The black flies were biting Saturday afternoon in Appleton, and that was a good thing, as far as fly fishermen were concerned.

The St. George River flows out of Lake St. George in Liberty and continues for approximately 40 miles to Thomaston, where it empties into the ocean. Brown and brook trout can be plentiful in May and early June. On May 22, Bob Prescott of Union was on the St. George where a shallow dam on the Sennebec Pond in Appleton creates a good fishing hole before the river continues on its southwest path toward Union.

Prescott recently caught a 17-inch trout. Over the years, he has also caught landlocked salmon and bass along the river. Fishermen are allowed to take one catch per day, and when he does get one, Prescott takes it home to his wife, who cooks it up. On Saturday, the water was high from all the recent rain, and it was running swiftly over the rocks.

According to the organization Fly Fishing of Maine: “The upper reaches [of the St. George], in Liberty, Searsmont, and Appleton, offer good fishing for brown trout, with the occasional brookie in May and early June. There are excellent mayfly hatches, especially red quills, from about mid-may to early June. Caddis abound for the remainder of the season, along with the usual array of terrestrials, especially along stretches that border grassy meadows. The state does yearly stockings of brown trout, and there are quite a few holdover fish. Those who know the river catch fish in the 14 to 18 inch range occasionally; in May 2003, a 22-inch, four-pound brown was taken. The water warms considerably by early to mid-July, and after that time the good trout fishing is early and late in the day. But, there are numerous smallmouth in the river as well that offer good action late in the summer, and some grow to prodigious size.”

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