Some Local Brookie Streams

For some reason this didn’t post last night. Well, here it is…

For all you Northeastern Massachusettsians (or anyone who is willing to drive), this is for you! I want to discuss some local brook trout streams, and break them down. Now I’m not gonna be discussing any native trout streams (although some of these streams have them, or have tributaries that have them), but more stocked streams that are good spots to go to catch some brookies, or introduce a new angler to fly fishing.

First, I want to say that I am all for stocking brook trout in these streams. They provide a lot of good water, where it wouldn’t have been available otherwise. They give the catch-and-kill crowd something to keep. (I don’t really support keeping the 6 inch stocked brookies, but it’s better than keeping native brookies.) And they are still fun to catch. While I like catching native brookies, I have nothing against fishing for stocked trout.

The first brook I’m gonna write about is Pearl Hill Brook in Townsend. This brook is decent in length, but most of the trout are found in a small area. They used to stock it near the campground, or at least I’ve caught a lot in that spot. Under bridges is usually a good spot, since that’s where the trucks pull over to throw the trout in. As you walk down the river, look for pools, or deep water, since this is where the trout hang out. Also, there are some natives in here, and I’ve encountered quite a few in the small tributaries of Pearl Hill.

Next, consider fishing Willard Brook. Again, the best place to start is near the campground, as this is where many of the trout are. I have also had good success right above Damon Pond, in the long stretch of riffles. Contrary to what many think, there are hatches on many of these mid-sized streams, and it is not uncommon to see stoneflies crawling around on the rocks here. However, attractor flies and generic nymphs are usually the best flies. Willard Brook is my go-to stocked trout stream.

Willard Brook in Townsend, MA

These two rivers both branch from the Squannacook, and trout are free to move throughout the watershed. Because of this, you’ll find trout in many of the small unnamed streams, that are not stocked. These rivers are also filthy with chubs; there are some spots where you can walk across the river on their backs!

Next, I’m gonna move to a river a bit more south: Fish Brook. This tributary of the Ipswich River is great for brookie fishing. I’m actually not sure where it is stocked, but I have had great success right where this brook meets the Ipswich. I usually fish small streamers of Hares Ears here. Throughout most of the brook there is some good sight fishing, but there are some riffles where you just have to blind cast. Upper Fish brook and its tributaries do hold some native brookies, and there are some decent sized brookies further downstream.

So that’s it for today, I’ll break down a few more streams tomorrow or the day after. Note that although many of these fish get taken by the catch-and-cook crowd by the end of April, there are still fish in these streams all year round. See you on the water!


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5 thoughts on “Some Local Brookie Streams

  1. I agree that stocking helps keep people from keeping the natives, but it is kind of disappointing to see that the state stocks on top of native brookies, pushing them further into the headwaters, potentially ruining their genetics, and decreasing their size. I thought willard and pearl hill were all natives (I have not fished these streams yet but they are on the list), so I guess you learn something new everyday. I appreciate the breakdown because it saved me a lot of trouble when I end up going there. Now I know to stick to the headwaters. Thanks

  2. Thanks for the comment, and you're welcome! I agree that stocking in streams with natives is a bit disappointing, because now they have to compete for food, habitat, etc. But Willard and Pearl Hill are mostly stockers; there aren't a ton of natives in there any more.


  3. The drop in population is probably a result of the stocking, so it just encourages more stocking! I have heard that tributaries of these brooks and other brooks in the area still have natives though. Is this true?

  4. Yes. Near the campgrounds there are many stocked fish, then there is a virtually fishless stretch for a few hundred yards, and then you get into some natives. There always seems to be a good distance between the stockies and the natives. My theory is that the natives move farther upstream and downstream, to find uninhabited water. Look for the unnamed tributaries, as many of these hold native brook trout. And some get to some decent size, too. I caught an 11 inch brookie in a tributary of Willard; a real monster considering the size of the stream.


  5. That is quite a brookie no matter the size of the stream. Anything 10+ for a native is something to be proud of. I wish the natives would hold their ground a little better, but they weren't designed to be exposed to stockers in the first place.

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