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MarkHansen
06-27-2010, 11:18 AM
Fished the Cumberland on Saturday.

Conditions: With one generator running, the river is still higher than normal. Some of the gravel bars are starting to show. There was a pretty good current – that is not out of the ordinary for a river of that size. If you planned on wading, it would be harder, not impossible, but harder. There were a few boats on the water, not that many for a weekend day. Water color was green with some debris (top) in the water. Some floating logs, leaves, and sticks. Water temps were around 61’ degrees. It felt good to get out of the boat on the 90+ degree day. There were a few pale dunns coming off all day, but not many, and not that many rising fish – a few.

Results: Not good. 3 fish and I missed a few. Threw a bunch of different stuff. We mostly nymph and streamer fish on the Cumberland. Threw some top water as well. All the fish caught were on larger stone-fly patterns. Big or small patterns did not entice the fish. Even with streamer fishing, we usually have fish that follow them back to the boat. Not on Saturday. The fish where close to the banks on the drifts.

Ran into Gerald McDaniel on the river - for all that know Gerald. Had a good chat about the conditions over the last month and fishing results. He was fishing. His buddy was spin fishing and he was throwing a dry/dropper combination. Spinning gear was catching a few fish. Not much better that fly patterns.

Spoke to a group of guys from KY and IN – fly fishing club – about 10 of them. They were down for 3 days. Friday and Saturday were bad for all of them. I’m guessing Sunday would have been the same.

Oh well . . . it’s still my favorite river in this area. So a low number fish day is still OK with me. I love to get up there and have a chance at those BIG BROWNS!!!

Mark

MarkHansen
06-27-2010, 11:47 AM
Anyone else been fishing here? Other reports?

MadisonBoats
06-27-2010, 12:42 PM
Great report Mark! Thanks for taking the time to share and inform others on the forum. I have never fished the Cumberland. Hopefully, some can post some pics to see what it looks like...:smile:

waterwolf
06-27-2010, 10:13 PM
According to the KY biologists the river is in horrendous shape, combine that with some local folks here in Knoxville reporting the same, and the guy I bought my new boat from...all saying it was worse then bad. Basically no fish, last year pretty much was the nail in the coffin for the Cumberland, sadly.

It is depressing to know what that river was like up until 3 years ago. Folks who never fished it, missed some of the finest trout fishing in this country, maybe in the world.

Hopefully one day it will return, but that is not likely looking at the plans for the dam.

Streamhound
06-28-2010, 11:26 AM
I caught part of a news report that said there were more cracks showing in the dam etc. Not good news. As a wader I don't bother anymore. But I do enjoy reading when the boat guys are having a good day

MarkHansen
06-28-2010, 11:45 AM
With all the dam work, I agree. Per speaking with the locals, they are waiting to see how the river fishes over the next 2-3 weeks. Plus, there will be more striper fishermen with reports. Those guys also catch a good amount of the big browns while trolling.

I hope we are ALL wrong . . . once upon a time (not many years ago), that river was well worth the drive from Knoxville.

As you drift, you can look up into the trees and see all the garbage and debris. It's weird on a river of that size and amount of generators to see how high the water CAN get.

M-

silvercreek
06-28-2010, 12:03 PM
The news I read said they were having cracks in the road over the dam widening. They are hoping it is due to temperatures and not slippage, although they stopped work in March when sensors indicated the earth was moving in the area they were grouting. None of this sounds good. If they cannot stabilize that dam, they will have to drain it. Seems anywhere they are doing this major work on a dam the trout fishing suffers. The Caney Fork below Center Hill being the other. Silvercreek

kentuckytroutbum
06-28-2010, 05:28 PM
With all the dam work, I agree. Per speaking with the locals, they are waiting to see how the river fishes over the next 2-3 weeks. Plus, there will be more striper fishermen with reports. Those guys also catch a good amount of the big browns while trolling.

I hope we are ALL wrong . . . once upon a time (not many years ago), that river was well worth the drive from Knoxville.

As you drift, you can look up into the trees and see all the garbage and debris. It's weird on a river of that size and amount of generators to see how high the water CAN get.

M-

Earlier this year, they were releasing 26K+ CFS, and the water was up to the parking lot at Helm's Landing. I keep watching the release reports hoping that it will drop below 3300 CFS, or 1 generator. I don't think it will happen anytime soon if we keep getting more rain. That's why my wife & I are fishing the Clinch, Holston, SoHo, etc.

The Cumberland is an easy river to fish in the past. Maybe things will change, but I'm just not sure for a while. IMHO.

