A stones throw from the town of Rangley is what most anglers consider the second best, native brook trout fishery in the country – the Magalloway River. A tributary of the Androscoggin River, the Magalloway begins near the Canadian border and flows south for 30 miles (including distances over intervening lake water) through northwestern Maine and New Hampshire. Like other rivers in the Rangeley area, the Magalloway is interrupted first by Parmachenee Lake and then 2 1/2 miles later, by Aziscohos Lake, a narrow, 15-mile long body of water.
Privately owned property makes access difficult on the northern reaches of the river as it runs through harvested forestland. Where public access is available, it is best fished by wading or by canoe as this section is more of a small stream loaded with rifles and pools. Because pressure here is light, the fish are thought to be naïve and unaccustomed to seeing flies. Beginners in search of wild native brook or wild landlocked salmon should find this a great place to learn and gain confidence.
Magalloway’s mid section is rife with pools that drain into Parmachenee Lake, followed by a mile of deep pools and pocket water before reaching Aziscohos Lake. The dam at Aziscohos provides steady flows of cold water great for trout habitat. But what brings fishermen to the river section between the two lakes, are the extremely large lake fish that appear several times a year to take advantage of spring smelt or fall spawning.
The terrain after Aziscohos Lake is quite steep; the river descends over 250 feet in less than 2 miles, creating fast water, riffles and deep pools. Open from April through September, the entire river is fly fishing only and only barbless hooks can be used below the lake. South of the lake, fishing is restricted to catch-and-release for brook trout; north of the lake there is a 2 fish limit where fish less than 6 inches long and fish longer than 12 inches must be immediately set back into the water.