Welcome to the Mainely Flyfishing website, your source for guiding, instruction, fly fishing information, books, videos, and more. My name is Lou Zambello and I am a guide, instructor, writer, speaker, and columnist. Please explore this site or email me to learn more.

Fly fishing shows and presentations

Hi Folks,

I continue to travel around New England giving presentations, talking to anglers about their fishing plans, and signing books. What fun. Recently, I was at the New Hampshire Fly Fishing show in Manchester NH (great show if you haven’t been), The Farmington Valley (Connecticut) Chapter of TU, and The Sebago Lake Chapter.

Next up, the Greater Boston TU chapter in Newton, Massachusetts on Feb. 27th, and a Cumberland Library presentation on March 9th. Then there will be a gap in the action as I will be bonefishing in Abaco for two weeks in late March.

Enjoy two videos that are a compilation of short video snippets of a number of waters in Vermont and Maine that I describe in my Flyfisher’s Guide to New England.

Somerset Show

Hi everyone. Just a reminder that I will be at the Somerset Fly Fishing Show everyday giving a presentation and signing books. Check out the schedule on their website for times I will be giving my presentation about how and where to catch trophy brook trout – tactics, locations, seasons, and flies. Also listed are the times I will be at the author’s booth.

The Marlborough Show was last weekend and it was nice to see so many old fishing acquaintances, guiding clients, and avid readers of my books. I was told that my new  book, “Fly Fisher’s Guide to New England” was the number one selling book at the show. We just about sold out.

I have a new guiding partner, Abby. We will be hosting events together, co-marketing, and collaborating on a number of activities. She will also be subbing for me as a guide when she has time and I do not. Check out her website at www.kismetoutfitters.com

Winter Doldrums

To entertain folks during January, I will be adding some new videos. Here is one steelheading in upstate New York in a small creek with my friend Steve. Send me an email if you have a desire to steelhead away from the crowds.

Winter events

My schedule for the winter is starting to finalize. Here are some highlights:

Saturday, Dec 10th: I will be at the Rangeley Region Sport Shop all day for their open house event – tieing a few flies, signing a few books, showing some of my videos from 2016, and telling tall tales.

January 12th: I will be presenting at the Hammonasset Chapter of TU in Connecticut (hctu.org)

January 17th: I will presenting to the Pemigewasset Chapter of Trout Unlimited (pemigewasset.tu.org.

January 20,21,22: The Flyfishing Show in Marlborough, Mass: I am giving different presentations depending on the day. Friday, I have one of the big rooms and have an hour and twenty minutes to take people through a number of strategies, tactics, and flies to catch trophy brook trout.

January 27.28th, and 29th: The Flyfishing Show in Somerset, New Jersey.

I haven’t given up on the fishing either. With another fairly warm fall, fishing was comfortable in November. I had a few beautiful days fishing the upper Presumpscot River and the Saco River. Didn’t catch much however for some reason. It couldn’t be because of any lack of skill on my part so I assume the fish disappeared right before I got there.

Last week, I ventured down to one of my favorite late fall fishing spots – The Lamprey River in New Hampshire – and I finally found a few nice rainbows.img_07261.

I have also been working hard, editing video from this year including some great underwater brook trout action. they should be posted here and under the video tab in the next few weeks so check back.

Have a good holiday

End of Season

For what seems like the 3rd autumn in a row, September in the Rangeley area was dry and hot, and the trout and salmon didn’t begin to move into shallow water or run up the rivers until the last week of the season. Global climate change really seems to be impacting Maine. I remember that 20 years ago in the western Maine Mountains, by the last few days of the season all of the leaves would be off the trees, and sometimes it would spit snow and sleet. The end of September now arrives with the leaves still green and this year there wasn’t even a frost until mid-October.

I think that Maine’s Inland Fish and Wildlife Department should consider extending the regular fishing season to the first week in October. I know more water is being kept open later but prime waters are not. I don’t think extending the season by one week would negatively impact the wild fish and it would minimize the crowding during the last week in the season.

