Fishing for brook trout on Big Clemons Pond in Hiram, Oxford County, Maine (October 22, 2022)

 

Follow this sign to reach the public access point.

 

Big Clemons Pond is an 85-acre body of water located in Hiram, Oxford County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 C2). From Hiram, drive north on Routes 5/113 (Pequawket Trail). After about 2 miles, turn left on Notch Road. Drive 2.5 miles down this road and turn right on Clemons Cove Road. After a few hundred feet, turn left at a small discrete “boat ramp” sign. The access to the pond is unimproved but provides plenty of parking area. Note that both The Maine Gazetteer and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife indicate the presence of a hard-topped boat launch at this location. What I found was an unimproved dirt public launch that can only accommodate small hand-carried craft, such as a canoe or kayak, or perhaps a small-trailered boat, in a pinch.

 

The bottom by the boat launch is soft and muddy but the area is wadable

 

Big Clemons Pond is a lightly developed pond with a gorgeous view of the Burnt Meadow Mountains to the northwest. The state stocked this pond on October 17, 2022 with 150 13-inch brook trout for the upcoming ice-fishing season. Keep in mind that the hatchery people always try to release the fish at a location that is readily accessible to their stocking truck. Hence, I have every reason to believe that they released the trout in the cove by the boat launch. Also, keep in mind that stocked brookies will school for many days in their immediate area of release. The reason is that these fish spent their entire existence jammed together at the hatchery waiting to be fed. It takes a while to break these life-long habits. Meanwhile, informed anglers take advantage of this knowledge by focusing all of their fishing energies in the immediate vicinity of the access point. Why go anywhere else in a pond if the fish are all concentrated at one location? This pond is open to fishing between October 1 and November 30 using artificial lures only and with the stipulation that all salmonids must be released alive at once. Click here for a depth map.

 

As expected, the school of recently-stocked brookies is still lingering in the immediate vicinity of the boat launch.

 

My 14 year-old grandson Giovani and I arrive at the Big Clemons Pond launch around 10:45 am. We are enjoying beautiful late October weather, with the air temperature in the high 50’s, full sunshine, and no wind. We don our waders and enter the water 15 minutes later, armed with our ultralight spinning rods and trusted #2 Mepps spinners. I notice that the homeowners immediately to the right and left of the launch have posted their land to keep people out. I explain to Giovani the importance to stay in the water at all times to avoid trespassing. The substrate around the launch is rather silty and the bottom drops off quickly, so we have to stay relatively close to shore. Aquatic vegetation also obstructs some of the water. I go to the left, and Giovani to the right, and we both start casting towards the center of the cove in order to locate the school of trout.

 

I’m not done fishing yet, but I’ve lost Giovani. It’s time to return home in order to keep it fun.

 

It takes about ten minutes of searching before I hook the first brookie. Great, the fish are still lingering in the launch area! I noticed that Giovani is losing interest: he’s playing with sticks and found a beer can that he is throwing around. I get it: this is our third pond of the morning (click here and here) and he is ready to go do something else. However, I am not done fishing yet. I encourage him to come next to me. He casts for another 10 minutes but then slips away again. I catch a second brookie 5 minutes later and decide to call it good. I would like to continue searching for the core of the school, which we never really found, but would rather keep it fun for him. I leave a satisfied angler. And as always when fall fishing, we had the place all to ourselves.

 

The results: I caught 2 brook trout (largest = 13 inches) in 25 minutes 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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