Brook trout fishing on North Otter Pond, Bowtown Township, Maine (May 27, 2017)

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View of North Otter Pond from the rough access point

North Otter Pond covers 71 acres and is located in Bowtown Township in Somerset County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). This pond can be reached as follows: from North New Portland (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 E2), drive north on Long Falls Dam Road for about 23 miles and turn right on Carrying Place Road at the sign for Cobb’s Camps. Drive down this gravel road for 10.1 miles until the Yield traffic sign and turn left on Bowtown Road (note: Google Maps calls this road “Otter Pond Road”). Pass Harrison Camp on the left, cross Pierce Pond Stream and drive for another 2.5 miles or so. Turn left on a short dirt road that leads to a small parking area. The pond is 300 ft further down from there. Both Carrying Place Road and Bowtown Road are gravel roads that are drivable by regular cars but can be rough during mud season in early spring. It took me about one hour to cover the 15 miles or so from the turn-off on Long Falls Dam Road to the pond. Hence, this pretty pond is reachable by car even though it is rather remote.



small but beautiful



North Otter Pond is located in the shadow of Otter Pond Mountain just to the east of Pierce Pond. This blog identifies this body of water as a top stocked brook trout pond for the spring of 2017 in Somerset County. A boat launch is not available and only hand-carried craft can be dispatched into the water from a rough access point along the eastern shore. The surface water is clean and clear. The substrate consists of gravel and cobble interspersed by some muddy patches. The maximum and average water depth equals 18 ft and 7 ft, respectively, making this pond quite shallow for its relatively large size. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. General fishing laws apply, except that the pond is closed to ice fishing and only artificial lures can be used. Click here for more details on the rules pertaining to this pond.


This brookie fell for a mosquito dry fly

I arrive at North Otter Pond a little after 10 am. The sun is blazing high in a deep-blue sky, and the air temperature is a pleasant 72°F. The wind is also calm and the swarms of black flies are surprisingly reasonable for this time of the year. I’m thrilled to see dozen of rises right in the vicinity of the launch area. Some of the more intrepid fish breach the water surface with their dorsal fins while a few even jump right into the air. The trout are in an obvious frenzy feeding on bugs on or just below the surface in the shadows along the shoreline. I just can’t figure out what it is that they are going after. Unfortunately, I break up the party when I slip my canoe in the water and chase off the fish. I start casting a small mayfly imitation in the shallow water along the shoreline but generate no interest after about 30 minutes even though the trout are still rising. I switch to a different fly fishing rod to cast out a small red/orange Mickey Finn streamer fly on a sinking tip. Again, I get no takers after 30 more minutes. The worst part is that two guys fishing in a nearby canoe catch several fish during that same period. Hence, the trout are feeding but I’m not giving them what they want.


Go back and grow big!

I switch out the mayfly for a mosquito dry fly, and my small Mickey Finn for a larger yellow-red streamer fly. Now I’m hitting my strides and things are finally starting to come together. Over the next hour, I catch three brookies on the dry fly and two more on the streamer fly. All the fish measure between 8” and 12” but put up a great fight. It is so much fun to cast the dry fly in front of a trout feeding on the surface and fool it into grabbing your fly imitation! I would gladly stay longer to continue exploring this pretty pond but I have to return to Pierce Pond to join up with my two fishing buddies. I also had plans to visit Otter Pond, located just to the south of North Otter Pond, but I have simply run out of time. The latter will be explored at some future date.




The results: I landed five small brook trout in two hours of fun fly fishing.


Was the information in this blog useful? I invite you to share your thoughts and opinions. Also, feel free to discuss your fishing experiences at this location.


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