Little Beaver Pond is a pretty 50-acre body of water located just to the west of Upper Richardson Lake off Route 16 in Magalloway Plantation in northern Oxford County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 18 A1). To access this pond from Route 16, drive north in the direction of Rangeley, turn right on Fish Pond Road (located between Aziscohos Lake and West Richardson Pond), drive down that gravel road for 1.0 mile, turn left on another gravel road and drive for 0.1 mile until you see a rough footpath on your right. The pond is located about 500 ft. down that path. Only hand-carried craft can be launched from the access point. Parking is along the road shoulder.
Except for a single seasonal camp on its shoreline, Little Beaver Pond is an otherwise undeveloped body of water surrounded by mountains and forests. And because it is late September in western Maine, the leaf colors are peaking and the surrounding woods and hills are ablaze in multiple shades of reds, yellows, and oranges. It is truly a sight to behold. This pond is the smaller sibling of Beaver Pond located just to the east. We tried to get on the latter earlier today to fish for brook trout but were unsuccessful because several potential access points were gated; local camp owners also told us that Beaver Pond lacks a public entry point. From intel gathered elsewhere, we know that Little Beaver Pond can yield monster brook trout in the 3 to 4 pound range. That’s worth the effort of getting there and wetting a line! The pond has excellent water quality and supports a healthy brook trout fishery which is maintained by a generous stocking of smaller brookies each fall. The severe drought conditions in Maine over the last two months are clearly visible: the bouldery shoreline is fully exposed and it looks like the water level is down by about 2 ft. or so. The open-water fishing laws for this body of water are strict in order to maintain its high-quality brook trout fishery, as follows: fly-fishing only (i.e., no live or dead bait, no worms, no spoons or spinners, no trolling), the daily bag limit on brook trout is 2 fish with a minimum length limit of 10 inches, and only 1 brookie may exceed 12 inches. The lake is also closed to ice fishing. The maximum and mean depths are 51 ft. and 16 ft., respectively. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.
My son Joel and I arrive at the Little Beaver Pond access point around 10 am. He’ll be fishing from his canoe and I’ll be fishing from my one-person inflatable raft. That way we can go our own separate ways and independently check out different locations. We push off at 10:30 am, eager to go after some of those large trout we’ve heard about. It’s a beautiful early fall day with a partially overcast sky, filtered sunshine, but also a wicked breeze blowing in from the west which makes fly fishing miserable. Joel makes a beeline for a large area of boulders which also happens to be totally exposed to the wind. He’s fishing by a large boulder which sits at the edge of deeper water. I opt for a shallower area next to the access point which is protected from the wind. Thirty minutes of casting a woolly bugger against the rocky shoreline yields nothing for me. I row towards Joel and anchor behind him in a bouldery area 2 to 4 ft. deep. I’ve switched to a small Blue Ghost on a floating line and cast it all around me. I finally hook and land a small 8″ brookie. It’s not much of a fish, but it counts. Meanwhile, Joel has been pounding the same general area by the big boulder but only hooked and missed a slightly larger fish.
We’ve been fishing hard for over one and a half hour and don’t have much to show for it. Joel paddles across Little Beaver Pond and starts fishing its eastern shoreline using a small Grey Ghost streamer fly. I go back to hide from the wind along the western shoreline and succeed in catching a second 8″ brookie on a woolly bugger. I’m underwhelmed… The wind finally calms down considerably and I row towards the southern shoreline. I come up empty after another 45 minutes of casting. I contact Joel via the walkie-talkie. He mentions that he hooked but missed two more trout over the last half an hour, but that he’s frustrated that he hasn’t been able to close the deal on this pond. We decide that it is time to move on. Little Beaver Pond proved to be a hard customer today. It would definitely pay off to fish it in the evening at dusk instead of in the middle of the day. The big trout are there: the high water quality, the superb habitat, and the deep hiding areas ensures that they can survive and thrive. This pond is on my list for a future revisit!
The results: I caught 2 brook trout (both 8”) and Joel got skunked in 3 hours of hard fishing.
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