View Full Version : Chimney Top Cr. KY

03-25-2010, 12:40 AM
Hello, I've recently moved to lexington from BG and Im needing a little bit of assistance from my Ky brotheren. Im intrested in fishing chimney top and not having any experience with the gorge area, I was wondering what would be the best way to access it. Also im not looking for any honey holes or gps coor. but if the fishing was any better in certain sections, kind of a shove in the right direction so to speak. i.e. upper section, middle section, hike a 1/2 mi. and start fishing etc. Any other info you would be willing to share would be greatly appreciated. Im young and fit and willing to hike, actually I welcome it. The further from people the better. Im a country boy and living in Lex. is killing me :eek:. Do the sirens ever stop and why do people look at me weird when I hold the door open for them :confused::confused: ??

Also, other than Bark camp or rock creek are there any other creeks on this side of the state that I might want to focus on. Being from bg and having easy access to trammel, and I fished it alot, I havent explored this side of the state. Plus coming all the way over here from bg was quite the jount. And in the same amount of time I could be in the smoky's, so push comes to shove, I have that kind of time, see ya in a couple days baby im going to the mtns.

If you would rather email me, my email is bredmon930@yahoo.com. Im also game for meeting up with anyone for a day of fishing sometime, which I welcome too.

Thanks in advance, and any help is greatly appreciated.

03-25-2010, 09:31 AM
Living in Lexington, you could go south on I-75 and go to the Wolfe Creek tailwater from the east side. That is if they ever slow down the dam releases to where you could wade. Further south, you could go to the Clinch River near Lake City just across the KY/TN state line. See the posts on this Forum, including ones by Shawn Madison.

The Dix River is just south of Lexington, and is a 4 mile long tailwater of Herrington Lake. There is a good population of trout in the Dix. You will need a boat to access the Dix, as there is not any decent public access, and the adjoining land is privately owned.

By the Gorge, I assume you mean the Red River Gorge, which I can't recommend. Too many waders, tubers, hikers, tourists, and rock throwers on the weekends. I've only seen very few fish unless you hike way back into the back country, and then they are small in size.

Another source of info would be the stocking schedule of the KY F&W to locate streams where they're stocking. It may not tell you exactly where to go, but I would think it would give you an idea where the water will support a healthy population of trout.


03-25-2010, 10:18 AM
Another thought, there is an Orvis store in downtown Lexington, called Sporting Traditions, and they might be able to give you some leads on eastern Kentucky trout waters. Nice bunch of folks, just my $.02 worth.


03-25-2010, 10:52 AM
I lived in Lex until late 1999. I used to do a lot of smallie fishing in the Peaks Mill area north of Frankfort. Fly rodding and ultralight spinning. lot of river that you can get away from people and catch some nice fish. at least it used to be that way. could easily get by with 4-5 wgt rod. Also, loved catching bluegill in local lakes.

03-25-2010, 03:34 PM
I want to qualify my suggestions first by saying I've been spending more time in other states or the Smokies than trouting in Ky since retiring!

The Red River Gorge and Rock Creek are probably the only two areas I would fool with. (I'm not into tailwaters). Rock Creek would be the best bet, they usually have hold over fish. I prefer the area around Hemlock Grove Picnic area and then above the Campground. I have always found some fish there!! Before I retired, I used to leave right after school campout then fish and still be home Saturday evening.

I have seen the stream conditions in the Gorge go downhill since the early 70's. The streams are silting in rapidly covering the rock etc. on the bottoms. The water along the main river warms up too much in the summer.
Bluegrass TU and State planted Brown fingerlings in Chimney Top, Wolf (Pen?) and Gladie more than 10 years ago. I haven't found any trout in the last two, only Chimney Top.
I did seesome Browns on Redds a few years after, I have caught a couple browns years ago in the pools. This stream has suffered from drought for several years. I haven't been back in many years. You can access it by taking the Chimney Top Overlook Road, Park in the first parking lot you come to on the left side. You will walk in a trail about 100 then drop into a gorge, the stream is immediately below. The trout I've caught where in thatsection. Also,
You can access off the swinging bridge over the Red River at Pumpkin Bottom then Hike up. (I've never done that.) Parched Corn Creek is on the other side of the road from that parking lot. It was supposedly planted with Mich. Brookies by someone in the 50"s or 60's. I have caught one very small brookie in there. A grad student from EKU said there were a very few shocked up a few years ago.

