The Duck River below Normandy Dam is a very productive put-and- take trout fishery in the colder months. It is slightly smaller than the Elk River, and bears many similarities. The Dam does not release near as much as Tims Ford or Center Hill, being that it was built for flood control instead of providing hydroelectric power. It also provides water to the Normandy fish hatchery, which you will drive and most likely walk by fishing this tailwater. There is always a steady flow from the dam, and this provides good currents for the fish and anglers alike.
Most of the fish stocked in the Duck will be harvested, so if you enjoy the taste of trout, this is a good opportunity to bring a few home. Now, I know, we are all about catch and release, which is certainly true, but we do have some common sense. Not to mention I have a craving for some rainbow trout on the grill with lemon, butter, and pepper.
The Duck does not see too much pressure compared to our other tailwaters, unless those other rivers are running high, and/or the duck was recently stocked. There is plenty of parking and access at the dam, as well as the bridges and downstream at Cortner Mill. From there down you will start seeing a mix of warmwater species as well. As far as the trout are concerned, you will encounter the average stocker rainbows between 8″ to 12″. We have caught several larger rainbows in the 16″ to 18″ range there, but that was just a result of them being stocked with the average size fish.
Check the the generation schedule online and at the lake information line at 1-423-751-2264. Press 4 for predicted units, then 56 for Normandy Dam

If you go:

The best starting point is the dam, which you will find at this address:

Normandy Dam and Fish hatchery

365 Huffman Rd.

Normandy, TN 37360


Driving distance from Nashville: approximately 1.5 hours

– Drive past the hatchery and the dam will be on the left. Start here and work your way downstream. The fishing is productive at both bridges as well. Don’t hesitate to walk the banks and find some holes.

Recommended gear:

Rod: just like the Elk, a 5wt will cover all your bases, but feel free to use anything smaller as well.

Leader: stick with a 5x, you’ll be fine. These fish are definitely not leader shy.

Flies:wooly buggers in a variety of colors will produce well in the duck, as well as your basic nymphs.

Wading/floating: wading is easy here, just be careful around holes and beware of submerged trees and rocks. Canoes, kayaks and pontoons are the best ways to navigate the Duck if you choose to float it.

Good luck,  and leave it cleaner than you found it.