Fishing for landlocked Atlantic salmon and smallmouth bass on West Grand Lake, T6 ND BPP, Washington County, Maine (October 3, 2021)

 

What a sight to behold!

 

West Grand Lake is a 15,920-acre body of water located in township T6 ND BPP in Washington County, Maine (see The Atlas and Gazetteer map 35 B3). Public access is via two boat launches located at the village of Grand Lake Stream by the outlet of the lake. I cannot describe the lay-out of those launches because I accessed the lake from elsewhere in the watershed.

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Fishing for landlocked Atlantic salmon on Pierce Pond in Pierce Pond Township, Somerset County, Maine (May 28, 2021)

 

Cabin life at Pierce Pond. The way life should be!

 

I’m on my annual extended Memorial Day weekend fishing pilgrimage to Pierce Pond located in Somerset County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). Click here for a more detailed description of this water body. Six of us have gathered to spend a week together at Cobb’s Camp to recharge our internal batteries, reconnect with each other, fish our hearts out, and make life-long memories.

 

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Fishing for landlocked Atlantic salmon and brook trout in Pierce Pond, Pierce Pond Township, Somerset County, Maine (May 2, 2021)

 

Cobb’s Camp, my base of operation for the weekend.

 

Pierce Pond is a 1650-acre protected gem located in Pierce Pond Township, Somerset County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). I have visited this beautiful three-basin lake (Lower Pond, Middle Pond, and Upper Pond) annually for well over 20 years during the long Memorial Day weekend at the end of May. The goal, always, is to catch landlocked Atlantic salmon and brook trout on dry flies during the spectacular mayfly hatches that peak during that period. This year, I wanted to mix things up a bit by fishing on opening day, which on this lake is May 1. I made prior arrangements with Cobb’s Camp to stay in one of their cozy cabins for two nights and spare me the hassle of having to haul out and set up my camping gear.

 

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Fishing for landlocked Atlantic salmon on Pierce Pond, Somerset County, Maine (May 25, 2020)

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I’m on my annual extended Memorial Day weekend fishing pilgrimage to Pierce Pond located in Somerset County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). Click here for a more detailed description of this water body. My son, nephew, and I are spending five days camping rough on one of the island camp sites on Upper Pond owned and operated by Cobbs Camp. Unfortunately, we won’t be staying at the Cobbs cabins on Lower Pond this year on account of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Catching landlocked Atlantic salmon on the dry fly is such a blast!

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Fishing for landlocked Atlantic salmon on Long Lake, Naples, Maine (May 3, 2020)

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The sign for the boat launch in downtown Naples off Route 302. Beware that this access is reserved for Naples residents.

 

Long Lake is a 4,867-acre body of water located in the towns of Naples, Bridgton, and Harisson in Cumberland County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 A5). I access the lake this morning via the Naples town beach and boat launch at Kent’s Landing in downtown Naples, right off Route 302. It’s only after I take a picture of the sign by Route 302 and read its fine print that I realize this access is in fact not public but available for use only by “Naples residents and taxpayers”… No one was checking when I arrived at 5:15 this morning and the entrance isn’t gated, so I don’t know how vigorously this rule is enforced during normal operating hours. Two other boat launches are available at Plummer Landing in Bridgton off Route 302, and at the northern tip of the lake off Route 35 in Harrison. The launch at Kent’s Landing in Naples is spacious and improved, and provides ample parking, plus bathroom facilities.

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Fishing for landlocked Atlantic salmon on Pierce Pond, Somerset County, Maine (May 26, 2019)

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A quiet moment of reflection at the camp site located in the upper basin of Pierce Pond

I’m on my annual extended Memorial Day weekend fishing bonanza to Pierce Pond, located in the undeveloped wilds of western Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). We stay for several days at a camp site on one of the islands in the upper basin of the pond, but head to Cobb’s Camps located in the lower basin across from Lindsey Cove to let ourselves be pampered for four days.

