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where to stay

serenity lodge

kokadjo, maine

Serenity Lodge sits on the northern shore of First Roach Pond almost dead-center in the state of Maine in Kokadjo just as the pavement gives way to the gravel logging roads of the Maine North Woods.  Kokadjo is the last stop north of the thriving town of Greenville with its stores, restaurants and amenities and is the launching pad for just about any adventure you can imagine in the Maine interior.

serenity lodge

For those who have explored BlueLines Fly Fishing and have noted my various Maine adventures over the years, they mostly have been based out of this spot on First Roach Pond.  The home itself is a not a traditional sportsmen’s “camp” but has 4 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, full kitchen, washer/dryer, screened-in porch, WiFi and 200’ of extremely private waterfront with a dock allowing access to the “pond” and is ideally set up to be a fly fisher’s dream.

your hosts

First Roach Pond itself is approximately 5 square miles and is surrounded by mountains, forests, miles of hiking and mountain biking trails and the occasional wild blueberry patch.  A busy day in the summer might see half a dozen boats travel by – frequently it’s just a couple of boats just going down-lake in the morning and returning home in the evening.  On calm evenings, our favorite pastime is to go “rise chasing” in our kayaks where we cruise the shoreline casting to rising brook trout and landlocked salmon.  Even just off the dock, I have caught a dozen fish on the fly rod in that last bewitching sunset hour when the lake surface is boiling with bugs and rises.  

lake-facing deck

Come nightfall, there are frequently no visible lights on the lake and virtually no other signs of human habitation and you can almost read by the light of the Milky Way.  Plus, don’t forget to bring your mouse patterns as there are some true beasties that patrol the shoreline at night hunting for that tasty bellyful.  If you’ve never seen or heard a nighttime mouse-take, it can be startling.

welcome to first toach pond

night over first roach

the roach river

About a 20 minute walk or 5 minute drive from the house lies the Roach River, a 6-mile long and 50’ wide fly fishing only, catch-and-release river connecting First Roach Pond to Spencer Bay on Moosehead Lake.  The first couple of pools are easily accessed off an ATV trail starting at the dam and running about almost a mile before venturing away from the river.  I have known 8 year-old children to catch 18” landlocked salmon here and I’ve had 40 fish days myself and it is right out of a postcard.  No cell reception on the river so it’s a great escape (best to bring your walkie talkies to stay in contact).

Detailed description of the Roach

the lower river and spencer bay

Kokadjo is just below the Golden Road which accesses the Penobscot River for class IV and V rafting and guided float trips for brook trout and landlocked salmon and the access points for the Maine North Woods.  It is also one of the gateways to Baxter State Park with Mt. Katahdin and the 100 Mile Wilderness which is the last stretch of the Appalachian Trail.  The East Outlet of the Kennebec River is just on the other side of Moosehead Lake with wading and guided float trips for brook trout and landlocked salmon and there are countless wild ponds with brook trout and larger “ponds” with smallmouth bass.  Last summer, 4 of us netted about 150 explosive smallies.

Kokadjo, population of “not many”, is a 5 ½ hour drive from Boston, 3 ½ hour drive from the Portland, ME airport and 2 hours from Bangor, ME.  (I happen to know that Atlanta has direct flights into Bangor so any southern friends can get there pretty easily).  Greenville is the closest town at 30 minutes and it has grocery stores, restaurants, golf, a hospital and sits at the southern end of Moosehead Lake – a rather picturesque 40-mile long underdeveloped puddle stretching to the north.  Kokadjo itself even has a small general store / restaurant catering to snowmobilers, ATVers, and just a few residents.  However, once you have made it to Journey’s End (that’s the name of the unpaved road), you will feel like you’re one of the only people on the planet.

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