Native brook trout fishing in Baxter State Park: Day 3 (September 28, 2014)

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DAY 3: Middle Fowler Pond to Upper South Branch Pond

 

A gorgeous view of the Traveler Mountains from the north shore of Lower South Branch Pond

A gorgeous view of the Traveler Mountains from the north shore of Lower South Branch Pond

The brook trout fishing on Middle Fowler Pond was so incredible yesterday evening that I decide not to fish the same pond again this morning. Instead, we rise at 7 am and get ready for our first “real” hike of our five-day trans Baxter State Park adventure. The trail from our current camp site to the large camp ground at Lower South Branch Pond is only about 5 miles. However, the first half consists of gaining about 1,000 ft to cross over Burrell Ridge. That represents a serious physical effort considering that our backpacks weigh over 40 lbs… We leave Middle Fowler Pond around 9:30 am and have lunch on top of the ridge by noon. The view from up there towards the opposite cliffs is beautiful, but we don’t have a ton of time to waste. Soon, we’re on our way down and reach the ranger station at the outlet of Lower South Branch Pond by 1:30 pm. Our camp site for tonight is located another 2 miles away, at the southern tip of Upper South Branch Pond. That site does not have a canoe. So we rent one from the ranger (we’ll bring it back tomorrow morning), load it up with our gear, and paddle upwind towards the thoroughfare that links the two ponds. We portage the canoe for about a quarter mile to pass the shallow thoroughfare. Note that it is possible to pull the canoe through it as we did in 2012, but at the risk of getting wet feet. Reaching the camp site on Upper South Branch Pond by canoe from the ranger station takes less than one hour.

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Native brook trout fishing in Baxter State Park: Day 2 (September 27, 2014)

This blog is a continuation of this blog.

DAY 2: Long Pond to Middle Fowler Pond

 

Today is definitely the “laziest” of our five hiking days. We have to walk for about 2 miles, i.e., no more than one hour, in order to reach our next camp site on Middle Fowler Pond. Hence, we don’t feel the rush to get going this morning. Joel and Salvador are sleeping in, whereas I have a hot date with High Pond (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 51 A1). I crawl out of my tent at 6 am, well before sunrise, and walk to the canoe storage place. I unlock the canoe and drag it over the spit of land separating Long Pond from High Pond, and gently lower it into the water.

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Native brook trout fishing in Baxter State Park: Day 1 (September 26, 2014)

View of Mount Katadhin from south of Millinocket, Maine

View of Mount Katadhin from south of Millinocket, Maine

 

Baxter State Park (BSP) is the crown jewel of the Maine state park system. Tens of thousands of nature lovers every year make the pilgrimage to northern Maine to enjoy its outstanding beauty. Most people, however, enter this natural wonder at the south end of the park and head straight for Mount Katadhin and its legendary Knife’s Edge, the most spectacular 1.5 mile trail in the northeast. But there’s so much more to BSP than Katadhin! In an effort to expand our horizons and combine our favorite outdoors activities (i.e., hiking, camping, and brook trout fishing), my son Joel and I decided in September 2012 to hike and fish our way across BSP starting at Trout Brook Farm by Matagamon Gate in the north all the way across to Roaring Brook in the south. This adventure was cut short on the third day due to an unfortunate foot injury.

 

The five blogs that follow tell the story of the successful completion of this trip, which took place between September 26 and 30, 2014. Joel and I were joined by my nephew Salvador on our adventure. The blogs will not repeat all of the background information provided here on how to reserve camp sites at BSP, rent canoes for fishing, identify brook trout ponds, obtain maps, or select hiking trails.

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Largemouth bass fishing on Bickford Pond in Porter, Maine (September 6, 2014)

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The access point is located at the southern end of Bickford Pond

The access point is located at the southern end of Bickford Pond

Bickford Pond is a 237-acre body of water nestled in southern Oxford County next to the New Hampshire border in Porter, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 C1). A sandy boat launch is located at the southern tip of the pond, next to the dam by the outlet. This rough launch can accommodate small trailered boats. It is accessible via Dam Road, which connects Bickford Pond Road with Colcord Pond Road. Both of these roads run along the western and eastern shores Bickford Pond, respectively.  Several cars can be parked in the boat launch area. Note that the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer does not identify this access point using its iconic boat symbol.

