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Interview With Fish River Lodge in Maine
Here is our interview with Operations Manager and Master Maine Guide Tenley Skolfield at Fish River Lodge in Maine. This Lodge sits on Eagle Lake, part of the Fish River Chain of Links. You will see from this interview that Fish River Lodge has a lot of fishing opportunities that will make your next trip to Maine a success.
All of the great photos featured in this interview are courtesy of Fish River Lodge.
GFN: One of the first things that caught my attention about your Lodge is the fantastic reviews, why do people love staying with you so much?
I am told the BEST thing about staying at Fish River Lodge is that guests leave knowing they have become a member of the larger “Fish River Lodge Family”. The comments in our cabin journals often reference the hospitality and welcoming atmosphere. They also enjoy the slower pace of life found only in northern Maine, the beauty of our vast forests and hillside vistas. Guests also say they enjoy "getting off the beaten path" to experience a part of Maine few venture to so therefore, they also enjoy less traffic and freedom from crowds of tourists. And certainly the view of the lake and sunrises from the cabins and lodge deck!
GFN: Sometimes people come to a lodge with unrealistic expectations, what should people expect during their week of fishing and lodging with you?
Fish River Lodge is a traditional Maine sporting camp built in the early 1900s. Our cabins are rustic but clean and there is a lot of history here. The lodge is a wonderful gathering place where guests can share stories under one roof when the weather doesn’t cooperate or they can enjoy a campfire on our private pebbly beach.I am the Operations Manager and Registered Master Maine Guide and will offer tips and advice for making the most of your stay. For those who like to venture out on their own, I can point you in the right direction for wildlife viewing, landscape photography locations, paddling or hiking excursions, and best times and places to fish or hunt. My services as a guide are also available to maximize guests’ time and opportunities.
GFN: Most people who travel to Maine for fishing also have interest in seeing a moose. What are the chances of someone seeing moose while fishing at your lodge?
Moose can be seen on Oak Point, located across the lake from the lodge and cabins and sometimes we see moose swimming from one shore to the other. Guest also enjoy dawn and dusk paddling up the Fish River for a chance to see a moose. The best times to see moose are at dawn and dusk. I also offer “Moose Safaris” from my extended cab truck on the logging roads near Fish River Lodge.
GFN: Your lake and area hold fishing for salmon, muskie, lake trout, and brook trout. Which of these species do you think offers your best fishing and why?
Eagle Lake is known for abundant land locked salmon, brook trout, and lake trout (commonly called “togue”). The structure of the lake bottom, depth, cold water, and being one of a chain of lakes all contribute to the excellent cold water fishery found on Eagle Lake. Muskie and small mouth bass are found on the nearby St. John and lower Fish River.
GFN: Which of the Fish River Chain of Lakes is your favorite to fish?
Eagle, of course! Eagle offers fast fishing – lots of small and medium salmon for example. We do catch salmon in the 5-6 lb. range. Brook trout weighing in at 2-3 lbs. are not uncommon and lake trout will often tip the scales at 8 or more pounds.
GFN: Do you recommend hiring a guide while fishing with you?
Hiring a guide is always a good idea especially if your time is limited. A guide will help you maximize opportunity by putting you on fish quickly and minimize the amount of gear you must bring because they can fully outfit you or at least offer a selection of lures and flies known to be productive on their home waters.
GFN: Describe the muskie fishing that is available on the St. John River when staying with you.
Muskie fishing from a boat on the St. John and its tributaries is best in July, August, and September.
GFN: Where is the closest smallmouth bass fishing in your area?
On the St. John River, in Fort Kent.
GFN: Can you describe the differences of the seasons (Fall, Spring, Summer) for the fishing?
Spring is traditionally the time of year we troll using lead core line until the water warms and fish come to the surface. We troll a variety of spoons - Mooseluk Wobbler, Sutton, and Super Duper are some favorites, especially in copper. A Gray Ghost, Mickey Finn, and Joe's Smelt tandem streamer are all good choices, along with sewed on live smelt. In summer we continue with lead core and also use down riggers to get to the cooler, deeper water where our cold water species hang out when surface temps rise to the 60s and 70s. Another technique is to anchor and “plug fish” which is also called “jigging”. As fall approaches we see fish moving toward the rivers again so we tend to troll near the mouth of the rivers and brook trout cruise the shore lines.
GFN: Is there anything else people should know about lodging and fishing at Fish River Lodge?
The best time to fish Eagle Lake from Fish River Lodge is in spring, mid may through mid June. Although fish can be caught year ‘round on Eagle Lake, including through the ice in winter, but the most productive time to fish is in spring and the last couple weeks in September as the water cools. Families of summer vacationers can enjoy fishing nearby rivers and remote ponds in warmer weather. I have a dock for your boat which can be launched at a beautiful state-owned ramp and dock system, just 1/3 mile up the road for the lodge. We can help shuttle trucks and trailers from the launch if needed. Fish River Lodge offers lodging for a variety of budgets and prices range from $110 - $175 a night or $550 - $750 per week per cabin. Cabins are fully furnished and functional for cooking your own meals. Beds are made up, towels provided, and each cabin has its own private bathroom with a shower. Cabins sleep from 5-8 guests.
GFN: Now go check out Fish River Lodge.