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Old 09-29-2018, 07:35 PM   #1
beartooth91
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Out of State Fishing Report - Rangeley, ME Brook Trout Ponds 9-24 - 9-27-18

I finally made another fishing trip.....my first since early June.....and my first to Maine. I'd been researching the area since last year and selected a few area Brook Trout ponds.

Arrived in Rumford on Sunday afternoon around 1:30 pm. After checking into the motel, I made the 40 minute drive to Spencer Pond, located just south of the Swift River/Rangeley Lake divide. This is a FFO pond with a 1 or 2 fish limit (I believe there is a minimum size length as well). The pond is about 0.6 miles up a trail which takes off ME 17. This was my first carry with the Hornbeck and immediately noticed the canoe was tilting forward during the hike in....not a good situation when hiking up a moderately steep trail. It was close to 3:30 by the time I arrived. I opted to get to know the canoe instead of fishing, so paddled around the pond for about an hour. The second thing I found out was my wading flat boots were too short resulting in wet feet getting into and out of the canoe. This practice run went without incident.

Next morning (Monday), I hiked back into Spencer. This time, I moved everything in my daypack's top pocket into the main pack in an effort to resolve the boat tipping forward. That made no difference and I had to resort to holding the front of the boat up with one hand while hiking. The problem is the top of the daypack's HDPE framesheet is hitting the trailing edge of the carrying yoke, causing the boat to tip forward. Loosening the shoulder stabilizer straps provides limited improvement. I also found a workaround for the wet feet: I took my ultralight waders and some oversize Teva sandals I'd bought years ago for wading. This worked perfectly (and I still wore the PFD). I fished for several hours, catching two Brook Trout. The first one was about 13 inches long and a bit skinny.
The second was a small hen about 11 inches along. I missed at least 6-7 strikes. One difference between trolling in a canoe vs. a float tube is you're not holding the rod, so, there's about a 1-2 second delay in your hook set while you drop the paddle and pick up the rod. The other issue I found was even a small breeze blows the stern of the boat around making it difficult to cast and fish in one direction. I left between 3:30 and 4 pm and headed back to Rumford.

Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday were forecasted to be rainy. Tuesday morning, I made the drive from Rumford, past Weld, to Beal Pond.
This is another FFO pond with a one or two fish limit and its drive-to. I fished for about 3 hours.....didn't even see a fish.....though the iBobber did show fish. About 1 pm, the rain started and I concluded that day.

On Wednesday, I awoke to rain. I spent the morning looking for a possible Friday fishing destination on the way home...south or southeast of Rumford. I found two potential candidates - Mosquito Pond and Broken Bridge Pond. The latter had been reclaimed in 2014, so I figured it needed a few more years. I found the road into Mosquito, but turned back as there are a couple of spots where the road is beginning to wash out. I then drove up to Rangeley, stopping at the scenic outlook on ME-17 to take this shot of Rangeley Lake:

I then proceeded through Rangeley....with significant delays in all the road construction. I made the turn onto Dallas Hill Road looking for the trail into Rock Pond at the Saddleback Ski resort, but, turned back when faced with more road construction. Rock and Midway Ponds will have to wait for a future trip.
Thursday morning I awoke to clear skies and made yet another drive north on ME-17, turning off on the (unlabeled) Falls Road. The destination was Swift River Pond. The final road into the lake deteriorates into a two-track and a local cabin owner advised me not to drive it. It was good advice. The final part of the road - going into the pond - is not shown on any map. This is a very boggy area and the two-track had several places with lots of standing water. Its a little over 3/4 mile hike in and I hit the pond just after 9am.

Because of my issues with carrying of the canoe; I took my float tube. This pond is essentially......a bog. It is shallow and rocky with a dark tea-stain. I spent the first 15 minutes or so - after getting in the water - looking for snappers......something that will always be with me whenever going into a new pond in a float tube. I gave it a go, but, 30 minutes of fishing yielded hang ups and/or aquatic vegetation on every cast. Around 10:30 am, I got out, packed up, and hiked out.
I managed to salvage the day, by proceeding up ME-17 a few miles and making yet another trek into Spencer Pond. This time, I took the tube....partially because I was in a hurry and didn't want to transfer a gear; but also partly because I wanted to make a valid comparison between angling out of the canoe vs. float tube. I hit the pond a little after noon, had some lunch, rigged up, and got into the water at 12:30 pm. I fished for 3-1/2 hours, catching two fish. The first was a gorgeous, well-built male of 16-17 inches. The pic below doesn't due him justice (you get a better look on my Youtube video). I could barely get my hand around him.

Later on, I caught a smaller Brookie of about 10 inches. The entire afternoon I had probably 25-30 strikes, but only 2 hookups. So much for the float tube direct rod connection theory. At 4 pm, I got out, packed up and headed out.

So that's the report. Video is on my Youtube page....https://youtu.be/onZtm00jDoA

One more round of vacation starting next weekend, running through 10-16-18 for my fall ADK Brookie bonanza......

Last edited by beartooth91; 09-29-2018 at 08:39 PM.. Reason: Continuing the post
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Old 10-02-2018, 01:28 PM   #2
Creekwader
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nice trip, thanks for posting. Successful patterns?
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Old 10-02-2018, 07:59 PM   #3
beartooth91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creekwader View Post
nice trip, thanks for posting. Successful patterns?
Split evenly between a maroon mini-leech (sz12) and a sz14 Denny's Olive Peacock Callibaetis Nymph, thank you for reminding me.
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