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Offline niteshft

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Fishing the West Branch of the Penobscot River in Maine.
« on: November 29, 2019, 08:26:43 PM »
 I used my Mokai from the "Big Eddy" campsite. Great place! Solar panels for electric energy with a generator backup for cloudy days. It's nice to be able to take a hot shower after a long day. It's the World premiere fishing for Landlocked Salmon and large Brook Trout can be taken there as well.
 Down the road is a much cheaper site run by the State. It doesn't have any amenities but a good deal for those that like to rough it. Fire pits are in place but you have to supply your own wood "and" purchase it locally, within 50 miles of the site..., (we don't want to spread wood pests).
 For those that don't mind the current of the river, I will give a description for going down river and back. Remember, it's up to you to make the decision to do the run and always look ahead. I will be as detailed as possible but not to be your sole source of information. I will say, it's a very easy run for those that have owned a Mokai for a bit.

O.K., here we go!
 
 The "Big Eddy" is a wide spot on the West Branch of the Penobscot River. The sides of the river water rotates creating, what's called an eddy, and swirls because of the current of the river flowing through the center. This makes favorable spots for Salmon as they can sit and take food floating by. The pool is a small part of the river, though. You can put in at the Eddy and take out over a mile downstream. There is the issue of going through the "Little A" to get to the "takeout" but that's close to the end of the trip.
 You can turn back upstream before you get to the "Little A" and get back to the campsite. First you need to learn a little nomenclature if you haven't learned already. River "Right" is the right bank of the river when going downstream. River "Left" is, of course, the left bank of the river when going downstream.
 Below the Eddy, there is a boulder in the river about 1/3 across from "river right". You want to go downstream on the right side of the boulder and just ride through the wakes...it's O.K. Stay river right after that and anchor out after the first right bend. You may need to extend anchor line because of the current. It's important to have at least 50 ft of line with you and a backup line for reserve.
 There are several spots on each side of the river and I fish both before I go to "Takeout". I've gone back to camp riding the boat upriver. What you do is aim for that same boulder while going upstream and move over to the left a few feet back and continue up the current. The 6 hp Mokai had enough umph to get me through at reduced power. I didn't know how much the other campers could hear so I would back off after I passed the faster current.
 As for the "Little A", it's about the same process. You can see the current before the "Little A" goes towards the right. Just like the rock at the Big Edy, stay to the right but near the rock. What I'm saying is, stay to the left of the slick that is making an "S" curve to the right. If you allow yourself to go to the bank, river right, you will bump against the ledge on the right. It's easy to go through but you don't have to anyway. You can motor back to camp and fish along the way.

 I haven't mentioned "Big A". Big A is further down river than the "Takeout" but not by much. What I mean is that when you can see a lot of rocks in the river, it's time to turn back.

 Anyways, The Big Eddy on the West Branch of the Penobscot River, is as Deep Woods as you can get and still have amenities. I forgot to mention that the State run site has a boat launch and is in a part of the river where the current is very slow. You can motor up or down river to find current and fish can be found anywhere in between. Up river will take you to the bottom of "Big A".

Here's a link if you want to check out the Big Eddy. https://bigeddy.chewonki.org/
 
« Last Edit: November 29, 2019, 08:37:05 PM by niteshft »

Offline CC-Coder

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Re: Fishing the West Branch of the Penobscot River in Maine.
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2019, 10:00:12 AM »
Your description sounds amazing, your lucky to live in that area of the country. I follow the Appalachian Trail thru hikers on Youtube and it sounds like they get views of the Penobscot from the ridges as they hike. The campsites seem reasonably priced compared to other places we've been with our Mokai's too. Thanks for posting, another destination for us to add to our ever growing list!
🤦🏼‍♂️ Chuck 🤷🏻‍♂️

Offline niteshft

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Re: Fishing the West Branch of the Penobscot River in Maine.
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2019, 09:46:44 AM »
 One thing I forgot to mention is the campsite will follow you to the take-out and return you so you can leave your vehicle if you want to do the full run...it's part of their service and free. You cannot drive your Mokai back up Little A.

 It's a great place to stay, I've spent the full season there a few years in a row. There are rafting outfits in the area, which is a blast to do. They have 1/2 and full day trips with a noon meal. The trip I took had a choice of steak or chicken. Mt. Katahdin is nearby if you like to hike and numerous views of the mountain as you travel to the site.
 If you flyfish, I recommend you pick up a few West Branch Caddis on the way in Millinocket. These hatch on a daily basis throughout the season and are the hottest fly on the river.