Saco River

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Fishing in Saco River

If you’re coming to New Hampshire or Maine to test out a new, exciting fishery, then the Saco River fishing scene is for you. From the White Mountains, all the way to the Saco Bay, this 136-mile river is a go-to destination for fly anglers. 
Trout take center stage, namely Brook, Brown, and Rainbow, and they come in good sizes too. Fly fishing for these beauties is what put Saco River on the map.
If you’d like a mixed catch, you can go after different Bass species and Perch, as well. You can target Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass all over the river. If Stripers are your favorite catch, then the mouth of the river and Saco Bay are your best shot. This watershed also has a small population of Atlantic Salmon, but fishing for them is illegal in order to protect them.
If you’re hitting the water with a local charter, trips are usually available from April to October, while the fishing season is open. The Saco banks can be quite difficult to access, and having a guide help you navigate your way to the hotspots is a game-changer. You can book trips that last anywhere from 4–8 hours, it all depends on your fishing appetite.
There are plenty of towns on Saco River where you can find a charter to fulfill your fishing needs. A lot of trips start from Biddeford, Standish, Conway, and Saco, which are also fishing hubs. All of these towns will show you the Saco River’s fishing potential in its full light!

Rules & Regulations

Fishing on the Saco River is seasonal (April-October), and a lot depends on where you’re casting your lines. Some parts of the river are limited to fly fishing only and allow lower daily limits, while others allow a variety of techniques. If you’re fishing with a guide, all the licenses and gear are usually included in the price of the trip.

Saco River
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Saco River Fishing Seasons

Winter is slow on the Saco River, and ice usually prevents anglers from hitting the water. If you’re in luck and it’s not that cold outside, you can try some fly fishing on the lower section of the river.

It’s still frigid outside, but that doesn’t stop fly enthusiasts from trying to pursue Trout on the Lower Saco. Depending on the temperature, you might find a good bite, but there are no guarantees.

As the weather improves, so does the bite, and in March, you can see more and more fishermen hitting the water and finding good-sized Trout and the occasional Bass on their line.

Spring is here, so dust off your fly/conventional fishing gear and explore the Saco River. Fly fishing for Brook, Brown, and Rainbow Trout is better every day, and Bass are biting as well.

Whatever your catch of choice, you can target it on the river this month. Dry fly fishing for Trout is all the craze right now, and it’s only going to get better during the summer.

June marks the beginning of the prime Trout fishing season. There are a lot of fish swimming around, and some of them are trophy material. If you’d like something a bit different, Bass fishing is also very good.

Fly fishing for Brookies, Rainbows, and Browns is the thing to do on the Saco over the summer – action is nothing short of superb. Pick your spots carefully, to avoid crowds, but still have a productive day.

If you’d like a breather from fly fishing (that’s still excellent, by the way), cast your line around dams for some good-sized Bass. Skelton Dam is especially popular for Bass fishing.

Make the most out of September and incredible fly fishing action on the Saco. These crystal clear waters still have a lot to offer to passionate fly anglers, and three species of Trout are still on your to-catch list.

It’s getting chili both in New Hampshire and Maine, so you won’t find as many anglers on the river. You can go after Stripers in the Saco Bay, or look for Trout in the deeper pools.

Winter is just around the corner, which means that the underwater life of the Saco River is taking a break, and fish are becoming more apathetic. If luck and the weather serve you, some Trout and Bass could find their way to your line.

The fishing season is over, but if there comes a particularly beautiful and warm December, try your luck and go to the Saco River, maybe a nice Trout or Bass will favor your hook.

Saco River Fishing Calendar

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Top Targeted Species in Saco River

Bass (Striped)

Bass (Striped)