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It started with a weekend getaway for my wife and I on a Friday afternoon. Around noon that day we found a hotel, loaded our Jackson Liska’s, threw clothes in a bag and ventured down to the Dale Hollow area. She wanted to visit a few antique stores I had found traveling to the Jackson Factory and I had my eyes on a famed Dale Hollow smallmouth bass.

Saturday mid day we began exploring options for places to drop the kayaks in the water only to find that the lake was jam packed. The Sulfur Creek ramp on the Kentucky side of Dale Hollow was full and there wasn’t a parking space to be had. With no Tennessee license and nowhere to print one we decided to make a move to the Cumberland River next to our hotel.

Trout Unexpectedly | Kayak Fishing

The upper Cumberland River near the Wolf Creek Dam on Lake Cumberland is cooler than most water sheds. With Lake Cumberland being 100 plus feet in depth the water coming out of Wolf Creek Dam is similar to something that you would find in a cave. This gave the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife department an opportunity to create something different and develop an area for cold water species. The result is what is hailed as the best trout fishing in the Eastern United States.

We sat out paddling our Liska’s up river with the intent to get as far as we could and then float back down to our ramp. Still not thinking trout and only having bass gear I had hopes of catching a smallmouth. The current was a moving good so I made quick choice to start with moving baits. I tied on my Nate’s Custom Baits Hybrid Vibe and began make my way back down the bank.

Trout Unexpectedly | Kayak Fishing

Excited about what I had seen I made a decision to call a buddy, take the 3.5 hour drive and try it again the very next weekend. We put in the Cumberland armed with my Big Rig HDFD and Coosa FD set for battle. It was in the 1st hundred yards with the same lure that I hooked up with a 19.25 inch Rainbow Trout. The trout fought hard at the side of the kayak while my buddy peddled by and scooped it up with the net. We celebrated the moment, snapped a few photo’s and I pulled off giving him the opportunity fish ahead. It wasn’t but a few casts later he landed his 1st Kentucky trout.

Bass fishing is and probably always will be my favorite but this adventure while unexpected was a welcomed one. The sights on the Cumberland are beautiful, the cool water provides some air conditioning during these dog days of summer and the trout fishing is truly the best around. I have to applaud the folks at Kentucky Fish and Wildlife every time I visit the state. They truly do an amazing job and I can’t wait to get back south and chase my next hookset.

Trout Unexpectedly | Kayak Fishing

** If you plan to visit the Cumberland River from Wolf Creek Dam to Burkesville, KY PLEASE use the river gauges and the generation schedule at the dam. This area of river is constantly changing.**

Stay Crazy,
Chad Brock