View Full Version : Cumberland River Information

09-25-2010, 08:30 AM
I've got a weddng that I am attending in St. Louis next Saturday. The drive always sucks, but I thought if I worked in a fishing trip on Friday I could kill two birds with one stone.

My plan: Leave Thursday night drive to the Cumberland River, camp in car or tent. Fish all day Friday, drive to Stl for wedding.

1. Cumberland is running like 3200 cfs, is this Wadeable in places?
2. What would be some good drift boat floats?
3. What is low flow cfs supposed to be?
4. Is there a good campground?
5. What is your favorite greasy breakfast place near the river?
6. What is your favorite lunch spot.
7. What is your favorite dinner/pub

For flies let me guess PT's, midges, streamers etc.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, especially on the camping and food. I enjoy finding good places to grub almost as much as fishing.

09-25-2010, 10:28 AM
I have not heard anything good about the Cumberland this year. I hope some of the guys that live close to it can chime in and help you...

09-26-2010, 07:30 AM
to much water to wade , fish the white river in arkansas on your way.

09-26-2010, 10:13 AM
The white would be cool, but would proably double my drive time. We have a drift boat.

Billspey, where do you stay, when you fish the cumby?

09-26-2010, 03:03 PM
Kris float from helms landing to Winfrey's ferry is the float for drift boats about 6 miles and this stretch usually has been better fishing for the last few years. at helms they rent rooms but you have to bring your own food or drive back to jamestown ky. a few restaurant's. shuttle was done by Jim Burges but he past away, someone said his wife maybe still doing shuttles.

09-26-2010, 06:39 PM

My wife & I have regularly fished the Cumberland, along with several TU friends from the Louisville area. This year the Cumberland has been awful.

The releases have been very high, because of the dam repairs, and COE wants to keep the lake at an elevation of 680.0 Feet. No one has seen any hatches lately from Helm's Landing all the way to Winfreys Ferry. We believe that the high cfs flows have scoured the bottom, and the vegetation where insects would normally reside. The trout have probably gone downstream to chase food, but the water is warmer. Not good.

3200 CFS is not wadeable safely, but you would be ok in a drift or jon boat. But the COE is not adhering to any set release schedule, so you're taking chances. At the August meeting of the Louisville TU, two representative of KYDFW gave presentations, and the F&W is at the mercy of the COE on releases and maintaining the trout population in the Cumberland. F&W will continue to stock the Cumberland, but they may be just trying to keep trout in the upper section of the river. Its almost a "put & take" situation right now.

In summation, we're not fishing the Cumberland the rest of this year, maybe not even next year. It may take a couple of years for the Cumberland to recover. I wouldn't waste your time. IMHO. :frown:

You could fish the Clinch, seems like fly flingers are having good success right now.


09-27-2010, 10:09 AM
Thanks for all the information. I guess it doesn't sound too good up there. Maybe I'll have to hit the Caney on the way instead. Who knows.

09-27-2010, 10:40 AM
yeah, i agree w/ kentuckytroutbum i have fished the cumby for years and this might be one of the worst years yet as far as trips and wadeable water. Seems like every time the release becomes favorable the cumberland valley receives a couple of inches of rain and the lake rises a few feet! Now the few times i have been down this year we have caught fish, albeit somewhat slow.. the predicted release forecast does have a 2.0 which is certainly wadeable water, especially at Helms landing(but as mentioned earlier i wouldn't trust the COE sticking to that). As far as camping we always stay at Kendall campground below the **** which is pretty nice and when they're not generating you can fish below the dam.
flies that usually work.. pt's,princes,hares eares, zebras, any midge
hope this helps- Matt

09-27-2010, 04:01 PM
Paco, where did you find the predicted numbers that you spoke of. I know things are a crap shoot, when it comes to predictions, but I'm used to it having grown up fishing AR tailraces.

09-27-2010, 04:42 PM
Kris... here is the link http://www.orn.usace.army.mil/hh/products/memrvrbna.txt
it should work it is a COE web-page and wolf creek will be the first one listed for the 5 day. i've just been burned a few times this year when gettin ready to head down there and then they change it... didn't happen much in the past.

p.s. i just noticed they changed it to 3.5(roughly 3,500cfs unwadeable) i guess from todays rains.. go figure:confused:

09-27-2010, 04:45 PM

These are only SWAGs, use caution. I look at the previous day's releases, and then check to see if they have had any rain anywhere in that watershed that drains into a dammed up lake. The Cumberland drains a very large area of Eastern KY, so rain anywhere will drain into the lake.

As they said, the Kendall campground at the dam is nice. Also, Lake Cumberland State Park, just to north a couple of miles on Hwy 127 has the state park Lodge, nice cabins, campsites, and RV sites. The Lodge has a decent restaurant. A few miles further north is Jamestown. There are a couple of decent restaurants right in the town square on the southwest side. Sorry, I can't remember their names.