Fishing for brook trout on Broken Bridge Pond in Albany (White Mountain National Forest), Maine (June 9, 2019)

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Broken Bridge Pond is an 18-acre body of water in the township of Albany (White Mountain National Forest, WMNF), Oxford County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 10 C3). To reach this spot, drive down Route 5/35 and turn on Old West Bethel Road, followed by Patte Brook Road, and then Crocker Pond Road (through the open WMNF gate) for about 1.5-2 miles. A GPS will definitely help keep your bearings! Look out for a sign on the left side of Crocker Pond Road which announces a campsite on the shore of our target pond. The rough canoe launch is down an unmarked dirt road on the left about 500 ft before this campsite.


View of Broken Bridge Pond from the rough canoe launch. Most of the pond is hiding in the background.


Broken Bridge Pond is a pretty little lake surrounded by deep woods and located in the shadow of Albany Mountain. It has a nice “remote” feel to it even though other anglers may be present due to its easy access from the nearby WMNF road, the canoe launch, and the presence of the camp site. Actually, this pond is an old acquaintance of mine because I unsuccessfully fished it last October. It was reclaimed in 2014 to support intense brook trout management and is supposed to only contain trout, although I know from talking to others that pickerel have been caught in it too. Over the last several years, the State has stocked it every fall with 400 brookies measuring around 6”, which yields a reasonable 22 fish per acre. The water column is clean and clear. The pond has a mean and maximum depth of 12 ft and 25 ft, respectively. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. General fishing law applies, except that: (a) the pond is closed to ice fishing, and (2) use or possession of live fish as bait is prohibited in order to prevent introducing unwanted fish species that would compete with the trout. Click here for more fishing rules pertaining to this pond.


General view of Broken Bridge Pond with Albany Mountain looming in the background.


I drive up to the boat launch of Broken Bridge Pond and push off at 1 pm full of eager anticipation. Isn’t that what fishing is all about? The sun is high in the sky and the air temperature is in the mid 70’s. Another person is fishing in a canoe on the opposite shoreline. I slowly paddle around the pond keeping an eye out for rises since my goal this afternoon is to fish using dry flies. I see none… I reach the angler who tells me that he’s been fishing for several hours, hasn’t seen any rises either, and only caught one 12” brookie. Yuk, that doesn’t sound encouraging. I keep my hopes up on the knowledge gained from earlier intel that this pond gives up brookies in the 14” to 16” size range… I start by trolling using a blue-purple Mikey Fin streamer fly attached to my lead core line placed one color down (i.e., 6-8 ft below the surface). Around and around I go while looking for rises but without generating a single bite. I suddenly observe one rise along the shoreline which makes me stop trolling and cast out a dry fly in that area for a while.


Buddy, you have no idea of how much effort I expended to catch you!!


Unfortunately, the rises are very sporadic, quite unpredictable, and without a clear pattern. I also don’t really see any specific bugs emerging from the water column. However, the occasional rises keep me going. I give up dry flying after 1.5 hours of no strikes using several different flies, emergers, and spinners. This is getting frustrating. I go back to trolling using a bright-orange spoon placed one color down. I finally get a hook-up and land a 9” brookie in the same general area I was dry flying before. It’s not much of a fish but at least I’m not leaving skunked again! I troll back and forth over the same spot several more times but without another hit. I’ve reached the end of my available time on Broken Bridge Pond. I give myself another 15 min to dry fly some more before heading out. I do get the long-anticipated strike on the surface fly but set the hook on thin air… Boy, some days are just tougher than others, but then isn’t that what fishing is all about?


The results: I caught one 9” brook trout in 3 hours of frustrating fishing in a beautiful setting.


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