Episode #5 of The DrakeCast takes us to a gigantic dam in the great state of Kentucky. While there, we learn about the Cumberland River that flows out of that massive wall of concrete, the trout that call that river home, and the fishermen that chase those trout. This is the story of one dam and one river, and it makes us wonder, what does this say about the future of fishing in America?
A few months ago, Clyde and I cruised through Kentucky in search of a good time. We had plans to fish the Cumberland River Tailwater below Wolf Creek Dam but when we got there, we discovered that the generation schedule was not conducive to wade fishing. Wanting to make the most of the day, we wandered into the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery visitors center just in time to watch the penned-up bass demolish a handful of fingerling rainbows.
We wandered into the office of James Gray, the project leader at the hatchery and he told us a harrowing story about the rise and fall of the Cumberland River trout fishery. From there, we scheduled interviews with guides, fisheries biologists, employees at the Army Corps of Engineers who helped us get to the bottom of the story. We learn how our nation’s aging infrastructure has affected the fish and the fishing on the Cumberland.
While down there, we drank some sweet, Sweetwater and slept in the driveway of an abandoned trailer.We also managed to pick up a couple nice rainbows on a tributary to the Cumberland, which will be a later episode.
So make sure to give the link a click and listen to The Drake magazine’s most recent episode of The DrakeCast. Better yet, why don’t you subscribe to the podcast? Here are links to iTunes, Soundcloud, and Stitcher.
Many thanks to the folks at Nashville’s premier flyshop, Fly South, for their hospitality and help on this episode.
I thoroughly enjoyed all of my conversations with Dane Law, the owner of Southeastern Anglers. Look him up if you’d like to catch a boatload of fish from a driftboat in Tennessee or Kentucky.