Fishing the Cumberland River is a wonderful experience for both anglers of trout and many other species of fish. The most popular fishing on the river is, by far, trout. There are two species of trout in the river: rainbow trout and brown trout.
There are three main methods of fishing the river: bait fishing, artificial lure fishing, and fly fishing. Bait fishing can be done using several different methods. One of the more popular methods is using whole kernel corn or salmon eggs on treble hooks with sufficient weight to keep the bait on the bottom. Another popular form of bait fishing is drifting the bait. Using a night crawler on a light hook, hooked through the band of the crawler and allowed to drift in the current. The best and most popular baits are night crawlers, corn, cheese, salmon eggs, and power bait.
Many trout are also pulled from the river using artificial lures. When using artificial lures simply cast the lure across the current and retrieve. Some of the most popular lures used are the white, red, and brown Roostertail, the jointed countdown or floating Rapalas, The Rebel Crawdad, Little Cleo Spoon, Crocodile Spoon, Mepps In-Line Spinner, and Blue Fox In-Line Spinner.
Fly fishing is another very popular method of fishing. There are three main types of flies to use on the river: surface or dry flies, nymph or wet flies, and streamer flies. If there is a hatch the surface fishing is great, catching the most fish with a replica of the insect most prevalent. One of the best hatches usually comes in July with the hatch of the Japanese beetle. Dry fly fishing is usually done with a upstream cast. Cast diagonally upstream to avoid letting your line drift over the fish and spooking it. To reach the difficult spots you may have to cast across stream or downstream. Always drop your fly well upstream of the fish and let it drift into the correct position. Remember the rises of the fish are misleading and do not indicate where the trout actually lie. Nymphing on the Cumberland river is similar to that of dry fly fishing. Nymph fishing or wet fly fishing is different from dry fly fishing in that the fly sinks. Cast your fly upstream at a diagonal and let it drift into position. Streamer fishing is a great method for the trophy fish. Streamer flies are generally bigger than dry or wet flies. The trophy fish feed mainly on bait fish. Streamers are most commonly tied to mimic shiners, dace, sculpins, chubs, darters, and even young trout. The drift is a good basic method for using streamers but because you are trying to mimic a smaller fish darting across the current using a jerking action with the fly is often more effective. Remember to vary the speed and the direction of your retrieval. Some of the most popular streamers are the Mylar Minnow, White Woolybugger, Deceiver, Muddler Minnow, Rainbow Trout and the Dark Spruce.