Fishing for brook trout on Shadow Pond in Greenville, Piscataquis County, Maine (May 16, 2021)

Shadow Pond is an 18-acre body of water located in Greenville, Piscataquis County, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer Map 41 D2). The public access point is off Rockwood Road (Route 6/15) which runs right along the northern tip of the pond. Only hand-carried craft can be launched from this location.

 

 

View of Shadow Pond from the public access point next to Rockwood Road. This picture was taken the morning after I fished this location.

 

 

Shadow Pond is a surprisingly deep pond given its small size. A wide railroad berm with active tracks runs along the entire eastern shore of the pond. That makes me think that this location may originally have been a small embayment of West Cove on mighty Moosehead Lake which was sealed off when the railroad line was built over a century ago. The pond lacks an inlet but is fed by springs, giving it crystal-clear waters. Only one house is visible along the shore. The western shoreline provides, by far, the more interesting trout habitat, consisting of dozens and dozens of sunken branches and tree trunks that have fallen in the water over the decades. Only the northern and southern tips of the pond contain relatively shallow water. Don’t expect a “wilderness” feel here: besides the railroad line and nearby Rockwood Road, an active seaplane take-off and landing area is located right across the tracks in West Cove, generating constant airplane noise. The state stocks the pond each spring with around 350 ten-inch brook trout. The cold oxygenated depths allow some of those fish to survive year-over-year and grow to larger sizes. Spring fishing takes place under the general fishing laws (e.g., all legal tackle is allowed) but with a bag limit of two trout. The pond has a maximum and mean depth of 38 ft. and 21 ft., respectively. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

View of Shadow Pond looking north after the wind has died down. The railroad berm is on the right.

 

I arrive at Shadow Pond in early evening with my 12 year-old grandson Geovanni. We’ve been pestered by wind and thunderstorms the whole afternoon but things have finally quieted down enough to resume our favorite activity. G decides that he wants to skip fishing and instead focus on collecting what he calls “beaver wood” (i.e., pieces of wood chewed by beavers) which litter the shoreline. That’s perfectly fine with me. I leave him be and take off in my canoe. I see no flies or any rises on the surface. A persistent breeze continues blowing out of the northeast. So, I decide to explore the pond by trolling along its shoreline using my ultralight spinning rod tied to a 2-inch gold-colored ACME Phoebe spoon placed 1-2 ft. below the surface using a large split shot placed 4 ft. from the lure. I’m definitely impressed by the clarity of the water and the nice trout-holding habitat along the western shoreline, but less impressed by the more sterile habitat present along the steep railroad track berm.

 

A 10-inch brookie is all I have to show for all my fishing efforts this evening…

 

I’ve slowly paddled my way around Shadow Pond twice and have yet to get a hit. That is not a good sign. I stop trolling and instead use a #2 Mepps spinner to systematically probe the western shoreline. I do eventually catch a small 10-inch brookie but I’m underwhelmed… The sun is slowly setting and the persistent breeze is finally dying down. I observe a few tentative rises at the southern tip of the pond which compel me to try my luck over there with dry flying. I get to the desired area, gently lower my anchor, and start casting out a small mayfly pattern. Thirty minutes of patient waiting fails to yield any strikes. Besides, I only see two rises around the canoe during this entire period. The fish are clearly not actively feeding higher up in the water column this evening. The spell is definitely broken when a very long freight train passes right by me, incessantly blasting its obnoxiously-loud horn all the way through. I call it good.

The results: I landed one 10 inch brookie in two hours of frustrating 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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