Although another “official” fly fishing season has come and gone, lots of water is still open. I guided two anglers in early October to upper Dam – still lots of heavy machinery working – but everyone there (up to 14  anglers in the late afternoon) seemed to catch a few fish. Most were 10-12 inches and very thin – I assume that they were resident to that area and that during this hot summer, the water had warmed too much for them to feed actively. A few fresh larger salmon and trout were caught – some in the 20 inch range, but I got the sense that the real movement of fish hadn’t started yet.

I have some interesting photos and videos from the end of September that I will post as time allows.

In other news, I was able to stop into a new fly shop in Lincoln, NH – right at the end of the Kancamagus Highway. This new fly shop is good news for anglers in that part of NH who did not have a fly shop anywhere close by. The name of the shop is Mountain High Fly (www.mountainhighfly.com) and the owner, Sara, seemed quite competent and enthusiastic. They are on-line only during the winter, but the shop itself will be open again in the spring. Good luck with your new endeavor, Sara!

Mid-September Update

Hi Folks,

I thought I would give an update on fly-fishing conditions. Although we have had a few rain storms in September, rivers are dropping again. Very few smaller resident trout or salmon are around –they must of run into the lakes when the water got so low and warm in August. A few larger trout and salmon have moved into the rivers, but with water temps still in the mid 60’s or warmer, most fish haven’t moved yet. We still need more cold nights and rain to really start things going.

I have guided and fished with a few friends on the Kennebago River several times in  the last week and we have run into small schools of fresh salmon here and there – one morning we did  hook a half dozen or so nymphing.

I also caught a few beautiful trout in the Little Kennebago River. I also fished the upper Magalloway last week and found a few nice fish here and there. I watched a huge salmon cavort around one of the larger pools that looked to be around 5 pounds, but of course I couldn’t interest him.

I have heard that fresh fish moved into the Magalloway below the dam last week and anglers enjoyed dry fly action with the new arrivals.

In other news, I have made the decision to take a year off from guiding in 2017. I want to concentrate on promoting my latest book, and do some more writing. Also to recharge my batteries a little, lose some weight, and protect my knees. I would also like to explore a little and find new “secret” fishing spots. Some of my favorite guiding spots are now not as accessible, or more crowded, or aren’t fishing as well with the recent years of warmer and drier autumns. At the end of next year, I will decide about 2018.

Please continue to contact me, I will give you advice on where to go, and I have guides to recommend across New England. I probably will end up guiding some – if another guide needs help or someone intriguing comes along. And I will probably do some free guiding to raise money for fly fishing organizations, or give a few lessons, or participate in programs to introduce new women and kids into the sport – so my guess is that I won’t be out of it entirely – but days will be drastically reduced.

Fall Fishing is Here! Sort of.

Early September has brought a few changes from August but the one thing that hasn’t changed is the lack of rain. Mid-August brought two rainstorms to the Rangeley region that dropped over 3 inches of rain in some areas, but the ground was so dry that much of it was absorbed with little run off. Still, it did raise and stabilize river flows in some areas. However, we have had little rain now for over a week and air temperatures are rising again into the upper 70’s during the day this week.

We did have cool nights (into the low 40’s several days) and water temperatures are dropping with rivers and streams falling into the 60’s. As a result some spawning fish are starting to move. Anglers are hooking a few nice fish in the upper Magalloway, a few nice salmon in the lower Kennebago, and seeing some big trout in the upper stretches.

Best bet is to fish early in the morning, be patient, and be satisfied with maybe one or two nice fish.

Fish are also starting to move into shallower water in the lakes and ponds and people are reporting the beginning of good action – although still with mostly smaller fish. Today on Kennebago it was cloudless, 75 degrees, and calm, but fish were rising at mid-day as tiny trico-like mayflies emerged in shallow water and mixed with a few tiny flying ants. Go figure.

In literary news, my new book is becoming more widely available and is now found in most fly-shops, sporting goods stores, and specialty book stores in New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts including Bass Pro in NH, and Kittery Trading Post. Not LLBean yet. If you don’t see it at your favorite store – ask for it! Of course, you can always buy it directly from me. Good luck with your September fishing and keep praying for a good tropical storm to reach northern New England.