Fishing for brown trout on the Kennebec River in Madison, Maine (June 16, 2018)

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A pretty view of the section of the Kennebec River I’m fishing today. The boat launch on the opposite bank is just visible at the top of the picture

The Kennebec River flowing through downtown Madison and Anson in Somerset County (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 20 B4) is held back by the Anson and Abnaki dams, before it becomes free-flowing again. It is the free-flowing stretch of the river below the most downstream of these two dams (i.e., the Abenaki Dam) which is the focus of my attention this afternoon. I access the Madison side of the river by driving north on Route 201A into Madison. About half a mile before reaching downtown, I turn left unto Father Rasle Road, cross the unused railroad tracks, and park my car on the sandy shoulder. The river is flowing to my right down a steep slope. My goal is to drop down to the river, wade upstream, and fish for about half a mile up to the hydroelectric dam.

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Fishing for landlocked Atlantic salmon on Pierce Pond in Somerset County, Maine (May 28, 2018)

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It’s the long Memorial Day weekend of 2018 and that means that I’m on my annual pilgrimage to gorgeous Pierce Pond in Somerset County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). This huge “pond” is divided into three major basins (i.e., Upper Pond, Middle Pond and Lower Pond) which together cover a total of 1,650 acres. I’m fishing for four days in this special place with my sons Joel and Jon, and nephew Salvy. We’re renting a cozy log cabin at Cobb’s Camp in Lower Pond which affords us access to an indoor toilet, a hot shower, and cooked meals off the grid in the middle of nowhere! Pierce Pond is a totally pristine and unspoiled environment. The lake is completely surrounded by forests in a protected watershed. These conditions maintain the exceptional surface water quality which supports a robust and self-sustaining native brook trout population and a healthy population of stocked landlocked Atlantic salmon. The latter range in weight from 2 to 4 pounds. General fishing laws apply, except that (a) the pond is closed to ice fishing, (b) the pond opens to fishing on May 1 (but beware that ice-out can occur well past May 1 after a cold winter), (c) only artificial lures are allowed, (d) the daily bag limit for brook trout is two fish, and (e) the minimum length limit for brook trout is 10”, with only one fish allowed to exceed 12”. Click here for a depth map and click here for the fishing rules.

 

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Fishing for brook trout on Witch Hole Pond in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine (May 11, 2018)

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Witch Hole Pond can be shorefished for brook trout from multiple locations along the carriage road in early spring when the water is cool and the aquatic plant life subdued

Witch Hole Pond covers 28 acres and is located in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island (MDI) in Hancock County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 16 B4). I reach the pond by walking for about 1.5 miles on the 16 foot-wide and well-maintained carriage road from the small parking lot located off Route 233 across from Eagle Lake. Be aware that you’ll need a pass to legally park your car anywhere inside the Park, including here. The pass can be purchased on-line or at the Park’s main visitor center on MDI, among other places. I reached the Route 233 parking lot earlier this morning and have fished Lower Breakneck Pond, Upper Breakneck Pond, and Halfmoon Pond along the way. After hitting these three spots, I replace my canoe on my “canoe wheels” and continue on to my last destination for today. I’ll state here for the record that I should have returned to the Route 233 parking lot after fishing Halfmoon Pond, loaded up my gear in/on my car, driven to the Hulls Cove visitor Center, and then walked from there the half mile to Witch Hole Pond. The reason is that the carriage road drops by a surprisingly steep (but barely perceptible) 85 ft between Halfmoon Pond and Witch Hole Pond. That loss of elevation does not present any problems when going downhill with the canoe. However, it demands a strenuous – and very perceptible – effort to continuously push the canoe back uphill for half a mile! It takes me a solid 40 minutes of huffing and puffing (and several snack refueling stops) to make it back to the Route 233 parking lot at the end of the day.

 

This big ol’ beaver lodge sits along the southern shore of Witch Hole Pond

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Fishing for brook trout on Halfmoon Pond in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine (May 11, 2018)

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View of Halfmoon Pond from the carriage road

Halfmoon Pond covers 3 acres and is located in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island (MDI) in Hancock County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 16 B3). The pond can be reached by walking for about one mile on the 16 foot-wide and well-maintained carriage road. Leave your car in the small parking lot located off Route 233 across from Eagle Lake. Be aware that you’ll need a pass to legally park your car anywhere inside the Park, including here. The pass can be purchased on-line or at the Park’s major visitor center on MDI, among other places. I reach the parking lot at 9 am and head first to Lower Breakneck Pond and then to Upper Breakneck Pond. After fishing these two locations, I place my canoe on my “canoe wheels” and lug everything to my next destination.

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Fishing for brook trout on Upper Breakneck Pond in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine (May 11, 2018)

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The carriage road provides easy access to Upper Breakneck Pond

 

Upper Breakneck Pond covers 9 acres and is located in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island (MDI) in Hancock County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 16 B3). The pond can be reached by walking for about 2,500 ft on the 16 foot-wide and well-maintained carriage road. Leave your car in the small parking lot located off Route 233 across from Eagle Lake. Be aware that you’ll need a pass to legally park your car anywhere inside the Park, including here. The pass can be purchased on-line or at the Park’s main visitor center on MDI, among other places. I reach the parking lot at 9 am and head first to Lower Breakneck Pond. I then carry my canoe through the 50 ft long outlet that connects the lower pond to the upper pond. Note, however, that Upper Breakneck Pond can also be reached directly from the carriage road via a short walk through the woods.

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