Fly fishing in the Deboullie Township is second to none in the state of Maine. With so many ponds to choose from, a guest could fish one or even two waters every day for a week and still not fish them all. We do have spincasting and trolling opportunities as well for those guests who would rather not fly fish. Our waters are cold and clear, the perfect combination for brook trout and rare Arctic charr.
BROOK TROUT: Native and wild brook trout are undoubtedly the kings of our waters. All of our ponds have brookies, and their "personalities" vary from pond to pond. Some of our ponds have abundant small (8-12") trout, while others produce fewer but larger trout. Some fish well on overcast but calm days, and others fish well when the weather is sunny.
ARCTIC CHARR: Native Arctic charr are found in only twelve ponds in Maine, and the Deboullie Township is home to one third of these. Gardner, Deboullie, Pushineer, and Black Ponds are the only Maine charr waters within walking distance of each other. Charr need deep, cold, clear water to thrive, and we have plenty of it! In fact, the state record Arctic charr was caught in Pushineer Pond in 2008. Try your hand at fishing for this rare native species during your visit.
See what flies work well in our area
View the Maine Fishing Guide on Google Earth
Take a look at the pond depth maps of the Deboullie Township to start planning your trip
Fishing in Maine (from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife) is the place to go for licenses, species identification, and a host of other useful things!
Autumn in our neck of the woods offers hunters ample opportunity to enjoy their craft. While we do not currently run deer hunts (due to very low herd numbers in our area) or bear hunts, we have good success with both ruffed grouse and moose.
RUFFED GROUSE: Our partidge (ruffed grouse) population is typically very high; we're surrounded by plenty of woods and hundreds of miles of historic and modern logging roads for hunters who use dogs and those who don't. While we do not provide dogs for your hunt, your well-mannered hunting dogs are welcome at Red River.
MOOSE: Moose hunters are welcome at Red River; we're right in the heart of Zone 2. We do require a three-night minimum stay for our moose hunters, even if you harvest your moose on the first day of your hunt. Please also be advised that we don't sell gas at Camp; the nearest gas stations are Chamberlain's Market in St. Francis (18 miles) and Coffin's General Store in Portage (26 miles).
OUR TRAILS: The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands and the Maine Conservation Corps build and maintain our trails. Our thirty miles of trails make several loops and have plenty of intersections to give you hundreds of choices about where, and how strenuous, to hike. Some of our trails follow historic roads and are relatively flat, while others will have you scrambling hand over hand as you summit one of our three mountains: Deboullie, Gardner, or Black. Don't let their short stature fool you, though- the trails are steep and tough. Make sure to take plenty of water, and let us or another member of your group know where you're going and when you plan to be back. If a strenuous hike isn't up your alley, we also have trails that lead to a nice waterfall, a small beach, tall cliffs, and several large rock slides.>
THE TOWER: The Deboullie tower is a 48-foot steel structure with ladder access. It's not for the faint-of-heart, but it's loved by people around the world. This June, Deboullie hikers will be treated to a special experience- a brand new cab on the historic fire tower. The historic cab was knocked off the tower in an extreme wind storm in November of 2019, but the Bureau of Parks and Lands had already had a plan in place to replace it, along with two others on State land. If all goes according to plan, all three will be replaced by mid-June 2020, and hikers will once again be treated to the unbroken 360-degree view they know and love.
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY: We've pieced together a little bit of the history of Deboullie and of the tower through land records, photographs, and help from the Maine chapter of the Forest Fire Lookout Association. Many specific dates have been lost, but we're constantly looking for clues in all of the documents and photographs we can get our hands on. If you happen to have any, please let us know!
ROCK SLIDE HISTORY: Have you ever walked across the rock slide and wondered how old it is? The answer might surprise you- parts of it may not be as old as you think! Take a close look at the picture to the left. In addition to showing where the tower would be constructed, the photo points out the rock slide, where "part of the mt slid into lake about 60 years ago hence name 'DeBouli' (French)." The geologic activity hasn't stopped to this day; we can sometimes hear rocks tumbling right from camp! (If you look VERY closely at the picture, you'll also see "Big Fish Lake." Pushineer Pond was known as Fish Lake in that era- it changed sometime between 1922 and 1952.)
TOWER HISTORY: Over the years, the Deboullie tower has undergone various renovations, but there have been three main structures of note. Circa 1919, before the tower was constructed, watchmen used to hang a bosun's chair from a tall tree to keep watch. A
12-foot tower replaced the tree chair in 1920/1921, and the current 48-foot tower replaced that in 1929.
From its talus slopes to Arctic sandwort, Deboullie is full of special places and features.
TALUS SLOPES: Did you know that Deboullie is an Americanization of the French geology term "d'eboulis"? D'eboulis translates to "of the talus slope," which is the perfect name for this region. A talus slope is a slope of rock that has crumbled from the side of a cliff face and come to rest at the base of the mountain. The rock slides on Deboullie and Gardner ponds are perfect examples of this. Researchers in the 1920's sometimes referred to the area as "thunderous," in reference to the booming sounds of slopes falling away, and the geologic activity is still happening today.
DEEP GLACIAL PONDS: When the last glaciers receeded, they left behind some of the deepest, clearest waters around. Did you know that Gardner Pond is 120 feet deep? What better place for our native Arctic charr to thrive?
ICE CAVES: The north shore of Deboullie Pond is pock-marked with small caves that typically contain ice for a good part of the summer. In fact, until recently, the entire area was underlain with permafrost; the ice caves are a remnant of that. You'll see some of them right off the trail around the pond.
RARE GEOLOGIC FORMATIONS: Our talus slopes contain rare geology, including pink granite (syenite) and white feldspar (granodiodrite).
RARE PLANTS: The tiny Arctic sandwort (minuartia rubella) grows on rocky slopes and is considered critically rare in Maine although it's doing fine globally. It's so rare in our state that it's only ever been seen on Deboullie's talus slopes. Similarly, we are at the southern limit of the smooth woodsia fern (woodsia glabella). It's been seen in seven places in Maine, and only four of those sightings have taken place within the last thirty years.
DARK SKIES: It's hard to get away from light pollution nowadays. Our closest neighbor in any direction, however, is over ten miles away (forty-five to the west and eighty or so to the direct south!), leaving us with a the perfect nighttime canvas to view the Milky Way and Aurora Borealis. One of our guests took this stunning photo of the Milky Way a few years ago during the Perseid meteor shower. This is the view we enjoy from our front deck.