MarkHansen
06-28-2010, 06:49 PM
Cracks in Wolf Creek Dam highway prompt evaluation

June 24, 2010

THE TENNESSEAN

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is evaluating the significance of widening cracks on a highway that stretches across a massive dam across the Cumberland River in south-central Kentucky.

Allison Jarrett, spokeswoman for the Corps of Engineers' Nashville District, said repair work on a 600-foot section of Wolf Creek Dam won't resume until after test results are back in August. The Corps stopped work in March after movement was detected near where the concrete dam attaches to an earthen embankment.

Jarrett told The Commonwealth Journal of Somerset, Ky., that the cracks could be caused by something as harmless as the weather or as significant as movement of the embankment.

The nearly mile-long structure impounds Lake Cumberland. Federal officials announced the repair project in 2007, noting that if Wolf Creek Dam fails, it could flood towns and cities down the Cumberland River as far as Nashville.

— ASSOCIATED PRESS

kentuckytroutbum
06-28-2010, 07:09 PM
Mark-

Thanks for the update. We can only hope that the cracks are minor in nature, and not indicative of even bigger problems with the dam! :confused:

Here is the latest news on the dam from the Lake Cumberland website.

http://lakecumberland.com/news.php?news=/forum/viewthread.php?fid=24&tid=27800&action=printable

pacofly13
07-05-2010, 04:27 PM
myself and a friend were at the Cumby on June 19th-21st. At that time the core was generating 1 from early in the morning till dusk and then turning it off at night.. not helping us too much since we both wade. We actually did fairly well considering the water was a bit stained and we had to get up quite early and head down stream 8/9 miles to get as much fishin in as we could. Once the generation reached us the fish would turn off and the clarity really dropped. we caught several rainbow and brown each day w/ a few even in the 15/16inch range, i also managed to catch a 20inch bow by the dam next to some downed trees... most were caught on typical searching patterns of hairs ears, princes,copperjohns, and some zebras. Hopefully the core starts pulsing 1 generator or turns on the sluice soon so things clear up and cool down the water so i can get down there again!
hope this helps- Matt
p.s. headed down july 16-19th ... i'll post how we do

MarkHansen
08-16-2010, 08:55 PM
Fished the Cumberland River on Saturday. Started fishing at 9:30am and fished until 7:30pm. Water was low and green - looked great. All of the gravel bars were showing. Watch those lower-units! Lots of trees and stumps. Temps were about 62'.

As for hatch, nothing to report. Same as before. A few pale dunns coming off. Not many rising fish. Very few.

Spoke to the guys at Strange Bait. There was a guide in the shop when we stopped. Report was: no traffic on the river. A few striper fishermen, not many trout guys if any. Report was - fishing is slow. Mostly stockers. Small fish. A few browns being caught by the srtiper fishermen.

At the boat ramp, spoke to a fly guy from Chat/TN who has property in the area. Fishing is slow. Not many big fish and not big numbers of catches.

Caught a handful of rainbows on nymphs. Small bugs #16 or #18. Copper Johns and Purple Prince. I did manage to haul one brown out of the trees with a streamer.

Overall - poor fishing compared to other years. Here are some pics.

This is why you need a motor on that water -slow water:
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4100/4897966596_2e617c2fb7_b.jpg


Noticed one guy fishing from the bank - Crocus Creek.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4082/4897966712_3aff69958d_b.jpg


Low water and trees - below Crocus Creek
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4136/4897966512_cb2b0bfee5_b.jpg


Once upon a time this island was very productive - Spearman Island
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4116/4897966928_9aeae82dbc_b.jpg


Oh yea. Don't let me forget this bad boy. This keeps you coming back. Hauled from a streamer in the trees. Fast water against the bank.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4123/4897371421_9caaf4a580_b.jpg



Nice color. I would rather catch one of these v.s. large numbers of small rainbows.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4120/4897371629_44d2e84b7e_b.jpg

waterwolf
08-16-2010, 11:09 PM
I had been wondering how it was, and the spotty reports I had heard was that it was pitiful. It is a shame, and this week we may get some really bad news on the future of this resource.

That is a nice brown, he looks very skinny though, especially for that river.

I am shocked at the numbers of trees at spearman, it used to be fairly clean. I can remember running full bore up through Crocus in the fog and weaving through the stump fields, white knuckle ride is an understatment.

Memories is all I have of what used to be a wonderful river. The last time I was there, the float along spearman and down through the flat below was epic. 18" fish after fish, after fish, was the norm. That day, there was a massive sulphur hatch and there were some tremendous fish which were pulling up out of the deep stretch below.

