Big Woods Brookies

Maine's mountain ponds are home to the best brook brout fishing in the East.

Outdoor Life Online Editor

I tried to keep my balance in the canoe. I was executing a difficult maneuver: handing my camera to Sgt. Roger Guay of the Maine Game Warden Service while holding onto a brook trout and avoiding licks to the face from the happy Lab standing between us. Despite the warm air temperature, I knew this Maine pond was full of cold water. Getting wet did not seem like a good idea.

"I don't know why you want a picture of that fish," Guay said. "There are a lot bigger ones on the other side of the pond." Maybe so, but this 10-inch brookie was a personal best by several inches. My home waters for brook trout are in Virginia, where a palm-sized fish warrants a newspaper write-up.

The pond in Maine promised to send me into trout nirvana as I hooked fish after fish. I figured if I was going to achieve total fishing enlightenment, I'd better document the ride. I continued casting, hooking a trout every few minutes with a size 14 Muddler Minnow. As Guay paddled us across the pond, the fish got bigger, just as he said they would. The camera shutter kept snapping, and my smile grew in size with the brookies.

The ponds that surround Greenville, Maine, are too numerous to list. Before you go, study the regulations guide as though you were expecting a pop quiz in Sunday school. Each pond has its own rules, ranging from fly-only to barbless hooks, and the one thing that could ruin a day of pond-hopping is a ticket from Sgt. Guay or one of his compadres.

Guay, a Greenville local and an excellent angler, recommends fishing heavily around the source of the pond, usually a spring or small stream. Otherwise, cast to shoreline structure such as rocks or downed trees.