The Down River Camps has been in
operation for about 75 years. Our family has owned and operated it
for the past 27 years. We are NOT the new kids on the block.
Anyone who is
serious about small mouth bass fishing has to end up in Washington
County Maine at some point. Washington county is the easternmost
county in Maine and we are in the easternmost part of the county.
Our waters abut Canada and our remoteness keeps us under fished and
with very little population, ensures you have what you came looking
for, a sense of pristine wilderness and hardly any boat traffic. A
typical 8 hour day of fishing, you "might" see 6 boats, there's
about 10,000 acres just in "our" water alone.
If that's not enough for you (and it
will be), you can boat to the west and you
have another 15,000 acres to poke
Around the turn of the last century
when a train was the only way to get here, progress set in. They
tore up the railroad tracks and Canada/America decided to flood the
west branch of the St Croix River and put in a Hydro-Dam.
Thus,...The Grand Falls Flowage.
They flooded 10,000 acres of forest and
created the flowage. No, they never cut the trees down, they just
flooded the woods. Now, a hundred years later, this is what your
fishing in and over. The trees above the water line are for the most
part, gone. The stumps of those trees, however are not. Whether
you're fishing in 2 feet of water or 17 feet, the stumps are still
there and right up to or near the surface.
It's not exactly a place you want to
speed around for fear of ruining your lower units or props. There's
very little rock and much wood. It's unusual because it looks like
the best "largemouth" water you've ever seen and there's not one in
it, it's all Small mouth.
Don't let the stumps scare you, we have
large bass boats
here all the time, you have to
be careful and take it easy until you get comfortable with the
place. If you're not a speed freak and have an ounce of sense,
you'll have no problem. If you do like going fast in your boat,
prepared to put on an extra prop or
ruin your trip as
your boat will more than likely
not be able to be
fixed quickly up here....
If you want to water ski or zip around
at 5O mph, this is NOT the place for you.
The camps were
built over the years. We keep them up so you have all the
necessities that you need.
cabin is self-contained. There are no community baths or anything
your own cabin with bathroom, shower, fridge, gas stove and all the
"stuff" that you need to cook and sleep with. Yes, they're squeaky
Let's get this
straight right now, this is NOT the Holiday Inn. It's a fishing
camp. It's the best equipped and cleanest one you've ever been in
but it's still a fishing camp. If you keep that in mind, you'll not
here 27 years and believe it or not, we have a few guests who have
been here longer than us. We are busy from when we open until we
close. Our guests know us and we know them. We are 90% full all
season long from regular customers. This website is here to fill in
the remaining 10%. I love to see one new guest a week.
is friendly and very helpful to new people who are "good eggs". You
can hermatize if you want or you can join everyone at the "liar
fire" on the waterfront at night.
Most come on
down and others want to be by themselves. Nobody really cares what
you do. Do what you're comfortable with. Social butterfly or
hermit, it's up to you.
You would be missing some good info
from the rest of the people if you didn't come down and join them
for a "Toddy" or coke. The later it gets, the better the fishing is
and the bigger the fish are! Warning, Deeply moral people could be
offended at some of the tales.
The "Flowage" consists of many, many
coves, peninsulas and some islands. It's not like fishing in one big
bathtub. A lot of places to nook into comers. Just because a windy
day comes up doesn't mean you have to go out and get tossed allover
the place. Many hiding places ..We do have our deep spots but for
the most part, you'll be fishing in 3-8 ft of water, even on the
There is no "best" time to come. It's
different here than it is in the southern areas of New England. The
fishing starts around the 2nd week of May, stays consistent all
summer, then starts to peter out sometime in latter Sept. It's not
the normal-start out good--die off when it gets hot---come back
later in the year.
For equipment, just bring what you're
comfortable with back home and bring a little extra because you tend
to lose a little more in this water. (Between the stumps and the
fish). There are just too many variables to tell you a number of how
many fish you'll catch in a day. A bad fisherman on a bad day will
get 2. A good fisherman on a good day will get a 100. Let's put it
this way, you're not going to find an area of the country where
you're going to get much better smallmouth fishing. If you don't do
well here, I don't know what I can tell you.
We do have other species of fish here.
Everyone comes for smallmouth but for your info, we have loads of
good size pickerel, from there it's yellow perch, white perch,
catfish, eels and an occasional salmon. The primary baitfish are
I CAN come close to telling you what
sizes of bass you'll catch. For the most part the bass will be in
the 13 to 18 inch range. You will get a few smaller than that and
you should get a few bigger than that too. Catching a 2 to 2 and a
half pound bass is a most common event.