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lexfly
11-15-2010, 07:53 PM
Took the day off Friday and went to the cumberland for a little r n r. No boat, water was very low all day and I fished at Helms the entire time. The catching was slow, although I did bring a very nice brown to hand (16 -18 inches) before I quick released him. The last time I will fish without a net. I've fished the Cumberland several times but would not consider myself an expert by any means and the fish I caught were on midges or bead head nymphs. However, it drove me crazy that they were rising (or taking something just under the surface) nearly all day and I couldn't catch more than I did. I'm sure presentation was part of the problem, but wanted to ask if anyone has any suggestions for patterns etc. because they we hungry. There is no fly shop in Lexington any longer, so short of a guide there are not many info resources here. Any advice is much appreciated.

fishingman62
11-15-2010, 08:39 PM
lexfly i have never fished the cumbelrand but you may want to try some soft hackles...the work well on the clinch and the caney ,,,,dead drift it let swing in the current a bit at the end of the drift then strip it back ....or you may want to try some streamers
dan

silvercreek
11-16-2010, 09:55 AM
Lexfly, need some idea of what you are seeing in the air or on the water in order to suggest a pattern. Probably this time of the year it is a midge, but it is possible could be a BWO or maybe caddis. Just guessing. Trout like to take midges hanging helpless in the film as they hatch. A zebra midge might work if that is what they are on. Give us a report when you get some idea of the bug and I'm sure you will get some suggestions. The suggestion of a soft hackle is a good one as a general nonspecific pattern. Regards, Silvercreek

lexfly
11-16-2010, 05:53 PM
The only things I could see on the film or in the air were tiny (size 22 or 24) little white or tan flies. They were all over the place and mostly looked like they had fallen back on the water. I tried a black, red and brown bh zebra midge but didn't have near the luck I expected. Maybe the bead head? Tried BWO dry but no luck. Did not try a soft hackle. I rarely fish with them. What would be a good starter selection for soft hackle flies?

BlueRaiderFan
11-16-2010, 05:58 PM
Try a PMD spinner or PMD. Hint: Try a zebra midge, but don't tie it with a bead head. It will float in the film for ya ;)

Rainbow Warrior
11-16-2010, 06:03 PM
The only things I could see on the film or in the air were tiny (size 22 or 24) little white or tan flies. They were all over the place and mostly looked like they had fallen back on the water. I tried a black, red and brown bh zebra midge but didn't have near the luck I expected. Maybe the bead head? Tried BWO dry but no luck. Did not try a soft hackle. I rarely fish with them. What would be a good starter selection for soft hackle flies?
Those bugs you are seeing sound to me like midges. They are common this time of year and throughout winter. In the winter trout really key in on them. Try a #22 griffiths gnat or a #22-24 cream midge dry. Just make sure you are using light tippet and don't set too hard. It doesn't take much to get a fly that small hooked. If that doesnt wark, you could always try an attractor dry with a zebra midge about a foot under. That sometimes works for me when they are midging higher in the water column. Also, as the other guys said, use soft hackles! You can drift them, swing them, or strip them...just see what the fish prefer! :cool:

kentuckytroutbum
11-17-2010, 10:27 AM
lexfly-

The others have given you good suggestions, they're probably midges this time of year. On the Cumby, midges are a year round occurance. You also might try some small Yellow Sallys or Sulphurs also. This time of the year its tough. My go-to set up would be Griffiths Gnats with a zebra midge dropper. The Cumby is slow this year, probably because of the dam work, and the high CFS releases may have scoured the bottom of the river, and the vegetation that provides shelter for the bugs in the larva and/or pupa stages.

You said that a fly shop closed in Lexington. Was it Sporting Traditions (Orvis dealer) that was downtown? Its sad, another fly shop bites the dust! :frown:

Bill

lexfly
11-17-2010, 05:21 PM
Thanks for all the pointers. I will see what I can do about the cream midges and soft hackles. I look forward to getting back soon. The Cumberland does seem slow, but it was better than not fishing at all. :smile: The fly shop that closed was Sporting Tradition. They had recently moved out to Lexington Green from downtown.

fishingman62
11-19-2010, 09:51 PM
lexfly olive soft hackles size 14 and 16 work well for me on both the clinch the caney and also the elk..try tieing them with some rainbow, gold or red crystal flash at the bend in the hook i think the flash helps attract them when you strip them back if you use a floating line maybe add a bead head to help keep it down in the strike zone when stripping it back the bead head for those size hooks don't seem to put the fish off during the dead drift
dan

highpockets
12-08-2010, 12:09 PM
Same exact problem on teh Elk every year. The suggestions here are all that I use as well. Small soft hackles, a Reverse Spider fished on floating line with floatant on all but the last 6" of the tippet. I usually get the strike RIGHT when the tippet goes taut.


I have also used a tiny midge dry with NO floatant on it and floatant, once again, on all but the last few inches of the tippet. If you have some sinkant put it on the fly.

The stuff they're hitting is floating along about 1-2" and it is maddening.

gutshot
12-10-2010, 10:06 AM
Lexfly,

Subsurface food is available year round and since the tailwaters have generally consistent temps they are active year round.

Unless you are intent on catching these rising fish on a dry fly or surface patten, when the fish are rising nymph patterns are often still more productive.

Small stonefly nymphs, pheasant tails from 14-18, and scud/sowbug patterns will often be as or more productive. Sometimes you just have to figure out where the trout are in the water column and get the nymph at or just above that level. Sometimes the fish will be just 6 inches from the surface or sitting tight to the bottom.

The fish are often seeing a lot less presure this time of year and some real hogs can be found out feeding in bright sun.

You must have a drag free drift and a fly they are willing to eat.