Aldrich Ponds – Seclusion and big fish

<p>The lower Aldrich Pond attracts flyfishermen – especially on the west side where the water depth and the shade create ideal environments for trout.</p>

Want a new fishing spot where you can catch a fish, but not be elbow-to-elbow with other people?

Try Aldrich Ponds, just five miles east of Dayville in the Phillip W. Schneider Wildlife Area.

The ponds open on May 25 and through the summer, you may see an occasional fly fisherman out on a tube, or an angler casting a lure or two from the bank. As the season continues, the rainbows in the lake grow big thanks to the relatively low level of fishermen who make the hike to the ponds.

There is always a reason why certain places have more fish than others, and it’s not just the stocking numbers. Even when people know there might be fish in a particular hot spot, a long drive or trek to a fishing hole can be a deterrent.

Aldrich Ponds are worth the effort. A one-mile jaunt along a single-track trail, through stands of Ponderosa pines, larch, and the occasional blue spruce brings you to the upper pond.

With the lake surrounded by sedges and mountain grasses, you aren’t likely to see many fishermen, but if you hit a busy day, take the trail to the lower pond, just a rocks-throw from the edge of the upper pond.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks both ponds each year with rainbow trout that reach lengths up to 18 inches.

What’s the inside scoop for catching the big one?

Trout stocking of lakes, ponds and reservoirs begins in April and May and usually continues through June. Warm water temperatures and weed growth often slows trout fishing by late July, especially in the smaller ponds.

Trout fishing in these ponds usually picks up again with the onset of cooler fall weather.

This time of year, you can bring a float tube, or a pair of flippers, and fish in the middle – the deepest spot – it works. Happy fishing.

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