Brook trout fishing in Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park is a major jewel in the National Park Service crown. It is located on Mount Desert Island along the rugged coast of Downeast Maine in Hancock County. Many hundreds of thousands of people visit the park each year to enjoy the great outdoors, including sea kayaking, biking the carriage trails, exploring the many hiking trails in the Park, watching the sun rise from the top of Mount Cadillac, or enjoying the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean from the Park Loop Road. Too few, however, take advantage of the fabulous brook trout fishing on the numerous secluded ponds which are tucked away throughout the Park.

This blog focuses specifically on those small ponds less than 50 acres in size which are stocked with brook trout by the State every year.  Nine ponds within the boundary of the Park fall within this category.  Keep in mind that several streams that flow through the Park are also home to native brookies. These fish are typically small in size, but can be plentiful, aggressive, and quite feisty, particularly in spring and early summer. They are also typically easier to catch than the larger stocked trout. In addition, no boat is required since all the stream fishing takes place from shore! Examples of streams that support native brook trout in Acadia National Park include Richardson Brook (outlet of Betty Aunt Pond; see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 16 B3), Jordan Stream (outlet of Jordan Pond; see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 16 C3), Hunters Brook (outlet of Bubble Pond; see Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 16 C4), Stanley Brook (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 16 C4), and Little Harbor Brook (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 16 C3).  

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Fishing for landlocked Atlantic salmon in Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park is a major jewel in the National Park Service crown. It is located on Mount Desert Island along the rugged coast of Downeast Maine in Hancock County. The State stocks four ponds within the boundary of the Park with landlocked Atlantic salmon. These four water bodies are open to year-round fishing. However, keep in mind that these fisheries are highly regulated in order to preserve their exceptional quality, the scenic beauty, and the Park experience. It is greatly recommended to carefully read the latest fishing regulations in order to understand all of the restrictions and limitations that apply to these bodies of water. Click here for more information on buying a Maine fishing license on-line.

Only when the water is relatively cool in the spring can salmon be caught near the surface using dry flies and trolling with live bait, spoons, or wet flies. Most summer visitors to the Pak interested in pursuing these magnificent creatures will need to use downriggers or lead core line in order to place their lures in the deeper, colder waters below the thermocline where the salmon will be hiding. Click here for more information on trolling for landlocked salmon.

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Trout fishing on Otter Pond #2, Standish, Maine (November 10, 2013)

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General view of Otter Pond #2

General view of Otter Pond #2

Otter Pond #2 is a 12-acre body of water located in Standish, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 D1; note that on the Google map above, Otter Pond #2 is the pond just below the one indicated by the red pin). Read this blog for directions on how to access this pond. Otter Pond #2 is a widely popular spot for early ice fishing, but gets little or no pressure in the fall after it is stocked for the winter season.  My son Joel and I arrive at the largest of the two parking lots off Route 35 by 8:15 am. As expected, we’re all by ourselves, which suits us just fine. We place his canoe on canoe wheels, load up the car battery, electric trolling engine, and our fishing gear in the boat, and haul everything down the Mountain Division Trail to our destination. I checked the stocking report on-line the day before; the State released a truckload of brookies in this pond last week which should make for good fishing.

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Trout fishing on the Nezinscott River, Turner, Maine (October 26, 2013)


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View of the Nezinscott River

View of the Nezinscott River

The Nezinscott River has it sources in Woodstock (West Branch) and Sumner (East Branch). The two branches merge in Bucksfield, from where the river flows eastwards past Turner and Turner Center into the Androscoggin River. It has a total length of 25 to 30 miles (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 11).  The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife stocks the portion of the Nezinscott River in the Turner area between April and May with about 2,500-3,000 9”-10” trout (mostly brown trout) each spring, and then spices things up in October with another 200 or so larger brown trout (click here for more details).

 

 

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Trout fishing on a private pond in Grey, Maine (October 20, 2013)

My friend John recently moved from the city to the country side where he bought a beautiful house in the woods. The previous owner dammed up a small spring-fed streamlet and dug a 12-ft deep hole to create a small pond in the backyard. He also stocked that pond with four dozen 8” rainbow trout and a handful of 5 lbs. spawners! John, who knows my passion for fishing, invites me over to try to catch one of those monsters. I readily accept after some light arm twisting : ) He does request that I make sure to remove the barbs from the hooks of my lures because he doesn’t want to injure the smaller rainbows in his pond.

