Landlocked Salmon

Landlocked salmon fishing gets underway the first week in May. Landlocked Salmon are fast, aerial, and dramatic – and will test the skills of good anglers! These silvery acrobats do not take kindly to a hook, and may elect to spend more time out of the water than within. Your heart will skip a beat when that big one goes airborne!

While most landlocks are taken by trolling on the lakes, a splendid salmon stream is just a five minute walk from the lodge. Here, the flycaster can present a menu of streamers, wet flies, or nymphs with dry fly patterns working well in late Spring. On the lakes, you can use either spinning equipment or flyrod, depending on your preferences. We troll a selection of tandem streamers, wobblers, and smelt in season.

Landlock fishing is most fun when the fish are “up,” that is, on the surface. This usually occurs in May, early June, and September when surface temperatures are coolest, and makes for a truly memorable fight.

Wheaton’s Lodge is located on East Grand Lake, arguably Maine’s finest landlocked salmon waters. Ask the Maine fishery people. (We have some other great salmon waters, but we don’t talk about that on the net.)

Smallmouth Bass

Our smallmouth bass fishing ranks among the very best in the nation, with many bass over four pounds caught each season, and a few over five pounds. So much has been written about Wheaton’s Lodge. . . in Outdoor Life, Sports Afield, Sporting Classics, Bassmaster and other publications. . . that we are on the itinerary of every discriminating smallmouth fisherman.

The bass season runs from late May to mid-September, with techniques varying considerably throughout the season. We also get a whack at heavy pre-spawn smallmouths in mid-May if we get some early heat. Every phase is triggered by water temperatures.

People ask us “When is it best?”, and we respond by saying, “Depends.” You will catch more fish on a given day in June, during the spawn, but your catch will include everything from the teeny-tiny to the big-shouldered grandma. And, yes, there are some flies, and, no, most sporting camps don’t talk about that. In July and August, we fish off the edges of structure and the average size is well over two pounds. Historically, there are more trophy smallmouths caught here in August than any other month.

In May: Jigs and crank baits, fly-rodders may have to nymph it if conditions are so-so.

Early June through early July: top-water lures, spinners, spinner-baits, shallow cranks; fly-rodders use cork poppers and deer-hair bugs and divers.

July through August: tubes and assorted plastics, crank baits, jerk baits, live baits.

September is a mixed bag defined by conditions. This is a simplistic overview, to say the least. There is generally good fishing throughout the season.

In selecting equipment, do not undersize yourself! Eight- to nine-weight fly rods for seven- to nine-weight lines, and medium-action open-face spinning outfits with eight-pound mono are recommended.

Other Critters

East Grand offers lake trout over twenty pounds, May and June are the best times to catch them. Our lakes are full of white perch, which makes for delicious eating. Perch fishing is best from early June through the remaining summer months. Local brooks offer native brook trout if you are willing to work for them. Chain pickerel abound in many of our lakes and are great fun for all ages. There are lots of other varieties that don’t go on the resume, but help fill holes in the day.