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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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