The author shows off a beautiful brown trout. May is a great month for trout angling.

I launched my boat at Little Sebago Lake and started the motor, just easing it in gear. I had on a Barnes’ special streamer fly on the port rod and a gray ghost on the starboard side. I let out a good amount of sinking fly line from each reel as I trolled along the shoreline. Careful to watch for rock piles and submerged moorings, I made my way past homes and summer camps and cottages, some showing life but most sitting dormant. I hadn’t gone far when my shoreside reel started screaming. The hook I set was met with a pumping and shaking of the rod – a trout! I slowed the motor enough to keep the other line moving and played the fish. It made a series of circles and then dove down below the boat. Next it raced sideways. I’m certain I was giggling. Finally I had it alongside the boat and was able to slip the net underneath it. A beautiful rainbow trout, I estimate at 18 inches, was quickly unhooked and released to swim again. This is May trout angling at its best.

Tom Roth is a freelance outdoor writer who lives in Raymond on the shore of Sebago Lake. He has been fishing and hunting in this region for more than 30 years and is a Registered Maine Guide.

The old adage says that when the alder leaves are as big as a mouse’s ear, that’s the best time to fish for trout. I don’t check the alders, but each May I make a pilgrimage back to some of my favorite trout ponds and streams. Little Sebago in Windham is one of my favorites. It’s easy to access and heavily stocked with brown and rainbow trout. These trout grow big and are plentiful. Plus, you may be rewarded by a nice bass, too. Troll the shoreline with flies, trout spoons such as an Al’s goldfish or the Thomas buoyant. Everett Lures ( makes some great small trout spoons, along with spinners and other lures. My dad and I also had luck trolling small Rapala floating minnows.

Worm dunkers and casters can also catch May trout. Tossing a small spinner tipped with an earthworm or part of a nightcrawler is good medicine on trout. I used to like to canoe the shoreline and cast toward it with such a rig, oftentimes being rewarded with a small trout or maybe a bass. You can go even simpler and toss out a glob of worms or a big nightcrawler on a hook with a bobber to indicate a strike. I would fish close to the boat launches as most of our trout ponds have recently been stocked and this is generally where they put the fish in.

For the fly-fishing crowd, you can’t beat the Presumpscot River as it winds through Westbrook, Windham and Gorham. Heavily stocked with brook trout, brown trout and even salmon, the Presumpscot is a great destination. The river is fly fishing-only from the Sebago Lake dam to the confluence of North Gorham Pond. From the North Gorham dam downstream, all methods of legal angling are permitted.

May is a beautiful month to be on the water. The water is warming, trout are on the bite and I hear that the alder leaves are growing.

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