Fishing for brook trout on Long Pond in Parsonsfield, York County, Maine (October 22, 2022)


It is chilly but wind-still this morning, and the brookies are biting!


Long Pond is a 275-acre body of water located in Parsonsfield, York County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 D2). The public access is at the southern tip of the pond and consists of a narrow and poorly maintained hardtop boat launch located on Road Between the Ponds, off Joe Berry Road. This pond is moderately developed and embedded in a forested region in the northwestern corner of York County, a couple of miles from the NH border. It is open to angling between October 1 and December 31 but using artificial lures only and with the stipulation that all salmonids must be released alive and at once.



The first brookie of the morning. We found the school!


I selected Long Pond to go fishing this morning with 14-year old Giovani because the state stocked it five days earlier (October 17, 2022) with 250 13″ brook trout in preparation for the 2022-2023 ice fishing season. I successfully trolled this pond for bass last month, and noticed that the area around the boat launch was relatively shallow and sandy, and therefore ideal for wader fishing. Keep in mind that stocked brook trout have a peculiar behavioral trait that makes them easy targets in the fall: these fish have spent their entire lives swimming together in large, crowded schools in shallow basins at the hatchery waiting to be fed. When they are released into our local ponds and lakes, they keep schooling (click here, here, and here for examples) for many days in the immediate vicinity of where they were released (usually, a public launch that is accessible to the stocking trucks) in 6 feet of water or less, waiting for food to drop out of the sky… Therefore, the trick to catching stocked brookies consistently in the fall is to fish exclusively close to a public access point.


The water is crystal clear and the bottom is firm, sandy, and unobstructed. Ideal wading conditions!


We reach the boat launch at Long Pond by 8 am. It’s a chilly (33°F) but sunny and wind-still fall morning, just the way I like it. We don our waders and walk into the water armed with our ultralight spinning rods and #2 Mepps spinners. I start fishing to the left of the launch, and Giovani casts to the right. Our first priority is to find the school of brookies, which should still be hanging around here somewhere. The water is crystal-clear, the bottom is sandy, firm, unobstructed, and vegetation free. In fact, this place is one of the nicest ones I have fished using waders over the last several years! I see two rises close to my left. I toss my spinner in that general direction and hook a fish five casts later. It is a male brook trout in brilliant spawning colors. Yes, I found the school! Giovani wades over to my side and we start to systematically fish the whole area.


Giovani is bringing in the bacon!


And the brookies keep coming. They are sitting right on the bottom in less than 4 ft. of water. Giovani is giddy from excitement every time he hooks and lands a fish. The school slowly slides to the left in response to the commotion. When the bite slows down, we just move 50-75 ft., reconnect, and catch a few more trout. This kind of fishing is so much fun, and unique, because it is actually predictable! We are also hoping for a “double hooking”, when we both fight a fish at the same time. This wish is granted, but then the school moves again, and this time out or range. The bite comes to a hard stop, and we are unable to reconnect with the brookies after 15 minutes of fruitless casting around. Oh well, it’s time to move on to our next pond anyway. Angling does not get any better than this: Giovani beat his grandpa (his 7 fish to my 5), the bite was strong, the weather conditions were perfect, and, as always in the fall, we had the fish and the place all to ourselves!


Our wish is granted: we double-hooked!


The results: I caught 5 brook trout (largest = 14 inches) and Giovani caught 7 brook trout (largest = 14 inches) in 45 minutes of spectacular fall fishing.


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