Maine Back Woods Trout Ponds - Part 3

Posted by Christopher Paine on

The Hatch


The most common type of hatch on most Maine trout ponds are the Green Drake, Hexagenia limbata. The hatch occurs in the last few days of June and into mid-July, and it produces some great fishing stories and action of the season. Adult Green Drake can grow up to three inches in length and are best imitated by large body patterns, with large upright wings. The green drake is a very visible hatch and trout are eager to eat them. Most trout fishermen have gotten spoiled because trout aggressively search for them and fairly easy hatch to fish. In a nutshell, all you have to do is look for a rise or something hitting the surface, cast your huge fly out there and wait. One issue with fishing at night is that the cream-colored duns don’t start hatching in any numbers until the sun starts to set. The good fishing usually occurs just after dark, though. Toward the end of the hatch, when there are lots of flies on the water, trout seem to become less interested in adult flies. You can still catch big fish in the low light by using an attractive yellow Hex. Let it sink a few feet below the surface and then work it slowly.

Come August, water temps in most Maine trout ponds has risen too high levels. The trout seeks out spring holes and cold water to survive from the warming waters. So from August through to November, I use intermediate lines and big flies like a #4 Grey Ghost is my goto fly for all the trout and salmon to. In the warmer summer months trout are hard to locate and harder to reach in the larger lakes as the thermal column changes deeper. Veteran fly fisherman focus on shallower ponds and search out the spring holes to find trout. If you new to fly fishing trying to locate these spring holes and hotspots can be frustrating. Hiring a guide can be your best options. One that knows the area and where the fish love to hide. Or staying at one of the popular sporting camps which has their own guides can give your reliable information about where to get started.

Located 25 miles south of the Canadian border is a large block of public land Deboullie Preserve. This preserve contains twenty trout ponds within a ten mile radius. Because of the northern latitude and fairly higher elevation, ideal place during midsummer because water is is not as warm and trout are more active in the lower temperatures. There is a camp up there to check out the Red River Camps. Denny, Upper, Island, and Stink Ponds are all fly fishing only (FFO), hold trophy size trout and easy to reach. Big Black, the Little Blacks and North Pond are not as easy to reach so not as much fishing pressure, which in turn offers better fishing. Use Zug-Bugs, Tellico Nymphs, Woolly Buggers and the Warden’s Worry fishing on sinking or intermediate line will get you tight lines during the summer months.

Come the end of the normal season the water will cool, fish will want to fatten up for the long winter and of course they can tolerate the cooling water. Come fall trout will go into spawning mode, trout become very aggressive and will grab bright flies like the Pink Lady, Mickey Finn or Light Edson Tiger fished with a fast, erratic retrieve.  You can end most seasons either searching for five pound brookie in inlets of large water like at Allagash or Chamberlain Lake, or fishing one of the dozens of ponds in the Jackman area.

Heading North

Most of the remote trout ponds that dot Maine are located on private lands well outside the public parks and preserves. Many acres of private land is controlled by private timer companies or land management groups like North Maine Woods(NMW). Fishermen are welcome to use the private lands, but be aware that the forest is a working forest, managed for timber harvesting. For safety reasons, no bicycles, motorcycles, ATVs, or oversized vehicles are allowed into those foresting areas. Twenty gates are maintained at locations throughout the state for day-use and overnight camping fees do apply. I do run into a lot of people unprepared for the northern woods. You should striking out on the logging road carry a floor jack, can of fix a flat, spare tires, lug wrench, tire plug kit, and a compressor. I have had two flat tires on one side of my care at the same time because meet a logging truck on a narrow bridge I hit a nail. Back on the road in a matter of minutes. Common sense and being prepared goes a long way up north. Be safe and I hope you have enjoyed this article!





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