Fishing for brook trout and brown trout on Crystal Pond in Washington, Knox County, Maine (November 13, 2022)

 

View of the unimproved access point. Note the large pool in front of the launch, the emergent aquatic vegetation on both sides, and the rocky spur with the pine trees to the left.

 

Crystal Pond is a 98-acre body of water located in Washington, Knox County, Maine (see The Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 C5). The public access point is situated along the north shore of the pond, off Crystal Lake Road, and is clearly indicated by a blue sign. The launch is unimproved but could easily accommodate a small trailered boat. It also provides plenty of parking space. The surrounding area is nice and open, with several fire pits and permanent BBQ grills. It looks like folks enjoy camping here in the summer.

 

 

I never tire of admiring the spawning colors of brook trout!

 

Crystal Pond is a lightly developed and beautiful little lake nestled in the northwestern corner of Knox County. The State stocked it on November 10, 2022 with 100 12-inch brown trout and 200 13-inch brook trout in preparation for the upcoming ice-fishing season. The latter are my target today. I review the on-line fishing regulations (highly recommended when targeting salmonids in the fall!) and notice that this pond is not included in the special fishing laws and can therefore be fished under the general fishing laws. That is nice because anglers can keep two trout for the frying pan in the fall. However, keep in mind that while the minimum length limit for brook trout caught in ponds is only 6 inches, that limit is 14 inches for brown trout. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

Fortunately, the constant rain doesn’t seem to bother the brookies.

 

I arrive at the launch by 1:30 pm. The weather is perfectly awful: the air temperature is a raw 46°F, the sky is grey with a low cloud deck, and it rains steadily. I layer up, don my waders, and put on my waterproof raincoat. Let it rain; I will stay warm and dry! The trout were stocked three days earlier, so I expect them to still be schooling right around the access point. The layout of the launch area is also to my liking. Aquatic emergent vegetation grows to the left and the right, with a big open pool in the middle to “concentrate” the fish. As is usual for me when fall fishing for trout, I use an ultra-light spinning rod, a small reel spooled with 6-pound monofilament, and a bronze #2 Mepps spinner. I carefully wade into the water so as not to spook any fish, cast out my spinner, start the retrieve, and immediately hook a brookie! OMG, I just love it when this happens! I photograph, unhook, and release the fish, cast out again, and immediately hook a second brook trout! And then a third one! This is unbelievable: three trout on the first three casts! How often does that happen? It is obvious that the fish are, quite literally, just sitting there after they were released three days ago, hungry and confused, not knowing what the heck to do with themselves. I catch one more brookie, and then the bite suddenly stops… The school has been spooked by all the hooking and fighting commotion, and me moving in and out of the water to unhook the fish and take pictures.

 

The weather really stinks but the trout are actively feeding.

 

I get out of the water and walk to my left towards a rocky point, which juts out into the pond. I carefully re-enter the water, wade out a bit and start casting again towards the center of the launch area. Even though the bite is definitely slower, I do catch another three trout over the next 20 minutes, including one of the smaller brown trout. It is now raining quite hard and my hands are getting cold. I decide to move on. I found the wading conditions to be very agreeable. The substrate varied from hard sandy right in front of the launch to softer mud in the vegetated area to the left. But even there, my feet would only sink an inch or two. Overall, this spot is fabulous for trout fishing in the fall using waders. And, as (almost) always when fishing this time of the year, I have this gorgeous place all to myself.

 

Even this little brown trout read the memo!

 

The results: I caught 6 brook trout (largest = 14 inches) and a small brown trout in 45 minutes of fun but wet fishing action.

 

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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