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


Giovani is definitely getting the hang of it!


Little Clemons Pond is a 25-acre body of water located in Hiram, Oxford County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 C2). Drive north on Route 160 (Brownfield Road) from South Hiram. The pond will appear on your right-hand side, just after passing Notch Road. The pond is accessible via a rough and steep launch by the road. Cars can be parked on the shoulder. One can only put small hand-carried craft, such as a canoe or kayak, in the water from this access point. An actual boat launch is not available.



That was the biggest brookie of the lot.


Little Clemons Pond is spectacular-looking real estate! The entire shoreline is wooded, with Robbins Hill dominating the background scenery. Not a single house or camp spoils the view. One could almost think that it is tucked away somewhere in northern Oxford County, were it not for the cars driving by on Route 160. The state stocked this pond on October 17, 2022 with 400 8-inch brook trout and 100 13-inch brook trout in preparation for the upcoming ice-fishing season. The latter are my target today. Brookies stocked in ponds and lake have a peculiar behavior that perceptive anglers can exploit for their benefit: the fish will swim around for many days in large schools in their immediate area of release. It is therefore relatively easy to pin-point those trout if one knows where they were released, which is typically at a location readily accessible by the stocking truck, such as a boat launch or an unimproved public access area… Armed with that knowledge, it becomes possible to cut through the chase and avoid hours of fruitless fishing in areas of a pond or lake where the stocked trout simply aren’t (yet) present. Over time, the school may slowly move around or break up as hunger forces the brook trout to wander off in search of food. 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.


That smile says it all…


I arrive at Little Clemons Pond at 9:30 am with my 14-year-old grandson Giovani. The weather is perfect: the air temperature is 52°F, the blue sky is filled with unlimited sunshine, and the wind is quiet. My original intent was for us to fish in waders, but an earlier reconnaissance at this location showed me that the substrate along the shoreline by Route 160 was just too muddy and difficult to walk on. Instead, we will avoid this problem altogether by fishing from my canoe. We are on the water 15 minutes later and paddle off in search of our quarry. We both fish using an ultralight spinning rod, a small reel spooled with 6-pound monofilament, and a lethal #2 Mepps spinner. The trick with this lure when fishing for brookies in the fall is to let it sink in the water column towards the bottom, start the retrieve, and then constantly twitch the tip of the rod during the retrieve to cause the spinner to flicker momentarily, which triggers the killer instinct of the trout. I let Giovani decide where we should anchor the canoe in relation to the access point so he can learn to “read” the water. I drop the anchor when he tells me and we start casting.


Can’t ask for better conditions: a quiet fall morning, blue skies, full sunshine, no wind, and actively-biting brookies!


I get the first hookup within five minutes and it turns out to be a 13-inch brookie. Great! As expected, the school of fish has not moved too far from where they were released earlier this week. I just love it how they are so predictable and therefore easy to find. We spend the next 45 minutes casting about and catching seven trout. We have to move the canoe a bit every 15 minutes or so when the bite stops because the school shifts away in response to the commotion caused by fighting, unhooking, photographing, and releasing fish. Geovani is really getting the hang of it. Whereas I would be glad if he caught one trout two years ago, he now catches just as many fish as I do. The only fly in the ointment at this location is the traffic buzzing by along Route 160. The noise takes away from the otherwise beautiful surrounding scenery and the actively-biting brookies.


The results: I caught 3 brook trout (largest = 14 inches) and Giovani caught 4 brook trout (largest = 13 inches) in 45 minutes of fun 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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