View Full Version : Elk River, TN

07-19-2006, 07:44 PM
Hello all,

I will be moving to the Jackson, TN area later next week. I have done all of my trout fishing trips in the last 7 years in east Tennessee, and mainly in the SMNP. I have been during a little research and the closest TN tailwater to where I will be moving is the Elk River, south of Nashville. I read a report on the TN Game & Fish page that said this fishery receives less pressure than most of the TN tailwaters. I don't get into crowds, so the Elk sounds like it might be my kinda place. I appreciate any info on the Elk and any other trout fishing opportunities in Central TN. You can IM me if you don't want to reveal any secrets on the board.

Thanks in advance for any info you might be willling to share.


Gerry Romer
07-19-2006, 11:28 PM
There is a book that is a fairly basic overview of Tennessee fly fishing broken down by type of water: Tailwaters, Taliwater Lakes, Freestone Streams & Rivers. A quick glance at the opening spread on pages 6-7 shows 4 tailwater streams within easy reach of Nashville. There's Caney Fork, Duck River, Elk River and Obey River. Each of these is given a fairly comprehensive write-up. While I've not fished any of these, I have fished a number of the other streams written up in the book and I've found his appraisal helpful. Nice color photography too. Makes everything look very inviting!.

Hope this is helpful


07-20-2006, 12:36 PM

I live in Huntsville, AL, and the Elk is the closest trout water to me. Don't expect a Hiwassee, Holston, Watauga type tailwater. The river is fairly narrow, and cannot be fished if TVA is generating any water. When the water is off, there are a few good runs that can be worked, but nothing in the sense of classic trout water.

The main public access points are at the Dam at Tim's Ford, Ferris Creek Bridge, and Old Dam Ford. Most of my success has come at the dam, probably because that's where most of the fish are stocked. There's a bridge that crosses the river at the dam, maybe Hiway 53? below the bridge is a gravel bar with about a 100 yard pool. People stack up on this bar and it gets lots of pressure. If you walk down the river about 1/4 mile, you will come to a big turn hole in the river. It's deep and generally holds better fish. After you go around the turn, the river rapidly becomes deep and difficult to fish.

Do a search on Google for Tim's Flies and Lies. This is a fly shop in Lynchburg. He posts a fishing report every month or so.

In my limited experience, two flies have been the biggest producer: (1) olive woooly bugger; and, (2) small (size 22 or smaller) midges. I've caught plenty of fish on other flies, but these have been the best producers.

I once paddled from the dam to Ferris Creek Bridge. At points the water was very still, very deep and very clear. We could see some nice size trout as we paddled over them.

Good luck and let me know how you do.


07-20-2006, 12:50 PM
Thanks for the info rlockwood and Gerry. I want to learn as little more about Caney Fork as well, sounds like it has some good flyfisghing, but can get a little crowded sometimes in the popular areas. I look forward to flinging a fly in TN in the near future.


07-20-2006, 01:11 PM
The Elk has less access than the Caney, hence less pressure. If you're ever headed through Nashville, give me a shout & i'd be glad to point you in some directions on both streams.


Gerry Romer
07-20-2006, 11:59 PM
Another great resource for me has been my East Tennessee Fishing Map Guide. It's a comprehensive map book published by Sportsman's Connection of Superior, Wisconsin, that I picked up at my local Wal-Mart in the sporting goods department. I checked tonight on my way home and they also carry separate guides for Middle and East Tennessee. Where Rudter's book is long on photography and editorial, these guides are long on exremely detailed maps and short on editorial and photography. They're broken down by Regional Lakes and Regional Streams and Watersheds with very concise overviews of each area and tons of charts and stats. If your local Wal-Mart doesn't stock them you might find a retailer through the publisher's website: www.sportsmansconnection.com (http://www.sportsmansconnection.com)

Hope this helps.

Gerry *

07-21-2006, 07:30 AM

There are supposedly stocked water for primarily winter fishing on Fort Cambell military reservation, which will be north of Jackson towards Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.

08-05-2006, 10:38 PM
the caney is the river i fish most of the time and some spots i wold reccomend would be happy hollow, if you fish here *pm me and ill tell you were to go. two others would be the i-40 pulloff and bettys island. pm and ill tell you were to go at these areas. sorry but i guy like me doesnt find to many spots in the 1.5 hours i get to fish when i go. its a pretty good fishery and only getting better. in the winter they stock below nicest mill dam right outside of murfreesboro and it can be pretty good.

Son Of Simon
08-27-2006, 04:25 PM
You're about 3 1/2hrs from the Elk if you're in Jackson. About the same for the Caney, which is a much better river to fish. I've had some real good days on the Elk, but generally you're going to catch smaller fish and they are usually harder to catch than the Caney. But in all honesty, I would leave the Mid TN rivers as a back up and head to the Little Red. Its about just as far away and a much better fishery. A lot more milage of trout water and bigger fish. Cow shoals and Swinging Bridge are my favorites. Plus you can rent boats and take those up river to islands/shoals that arent accessible any other way, then drift back down.

08-28-2006, 04:40 PM
SOS is right the little red or white river is going to be better than any tailwater in tennessee 9 out of 10 times. and if youve got kids you can take them to dry run creek which flows into the white. its a 16 under managed trophy stream and there are trout in there as long as your leg. hope this helps.