Red River Camps
- Portage, Maine 04768
- Vendor Type: Lodges
- Fishing Type: Freshwater
- Fishing Style: Fly Fishing, Spin / Bait Casting
- Amenities: Equipment provided
- Targets: Brook Trout, Arctic Char
- Phone: (207) 435-6000
- Website: www.redrivercamps.com
Red River Camps welcomes you to our neck of the woods: the North Maine Woods’ Deboullie Township, 26 miles from Portage and 30 miles from the Canadian border. Our low-lying, rugged mountains are rich with rock slides, ice caves, and rare plants and animals reminders of Deboullie’s glacial heritage.
In our neck of the woods, you won’t find cell service. You won’t find cable television. You won’t find hustle and bustle. You will find relaxation, nature, and a good reminder of the way life should be.
The Red River Camps is a traditional sporting camp that caters to outdoor enthusiasts of all walks of life who want to truly get away from it all. Sit on your front porch with that first cup of coffee and listen to the loons in the morning. Fly fish for Native Brook Trout and Arctic char. Hike one of our three mountains or explore our township’s 30 miles of trails. Spend your vacation relaxing in the sun.
Rewind and fish.
After driving on logging roads you are greeted by a beautiful view of cottages on a remote Maine lake, beautiful. Accommodations were great. We opted for the meal plan - do the same you will not be disappointed the food, the experience is not to be missed. Beds were comfy,...see complete review
We have 17 trout waters in our area that our guests have access to. (Fifteen of them are within walking distance.) This area is pretty heavily wooded, so fishing on these ponds is best from a canoe/boat, rather than from the shore. We keep canoes on most of these waters for our guests’ exclusive use. (Canoes are provided with our guests’ stay and are not a separate rental.) All of the ponds have different state regulations regarding length and number of fish anglers are allowed to keep, and those regulations change slightly every few years, please be cautious.
Black Pond: 147 acres; Native Brook Trout and Arctic Char; spincasting allowed
Crater Pond: 12 acres; Native Brook Trout; fly fishing only
Deboullie Pond: 262 acres; Native Brook Trout and Arctic Char; spincasting allowed
Denny Pond: 25 acres; Native Brook Trout; fly fishing only
Ferguson Pond: 51 acres; Native Brook Trout; fly fishing only
Galilee Pond: 9 acres; Native Brook Trout; fly fishing only
Gardner Pond: 288 acres; Native Brook Trout and Arctic Char; spincasting allowed
Island Pond: 32 acres; Wild Brook Trout; fly fishing only
Moccasin Pond: 32 acres; Native Brook Trout; fly fishing only
North Little Black Pond: 6 acres; Native Brook Trout; fly fishing only
North Pond: 15 acres; Native Brook Trout; fly fishing only
Perch Pond: 17 acres; Wild Brook Trout; spincasting allowed
Pushineer Pond: 55 acres; Native Brook Trout and Arctic Char; spincasting allowed
South Little Black Pond: 7 acres; stocked Brook Trout; fly fishing only
Stink Pond: 16 acres; Native Brook Trout; fly fishing only
Togue Pond: 388 acres; Native Brook Trout and Lake Trout; stocked Landlocked Salmon; spincasting allowed
Upper Pond: 17 acres; Native Brook Trout; fly fishing only
We also have some good stream fishing within about ten miles of camp.
Rocky Brook: Brook Trout and Landlocked Salmon
Big Brook: Brook Trout
Red River: Brook Trout
Allagash River: Brook Trout
History of Red River Camps in Maine
In 1886, William Whitman, the wealthy owner of several textile mills in Massachusetts, and Harry Chapman, a businessman, decided to follow their love of the outdoors to a remote logging area in Aroostook County, known at the time as the Red River Lakes region. There, they built a two-story cabin on a small island on what would eventually become known as Island Pond. The cabin spared no expense, featuring as its centerpiece a fifteen-hundred dollar, two-story fireplace. The well built, stately fireplace still stands today as strong as it did a century ago.
After completing the island cabin, the Whitman and Chapman families built several buildings on the north shore of the pond, including a school, barbershop, wood shop, a lodge to gather in, horse barns, and sleeping cabins. For over thirty years, their extended families used the camp as a private retreat, typically staying for an entire season each year. If rumors can be trusted, they converted the island cabin to a dance hall, complete with piano, for a number of years.
In the early 1920’s, around the time the first forest-fire lookout on Deboullie Mountain was established, (a simple seat hoisted into a tall tree, and later an enclosed cab atop a steel-framed tower), camp ownership transferred to the McNally brothers, proprietors of several local sporting camps. The McNallys named the camps Red River after the common name for the region and ran them until 1932. The camps then experienced a succession of owners, including
Dr. AC Christie, a dentist from Washington, DC (1932-1948); Herschel Currie, a Portage resident and railroad section hand (1948-1962); Wilfred “Sleepy” Atkins, a 25-year veteran of the Warden Service and son of Will Atkins, legendary Aroostook County guide (1962-1967); Gene Bovard (1967-1972); and
Pete and Christina Norris (1972-1979).
Toward the end of the Norrises’ tenure, the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands purchased the township surrounding Red River to create the Deboullie Unit of Maine Public Reserve Land, conserving it for future generations. Deboullie is an Americanization of the French term d’eboulis, meaning “of the talus slope.” It’s the perfect name for a township characterized by rock slides and crumbled mountain slopes.
When the Norrises decided to sell Red River in 1979, the Brophy family agreed to run the camps for a season until the Norrises could locate a buyer. The rest, as they say, is history.
Red River Camps is a Member of Maine Sporting Camps Association
Jen Brophy was lucky enough to grow up right here at Red River Camps and wouldn’t trade the Deboullie township for the world. She’s an engineer by trade and spent a decade in the big city, but she much prefers being a Jen-of-all-trades, doing whatever needs to be done around camp. Jen is a registered Maine guide, a certified wilderness first responder, and the president of the Maine Sporting Camp Association, but most of her days are spent helping out in the kitchen, cleaning cabins, solving plumbing issues, and working on any other camp tasks that crop up every day.
Red River chef Gloria Curtis previously owned and ran the Crooked Tree Lodge in Portage, where she hosted bear hunters and fishermen for fifteen years. She came to work for Red River in 2003 and has been providing great home cooking to our guests ever since. Gloria works as a Certified Nurse’s Assistant during the winter, and when she has time, she loves fishing and riding her Harley.