Indian Creek and Swift Camp are DH planted streams in Oct.(Wheren't due to hatchery problems this fall.)These streams are very marginal and poached heavily. But could be explored.

Being retired now, I find an extra hour puts me in the Smokies where I KNOW I'm casting over fish. The Dix and Cumberland are great options, I just prefer backcountry. You might check with Sporting Tradition to see if Rob Knisely is working there. He might be a great help!

Also check out Bluegrass TU. Hope this helps.

Randall Sale
the Kytroutbum

03-27-2010, 09:13 AM
I'm from Eastern KY, but I lived just south of Lexington for four years while in college.

Your best option for quality fish near Lexington (in my opinion) would be the Dix River. You'll find a robust population of browns and rainbows, some reaching 18-20". In the fall, they'll hit a tan Elk Hair Caddis consistently, and they also like black and copper zebra midges. I enjoyed many afternoons on the Dix where I could stand in one spot and catch 20 or more 12-15" trout. Access is the main issue with the Dix. You'll need a boat, or permission to cross through private land.

Of course, the Cumberland River is another option. It would probably be about a 2hr drive for you. As of late, fishing has been rough due to the work at Wolf Creek Dam. However, during a good year you can expect to catch lots of trophy fish in the Cumberland. I have experienced several days where 15-17" rainbows seem to be waiting in line to hit your fly cast after cast.

I've never fished Rock Creek, but I have heard good things about it.

There are a few streams in Eastern KY, but nothing to really get excited about. If you ever want to check out Paint Creek (probably 2 hrs, 15 min from Lex), let me know. I fish it often, and I could give you some tips on where to go and what to throw. The average fish are 12" rainbows, but I have seen several large browns cruising the slow pools during the summer months. It's a smaller stream, ranging from 20-40' in width, and 6" to 6' in depth.

Hope this helps,

03-28-2010, 12:22 AM
Hey fellas, thanks for all the advice. I went to the orvis store the morning after I posted and unfortunately found out that Chimney Top was in bad shape. I fished Bark Camp on Friday and did really good, of course they were about 2 week old stockers. I plan to hit Rock Creek next friday and see how its doing. I fished there in March of last year and caught a 15"-16" rainbow way on up from the camp ground. Talk about a surprise, im sure the expression on my face was priceless. A buddy of mine and myself camped there Oct. of '08 and had a blast.
I know the Dix is a great place to catch some quality trout, but unfortunately I don't have a boat. And the cumberland, well we all know that story, lets just pray for a little less rain this summer. Both of my parents are from adair county, and my uncle is a Helm and lives in russell county bout 15 min. from the landing.

Grousegunner, I would definately like to take you up on some info. about Paint Creek. Ive heard some good things about it and did some reading around back in early fall and saw where it had a slot limit imposed which told me its capable of growing some good size trout. Ive been wanting to check it out just wasn't sure on where to go. If you'd rather email me my address is in the first post.

At 26 Ive decided to go back to school which is why i moved up to Lex. I have friday's off while the kiddo is in daycare so thats my fishing day. I know there are lots of streams on this side of the state but was looking for the quality ones that produce carry overs and thus a little bit bigger fish. I really wish the kdfwr would try to start managing some of the smaller streams a little better. I can tell you trammel should be put on the DH list and recieve a stocking in october. I can take you down there anyday of the year and put you into fish. Some of which are big, and I have some pics to prove it.

Anyways thanks again guys, I appreciate your inputs. Anyone ever wants a fishing partner for a day, or is going to fish the dix and has a seat they are willing to share in their boat, Id really appreciate it, Id love to hit the Dix.

Tight lines
Brad Redmon