Brook trout and landlocked Atlantic salmon fishing on Pierce Pond, Pierce Pond Township, Maine (May 30, 2017)

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This little landlocked salmon jumped four times out of the water. What a treat!

Today is, most unfortunately, the last day of fishing on Pierce Pond in Somerset County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2) for Joel, Salvy and I before we have to leave this slice of heaven and return back home to face Life. Joel already spent 11 consecutive days on the pond before today and has discovered an intriguing pattern. The cool weather and lack of sunny days over the last week and a half has kept the surface water temperature below normal for this time of the year. The mayfly hatches have been sporadic and inconsistent at best and the fish have not focused on this seasonal food source yet. However, the cool surface water temps have allowed the salmonids to feed extensively in shallow water in search of bait fish and other bug life. Through much trial and error Joel figured out that, based on the unusual prevailing conditions, select rock piles in shallow areas of Pierce Pond (and the pond is full of those piles!) are serving as magnets for prey items and the salmonids that feed on them.



This brookie stayed low and did not want to come to the boat!

Joel and I come up with a new fishing strategy for this afternoon based on my lack of results trolling in the deeper waters of Pierce Pond over the last several days, Joel’s insights about the cold water temperature attracting the salmonids on rock piles in shallow water, and my success of yesterday evening trolling with streamer flies for brook trout along a shallow boulder-infested shoreline. We only have 2 hours of fishing left before we need to pack up and leave. We select a shallow area (< 10 ft) containing a small rocky island surrounded by four boulder fields and anchor our boat smack in the middle of one of those fields. We then cast out a small one-hook Ghost streamer fly attached to a sinking-tip fly line into the deeper water surrounding the rock pile and very quickly strip in the line so that the fly appears to flee away from a predator by swimming towards the center of the rock pile.


This guy was caught in 3 ft of water. Notice the low cloud deck.

We try two different rock piles but fail to generate any interest, which makes us wonder about all our strategizing… We silently move our boat on top of a third pile. This one has really shallow areas (< 3 ft), large crevasses, and deep water nearby. And then I suddenly hit my strides. I get seven hits and hook and land three smallish landlocked Atlantic salmon (13” to 17”) and two brookies (13” and 16”) over the next hour and a half. Joel has several hits on a one-hook blue-colored Ghost but fails to land any of these fish. To my surprise, three of my hook-ups (and two of my salmon) occur in the water < 3 ft deep! We surmise that the cold water and the dark overcast sky this afternoon are keeping these fish in areas they might otherwise avoid. Also, this one productive rock pile is the most downwind of the four around the island. The end result is a fun end to another long Memorial Day weekend fishing orgy at Pierce Pond. We shall meet again next year!





The results: I caught three landlocked Atlantic salmon and two brook trout in two hours of fishing on top of rock piles.


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