Tom Roth shows why he is a big fan of May trout angling with this whopper brown trout. Tom Roth / For Lakes Region Weekly

My old hunting and fishing partner would always say, “Trout fishing is best when the leaves on an alder are the size of a mouse’s ear.” I never compared alder to mouse, but I can tell you that May is the month to target trout in our local lakes and ponds.

When my dad was alive, we made an annual trip or two to Little Sebago Lake in early May to troll streamer flies and lures for the myriad trout they stock in that lake. Lately, that means brown and rainbow trout. Trolling the shoreline with sinking fly lines and a traditional streamer pattern like the Barnes special or gray ghost was a great time for Dad and me to catch up. He was just back from Florida and I’d been fishing since the ice went out. Plenty to chat about, for sure.

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.

If streamers weren’t fooling the fish, I’d tie on a 2-inch Rapala floating minnow in gold or silver and generally elicit a strike. If that didn’t work, it was time for an Al’s goldfish or Thomas buoyant, both killer trout lures when trolled along shorelines. Occasionally we would catch a hefty smallmouth, but most often we caught trout, primarily browns. We liked trolling fly lines on a fly rod for several reasons. First, a trout on a fly rod puts up a spectacular fight. Second, fly line adheres to the water and follows the movement of your boat, unlike monofilament line that cuts through the water at sharp angles.

Another favorite May trolling destination is the Range Ponds chain in Poland. Made up of Upper, Lower and Middle Range ponds, these three waters are heavily stocked with brown, brook and rainbow trout. What a smorgasbord! I employ similar tactics on the Range Ponds, trolling fly lines with streamers or lures. Favored streamer patterns on the Range Ponds chain include the nine-three, red ghost and black ghost. An old-fashioned jointed lure called the “eel-it,” which resembles a small eel, is a top producer if you can find one. I pick them up from time to time on eBay. They reduce a good vibration coming through the water and really draw the fish in.

Another top brook trout and splake lake is Coffee Pond in Casco. The brookies thrive in this small pond, but it’s the splake that I target. A non-reproducing cross between a brook trout and a lake trout, splake grow quickly and put on a great fight, especially on a fly rod. Dead smelt on a sliding bait harness is my favorite Coffee Pond offering. Streamer flies such as the Umbagog smelt or gray ghost are top producers. Maine Trout Whisperer spoons in the brook trout pattern are another great choice for Coffee Pond.

May is a top month to hit our smaller area ponds and troll for trout. Give it a shot and I’m sure you’ll be checking the alder leaves each year.

Comments are not available on this story.