I will miss the cumberland, and too any who never fished it, it was quite the river for a very long time, and maybe the best in the country.

txbrown
08-17-2010, 05:15 PM
I too, have found memories of the Cumby. I caught my largest regional rainbow to date on that stream below the dam. 24 inches.

What is the news regarding the river? Are they going to let it go due to the dam issues? That would be sad, indeed.

pacofly13
08-17-2010, 06:06 PM
[QUOTE=waterwolf;84623]I had been wondering how it was, and the spotty reports I had heard was that it was pitiful. It is a shame, and this week we may get some really bad news on the future of this resource.




I read your post, and along w/ my limited time fishing there this year combined also w/ various guides reports... it brings me worry. Not sure if you meant earlier in your message if you knew the Core was going to release some more news or not? I know they had stopped work on a length of dam do to some cracks and some testing needed, but hadn't found out much other info(not that they are really good at releasing any info or anything).

I too can think back even if just for a couple years and remember great early caddis hatches, sulpher hatches during summer, and even some great fall BWO's at certain stretches! Sometimes near the end of the day your forearm would be soo sore you weren't sure if you could handle another fat 16inch brown. One could pull into Helms landing and see cars from TN,GA,ALA,NC, and so on.. not quite that earlier this summer at Helms. In a final thought i hope all is not lost.. but i guess i can only hope.

waterwolf
08-17-2010, 10:51 PM
The Corps is supposed to make an announcement this week (I think) regarding the future of Wolf Creek Dam. Somewhat reliable sources have said there is a good chance they will be breaching the dam, in order to construct a new one. If that happens the trout fishery is over until the new dam is completed and the lake is filled. I would say 5-10 years, and honestly wished they had just done this when this whole project started. Hopefully everything works out, and life returns to a wondeful river.

kentuckytroutbum
08-18-2010, 08:36 AM
According to lakecumberland.com website, the Corp has not resumed work on the critical section which is where the earthen portion joins the concrete portion on the dam. And they're calling it 35% complete, and will complete it in 2012! IMHO, I don't see how they can!

I wish I could say that I was an optimist about the current dam, but at this stage, I'd be surprised if they can save it! IMHO.

My wife & I have fished the tailwater for a number of years, and we've caught many a nice "bow and browns in the Cumberland. Had great times, and met a lot of nice fly flingers at Helm's. If they have to breach the dam, there is no telling when the Cumberland will be back to its former state. :frown:

Bill

silvercreek
08-18-2010, 08:54 AM
Has a dam of this size ever been intentionally breached? As I understand it this is the largest impoundment east of the Mississippi. Silvercreek

kentuckytroutbum
08-18-2010, 10:41 AM
Silvercreek-

To my knowledge, no dam, holding this many acre-feet of water has ever been intentionally breached. As an architect, I've followed the progress of the repairs very closely, and the problems they've encountered.

Not only was the dam leaking, the bigger problem is that the karst limestone bedrock supporting the dam was also leaking. The karst limestone in southern & western KY is honeycombed with cracks, fissures,sink holes, caverns, and caves which gives underground water a path to dissolve the limestone. If you've been through Mammoth Cave, you can see the erosive nature of underground water to limestone bedrock. The big danger, to me, is that the karst limestone would collapse, and the dam would implode on itself, causing untold damage & loss of life.

Please don't get me wrong, I am not trying to be a fear monger, I really do hope that the Corp can save the dam. But with them not working on the "critical" section, and the cracks that have become evident at the top of the concrete dam & roadway, I have my concerns.

Let's hope that the Corp gives us good news in a few weeks, that they can save the dam and importantly to us, the river as a trout fishery.

Bill

waterwolf
08-18-2010, 10:48 AM
Has a dam of this size ever been intentionally breached? As I understand it this is the largest impoundment east of the Mississippi. Silvercreek
Not that I know of, and before they breached it they would have to drain Lake Cumberland, which poses huge problems because of the local economy surrounding that reservoir.

I personally do not know what the answer is, and really do not know how they would breach the dam, and rebuild a new one that wouldn't have the same issues. IMO, this problem may never be solved, and the Cumberland may just hang on, as a marginal trout stream from now on. Similar to the Hiwassee, Elk, Duck, and a few other rivers scattered around the region.

silvercreek
08-18-2010, 10:52 AM
Since I live downstream of that dam, I have followed it closely. I've looked at the flood maps if it should fail. Worse than the May flood that did so much damage. That slippage of earth while they were grouting and the widening of cracks is scarey stuff. Compounding the problem is Center Hill dam which also feed the Cumberland has similar problems. Any info you guys get would be appreciated. Silvercreek

kentuckytroutbum
08-18-2010, 11:53 AM
Silvercreek & waterwolf-

For current news on the dam, go to www.lakecumberland.com (http://www.lakecumberland.com) and click on "news." They usually have links to the Somerset & Nashville newspapers with the latest information on the lake & dam repairs.

