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Fishing Report 5-31-18

Dee Dee getting it done over Memorial Day weekend.

Yes, trout fishing has been very good on the Cumberland River. The word is out and the river is busy with anglers wanting to knock the rust off their fly rods. Late winter and spring rains seemed like they would never end. One rain system after another seemed to park on the Cumberland river drainage basin. Each rain system resulted in Lake Cumberland rising in elevation. This in turn would equate to heavy generation by the COE / TVA. Through the spring a very heavy generation schedule occurred for over 100 days. Yes, I kept track as I have for years. When spring like weather came around, the constant generation schedule was hard to endure for all anglers desiring to fish the Cumberland. It was difficult to have beautiful spring weather coupled with river levels too high to drift and fly fish.

All that has changed over the past 3 weeks or so and fishing is now up and at the great level the Cumberland is known for!

Our spring and seemingly immediate jump to summer weather was a little weird, but the fish haven’t seemed to mind at all. Currently the Corps of Engineers and TVA are moderating favorable generation schedules. Only four generators are presently available due to two being under maintenance. Weekday generation schedules are currently requiring an early morning start at the boat ramp to beat the generation, but those foggy mornings have been short of nothing but crazy good fishing. Weekend schedules have been even better than weekday schedules. If you are baffled by generation schedules I spell it out in here: TVA Preschedule. Speaking of boat ramps, the short gravel road to the ramp at Helms Landing was re-worked a few weeks ago with fresh gravel. During most of the winter and early spring that thing was nasty with ruts and washouts.

Chris and his brother came over from California to experience the Cumberland last week.

So, what’s been working for clients? If there are (2) generators running while you’re on the water, please give your favorite streamers a try. Those of you that fish with me know my go to fly. You can still catch fish nymphing, but your catch rate is going to go down and you might as well shoot for larger fish. Target deeper holes with a heavy fly and a chaser to get you down to where they are. Sure you might get hung up every now and then, but that’s fishing. As always, don't forget to strip that streamer in faster water. Be alert at the end of that swing because you know what can happen (strip, strip, strip, strip, bam, set)!

Bill caught some nice ones and enjoyed spending the day on the river

If there’s (1) generator or no generation and falling water, you can catch trout on the old standards of zebra midges, bead head caddis variations, pheasant tails, copper johns, mini buggers, etc. Finding and fishing moving water will increase your success exponentially. If the water is low and you find caddis coming off, have some fun and try the dry. During low water and decent caddis hatches the fishing can be unbelievable as trout go absolutely nuts.

Now is the time to get out and spend a day on the water. Give me a call, text or e-mail if you want to chase trout on the river, it’s a really fun time of year. Thanks to everyone who keeps up with Cumberland Bottom Ticklers on Facebook and Instagram. Say hello if you see me on the river!

Fish hard!


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