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Great Trout Fishing In Kentucky

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Guide to fishing for rainbow, brook, brown and lake trout in area lakes and streams.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Trout fishing in Kentucky

Kentucky offers a variety of opportunities for trout fishing, with its lakes and rivers providing ample habitat for several trout species. Anglers can target rainbow trout, brown trout, and occasionally brook trout in the state's waters, creating a diverse and exciting trout fishing experience. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about trout fishing and identify trout fishing waters in the state.

Rainbow trout are one of the most common trout species found in Kentucky's lakes and rivers. Known for their acrobatic jumps and colorful markings, rainbow trout provide thrilling angling opportunities. Lakes such as Laurel River Lake, Dale Hollow Lake, and Lake Cumberland are popular destinations for rainbow trout fishing. Anglers often employ techniques such as fly fishing, spinning, or bait fishing to entice these prized game fish.

Brown trout, with their cunning nature and impressive size, are another sought-after trout species in Kentucky. These wily fish can be found in rivers and streams throughout the state. The Cumberland River, Rock Creek, and the Dix River are known for their brown trout populations. Anglers targeting brown trout often use fly fishing techniques, including casting streamer patterns or nymphs. These fish require stealth and precision, making them a challenging quarry for anglers.

While less common, brook trout can occasionally be found in Kentucky's colder streams and tributaries. These beautiful fish, with their vibrant colors and distinctive markings, are a true gem for trout anglers. Anglers seeking brook trout often explore the headwaters and smaller creeks in the eastern parts of the state, including the Red River and its tributaries.

Trout fishing in Kentucky is regulated, with specific seasons and creel limits in place to ensure the sustainability of trout populations. Anglers should familiarize themselves with the state's fishing regulations, obtain the necessary licenses, and practice catch-and-release whenever possible to preserve these valuable fisheries.

Whether you're casting in a serene mountain stream or floating along a picturesque lake, Kentucky offers a variety of trout fishing experiences. The challenge of fooling these elusive fish, combined with the beauty of Kentucky's natural surroundings, creates an unforgettable trout fishing adventure. So grab your fly rod, tie on a favorite lure, and explore the lakes and rivers of Kentucky for a chance to reel in a stunning rainbow trout, elusive brown trout, or rare brook trout.

Trout Waters

Dale Hollow Lake, Laurel River Lake, Paintsville Lake and Wood Creek Lake are the large lakes in Kentucky with a healthy population of trout.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Kentucky

Trout Species In The State

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout

World record: 42 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 14 lbs 6 oz

Brook Trout

Brook trout

World record: 14 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 3.65 lbs

Brown Trout

Brown trout

World record: 40 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 21.0 lbs

Lake Trout

Lake trout

World record: 72 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 5 lbs 5 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Select the best trout lures and baits

Trout spinners, crankbaits and jerkbaits work well for shallow, reasonably active fish. Salmon eggs, worms and prepared baits will work at virtually all depths.

Kentucky State Record Trout

The state record rainbow trout was caught from the Cumberland River.

The state record brook trout was taken out of the Cumberland River.

The state record brown trout came from the Cumberland River.

The state record lake trout was caught in the Cumberland River.

Visit the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife for specific information about trout stocking in Kentucky.

Watch trout fishing videos to see trout anglers in action.

Additional trout information

Brown Trout
Brown trout being released.

The 5 primary trouts are the rainbow, brook, brown, cutthroat and lake trout. Browns are considered the most difficult to catch and brookies are the easiest. Pure cold water is key to survival of the trouts.

Trout Conservation
Trout Unlimited


Trout locations and info, by state.

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