Fishing for brook trout on Overset Pond in Greenwood, Oxford County, Maine (May 21, 2022)

 

The gate on Overset Pond Lane is closed. I have to haul in all my equipment using my canoe wheels.

 

Overset Pond covers 18 acres and is located in Greenwood, Oxford County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 10 C4). To reach this location, drive north on Route 219 (Greenwood Road) into Greenwood. Turn left on Patch Mountain Road and drive down this road for 0.5 miles. Then, turn right on Willis Mills Road and after 0.1 mile, turn right again on Overset Pond Lane. Note that the latter goes through privately-owned woodlands. The landowners allow public access via permissive trespass. However, they also installed a sturdy gate that is locked during mud season to prevent vehicles from destroying Overset Pond Lane. The sign says that the gate will be open on May 23. To reach the pond when the gate is locked (as it is for me today), leave your vehicle at the small parking lot by the gate and walk for about ¾ of a mile. Be aware that Overset Pond Lane is deceptively steep! It took me 30 minutes of serious huffing and puffing to pull up all my gear on my canoe wheels, but only 20 minutes to return back to the gate at the end of my trip. At some point, the lane bifurcates. Look for a small brown sign by the tree line on the left just passed the fork that says “Overset”. That’s the start of the 2.2 mile Overset Pond hiking trail which loops around the pond. It takes about 8 to 10 minutes to reach the access point from here (hang a left at the bifurcation on the trail at the southern tip of the pond). Note that this trail is too rough to accommodate canoe wheels. Hence, everything has to be carried in by hand from the road to the access point. I do have a sneaky, but unproven, suspicion that the gravel road to the left of the bifurcation may in fact extend to the access point which also has a campsite and a fire ring.

 

View of Overset Pond from the public access point.

 

Overset Pond is an incredibly beautiful body of water more akin to what I have experienced in Baxter State Park (click here, here, or here for examples), western Somerset County (click here and here for examples), or Piscataquis County (click here, here, or here for examples), instead of southern Oxford County! It is completely undeveloped and wild, without any sings of human presence. The massive grey granite cliffs of Overset Mountain located right next to the eastern shoreline overlook the whole scenery. Several factors draw me to this location: a) the pond was stocked last fall with 300 7″ brook trout, which amounts to about 17 fish per acre, b) the pond is closed to ice fishing, which means that most of these fish are available to be caught in the spring, c) the pond also maintains a band of cool, oxygenated water at depth in the summer which allows for year-over-year trout survival and growth, and finally d) the state manages this body of water specifically to produce larger-than-average brook trout. In other words, this water body does not support a simple “put-and-take” fishery where the trout stocked in the fall all die the following summer due to overheated water and lack of dissolved oxygen. Keep in mind that open-water fishing in the spring occurs under the following strict rules: a) only fly fishing and trolling with wet flies are allowed (i.e., no live bait, no dead bait, no spinners, no spoons), b) the minimum length for a keeper trout is 10 inches, and only one of the two keeper trout can exceed 12 inches. This pond is relatively deep for its small size, with a mean and maximum depth of 13 ft. and 42 ft., respectively. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

I find this larger trout in deeper offshore water. Overset Mountain and its granite cliffs is visible in the background.

 

I arrive at the access point on Overset Pond at 8:30 am. I am immediately smitten by the surroundings and instinctively understand that I have reached a special place. The sky is overcast and foggy, the air temperature is in the high 50’s, it is wind still, and the blackflies and mosquitoes are mercifully few and far apart. The surface water temperature equals 58°F. I start to troll with my 8-weight fly rod and lead-core line fishing one color down using two small red-and-white Mickey Fins tied back-to-back. I also brought my 5-weight fly fishing rod with a floating line in case the trout are sipping flies from the surface. I catch my first brookie in the shallow (< 8 ft.) northern end of the pond. The fish only measures 9 inches but it shows me that I am using the right wet fly and approach. I linger in that general area for the next two hours or so and catch five more 8-10″ trout on the Mickey Fins. I also experience multiple hits and misses. The trout are definitely active. I see no consistent rises during that time but instead try my luck for 30 minutes using a Woolly Bugger on my 5-weight rod. I get no takers.

 

This one has a bit more heft than the smaller yearlings but I’m unable to locate its bigger cousins that are hiding somewhere in these waters.

 

It is clear that I need to up my game if I want to catch trout larger than 10 inches… Those little guys were stocked last fall and seem to be hanging together in the shallows. I swap out the Mickey Finns for two slightly bulkier one-hook Blue Ghost wet flies and also troll over the deeper (> 20 ft.) portion of the pond with the flies placed two colors down (about 10-12 ft. below the surface). I hook and fight a more substantial fish within 10 minutes of making the switch. YES! The fish is a 13 inch brookie. I don’t bother with dry flying because the trout only rise sporadically and I see nothing but a few scattered flies on the surface. I catch another 13 incher and two smaller yearlings over the next 1.5 hours of trolling. Unfortunately, the time has come to head back out. I’m satisfied with the 10 brookies I caught this morning, but disappointed that I did not locate the 15 to 18 inchers which I know reside in these waters. However, Overset Pond is a true gem and definitely worth the effort to reach. My advice, though, would be to hit it in late May/early June when the gate on Overset Pond Lane has been opened, thereby avoiding the arduous walk from the gate to the pond.

 

Early-morning fog and clouds on Overset Pond. I love the vibe!!

 

The results: I landed 10 brook trout (largest was 13 inches) in 4 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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2 thoughts on “Fishing for brook trout on Overset Pond in Greenwood, Oxford County, Maine (May 21, 2022)

  1. Can confirm your suspicion on the gravel road going to the access point. Walked it last fall.

    Now that I have a fly rod, I’ll be going back to fish!

  2. Overset pond is a favorite of mine. Unfortunately my fly rod is broken so I won’t be making anymore trips there this year. Ive caught many large 15+ inch trout in this pond. Additionally I’ve heard stories of fish over 4 lbs that feed on frogs coming out of this pond. A real gem that isn’t too hard to get to.

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