Fishing the Dix River

The Dix River is famous for being one of the most scenic rivers in Kentucky, and is a lesser known trophy trout stream designated by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. It snakes a few miles down from the Dix Dam to the Kentucky River, and along the way are awe-inspiring bluffs, rocky outcroppings, and heavy forests. You can paddle or use a motorboat, but you’ll be able to get the farthest up the river by paddling, as long as you don’t mind a little exercise.
What Makes It Great
The Dix River is a lesser-known gem off of the Kentucky River and it’s well-worth the trip, even if you don’t plan to fish. Rock walls rising a few hundred feet line the shores, and rocky banks with heavy forests are interspersed with the river. The dam upstream releases fresh, cold water, and the river feels rugged and pristine.
To get to the river, launch from the High Bridge Boat Ramp and then paddle up the Kentucky River for one mile towards High Bridge. As soon as you pass High Bridge, the mouth of the Dix River will appear on your right. You can paddle about three or four miles upstream to the Dix Dam, which forms Herrington Lake, and fish at any point along the way. It’s best to go during a medium flow time, when some water is being released from the dam, and when the Kentucky River is low enough that it’s not backing up into the Dix River. 
Part of what makes the Dix River so abundant with fish is the many twists and turns of the river, the downed logs, rock riffles and rocky outcroppings, all of which provide a variety of habitat for fish. As you paddle, search for these features, and try casting in one of the pools along the banks of the river. By late spring, the pools should be abundant with bass. If paddling isn’t your style, you can take a motorboat up the river, but unless the flow is quite high, you probably won’t be able to reach the dam.
You can turn around and float downstream at any time, but as you get closer to the Dix Dam, you’ll find brown and rainbow trout. Use an artificial lure for these fish.
Who is Going to Love It
Fishing the Dix River is best for moderate level paddlers able to watch out for obstructions in the river while navigating the river channel. It’s best for those who want to fish in a scenic river, and who are prepared to put in a little work to get upstream.
Directions, Parking & Regulations
Access is from High Bridge Boat Ramp on the Kentucky River. There is a concrete boat ramp, and the launch fee is an honor system: $2 for canoes and $4 for boats launched using a trailer. No live bait is allowed after entering the Dix River.
A Kentucky fishing license costs $7 a day for a resident, $10 a day for a non-resident. Trout fishing is $10 a day. Licenses can be purchased here.

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