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Rapid River

   I think of the Rapid and Magalloway as sister rivers. The section of the Rapid between Middle Dam and the pond is the most popular section. It is fast pocket water with a long deep pool above the pond. The dam pool is the most heavily fished pool and many stop there and never go any further. The dam pool is a great spot to spend the day because of all the fish held there. It also has the coldest water during the warm summer months. If you walk down the trail along the river you will come to outlet of the river as it dumps into the "Pond In The River”.  The long pool above the outlet is called Chub Pool. This pool can hold many anglers and we often go no further than this spot all day. Chub pool is very deep and holds more fish than any pool on the river.
   Between the dam and the pond is a mile or so of fast, boulder strewn pocket water. This pocket water holds a lot of fish and is a nymph fisherman's dream. Caddis and stoneflies are the major insects in this oxygen rich water. This pocket water is full of medium to small brookies that hide behind every rock. These smaller brook trout are very willing to play with the angler who has the patience. The river flows through the pond and passes the old Lower Dam site. Below the remnants of the dam the river enters a deep and broad pool, much like that which is below Middle Dam. Moving down stream you pass by the old home of author Louise Dickinson Rich. The river now is made up of deep pools and runs separated by pocket water and riffles. From here down to Smooth Ledge Pool is my favorite section of the river. In this stretch of river there is more water than you can fish in a day and sometimes I never see another soul all day. The river continues on its way, finally dumping into Umbagog Lake which forms the headwaters of the Androscoggin River.
   The bug life on the Rapid is very diverse. While caddis and stoneflies are the most abundant, the traditional mayfly hatches also take place in the spring with the Blue-Winged Olives sticking around all summer. The most famous hatch on the Rapid is the Alder Fly hatch which happens in the first part of July. This is the biggest insect hatch I have ever seen on a river, and is the highlight of the summer as far as dry fly action goes. It is during the Alder Fly hatch that the big fish that have been laying low all spring finally come to the surface to feed. The Rapid fishes well until the dog days arrive and the water warms up. As it cools down in September the fish become active again and the large brookies begin the fall spawning run.


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