Fishing for rainbow trout on Little Pond in Wells, York County, Maine (October 9, 2021)


The launch is spacious and unimproved but can readily accommodate small trailered boats. Keep in mind that engines over six horse power are not allowed on this pond.


Little Pond (a.k.a Ell or L Pond) is an 32-acre body of water located in Wells, York County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 2 D4). The public access point is found at the very end of Ell Pond Road (off Horace Mills Road) down a short (200 ft.) drivable dirt road. The launch is unimproved but spacious, and can accommodate small trailered boats. Plenty of parking is available along the sides of the access point. Keep in mind that boats with engines above six horsepower are not allowed on this pond.


This little guy fell for a small streamer fly trolled right below the surface.


Little Pond supports a well-known rainbow trout fishery in southern Maine. Even though the pond is small, it has a surprising maximum depth of 51 ft.! The state stocks it with rainbow trout every fall to sustain a robust population year over year. The fall 2021 stocking occurred five days prior to my trip and consisted of 300 13-inch trout. That effort yields a respectable stocking density of a little under 10 bows per acre, which definitely gets my attention! The shoreline is fully developed along the eastern side but lacks any houses along the western side. The pond consists of two lobes, with the larger lobe containing the deepest water located within spitting distance from the launch. General fishing laws apply, except: (a) the pond is closed to ice fishing, (b) use or possession of live bait fish is prohibited (dead bait fish, preserved salmon eggs, and worms can be used), (c) the pond is closed to all fishing from December 1 to March 31, (d) no size or bag limit on bass, and (e) open to open-water fishing from October 1 to November 30 using artificial lures only and all salmonids must be released at once. Click here for additional rules. Click here for a depth map and more (but outdated…) fisheries information.


This one fell for a #2 Mepps right below the surface in the same general area of the rises.


I arrive at the Little Pond access point at 6:15 am and paddle off ten minutes later in my canoe. Sunrise is at 6:55 am and I like to start fishing at the crack of dawn, when possible. The weather forecast calls for partly cloudy skies, little or no wind (always a plus when canoeing!), and temps in the high 50’s to low-60’s. The surface water temperature clocks in at 64°F. I operate with two rods: one rod uses lead core line and three small, one-hook, multi-colored streamer flies tied back to back, and a second one (my ultralight rod) fishes with a small bronze-colored Acme Phoebe spoon kept a couple of feet below the surface with three large split shots. I crisscross both rods between my legs to allow for efficient paddling. My strategy this morning is to troll around the deep hole in front of the launch with the lead core line placed two and a half colors ( ̴ 15-18 ft.) down. I paddle around and around for 45 minutes without getting a single hit. Mmm, that’s not a good sign. I start seeing occasional tentative rises in a small area in front of the launch as the light levels increase. I keep a close watch on those rises; they are becoming more numerous over time and it occurs to me that I ought to troll right through that target area with the lead core placed half a color down ( ̴ 3 ft.). I do so and finally hook a 13-inch bow on one of the streamer flies ten minutes later. Yes, that’s a great feeling!


And this nice 16 incher was caught trolling along the edge of the deep hole.


I continue trolling through the rises, but they soon stop, presumably because of my disturbance. Crap, I scared the fish away and need to be more subtle. I reel in my lures, quietly anchor the boat, remove the split shots from my ultralight, and replace the Phoebe spoon with a #2 bronze Mepps spinner. I wait quietly, and soon enough the fish re-emerge to feed on the surface again (I can’t tell what they’re going after…). I carefully start casting my spinner towards the rises. The offerings are mostly ignored, but over the next 45 minutes, my efforts yield three hits, two hook-ups and one 13-inch rainbow trout in the canoe. I love this kind of fishing! However, the rises diminish as the sun keeps on rising in the sky and then come to an end, and I have to change strategy again. I replace the Mepps spinner with a small 1/10 ounce Acme Thunderbolt spoon kept below the surface with three split shots, and paddle along the shallower edges of the deep hole. I get a tremendous hit 20 minutes later and have a tenacious fight with an angry 16-inch bow on my ultralight. What a blast! This fish is clearly a hold-over from last-year’s stocking. I’ve been at it for over three hours now and decide to call it good. The fishing this morning was not straightforward, but staying flexible and applying different approaches and lures made for a successful morning. Having the pond all to myself was an nice added bonus, as were the changing leaf colors. Life is good indeed and I leave a satisfied angler.


The humble 1 and a 1/4 inch Acme Thunderbolt spoon is a proven trout slayer. Its small compact size makes it such a successful trolling lure for me.


The results: I caught three rainbow trout (largest = 16 inches) in 3.5 hours of 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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