Photos: Monster Native Brookies of Maine

Written by: Bill Walak


There aren’t too many places left in the U.S. where you can catch natives of this size.
Photos by Bill Walak

Maine and an Orvis Superfine Glass 5-weight. This is what dreams are made of.

Maine is one of America’s last strongholds for native Eastern brook trout, and to see these fish reach this size is truly amazing. I often dream about catching the trout that Hemingway wrote of in “Big Two-Hearted River” or being able to fish the Brule with “The President” in a Gordon MacQuarrie story from the past. The truth is that Maine can take you back to that place.


Check out the muscles on this hen. That is one firm fish.

When I’m trapped at my job dreaming about places I’d rather be, I am overcome with guilt that I am not out there drifting a dry fly for the chance at one of these monsters. Then reality sets in, and I realize that I live in a place where on any given day off, I can step out my back door and after a short drive and a good cup of coffee, be waist deep in a stream with one of these guys on the end of my line. I feel extremely fortunate and blessed to live in a state that allows me the opportunity to fish rivers, lakes, and streams that most people only dream of experiencing once or twice in a lifetime.


The white-edged fins are the hallmark of the brook trout.

As long as Maine continues enforcing its strict fishing regulations and certain catch-and-release policies, we will have these spectacular fish for generations to come.

Bill Walak is a veterinarian who lives in South Berwick, Maine. Follow him on Instagram.


Big woods, fast water, and healthy brook trout make Maine a dream destination.

13 thoughts on “Photos: Monster Native Brookies of Maine”

  1. Beautiful fish and nice post! Thanks.

    “Big Two Hearted River”, a two-part short story, should be on every trout fisher’s list. Hemmingway was the real deal.

    Also “The Last Pool”, “Upstream and Down” and “Big Stony” by Howard T. Walden II…….if you can find a copy.

    1. The Big Two Heart is more of a story about recovering from the scars of war. It was the Fox river and not the Big Two Heart where Hemingway fished. The Big Two Heart river is on the east end of the U.P. The Fox river flows through Seney where Hemingway got off the train. It does hold some big Brook trout but you won’t catch them on dry flies. Maybe a streamer, maybe a weigted grasshopper. Dead salted minnows and small crawlers work the best. The Fox is a beautiful stream.

  2. My best is a 12in in Maine and a 15in in Virginia I even found a stream with them in South Carolina

    1. I was on the Brule in Wisconsin at the WI 55 Bridge on the Michigan Wisconsin State Line no wading here. But later that day the Popple River turned up a 13-inch Brookie for me. Way out in the boonies

  3. Got brookies up to 15 on numerous Wisconsin rivers from embarrass to prairie and the border brule to the eau Claire river! What about the 25 inch browns I’ve also caught in all them streams too! Wisconsin is a good trout state. Rapalas spinners or flies

  4. The Adirondack mountains for me. Stationed there with the Air Force in the 80’s. Hiked in to several high country lake and ponds in search of giant brookies. Caught several in the 14 in. range.

  5. I grew in NH but live in CO now…. I still make it back to NH to catch brookies that range 14-16″ in some secret spots….and fished ME many of times love it….CO brookies aren’t bad either but there’s something special about NE fly fishing….

  6. The best way to keep Maine’s brookies..is to keep them a SECRET….. like my 5 lb native mounted on my wall. We are already flooded with southern camp buyers coming seasonaly.. all they bring is more “posted no hunting”…. & Fishing buddies… That always want to know where the big ones are

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