View Full Version : Fishing the Cumberland

10-15-2008, 12:45 PM
I'm new to the site and to all of you, but I just want to tell you guys that I fish the cumberland often, and may be able to give some advice. I'm sure I can use much more advice than I can give.

I look forward to talking to you guys.

If your extremely board check out my website www.cumberlandtroutbum.com (http://www.cumberlandtroutbum.com)
It is still under construction.

10-15-2008, 08:06 PM
Hi there CTB,

Welcome to the board.

I am in Louisville and have just started fishing Cumberland. I have only gone to Helms and Rock House. Had a little luck at Helms.

I hope you don't mind me picking your brain from time to time. I really want to fish there more.

10-15-2008, 10:25 PM
whats happening on the cumberland? what hatches are going on? been wanting to get up there but have not heard any good reports. i have gotten a recent report that 2 guides had 4 clients on the river only one boat caught any fish and only 3 were caught in 1 boat the other boat had none. not good reports tuff traveling that far and paying those fees and no fish.

David Knapp
10-15-2008, 10:56 PM
Cumberlandtroutbum, welcome to the board! You have a special river up there. I just fished it for the first time and am very impressed. Hope you'll post some reports from up there...

been wanting to get up there but have not heard any good reports.

It is fishing well...at least it was yesterday...:rolleyes:


10-16-2008, 12:04 PM
PA, I'm completely convinced that you could catch a large brown out of the ditch that runs in front of my house, if water were in it!! (maybe even without the water....)

Nice Fish!!!

10-16-2008, 01:05 PM
Thanks for making me feel welcome guys. I fished the Cumberland last Tuesday, and it was a little slow. We caught 3, 2 bows and 1 brown. I spent the first half paddling my wife trying to get her on some fish. By the time I started fishing it had got so windy that my wife couldn't control the boat so I had to take the oars again.

10-16-2008, 01:26 PM
PA, if you don't mind me asking what worked best for you on the cumberland the other day?

We caught all of ours on CJ's

By the way guys the talk is since the water has been so low the last couple of years due to the dam problem that a natural spawn may have occurred. In just a few the browns will be hitting the shallows to hopefully have a successfull spawn.

David Knapp
10-19-2008, 07:14 PM
PA, if you don't mind me asking what worked best for you on the cumberland the other day?

I was catching fish on midge and egg patterns...

10-20-2008, 10:50 AM
:smile: Hi Cumberlandtroutbum,

There are a lot of fishermen that could use that name.

The water may be low on Cumberland River but you can't beat the fishing. I haven't been on the river this month as of yet but am planing to in a couple of weeks. Last Oct. the water conditions were simular to now and the fishing couldnot have been any beter. The Browns were spawning on every showl from the dam to winfreys. In the 35 years that I have fished the river I think that it is the best yet. I catch most of my fish on zebra midges (16 thru 20) under a stimulater or prince using an indicator. This works good for me all winter or until the water gets to high then I switch to woolybuggers and leechs.

Good Luck

10-20-2008, 01:14 PM
Thanks for the info oldtimer. Zebra midges, pheasant tails, copper johns, and the prince is about all I use. I was just checking to see if anyone was on to something that I was not. I'm young and always trying to learn something from you guys. Hope you have good look when you head to the cumberland. Let me know how you do. I have to head to a conference in a few days and will not be able to fish this weekend.

10-22-2008, 11:06 AM

I'm heading down to Cumberland on Nov 1 and was wondering about "egg patterns." I've never used them before.

Can you give me some info.

Nice fish, by the way.

10-22-2008, 03:19 PM
David -

Egg patterns work well as underwater attractants. Usually the best results will come by placing a midge or small pheasant tail about 12" below an egg.

Cumberland browns spawn heavily in October and early November, causing the rest of the fish in the river to congregate around the shoals to eat eggs. Both browns which are waiting to spawn and especially opportunistic rainbows will key in on the eggs as a major food source. It's an egg hatch, in other words.

However, people have thrown a lot of false eggs at those fish over the years, and like the fish on the White in Arkansas, they are pretty well educated. What I have found in fishing there and elsewhere in the fall is that trout will almost always come inspect an egg (if they are feeding, and you don't blow the shot), but even with a perfect cast, they may not eat. However, having taken a look, a lot of them will swing away, and if they see another food source, they'll gulp it without thinking about it - it's like they have dropped their guard. You do catch some on the eggs themselves if the competition for the food gets going (which it will if the shoals and runs below are packed with fish). But probably 70% of the fish you'll catch will be on the dropper.

For the egg pattern, I use McFly Foam to tie lighter colored eggs than you can buy commercially. A lot of the free-floating eggs in the water are dead and going pale by the time the fish see them. I usually add a small blood dot with red or orange McFly Foam, and I tie it on a big heavy egg hook to hold anything dumb enough to eat it. If the fish are selective, I use Otter's Soft Eggs, which are molded silicone eggs similar to bass worm material. You need to run them on the hook, then tie them down with monofilament thread (so the lashings don't show). I use a veil of lite bright dubbing to add strength to the lashing over the egg and to provide the look of milt/a little flash to draw attention.

The real key, though, is the dropper. Use 6X tippet. Take about 6" in your fingers and fold it over so it makes a loop. Then rub your fingers together in one direction to spin the loop. Pass the loop over the hook point, then carefully take the tag end in your free hand and run it through the loop without letting your twist unwind. Wet and tighten - you've made a simple clinch knot.

A lot of us use the Davy Knot on the actual dropper because is it is so small, but you must seat it properly. Always use at least some weight about 18" above the egg to draw out the slack between the indicator and the fly. Size the weight to the depth. I will use up to a Size BB splitshot, so don't be afraid to go heavy.

I always use balloon indicators to float this rig. Other indicators tend to sink or swamp with that much weight. The Cumberland is also slimed with didymo right now, so you'll get a lot of false takes and you want the indicator to bounce back up after each one. Simply buy a child's water balloon, inflate in barely enough to fill it out without stretching, then tie an overhand knot in it to make an indicator. Cut off the nipple with scissors. Make a half-hitch loop in the system, and run the balloon's knot through the loop, then tighten. To move the balloon, gently grab it and pull on the line end of the knot to release it.

A week and a half ago we caught several fish on red #18 blood midges dropped below eggs, and broke off some that would have dropped your jaw. The week before that they were still hitting hoppers, though they've probably quit that at this point. I can't say much more than that for the present.

Here are a couple of shots I can post.








http://www.itinerantangler.com/photoblog/images/20081006173304_horizontalroastingmarshmallowsmall. jpg


10-22-2008, 03:31 PM
Here are the rest of the images from earlier this year and last year. I guess I got carried away. :)


Here are some fish from *last year.* You may recognize a couple of these.



(Note that those stonefly/mayfly nymphs were not producing as well this year).




10-22-2008, 07:50 PM

Thanks for being so generous with your information. I'll be heading down to Helms Landing after halloween and hope to have a fraction of the success you have had.

Great pictures.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks again.