Top 7 Fly Fishing Spots in Kentucky

Kentucky offers a diverse range of fly fishing opportunities, from trout streams to bass-filled rivers. Here are the top seven fly fishing spots in Kentucky, complete with additional information on specific fishing spots and local conditions.

  1. Cumberland River: This tailwater fishery, located below the Wolf Creek Dam, is renowned for its trophy-sized rainbow and brown trout. The 75-mile stretch between the dam and the Tennessee border offers various access points, including Helms Landing, Winfrey’s Ferry, and Crocus Creek. Local conditions to consider include water release schedules from the dam, which can affect river flows and fishing conditions.
  2. Elkhorn Creek: Elkhorn Creek, near Frankfort, is a prime destination for smallmouth bass, as well as largemouth bass and panfish. The creek is divided into two forks, the North and South, which converge near Forks of Elkhorn. Key fishing spots include Canoe Kentucky access points and Knight’s Bridge. Water levels can fluctuate, so be sure to check local conditions before your trip. Read an in-depth review at Quest Outdoors for additional information.
  3. Green River: The Green River, flowing through Mammoth Cave National Park, offers excellent smallmouth bass and panfish fly fishing. Key fishing spots include the Houchin Ferry area, Dennison Ferry, and various access points within the park. Keep an eye on water levels, as they can impact fishing conditions and access.
  4. Hatchery Creek: This man-made trout stream, located below the Wolf Creek Dam, offers an exceptional trout fishing experience. The 1.5-mile stretch of Hatchery Creek is divided into an upper and lower section, with multiple access points and features like riffles, runs, and pools. The creek is catch-and-release only and is regulated as an artificial lure and fly-only area. Read our in-depth review of Hatchery Creek.
  5. Dix River: The Dix River, a tributary of the Kentucky River, provides excellent opportunities for smallmouth bass, rock bass, and even trout in the tailwater section below Herrington Lake Dam. The river can be challenging to access, but the Palisades Wildlife Management Area offers public entry. Water release schedules from the dam can affect flows and fishing conditions, so plan accordingly. Read our in-depth review of the Dix River.
  6. Otter Creek: Located near Fort Knox, Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area offers a variety of fishing opportunities, including trout, smallmouth bass, and panfish. The area is stocked with trout during the cooler months, making it a popular destination for anglers. Access is available through the recreation area, and a daily fishing permit is required. Read our in=depth review of Otter Creek.
  7. Kentucky River: The Kentucky River offers diverse fly fishing opportunities, with species such as smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and various panfish. Key fishing spots include the Lock and Dam areas, the confluence with Elkhorn Creek, and Clay Wildlife Management Area. Be aware of water levels and flow, as they can significantly impact fishing conditions.

These top seven fly fishing spots in Kentucky provide anglers with a range of opportunities to target different species in various environments. By understanding the specific fishing spots and local conditions of each location, you can increase your chances of success and fully enjoy the Bluegrass State’s angling offerings.

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