Bill

pacofly13
08-18-2010, 03:43 PM
Silvercreek-

To my knowledge, no dam, holding this many acre-feet of water has ever been intentionally breached. As an architect, I've followed the progress of the repairs very closely, and the problems they've encountered.

Not only was the dam leaking, the bigger problem is that the karst limestone bedrock supporting the dam was also leaking. The karst limestone in southern & western KY is honeycombed with cracks, fissures,sink holes, caverns, and caves which gives underground water a path to dissolve the limestone. If you've been through Mammoth Cave, you can see the erosive nature of underground water to limestone bedrock. The big danger, to me, is that the karst limestone would collapse, and the dam would implode on itself, causing untold damage & loss of life.

Please don't get me wrong, I am not trying to be a fear monger, I really do hope that the Corp can save the dam. But with them not working on the "critical" section, and the cracks that have become evident at the top of the concrete dam & roadway, I have my concerns.

Let's hope that the Corp gives us good news in a few weeks, that they can save the dam and importantly to us, the river as a trout fishery.

Bill
call me crazy, but for years i couldn't understand why the corp would have built this earthen dam using karst anyway... seem as if they would know the porous nature of this rock and come up w/ a better plan. I know this is all in hindsight, but even most people know the formations of caves and how water seeps through.. breaks down the more porous limestone or softer rock.. and leaves a harder bedrock as a roof... hence a cave. sorry, just venting and frustrated.

MarkHansen
08-18-2010, 06:12 PM
Don’t forget about the political side of things. This is like getting “real information” from the Washington DC wankers . . .

I read these news releases and DO NOT know what to believe.

pacofly13
08-18-2010, 06:41 PM
Don’t forget about the political side of things. This is like getting “real information” from the Washington DC wankers . . .

I read these news releases and DO NOT know what to believe.
i think i agree w/ about 100% of that statement!

waterwolf
08-18-2010, 10:49 PM
i think i agree w/ about 100% of that statement!
Who knows what to believe, they have been wrong from the beginning on how to fix it, how long it would take, how much it would cost, and how it would impact the fishery. Why myself or anyone else would believe them now, is mystifying.

kentuckytroutbum
08-19-2010, 08:38 AM
As I said, " I have my concerns............."

Bill

Knothead
08-19-2010, 01:25 PM
I don't fish the Cumbie but, like pacofly13, question why they built the dam, knowing there is a questionable foundation.

waterwolf
08-19-2010, 10:47 PM
I don't fish the Cumbie but, like pacofly13, question why they built the dam, knowing there is a questionable foundation.
Just like Center Hill (Caney Fork) they didn't knowingly build the dam over a volatile karst formation. I think I remember from geology classes that sometimes karst formation appear fairly stable then over time shift and change, we do live in a shifting changing world.

As much as I think the federal govt is completely incompetent at basically everything they touch, other then military stuff. I seriously doubt they would have risked millions of lives, and trillions of destruction with a building site on a less then adequate substrate.

Sh*t happens, and hopefully things will work out, but for now it sure seems bleak.

Grumpy
08-20-2010, 07:34 AM
call me crazy, but for years i couldn't understand why the corp would have built this earthen dam using karst anyway... seem as if they would know the porous nature of this rock and come up w/ a better plan. I know this is all in hindsight, but even most people know the formations of caves and how water seeps through.. breaks down the more porous limestone or softer rock.. and leaves a harder bedrock as a roof... hence a cave. sorry, just venting and frustrated.

Simple, we've got the funding, build them. It's sort of funny on the original 300 plus pages on Wolf Creek project, they were showing them filling the caverns with gravel:eek: then it disappeared:confused:

Grumpy

kentuckytroutbum
08-20-2010, 09:30 AM
Just like Center Hill (Caney Fork) they didn't knowingly build the dam over a volatile karst formation. I think I remember from geology classes that sometimes karst formation appear fairly stable then over time shift and change, we do live in a shifting changing world.

Sh*t happens, and hopefully things will work out, but for now it sure seems bleak.

I'm not going to defend or flame the Corp's decision to build WCD where they did. But with 36+ years in design & construction, we've learned alot about the building sciences, and geotechnical investigations. Old assumptions and design philosophies die hard in the building industry. And waterwolf is correct in that this planet is very active geologically, and continues to evolve and change.

Hopefully, the Corp has also taken the New Madrid Fault, which is fairly close by, into the design & repair analysis, and decision making logic.

Bill