Fishing for brook trout on Round Pond in Lyman, York County, Maine (November 20, 2021)


The entrance to Round Pond is gated but the public is welcome to pass through.


Round Pond is a small, 6-acre body of water located in Lyman, York County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 2 B5). The public access point to this pond is located where Mast Road joins Route 35 (a.k.a. Goodwins Mills Road), right next to the York County Fish and Game Association (YCFGA) building and across from the association’s shooting range. Beware that fishing can become noisy when the shooting range is active, which is fortunately not the case during my visit. The access point is gated by the YCFGA to block vehicles, but anglers are welcome to walk to the pond via a 200-ft. gravelly trail. Hand-carried craft can be launched from the tiny sandy beach by the water’s edge. Plenty of parking is available along the shoulder of Mast Road.


My first brookie was finally caught after about 30 minutes


Round Pond is undeveloped and forested. It sits in a depression, with much of its banks fringed by a shrub wetland consisting of dense stands of 10 ft.-high bushes that greatly limit shore access. The pond is surprisingly deep for its tiny size, with a mean and maximum depth of 14 ft. and 36 ft., respectively. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. In anticipation of the upcoming ice-fishing season, the State stocked the pond on October 22, 2021 with 300 9-inch brook trout (50 fish per acre) and again on November 15, 2021 with 50 14-inch brook trout (8 fish per acre). The latter group of fish are my target this afternoon because they weigh about one pound, are beautiful in their spawning colors, and are so much fun to catch on ultralight spinning gear. Keep in mind that this pond has convoluted fishing rules, as follows: it is open to angling under the general fishing laws, except that (a) open-water fishing is allowed to people of all ages between April 1 and December 31 using artificial lures only (note: that means ice fishing is not allowed after April 1 or before December 31); (b) all salmonids caught between October 1 and December 31 must be released alive and at once; and (c) ice fishing is allowed using live bait and with a two-trap limit between January 1 and March 31, but only for kids under 16.


Those colors!


I reach Round Pond at 2 pm. Southern Maine is enjoying a beautiful late-fall afternoon, with temps in the low 40’s, a partly-cloudy sky, and little or no wind. I have about two hours to make something happen before darkness settles in. I layer up in warm clothing, don my waders, duck underneath the locked gate, and walk down the trail to the edge of the water. My hope is that the one-pounders stocked four days earlier are still schooling together and hanging around in the vicinity of their release point, i.e., the small sandy beach at the end of the trail. I enter the water and start fishing to my left. The water is crystal clear but quickly gains depth. The substrate right along the shore is also rather soft and mucky and the shrub branches are leaning out over the water. These are less than ideal wading conditions and it’s clear that I won’t be able to wander off too far. I hit that whole area hard with my bronze #2 Mepps spinner over the next 30 minutes or so but don’t get a single bite. The trout are evidently not hanging around in this sector of the pond!


It never gets old…


I return to the sandy beach and start fishing to my right. The wading conditions over here are no better than before. In addition, an earlier breeze blew hundreds of large floating oak leaves towards this end of the pond. As a result, my line constantly gets stuck on those damned leaves, which means that I must cast my spinner in more open and leaf-free areas to avoid entanglements as much as possible. But the gains are well worth the pain because I finally locate the school of one-pounders! The bite over the next hour and a half is rather slow but nonetheless consistent: I hook and land seven 14 inchers, and miss two more of the same size. All of this activity is happening along a stretch of shoreline no more than 75 ft. wide. Thankfully, I also don’t run into any of the smaller nine inchers which presumably have dispersed by now. This afternoon’s experience once again shows how to extract benefit from a key behavioral trait shown by hatchery-reared brook trout when stocked in ponds: these fish tend to school and hang around for many days in the general area where they were released. While I have certainly encountered exceptions to this rule (click here and here for examples), it has also proven itself many times over.


I thoroughly enjoyed my late-fall trout fishing on Round Pond today.


The results: I caught seven brook trout (all about 14″) in 2 hours of fun wader fishing.

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