Fishing around in Franklin County

Author Anonymous

A little fishing and a short hike

When I left the house the other day I had different plans than what actually played out by the end of the day. The thought was to explore the area near Madawaska Pond. The pond rests fully on state land, but the best access is to drive through the Conifer Easement. Upon reaching the access road I soon realized that this would not be a possibility. The road was closed to traffic due to active logging in the area and it was not apparent that it would be open anytime soon.

It was time for a quick change of plans -- map exploring was at hand. This brought me to a few different locations throughout the region, which included a bit of fishing at four roadside locations and a nice short hike to stretch the legs.

Deer River north access

Deer River

After that first little hiccup in plans I ended up at the Deer River access site. It was a good thing I had fishing poles in the car. This access to the Deer River Flow has a nice shiny DEC logo on it.

The access point was actually quite busy, with two people launching kayaks and a retired gentleman (according to his bumper sticker that read, "You can take this job and shove it.") launching an aluminum canoe with a trolling motor. There were also about a half-dozen others dotting the southern portion of the access as they did a bit of shore fishing.

I was relegated to the north side of Cold Brook Road, which apparently isn't the place to be. I wasn't expecting too much out of my time here, but I hung around for a bit hoping the other fisherman would wander off. As you can imagine I didn't have much luck, but I did manage to catch a nice-sized panfish on a black-and-white artificial worm.

Debar Mountain over Clear Pond

Clear Pond         

My second stop along the way back home was Clear Pond. I'd never fished here before but have passed it by on many occasions. This pond is also called Boyscout Clear Pond in reference to the northern end, which is bordered by Boy Scout property.

There isn't much shoreline for fishing, but I gave it all my might and cast a few lines out as far as I could. And, hey, the view of Debar Mountain was quite nice as well! I actually had pretty decent luck here at the shoreline along the campground road. I managed to get six decent-sized brook trout from the water using an old, small Mepps spinner fly, even with a bit of surface rust on the spoon. I am a catch-and-release fisherman most of the time, even though I love fresh trout on an open fire. 

Slush Pond

Slush Pond

I checked out Slush Pond as I progressed even further south, but I couldn't remember for the life of me if I could even reach the shore. The ground was soggy and the actual shoreline was minimal, making for needle-threading casting and too much grass to make it enjoyable. It's a gorgeous location, though, so I guess I will have to come back with a boat. The only thing I caught here was a scenic picture over the narrow channel of water and a short visit from a great blue heron

Indian pipe along the Kettle Trail

Kettle Pond Trail

I might have been skunked with the fishing at Slush Pond but I knew this short hike would pay off. I really needed to stretch my legs, anyhow.

This seldom-used horse, snowmobile, skiing, and hiking trail would be my ticket to a small bit of exercise. I didn't know how far I would go on the trail, but I did know it would dead-end at McCulloms Road a few miles away and I didn't want to go that far.

The hike was pleasant and soft under my now-soaked boots -- thank you, Slush Pond. The sides were glazed in white snowberries and deep red wintergreen berries, both ripe for the picking, and a minty reward was had. Indian pipes poked far above the surface of the needle-covered ground as the tall stems of the red and scotch pines towered above me. Grassy kettle ponds rested below the hills, but not much water remained in their natural bowls. At about 1.5 miles I decided to turn around and head back to the car.

Barnum Pond launch site with Jenkins Mountain as a backdrop

Barnum Pond   

After the hike I was going to head straight home and call it a day, but as I drove past Barnum Pond and saw Jenkins Mountain gleaming on the placid water from beyond I decided to stop, cast a bobber, and relax on the shore. I was going to do this at the boat launch site right off Route 30 but it was so close to the road it didn't seem like a relaxing retreat. I decided it would be best to head over to the open rock ledge just a bit to my right.

What a great spot! I must have hit a school of brook trout because it was one after another. None were all that huge and exciting, but it kept me very busy and constantly reloading my trout worms. They were all released back to their home, as it was time to head for mine.

I hope to get back soon to check out Madawaska Pond and Rice Mountain, and once I do I will surely share the adventure with you.  


It sounds like a lot for one day, and trust us, it was. Why not pack the car, the boat, and the rods and plan to join us for a few days? We have plenty for you to enjoy while you are here. Check out some of our local restaurants and rest your head in one of our lodging properties. Take in as much fishing and culture as you can. We know that it won't take long for you to be hooked on Malone.


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