Fishing for brook trout in North Otter Pond in Bowtown Township, Somerset County, Maine (May 28, 2021)

 

View of North Otter Pond from the public access point

 

North Otter Pond covers 71 acres and is located in Bowtown Township in Somerset County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). This pond can be reached as follows: from North New Portland (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 E2), drive north on Long Falls Dam Road for about 23 miles and turn right on Carrying Place Road at the sign for Cobb’s Camps. Drive down this gravel road for 10.1 miles until the Yield traffic sign and turn left on Bowtown Road (note: Google Maps calls this road “Otter Pond Road”). Pass Harrison Camp on the left, cross Pierce Pond Stream and drive for another 3 miles or so. Turn left on a short dirt road which dead-ends in the woods. The pond and its unofficial public access point are visible through the trees. Both Carrying Place Road and Bowtown Road are gravel logging roads which are drivable by regular cars but can be rough during mud season in early spring. It took us about one hour to cover the 15 miles or so from the turn-off on Long Falls Dam Road to the pond. Hence, this pond is reachable by car even though it is rather remote. A boat launch is not available and only hand-carried craft can be placed in the water from the rough access point at the southern tip of the pond.

 

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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 smallmouth bass on the Kennebec River in Fairfield, Somerset County, Maine (August 24, 2019)

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The blue boat launch sign in front of Shawmut dam. The open yellow gate is visible in the background to the right.

 

I want to check out the smallmouth bass fishing on the Kennebec River in the shadow of the Shawmut Dam located in Fairfield, Somerset County, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 21 D3). To reach this spot, drive north out of Fairfield on Route 201 (Skowhegan Road) and turn right on Kennebec Street in Shawmut. Drive all the way down towards the dam and power station located across the railroad tracks. A blue boat-launch sign will direct you to the right through an open yellow gate towards the water. Only canoes and kayaks can be launched from this location due to the shallow water and strong current.

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Fishing for smallmouth bass on the Kennebec River in Skowhegan, Maine (July 27, 2019)

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The public boat launch on the Kennebec River downstream of Skowhegan is located off Route 2 right next to the Kennebec Banks Rest Area

 

I continue my investigation of the smallmouth bass fishery on the Kennebec River (click here, here, here, and here for other locations) by targeting the area below the two hydroelectric power dams that girdle the island located in the middle of the river in downtown Skowhegan, Somerset County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 80 B1 [Skowhegan]). An overview of the general area via Google Maps prior to my departure indicates that the river between these two dams and the Great Eddy located about 1 mile further downstream has several swift sections which look to be too shallow for use with a motor boat. So, I’ll bring my canoe instead. A more focused look via Google Maps of the river flowing right below the two dams shows what appear to be flat rocky ledges along both shorelines, some of which look accessible from the river-facing section of Water Street (i.e., Patten Court).

 

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Fishing for brook trout on Dixon Pond in Pierce Pond Township, Somerset County, Maine (May 28, 2019)

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Pierce Pond Mountain plunges into Dixon Pond.

 

Dixon Pond is a picturesque 17-acre body of water located within the Pierce Pond Township in Somerset County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A1). It is sandwiched between Dixon Mountain and the eastern flank of mighty Pierce Pond Mountain. I access this pond via a poorly-marked 1-mile trail that starts at the water’s edge in the narrows separating lower from middle Pierce Pond. However, the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer shows that Dixon Pond can also be reached via a rough 2.5 to 3 mile logging road off Cobb’s Camp Road starting at Lindsey Cove in lower Pierce Pond. I haven’t used the latter and can’t tell how easy it would be to find the pond from that direction. What I can say is that the 1-mile trail I used on my expedition today was a total clusterf*ck on account of extensive clear-cutting in that part of the woods in the recent past, plus significant tree blow-downs during last winter’s storms. A half-hour stroll through the forest became a one hour ordeal of carefully working my way through mud pools, deep skitter gullies, fallen trees, root balls, and other obstacles, without getting lost along the way.

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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 brown trout on the Kennebec River in Madison, Maine (June 16, 2018)

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A pretty view of the section of the Kennebec River I’m fishing today. The boat launch on the opposite bank is just visible at the top of the picture

The Kennebec River flowing through downtown Madison and Anson in Somerset County (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 20 B4) is held back by the Anson and Abnaki dams, before it becomes free-flowing again. It is the free-flowing stretch of the river below the most downstream of these two dams (i.e., the Abenaki Dam) which is the focus of my attention this afternoon. I access the Madison side of the river by driving north on Route 201A into Madison. About half a mile before reaching downtown, I turn left unto Father Rasle Road, cross the unused railroad tracks, and park my car on the sandy shoulder. The river is flowing to my right down a steep slope. My goal is to drop down to the river, wade upstream, and fish for about half a mile up to the hydroelectric dam.

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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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