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.
My son Joel and I target the two-mile section of the river which runs right up against the Park Tote Road before the road reaches Trout Brook Farm (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 51 A1). The brook is easily accessible by foot from multiple spots along this road. We are surprised by the extremely low water level in Trout Brook, which is perhaps not unusual given our long, dry summer this year. The brook in some sections is well over 50 ft wide, even though the flowing water covers less than half of this width. Much of the brook is in fact high and dry…
Our goal this afternoon is to use small Mepps spinners to catch some of the wild brook trout that ought to be stranded in pools due to the low water levels. We are having a hard time finding the right habitat, however: Trout Brook contains a lot of pools this time of the year but they are all invariably quite shallow (< 8” deep) with little or no structure to hold trout.
We do manage to find three pools that have all the required characteristics of trout refugia: deeper water (> 2 ft), structure, habitat, and decent water flow. We carefully sneak up to the downstream end of each pool and cast our spinners towards the head of the pools. We make dozens of cast but don’t elicit a single bite! This is quite disappointing because we are not going to catch brookies anywhere else in Trout Brook this afternoon if we cannot catch them in these prime trout habitats. And so it comes to pass: Three hours of exploring and fishing this beautiful brook results in zero bites and no brook trout. We are definitely paying our dues to the fish gods today, which is of course part and parcel of being a patient fisherman!
The results: Both Joel and I are skunked after 3 hours of fishing.
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