 

I show up in his back yard at 8 am with my 10-year old nephew Christian, who is just as excited as I am about the possibility of catching the fish of a lifetime. I’ll fish with #2 Mepps spinners on an ultra-light rod with a reel containing 6-pound test line, a Woolly Bugger on a fly rod with sinking line, and a 4” plastic swim bait on a heavier rod and reel. Christian will fish with a bobber and live worms. We see surface activity as we quietly approach the pond upon arrival: the fish are picking at stuff in the water film, and one of them is huge!! I implore Christian to crouch down and to walk softly so as not to scare the fish. I start casting my Mepps but without generating any interest. Christian, on the other hand, gets several bites in the first 30 minutes but is either too distracted or not putting enough tension on the line to set the hook quickly enough.

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Rainbow trout fishing on the La Vis River in southern France (July 18, 2013)


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View of La Vis River upstream of Ganges in southern France

View of La Vis River upstream of Ganges in southern France

I’m spending a family vacation in the region of Ganges (a town located about 44 miles west of the city of Nîmes) in southern France in mid-July of 2013. I start a conversation with the hotelier with whom we’re staying, and of course inevitably end up talking about fishing… He mentions that the river La Vis, which flows into the river Hérault just upstream of Ganges is recognized as the premier trout fishing river in the whole of France (well, he claimed the whole of Europe but I took that with a large grain of salt)! Regardless, information like that fully captures my attention and I decide to give La Vis a shot.

 

 

 

 

 

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Trout fishing on Ell Pond, Sanford, Maine (May 19, 2013)

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General view of Ell Pond

General view of Ell Pond

Ell Pond (a.k.a. Little Pond) covers 32 acres and is located on the townline between Wells and Sanford (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 2 D4).  Drive on Horace Mill Road and turn off on Ell Pond Road. Hang a right and the unimproved boat launch will appear at the end of the road. This small water body is surprisingly deep (maximum depth of 51 ft) and crystal clear. The substrate consists of rough sand, gravel, and cobble. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information

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Trout fishing on Alden’s Pond, Gorham, Maine (May 18, 2013)


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General view of Alden's Pond

General view of Alden’s Pond

Alden’s Pond is a 1-acre, kids-only fishing  pond located behind the Gorham campus of the University of Southern Maine (USM) (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 E2). To reach the pond, look for the USM police department office on Husky Drive (across from the John Mitchell Center), walk behind the office and down the steep dirt path, and pass the small retaining pond across from the soccer field. Your target will be visible on the left through the trees.  The pond is fishable under Special Regulation Code S-9, i.e., open to fishing only to kids under 16-years old, restricted to two lines per person, and a daily bag limit of two trout. Click here and here for more details on the fishing regulations pertaining to this pond.  Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

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Trout fishing on the Presumpscot River, Westbrook, Maine (May 18, 2013)

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View of the falls on the Presumpscot River from Bridge Street in downtown Westbrook

View of the falls on the Presumpscot River from Bridge Street in downtown Westbrook

The Presumpscot River is the outlet of Sebago Lake. It flows for about 25 winding miles through the towns of Standish, Windham, Gorham, Westbrook, Falmouth, and Portland before emptying out in Casco Bay. The river drops an impressive 270 feet between Sebago Lake and the ocean through a series of falls. Many of these falls lay submerged behind the dams that dot the river. However, one of those falls, located in Westbrook, is easily accessible and makes for a great fishing site. That’s where I’m heading this morning with my 10-year old nephew Christian, who has developed into an eager fisherman this year.  The Saccarappa Falls are located just upstream of Bridge Street, off Maine Street in downtown Westbrook. Ample parking is available across from a small municipal park. We walk towards the river, squeeze through a railing, and scamper down the rocks towards the water.

 

 

 

 

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Trout fishing on Wilcox Pond, Biddeford, Maine (May 12, 2013)

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View of Christian fishing from the retaining wall on Wilcox Pond

Christian is trying his luck fishing from the retaining wall on Wilcox Pond

Wilcox Pond is a 3-acre pond located next to Saint Joseph’s Cemetery on West Street in Biddeford, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 3 C2). This body of water is set aside as a “kids only” fishing pond.  It is fishable under Special Regulation Code S-9, i.e., open to fishing only to kids under the age of 16, restricted to two lines per person, and a daily bag limit of two trout. Click here and here for more details on this topic. Every year, the state stocks it two or three times between early April and mid May with a total of between 300 and 400 10” brook trout. Do the math: this small body of water is loaded with brookies, which makes for an exciting fishing spot for young budding anglers! There is also the potential for catching larger hold-over trout because even though the pond is shallow (maximum depth = 6 ft), the bottom remains cool throughout the summer due to input from two cold-water inlets. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

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