March in Maine can be maddening for those who enjoy the outdoors. It can be spectacular, or just as easily, downright miserable. As we have already experienced this March, you can have sunny days in the 50s, a foot of snow, deluges of rain and these can all come in the same week.

So while the ice fishing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, skiing and other outdoor activities can be fantastic, you can just as easily be shut out (or in).

With that in mind, it’s always good to have an indoor backup plan just in case your outdoor activity gets washed out.

Last weekend’s rain may have dampened some plans, but it meant packed houses at Fly Fishing In Maine’s annual fly fishing film tour. Held at the Frontier Cafe in Brunswick, the casual, intimate setting was perfect for a series of short films centered on the many dimensions of fly fishing.

While many of last year’s films featured huge fish highlights, this year’s short films featured the more human side of fishing. There were close to a dozen short films. All were entertaining, and a handful were quite memorable and insightful.

Watch for it next year in early March, and keep your eyes open for an April showing of a film featuring Atlantic salmon.

Next weekend is L.L. Bean’s annual Spring Fishing Weekend in Freeport. Along with big savings on fishing equipment, there are seminars, clinics and book signings.

One of my favorite outdoor characters, Lefty Kreh, will be there, and he will give two seminars — one on fishing and another on photography.

Kreh developed one of the most successful saltwater flies, Lefty’s Deceiver, and he has authored numerous books on fly fishing. His seminars are a joy, as they are packed with time-tested, usable information, delivered with a wry sense of humor.

Fly fishermen also will want to mark March 24 on their calendars, for the first Western Maine Fly Fishing Expo. This event, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bethel Inn in Bethel, is presented by the Mollyockett Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Upper Andro Anglers Alliance.

There is a long list of sporting camps, guides, fly shops, artists, manufacturers and others that will be there.

Kids 15-and-under get in free, and there will be a fly-tying contest for them to enter. One look at the list of exhibitors will certainly entice any fly angler.

Of course, if you are into dreaming, and which one of us is not, the Maine Boatbuilders Show is a must-see.

Located on the waterfront in Portland, this three-day show, which starts Friday, features some of the finest custom boat builders on the East Coast. The show highlights everything from yachts to dinghies, and the boats are beautiful, if not striking.

If that isn’t enough, many of the actual boat builders are right there, so you can talk with them to find out even more about a boat and the care that went into building it. One building is not enough for all the boats that are there!

If the weather still isn’t cooperating come the last weekend of March, visit the State of Maine Sportsman’s Show or go to Saco Bay Tackle’s annual seminar.

The State of Maine Sportsman’s Show at the Augusta Civic Center has something for everyone. Hunting, fishing, off-road vehicles, taxidermy, photography, sporting camps, seminars, tackle, sporting dogs — you name it, it is there. Enjoy the day walking the aisles, talking with vendors and planning your next outdoor outing.

Saco Bay Tackle’s annual seminar is held on March 31 at the Clambake Restaurant in Scarborough. The day-long program is full of local information provided by local experts on how to make the most out of your saltwater fishing experience in Maine.

Of course, the last weekend of March also includes the first day of April, which is the traditional opening day of the open water fishing season for many anglers.

So while weather may keep us inside on earlier weekends, let’s hope those April showers hold off for a while on opening day.

Mark Latti is a registered Maine Guide, and the landowner relations/recreational access coordinator for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.