Since I am not 18 years-old, I cannot guide, but I am happy to recommend the best guides, programs, and outdoor spots. I will also post periodic reviews of equipment. Please rest assured that when I turn 18 and am a fully-licensed guide, I will shamelessly plug my services.

Unlike most websites, I am not compensated and have no financial interest in these businesses other than working for Portland Paddle.

Best Whitewater Spot:  Seboomook

  • Seboomook section of Upper West Branch of the Penobscot. Not the biggest, but definitely the best. Great play waves, beautiful scenery, and the river to yourself–what more could you ask for. The Big Three get all the attention and the Rapid River is a close second, but Seboomook dam is always releasing and that gives it the edge. If you have made the trek there, you would agree.

Best Local Play Spot:  Sheepscot Reversing Falls

  • Maine has Smooth Ledge, Madison Wave, Limington Rips and a bunch of other great play spots, but only one wave runs every day of the year and shows you a bunch of different looks over a two-hour period. Sheepscot Reversing Falls is your go-to spot in Southern and Mid-Coast Maine. Whether you are into green waves or trashy holes, the Sheepscot has it all.

Best “Secret” Fishing Spot:  Androscoggin River

  • Nothing like hiding in plain sight. The Androscoggin River is the best and most under-utilized smallmouth bass fishery in the State. If you cannot catch fish on the Andro, it is time to take up bowling.

Best Striper Spot:  Casco Bay

  • This is where I draw the line. Did you really think I would divulge information about specific locales. The reality is that striped bass follow bait and Casco Bay has abundant bait and plenty of the structure that stripers love. Early in the season, Scarborough Marsh is the go-to spot and, although it drops off after July 1st, there are fish in the Marsh into fall. The Spurwink, Presumpscot and Royal also produce nice fish in June with stripers moving to island ledges as the water warms. If you look at a map and identify rocky points with moving water, you will find fish.

Best Fishing Shop:  The Tackle Shop

  • LL Bean’s is great, but Dana Eastman and The Tackle Shop are the real thing.  If you fish in Southern Maine, this is the place. The gritty urban scene adds to the vibe.

Best Sea Kayak Outfitter:  Portland Paddle

  • Portland Paddle.  Since I also work there, I must say they also have the best shore staff in North America. Owner Zack Anchors is a great paddler and great guy.

Best Whitewater School:  Whitewater Riders

  • Hands down, Katrina Van Wijk’s Whitewater Riders is the best. I went to her program for two years and had Emily Jackson, Dane Jackson and Kyle Hull as guest instructors. It is half the cost of any program in the United States and twice as good.