Had a great trip to Echo Lake in the Mount Vernon area of Maine past spring. Although the weather was mild it played a major part in the adventure, trying to locate some of the stocked trout that the lake is known for.
Echo Lake north end is one of the best stocked by the state as well as a drive-to destination. This makes it the perfect place for those with families looking for a short trip north of Augusta Maine to find trout. Just over twenty five minute drive north west of Augusta. You can easily use Google Maps for directions but head west on 202 toward Manchester and turn right onto 17 north toward Readfield. Then another right onto 41 north toward Mount Vernon. The newly constructed bridge has perfect access for kids and there also a boat ramp and bathrooms. Echo Lake is pristine clean and little traffic to get away with the family and friends.
Echo Lake is large: 1185 acres in size, the maximum depth is 117 feet. The lake was surveyed by the state in August of 1940, and revised in the years of 1963, 1977, and 2000. The lake is very scenic body of water in central Maine. Its deep, clean water provides a safe breading grounds for cold water fish. Hampered by competition by numerous warm-water fish, cold-water fisheries are considered okay. Echo lake is one of the few central Maine lakes with a natural reproduction of togue(Lake trout) population. State does a small annual number of togue to maintain the fishery. Adventure seekers can plan on targeting, Togue, Brook Trout, Splake, Smallmouth bass, Largemouth bass, Chain Pickerel, White perch, and Cusk.
Landlock salmon were stocked for many years, but they didn’t take hold, so the state stopped stock salmon there.
The state in efforts to try to provide a more fishing options, an experimental stocking of splake and brook trout. Brook trout provide lots of fish to catch while the splake are hope to winter and “hold-over” and produce larger older fish for anglers.
Echo lakes rocky shoreline are an excellent place for smallmouth bass to live. Only one problem is the tapeworm parasite, common to Maine waters, which slows down the growth of the fish and reproduction.
The north end in Mount Vernon by the chimney is a very popular place to dip for smelts in the early spring. The inlet is closed to dipping by anglers dip in boats anchor in the mouth of the inlet. This helps the smelts spawning by limiting the pressure entering the stream.
Has great access with boat launch and ample parking, on the north shore in West Mount Vernon off state Route #41.
State of Maine provides provides a stock report every year. Go to Inland Fisheries and Wildlife under the fishing section to get there stocking report in a pdf to check when and where the trout are release to increase your odds of catching fish.
Arriving at Echo Lake in spring around early or late May. The fish are up in the fast water feeding on smelts and whatever else comes over the dam. The trout love the oxygen enriched water and the rocks for structure to hide behind to get out of the current. The rocks act as a hydro cushion for trout to help to get out of the current and rest. The trout can hang either behind or in front of these rocks. Water temperature is also a key to catch fish. Too warm and trout are heading into deeper water. Too cold and they are sluggish. Sixty to sixty-five is ideal.
Throwing olive green wooly’s leech patterns in the fast water was very productive. Can use both intermediate lines and full sinking fly lines, keep the fly down stairs where 95 percent of the trout diet lives.
Because Echo Lake is extremely clear. Consequently a good choice for leader and tippet material is critical. Must be heavy enough to handle big strong fish, yet light enough to avoid spooking skittish trout. You can try a 9-foot sinking leader with 8-12 lb. monofilament tippet. In using the the mono was effective, with multiple brook trout and different sizes.
There are many anglers that fish this inlet so there is a lot of hooks lost and line in this body of water. Just look at the power lines over head and you will see an assortment of hooks hanging there. So this means a lot of snag ups from lost lines. So that is where the stronger leader comes in handy to so you don’t loose your fly’s as easy do to all the hookups.
Echo Lake offers multi species to explore. With togue, brookies, splake and night fishing for cusk. The ice fisherman love to fish this body day and night.