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

 

 

 

 

 

The rough boat launch at Ell Pond

The rough boat launch at Ell Pond

 

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife manages Ell Pond specifically for rainbow trout. It is stocked each fall with 300 14” rainbows, resulting in about 9 large trout per acre.  As a result, no other pond in southern or central Maine provides better odds for catching a good-sized bow during open water fishing (Lily Pond in New Glouchester comes in as a close second). The fishing rules on Ell Pond are strict because of its special status. The major restrictions are as follows: (a) the pond is closed to ice fishing, (b) use or possession of live fish is prohibited (dead bait fish, salmon eggs, and worms are allowed), and (c) motors over 6 horsepower are prohibited. Click here for more details.

 

A quiet cove on Ell Pond

A quiet cove on Ell Pond

 

My son Joel and I arrive at Ell Pond around 10:30 am. It’s the first time that we’re fishing this pond. We decided on a late start this morning to give the sun a chance to warm up the water column and get the bug hatches going, because we’re planning on fly fishing. Unfortunately, the sun hasn’t shown its face all morning long and the sky is completely overcast. At least the air temperature is pleasant (mid 60’s), whereas the surface of the water is a surprisingly warm 63°F. It is also wind still, which always helps with the fly fishing. We use an electric motor to troll around the pond using small Mooselook spoons and look out for rises. Unfortunately, the battery lost most of its juice over the last 6 months even though it was hooked up all winter on a trickle charger. It soon craps out on us and we’re forced to paddle.

 

The blog author with his 14" rainbow trout

Your blog author with his 14″ rainbow trout

We observe several lazy rises to our left and quietly work our way towards them. It’s unclear what fly pattern to use because we haven’t seen any bugs emerge yet. I randomly select a small, black elk hair fly out of my box; Joel choses a grey mayfly pattern.  We both cast out our dry flies in the general direction of the rises. The fish keeps on feeding on the surface, which means that we didn’t spook it. My fly slowly sinks and I fumble around looking for my dry fly grease. Suddenly Joel whispers loudly “Dad, the tip of your floating line is moving!” I instinctively tighten the line to set the hook without even looking and am delighted to feel an angry resistance at the other end. The rainbow trout takes several runs but soon gives up and comes alongside the boat. It’s a 14 incher which was probably stocked last fall. I’ll keep it for dinner.

 

 

 

 

Joel focusing on his fly fishing

Joel focusing on his fly fishing

Unfortunately, that was pretty much the extent of the rises. We continue paddling to troll around the pond, which yields a small 12” largemouth bass for Joel. It’s now 1:30 pm and we need to move on. As luck has it, the clouds part temporarily and let a pale sun shine through for about 30 min while we’re onshore packing all of our equipment away. And sure enough, the warm rays trigger a hatch of small black flies which immediately draws fish to the surface… I’m not making this up and believe me when I say that it was one heck of a tease!! Ell Pond is a keeper. We’ll be back to try our luck again this fall. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

The results: I caught a 14” rainbow trout and Joel caught a 12” largemouth bass in 2.5 hours of 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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2 thoughts on “Trout fishing on Ell Pond, Sanford, Maine (May 19, 2013)

  1. Fly fishing aside, and speaking strictly off shore (I don’t have a boat) whats your favorite trout lure or bait? I have been fishing ell pond since I was 12 (about 13 years) off and on and have yet to pull a trout. I have decent luck with rainbows on rivers (biggest was 19″) but all I catch is bass (which I was informed by a local gamewarden were illegally introduced, ell pond is stocked as a trout pond). Bass are fun as hell to catch but I don’t eat them. I live trout and during fishing season I try to spend more time on the water than shopping for food.

    • I do all my open-water trout fishing on ponds and lakes from a boat; I’ll wade or fish from shore only in streams and rivers. The reason is that shore access can be highly problematic (wetlands, bushes, other obstructions, private land) around ponds and lakes, lures are easily lost when they hang up on sticks or weeds, trout are not necessarily hanging along the shoreline, and a boat provides an efficient way to move about and check out different spots. But if I had to fish for trout from shore, I’d use either a #2 Mepps spinner or a small hook baited with an earthworm and a bobber. Check this blog (http://amazingfishametric.com/blog/?p=2533) for an example of what can happen. Both of these methods can be highly efficient on trout but will also attract other species that like hanging around in the shallows (e.g., sunfish, bass, pickerel). Make sure to check the regulations about using worms because that bait is not allowed on some trout waters. Good luck.

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