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Fishing for landlocked Atlantic salmon on Pierce Pond in Somerset County, Maine (May 28, 2018)

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It’s the long Memorial Day weekend of 2018 and that means that I’m on my annual pilgrimage to gorgeous Pierce Pond in Somerset County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). This huge “pond” is divided into three major basins (i.e., Upper Pond, Middle Pond and Lower Pond) which together cover a total of 1,650 acres. I’m fishing for four days in this special place with my sons Joel and Jon, and nephew Salvy. We’re renting a cozy log cabin at Cobb’s Camp in Lower Pond which affords us access to an indoor toilet, a hot shower, and cooked meals off the grid in the middle of nowhere! Pierce Pond is a totally pristine and unspoiled environment. The lake is completely surrounded by forests in a protected watershed. These conditions maintain the exceptional surface water quality which supports a robust and self-sustaining native brook trout population and a healthy population of stocked landlocked Atlantic salmon. The latter range in weight from 2 to 4 pounds. General fishing laws apply, except that (a) the pond is closed to ice fishing, (b) the pond opens to fishing on May 1 (but beware that ice-out can occur well past May 1 after a cold winter), (c) only artificial lures are allowed, (d) the daily bag limit for brook trout is two fish, and (e) the minimum length limit for brook trout is 10”, with only one fish allowed to exceed 12”. Click here for a depth map and click here for the fishing rules.

 

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Fishing for landlocked Atlantic salmon on Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine (May 12, 2018)

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A gorgeous view of Jordan Pond from the boat launch

Jordan Pond covers 187 acres and is located inside Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island (MDI) in Hancock County, Maine (see The Atlas and Gazetteer map 16 C3). The pond is situated off the Park Loop Road. A huge parking lot with a clean bathroom is located at the southern tip of the pond to accommodate the many visitors who come to this spot to hike the multiple trails that criss-cross the area. Access to the pond is via a rough unimproved boat launch. Be aware that you’ll need a pass to legally park your car anywhere inside the Park. The pass can be purchased on-line or at the visitor center on MDI.

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Ice fishing for landlocked Atlantic salmon on Bear Pond in Waterford, Maine (January 8, 2017)

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Bear Mountain looms large over Bear Pond. Route 35 runs along the base of this mountain.

Bear Pond covers 218 acres and is located in Waterford, Oxford County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 10 E4). The pond sits right next to Route 35 (Waterford Road) in the shadow of Bear Mountain. Access to the ice is from the boat launch off Route 35. The area in front of the launch is nicely plowed and can easily accommodate half a dozen vehicles. Anglers can also gain access to the ice with their vehicles from the launch. This pond has several advantages: (a) it is easily accessible from the road, (b) the fishing is good around the launch area and does not require walking out too far on the ice, and (c) it was stocked last fall with three different salmonid species, namely landlocked Atlantic salmon, splake, and brook trout. My plan is to target all three species. The salmon are pelagic creature which prefer to chase smelt, their main food item, over deeper water. Splake are a cross between brook trout and lake trout, and show behavioral characteristics of both, i.e., they feed both over deeper water and in shallower areas. Brook trout prefer shoreline areas.

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Brook trout and landlocked Atlantic salmon fishing on Pierce Pond, Pierce Pond Township, Maine (May 30, 2017)

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This little landlocked salmon jumped four times out of the water. What a treat!

Today is, most unfortunately, the last day of fishing on Pierce Pond in Somerset County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2) for Joel, Salvy and I before we have to leave this slice of heaven and return back home to face Life. Joel already spent 11 consecutive days on the pond before today and has discovered an intriguing pattern. The cool weather and lack of sunny days over the last week and a half has kept the surface water temperature below normal for this time of the year. The mayfly hatches have been sporadic and inconsistent at best and the fish have not focused on this seasonal food source yet. However, the cool surface water temps have allowed the salmonids to feed extensively in shallow water in search of bait fish and other bug life. Through much trial and error Joel figured out that, based on the unusual prevailing conditions, select rock piles in shallow areas of Pierce Pond (and the pond is full of those piles!) are serving as magnets for prey items and the salmonids that feed on them.

 

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