Fishing for brook trout on Jamies Pond in Manchester and Farmingdale, Kennebec County, Maine (October 29, 2022)

 

The gate and sign on Jamies Pond Road tells me that I have almost arrived.

 

Jamies Pond (a.k.a. Jimmie Pond) is a 107-acre body of water located in Manchester and Farmingdale, Kennebec County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 C4). The public access is located next to the former water pump house at the end of Jamies Pond Road (off Outlet Road). The area offers plenty of parking. Note that two large boulders block the narrow hard-top boat launch. Hence, anglers can only release hand-carried craft from this location.

 

 

The morning is cold and foggy, but wind still. And the brookies are biting!

 

This gorgeous pond is at the core of the 915-acre Jamies Pond Wildlife Management Area, which is owned and operated by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The pond and its surrounding land was formerly owned by the Hallowell Water District, which supplied drinking water to the nearby town of Hallowell. Due to this historic use, the pond’s shoreline has remained largely undeveloped, thereby providing an unusually unspoiled setting within spitting distance of downtown Augusta. Jamies Pond was stocked on October 24, 2022 with 400 14-inch brookies and 100 12-inch splake in preparation for the upcoming ice-fishing season. The former are my target today. As per the Maine Inland Fishing Laws, the pond is open to fishing in the fall under the general fishing laws, without the usual restrictions applicable to waters in southern Maine stocked with salmonids (i.e., artificial lures only plus catch and release).

 

This gorgeous male tells me I am fishing in the right location.

 

I arrive at the access point of Jamies Pond by 6:45 am. Sunrise is at 7:15 am. The air is chilly (32°F) and foggy, but wind-still. While driving down Jamies Pond Road, I notice several guys with guns and hunter’s orange getting ready to go into the woods. Damn, I forgot that today is the start of the “Maine resident only” deer hunting season, and I am in a wildlife management area without my hunter’s orange… Another hunter is getting ready by his car at the former pump house. We have a friendly chat and I tell him that I forgot my hunters orange. He kindly lets me borrow one of his extra hats, which I gladly accept. I would not feel comfortable wading along the water’s edge without being visible!

 

This long but skinny brookie gives a surprisingly long and hard fight. What a treat!

 

I enter the water at 7 am by the outlet that flows right behind the former pump house. As usual when wader fishing for brookies in the fall, I use my ultralight spinning rod with a small spinning reel spooled with 6 pounds of monofilament and a #2 bronze Mepps spinner. I suspect that the brookies stocked earlier in the week are still schooling in the vicinity of where they were released. The substrate along the shoreline is quite soft with lots of submerged aquatic vegetation. The bottom also drops off rather quickly, so I have to be careful wading through this stuff. It takes about 10 minutes of casting my spinner and letting it sink close to the bottom (one thousand one, one thousand two,…) before I hook and land my first brookie. It is a gorgeous male in full spawning colors. What a treat for the eyes. I take a few pictures before quickly releasing him back to the water. I land another two brookies, and hook but miss two more, over the next 25 minutes. Clearly, the fish are still schooling in the area they were released six days earlier. And then the bite stops. Boy, have I experienced this before in the fall (click here, here, and here for examples)! The school has shifted in response to the fishing commotion, presumably a bit further offshore and out of reach of my spinner. I cast up and down the shoreline for another 30 minutes, but without any takers, not even a nibble. I get the message. The time has come to move on. Regardless, I leave a happy angler, even though my fingers are cold and the line guides on my rod are iced up. That is but a small price to pay for a successful fall fishing experience. And as always, I had the place all to myself (except for the shooting in the surrounding woods!).

 

The results: I caught 3 brook trout (largest = 14 inches) in one hour 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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