 

 

 

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Granger Pond in Denmark, Maine (September 6, 2014)

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The access point to Granger Pond is sandy and steek

The access point to Granger Pond is sandy and steep

Granger Pond is a 125-acre body of water located in Denmark, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 B3). A rough town access point is located at the very southern tip of the pond, off Bushrow Road. Beware that the path connecting the road to the pond is quite steep and consists of a loose, sandy material full of small washout gullies. I do not dare drive my front wheel-drive car down to the pond because I’d get stuck in this loose material on my way back up. With the benefit of a 4X4, the launch could accommodate a small trailered boat in a pinch, but in my estimation should only be used to launch car-top craft, like canoes or kayaks. Cars can be parked on the shoulder of Bushrow Road.

 

 

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Ingalls Pond in Baldwin, Maine (August 30, 2014)

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View of Ingalls Pond from the access point

View of Ingalls Pond from the access point

Ingalls Pond is a 25-acre body of water located in Baldwin, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 C3). The pond is located immediately to the left of Route 113 (looking north). A smaller lobe of the pond, which I did not visit, is located to the right of this road (again, looking north). A traditional access point is situated off Route 113. This launch can only accommodate hand-carried craft. Parking is either in the woods right next to the access point or on the shoulder by the road.

 

 

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Black Pond in Porter, Maine (August 30, 2014)

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View of Black Pond from the boat launch. Note the dense lily pads.

View of Black Pond from the boat launch. Note the dense lily pads.

Black Pond is a 50-acre body of water located in Porter, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 D2). Drive north on School Street from Route 160/25 in South Hiram. The name of this road changes to Spec Pond Road at some point before it weaves between the two Spectacle Ponds. Regardless, stay on this road until you pass house number 413 on the left. Several 100 ft beyond (and after driving 2.5 miles from Route 160/25) turn left on Old Meetinghouse Road. Beware that the street marker for this road is missing and it is therefore easy to drive right by it. The pond will appear on the left after 0.6 miles. A hard boat launch is located about 100 ft past the two big culverts that run underneath the road. The launch is tight but can accommodate a trailered boat. Parking is limited along the unimproved shoulders of the road.

 

 

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Big Clemons Pond in Hiram, Maine (August 23, 2014)

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View of Big Clemons Pond from the public access point

View of Big Clemons Pond from the public access point

Big Clemons Pond is an 85-acre body of water located in Hiram, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 C2). From Hiram, drive north on Routes 5/113 (Pequawket Trail). After about 2 miles, turn left on Notch Road. Drive 2.5 miles down this road and turn right on Clemons Cove Road. The access point is 0.2 miles on the left, immediately past “Neighbors Way”.  Note that both The Maine Gazetteer and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife indicate the presence of a hard-surface boat launch at this location. What I found was a public launch area that can only accommodate small hand-carried craft, such as a kayak or canoe; a couple of cars can be parked on the grass on the side. I suspect that the actual boat launch is located nearby but that I missed it.

 

 

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Beaver Pond in Denmark, Maine (August 23, 2014)

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The access point on Beaver Pond with view of the large island and a hint of Pleasant Mountain in the background

The access point on Beaver Pond with view of the large island and a hint of Pleasant Mountain in the background

Beaver Pond is a 128-acre body of water located in Denmark, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 B3). The pond is situated off Denmark Road, which connects Route 302 (Bridgton Road) with Route 160 (West Maine Street). Public access is available at a town launch sited at the end of Beaver Pond Road. This dirt road is unmarked but can be found right next to house number 347 on Denmark Road (look for a red barn).  Note that this road is not named in the Maine Gazetteer but appears on the Google map at the top of this article. The pond is located 0.3 miles from the Denmark Road turnoff. The sandy launch can accommodate small trailered boats, but is best suited for hand-carried craft. Only a handful of cars can park “rough” in the woods around the launch.

 

 

 

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Island Pond in Harrison, Maine (August 16, 2014)

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General view of Island Pond

General view of Island Pond

Island Pond is a 166-acre body of water which straddles the town lines of Harrison and Waterford, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 10 E5). The pond is located next to Temple Hill Road, off Route 117 (a.k.a. Norway Road). It has an unusually rectangular shape, with a long, narrow and rocky island at the southern end. Public access is available at a traditional carry-in situated on the western side of the pond after driving 0.5 miles on Island Pond Road. This access point is located right before the entrance to the Fernwood Cove Girl Summer Camp. Only hand-carried craft such as canoes or kayaks can be launched at this location due to the lack of a boat ramp. Several cars can park “rough” on the left-hand side of the road across from the access point.

 

 

 

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