Fishing for brook trout on Deboullie Pond, Deboullie Maine Public Reserved Land, Aroostook County, Maine (September 28, 2021)

What a beautiful way to start my morning troll!

 

Deboullie Pond is a gorgeous 262-acre body of water located in the Deboullie Maine Public Reserved Land (T15 R9 WELS) in northern Aroostook County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 63 A1). This township is located about 27 driving miles northwest of the village of Portage (by Portage Lake), and 10-15 miles as the crow flies due east of the Allagash River. Access is via a series of well-maintained gravel logging roads. I was concerned about getting lost on this extensive network of roads but found excellent driving directions for Red River Camps which is located in the middle of the Public Reserved Land. It also helps that the directions are indicated by brown “RRC” (Red River Camps) and blue “State of Maine Public Reserved Land” signs. Finally, be aware that the T15 R9 WELS township is located in the North Maine Woods. Access (coming from the south) to this region is via the Fish River Checkpoint where one must stop to obtain an entry permit and pay a nominal day-use fee and overnight camping fee. Over a dozen campsites are available within the Deboullie township. Come prepared to be self-sufficient because the closest store is in Portage…

 

That’s the first brookie I landed this morning. It’s not much of a fish.

 

Deboullie Pond is one of 13 State Heritage Fish Waters scattered throughout the Public Reserved Land that contain either wild or native brook trout. An additional peculiarity is that this pond also supports a rare self-sustaining population of blueback (or Arctic) charr. This pond is flanked by Black Mountain and Deboullie Mountain, both of which provide a gorgeous backdrop. Deboullie Pond has a mean and maximum depth of 44 ft. and 92 ft., respectively. Its waters are crystal clear and the substrate consists mostly of gravel, cobbles, and boulders. The entire shoreline is undeveloped and entirely forested. Fishing this pond falls under the general fishing laws applicable to the north region, except that the pond is closed to ice fishing, is closed to the taking of live bait fish, and the daily limit on brook trout (including arctic charr) is two fish. Keep in mind that, with few exceptions, open-water fishing in this part of the state ends on the last day of September. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

Her sibling was just about the same size…

 

I arrive at the boat launch at the crack of dawn (6:15 am). This launch, which is located at the eastern tip of Deboullie Pond next to the outlet, is unimproved but can accommodate small, trailered boats. Parking is “rough” along the sides. I’ll be paddling my canoe this morning and so am glad to see that the wind consists of a light breeze blowing in from the northwest. I’m also enchanted by the fog slowly lifting above the water. The air temperature is a cool 47°F, whereas the surface water is still a relatively warm 61°F. My goal is to troll shallow (< 10 ft. deep) in the shadow of the rising sun all along the southern shoreline to the other end of the pond and then troll deeper and farther away from shore on the way back. I use lead core line with a small Acme Phoebe spoon fished one color down, and my ultra-light spinning rod with a small Lurh Jensen Super-Duper spoon weighed down by three split shots to bring the lure 2-3 ft. below the water surface. One rod fishes to the left, the other to the right of the canoe, with both rods crisscrossed between my legs.

 

Deboullie Pond is a sight to behold!

 

It takes me a little over one hour to paddle upwind to the other end of Deboullie Pond. I catch two small (about 10 inches long) brook trout along the way, both on the Phoebe. At least I’m not skunked but am acutely underwhelmed by the size of the fish, having heard through the local grapevine that this pond supports a healthy population of larger brookies. I switch out my Phoebe spoon for three Mooselook spoons tied back to back and place them four colors down (about 25 ft. below the surface) over 50 to 70 ft. of water. The sun is now rapidly rising up in the morning sky and warming up the surrounding atmosphere. The wind readily responds and noticeably picks up speed out of the west. I’m glad that I’m paddling with the strong breeze in my back!! I’m enjoying the peaceful and beautiful surroundings but the fish below show no interest in my new spoon offerings. I reach the boat launch area about one hour later with a very sore butt and tired arms. I decide to call it good. Deboullie Pond is a definite keeper and well worth a future return visit!

 

These two signs make it clear that fishing on Deboullie Pond is a privilege.

 

The results: I caught two brook trout (both about 10 inches) in 2+ hours of trolling.

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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