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The History of Fishing in Maine  
by Ronald Moody

Fishing has played an important part in Maine’s rich and varied history from as early as the 19th century. Alongside mining, lumbering and shipbuilding, commercial fishing played an important role in the economic development of Maine, which remained one of the areas most popular industries for several decades. However, developments in the mining and manufacturing industries saw a decline of Maine’s fishing industry. Fortunately, smaller communities living on and around Maine’s numerous rivers and lakes ensured that fishing would remain part of the areas heritage and become the hugely popular tourist attraction that it is today.

Following on from this foundation, Maine now bases much of its economy on the tourism industry. Though Maine has many attractions, not least of all its lush areas of natural beauty, the fishing locations on offer are arguably the premier attraction for visitors from around the globe. As a result of Maine’s unique mix of freshwater and saltwater fishing locations, countless fishing communities are continuing to thrive on the back of keen enthusiasts and professional anglers alike.

Maine is also home to more than its fair share of fishing heritage, including that of Cornilia Crosby, or “Fly Rod” as she was affectionately known. Cornilia had the honor of being the first person to be awarded with a Guiding License in 1897 having spent years learning the woods, lakes and rivers of Maine. As the nickname would suggest, Cornilia was a keen angler who became highly skilled at fly-fishing. One story in particular claims that Cornilia landed 200 trout in a single day.

Cornilia began journaling her fishing expeditions and submitted them to numerous publishers and editors under her nickname of “Fly Rod”. Such a hit were her tales that “Fly Rod’s Notebook” became a hugely popular column in newspapers in New York, Boston and Chicago, and no doubt attracted hundreds of keen fisherman from around the country to the rivers and lakes of Maine.

Fortunately for the people of Maine, the lakes and rivers remain some of the best fishing locations in the world, and countless fishing resorts continue to prosper on the back of superb scenery, big fish and warm, friendly communities. With well over a hundred years of fishing heritage, Maine continues to make history as one of the world’s premier recreational fishing locations.

Ronald Moody has been an avid fisherman for over 40 years. He enjoys all types of fishing, but especially likes salt-water fishing; he has been all over the country practicing his hobby. He is the owner and operator of, a website dedicated to inform fisherman about Maine fishing, fishing locations, and fish supply products. Visitors are welcome to copy and paste this article on their website as long as the following information is sourced: Maine Fishing by Ronald Moody

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