I was asked recently which ponds were my top selections for Maine trout ponds. With over 500 lakes and ponds in the North Maine Woods, there are certainly a lot of places to fish and over the past 30 years I have had the good fortune to try many of them. And in the past I have been very cautious about revealing those special places in the North Maine Woods, but with a 10 year trend towards decreasing use, I feel that over-fishing these ponds is no longer a threat. Plus our fisheries biologists have adopted special regulations to protect these waters from over exploitation.
So here they are, a list of what I feel are the top remote, native brook trout ponds in the North Maine Woods region: Little Pleasant Pond, Big Fall Brook Lake, Coffeelos Pond, Wadleigh Pond, Ferguson Pond, Allagash Lake and most ponds in T15R9 including Denny Pond and Big Black Pond. Special regulations are in effect for each water- so be sure to check the rule book before venturing forth. The first of July usually is prime time for the green drake hatch and larger fish in these waters become as aggressive then more than any other time of the season. There are many other lesser know waters that have good trout populations, but many are small and sensitive to too much angler pressure. These are the places fishermen will have to find on their own.
As for lake trout, these are my personal preferences: Clear Lake, Spider Lake, Eagle Lake, Chamberlain Lake, Churchill Lake, Ross Lake, Crescent Pond, Togue Pond, and 1st and 2nd Musquacook Lakes. Water on surface should have warmed enough by July to send lake trout down so finding the right depth comes with experimentation and time. Again, special regulations apply so be sure to understand the regulations. I hope you enjoy the month of July in the Maine woods- it is great month to be outdoors with family and friends. – Al has been the executive director at North Maine Woods for over 20 years and for the past 10 years he has been writing this column to keep sportsmen informed about what is happening in the NMWs. If you have questions or suggestions for future columns, please contact him at P.O. Box 425, Ashland, ME 04732 or via email at email@example.com.