Fishing for brook trout on Secret Pond in Greenville, Piscataquis County (May 15, 2021).

 

Geovanni is all kitted up and ready to go!

 

Secret Pond is a small but deep 14-acre body of water located a few miles outside of Greenville, Piscataquis County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 41 D3). Access is via an old logging road off the Katahdin Iron Works (KI) Road. I was able to easily find it using my phone’s GPS thanks to a strong signal coming from Greenville. The KI Road, and the side road leading to the pond, are rough in spots but quite drivable using a regular car. Hence, no need for a four-wheel drive vehicle. The pond is accessible by foot via a short forest trail. Only hand-carried craft can be launched on it.

 

 

A pretty view of Secret Pond from the launch site.

 

Secret Pond is completely wild and untouched by human development. My “hand thermometer” tells me that the water temperature on the surface feels in the low-to-mid 50’s, which makes sense for this time of the year. The weather conditions are also ideal: the air temperature is in the low 60’s, with partial sunshine, and a light breeze out of the northeast. This pond is listed as a State Heritage Fish Water. It was last stocked in 1987 and now supports a thriving and self-sustaining population of wild brook trout. That in itself makes it a special place and well worth the visit. The fishing rules for this pond prohibit the use of live baitfish to avoid the accidental introduction of competing minnow species. Also, only artificial lures are allowed (i.e., no worms, fish eggs, dead baitfish, etc.). For the rest, open-water fishing falls under the general fishing laws, except that the daily bag limit on brook trout is two fish, and all trout shorter than 6 inches or longer than 12 inches must be released alive at once. The pond has a maximum and mean depth of 34 ft. and 10 ft., respectively. Its deeper waters stay cool and oxygenated throughout the summer, allowing for year-over-year survival and good growth. No one will bat an eye for a 16-inch brookie. In fact, this pond is well known locally for producing hogs measuring 20 inches and weighing up to 4 pounds! Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

It took a lot of perseverance to finally land this little guy!

 

I reach the access point for Secret Pond at 10:15 am with my 12 year-old grandson Geovanni. We won’t be fishing alone this morning. One truck is parked on the side of the road, and another one pulls in with two people as we start hauling in our equipment. We chat with two guys who are coming off the water as we reach the launch site. They tell us that the trout are actively biting below the surface on the other side of the pond. The plan is for G and I to fish in separate boats: he’ll take the inflatable fishing raft and I’ll take the canoe. We soon paddle off. Based on the intel just received, I fish on the opposite side of the pond using a wooly bugger. I see no rises or flies, but get no bites either. Meanwhile, the two other people have joined us and they soon start catching trout. Sh*t, they’re on to something! It soon occurs to me that they’re dry flying to rises! The local mayfly population is stirring under the warm sunshine and the adult flies have started to emerge. I switch over to a mayfly pattern but cannot generate any interest even though the trout are now rising everywhere. NOTHING is more frustrating than dry flying when (a) the fish are rising, (b) the dudes next to you are catching one fish after another, (c) you can’t figure out which fly the trout are after, and (d) you’re fumbling with tying knots trying to go quick. Sounds familiar?

 

G’s very first brookie caught on a dry fly. He’ll remember this one fish for the rest of his life!

 

I go through half a dozen fly patterns over the next 1.5 hours and have yet to generate a single strike. I’ve been slowly drifting around and I’m now casting a mosquito fly. I suddenly get a hit and immediately set the hook. YES, FINALLY! Oh, and it’s a nice fish too… The brute stays low and takes several strong runs. I tire it out and slowly guide it to my waiting net when the hook suddenly goes POP and the fish instantly vanishes. Are you freakin’ kidding me…? This is personal now. I vow to stay until I catch a trout, no matter how long it may take! I finally do so about 30 minutes later when I hook and land a 14″ brookie. Meanwhile, the sun has disappeared behind threatening clouds, the rises have greatly diminished, and G is ready to move on. I tie his raft to my canoe and slowly start paddling back. We are suddenly surrounded by multiple rises in response to a local hatch. G casts out his fly as best he can (he’s very much a beginner) and soon gets a hit and a hook-up. He’s as excited as I’ve ever seen him after he lands a brookie because it’s the first one he’s ever caught on a dry fly! Soon, we have to move on because the hatch stops and it starts raining. I smile contently. Life is good after all.

 

Fishing on Secret Pond is a real treat!

 

The results: I landed one 14″ brook trout and G caught one 12″ brook trout in four long hours of slow 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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