the source for licenses and statewide fishing information.

Trail Information

 An interactive map on gives anglers a detailed look at the 13 sections of the trail and nearby accommodations, services and attractions.

Other resources include the new Official Guidebook to the NFCT and water resistant trail section maps. These can be found on the NFCT website, at specialty outdoor retailers, outfitters along the trail, and at booksellers.

For more information about the Northern Forest Canoe Trail call 802-496-2285 or visit




About the Northern Forest Canoe Trail: The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is a 740-mile inland paddling trail tracing historic travel routes across New York, Vermont, Québec, New Hampshire, and Maine. NFCT, Inc. is internationally regarded as the preeminent water trail organization in North America, and connects people to the Trail’s natural environment, human heritage, and contemporary communities by stewarding, promoting, and providing access to canoe and kayak experiences along this route.


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