Ogunquit River, Ogunquit, Maine

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View of the lower reach of the Ogunquit River

The Ogunquit River originates west of Highway 95 in the town of Wells and flows in an easterly direction underneath Highway 95 towards the town of Ogunquit. It reaches the ocean at Ogunquit Beach after flowing underneath Route 1. The stream is accessible either from Route 1 or from the washed-out bridge on Old County Road off Tatnic Road. Keep in mind that parking on Route 1 is problematic. The stretch of river most popular with trout anglers flows for about 1.5 miles between Highway 95 and Route 1.

 

 

 

 

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Trolling for landlocked Atlantic salmon on lakes: 13 tips to increase your catch

Many freshwater anglers view the landlocked Atlantic salmon as the King of Fish. And for good reason: pound for pound, no other species has the power, strength, and stamina of this beautiful creature. Seeing a 24” landlock arch high into the air after it is hooked is a heart-stopping experience! This subspecies of Salmo salar is a dwarf variety of the mighty sea-run Atlantic salmon. Even though the landlocked salmon remains relatively small in size, it has lost none of the superb fighting and jumping qualities of its larger anadromous cousin.

Here are some proven tips to increase your chances of catching these magnificent fighters.

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Trout and salmon fishing on Pierce Pond, Somerset County, Maine (May 29, 2012)

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Pierce Pond is a magnificent, remote, 1,650 acre (maximum depth = 185 ft) lake located in the shadow of Pierce Pond Mountain deep in Somerset County in southwestern Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). It consists of three basins (Lower, Middle, and Upper Pond) which are connected to each other by shallow thoroughfares. The surrounding watershed is entirely forested and forever protected from future development. The whole shoreline is rugged and undeveloped, except for Cobb’s Camp where we’re staying for four days. Several unimproved access points are located in the lower and upper basins.

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Native brook trout fishing in remote ponds in Baxter State Park, Maine

Baxter State Park offers a genuine wilderness setting. Most people know the park for the spectacular Mount Katadhin hike, including the one-of-a-kind Knife’s Edge Trail. Yet Baxter also offers a tremendous variety of outdoors opportunities which I decided to explore in-depth during a five-day hiking/camping/fishing trip with my son Joel in mid-September, 2012. As a serious bonus, the park offers some of the best native brook trout fishing opportunities on unspoiled ponds found anywhere in the state of Maine.

The hike started at Trout Brook Farm, located about 3 miles west of the northern entrance to Baxter State Park at Matagamon Gate (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 51 A1) and was scheduled to end at the Roaring Brook campground (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 51 C1). Click here for downloadable maps of the ponds and the hiking trails on this itinerary.

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Trout fishing on Trout Brook in Baxter State Park, Maine (September 18, 2012)


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Trout Brook in late summer, Baxter State Park, Maine

Trout Brook in late summer, Baxter State Park, Maine

Trout Brook flows roughly parallel with the Park Tote Road (a.k.a. Perimeter Road) in the northern part of Baxter State Park. The brook originates in the western reaches of the park and empties into Grand Lake Matagamon to the east. The substrate consists mostly of coarse sand, pebbles, and cobbles interspersed by many large boulders. The water has a slightly stained color but is otherwise clear and clean.

 

 

 

 

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Trout and salmon fishing on Pierce Pond, Somerset County, Maine (May 28, 2012)

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Click here for the story of the first two days

It’s day 3 of our annual Pierce Pond fishing expedition. Salvador and I are back on Lower Pierce Pond at 5 am to troll for landlocked salmon and brook trout for 1.5 hrs before breakfast (note: the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife stocks the pond with landlocked salmon in the spring. Check the web site associated with this blog for more stocking details). Even though my fish finder is on, I don’t pay enough attention to the bottom contour and end up wedging my trolling weight in a shallow rock pile. It’s a real mess: the wind blows us off the rock pile, my downrigger is jammed, and our fishing lines are scrambled up. It takes us about 20 minutes to untangle the mess which, to our surprise, yields a 12″ brookie for Salvador. The fish must have taken the Mooselook spoon before we got stuck, but was just too small to trigger the release mechanism on the downrigger. It’s hardly glorious, but Salvador finally caught his first trout!

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Trout and salmon fishing on Pierce Pond, Somerset County, Maine (May 26, 2012).

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Pierce Pond is a magnificent, remote, 1,650 acre (maximum depth = 185 ft) lake located in the shadow of Pierce Pond Mountain deep in Somerset County in southwestern Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). It consists of three basins (Lower, Middle, and Upper Pond) which are connected to each other by shallow thoroughfares. The surrounding watershed is entirely forested and forever protected from future development. The whole shoreline is rugged and undeveloped, except for Cobb’s Camp where we’re staying for four days. Several unimproved access points are located in the lower and upper basins. The state stocks this lake with juvenile landlocked salmon each spring after ice-out. The adult salmon don’t grow particularly big: a 3-pounder is considered a nice fish, whereas a 4-pounder is exceptional. But they are relatively plentiful and do not shy away from sipping flies or pounding on a spoon. The brook trout are all natives and can also reach 3 to 4 pounds.

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Flyfishing for brook trout on Dixon Pond, Somerset County, Maine (May 28, 2012).

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Dixon Pond is a 17-acre body of water nestled on the flank of Pierce Pond Mountain in Pierce Pond Township (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A1). The pond is remarkably deep for its small size, with a maximum depth of 55 ft. The only way to reach this little jewel is to hike up to it from Pierce Pond via a forest trail. The pond supports a healthy population of native brook trout.

I tie my boat just passed the Caribou Narrows on Middle Pierce Pond and hike the 25-minute to the pond by myself. I love Dixon Pond: its beauty, total isolation, forested surroundings, and fiesty brook trout. The trout don’t get big (the largest one I have caught in this pond over the years was 13″) but eagerly take dry flies. In fact, flyfishing is the only legal way to fish the pond, which suits me just fine.

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Brook trout fishing on Churchill Lake, Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Maine (May 16, 2012)

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Click here for the Day 2 story

Day 3: It rained non-stop from yesterday 4 pm until 4 am this morning. Everything is wet and damp. Joel and I are back on the Churchill Lake thoroughfare (called Heron Lake; see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 56 A1), at 6:15 am to try our luck one more time. We only have about 4 hours to fish before we need to start packing up at 10:30 am to drive back home. We discuss our options and decide to go after brook trout by the ledges near the camp site, instead of motoring up-lake for 30 minutes to fish for lake trout in the deep part of Churchill Lake.

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Brook trout fishing on Churchill Lake and Eagle Lake, Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Maine (May 15, 2012)

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Click here for the Day 1 story

Day 2: It’s amazing how much can change in 12 hours! Joel and I are back on the water at 6:30 am to catch the early morning bite on the two ledges we discovered yesterday in Heron Lake (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 56 A1). This “lake” is the thoroughfare between Churchill Lake and Churchill Dam. We only catch three smallish (12-14″) brookies after 3 hours of hard fishing. The trout have gone missing! It’s clear that the smelts, and their fishy predators, have moved elsewhere.

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