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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Fly Fishing Alabama's Sipsey Fork

You want to go fly fishing for trout in Alabama? Your only option is the Lower Sipsey Fork in north-central part of the state. Fishing is done in the tailwaters below Smith Lake dam, where the Sipsey Fork flows cold and free. This is a stocked fishery, rainbow trout are released every month except August and the water is cold enough to support a year round fishery.

Dawn on the Sipsey Fork

The best fishing is upstream from the Birmingham Water Works Pump Station, although there are over 12 miles of good fishing from the dam down to the confluence with the Mulberry Fork. The upper reaches are good for wading and stream side fishing; downstream is better for float fishing. The upper reaches are full of riffles, eddies and pools where trout congregate and the Sipsey on this stretch resembles a typical Appalachian mountain stream. 

The local chapter of Trout Unlimited is constantly working to provide improved fish habitat and, due to the cold water, fish survive and can grow up to 18 inches or bigger.

Caution: Alabama Power Company generates power on a frequent but irregular, check for release schedules before entering the river—a warning siren will announce any releases but don’t count on hearing it and water levels increases quickly. Be sure to have an escape route in mind. Generation schedules are available on the web at www.lakes.alabamapower.com; but the schedules are subject to change without notice.

For info on fishing conditions, access and other questions contact Riverside Fly Shop in Jasper, AL www.riversideflyshop.com

1 comment:

  1. Tom
    Are there good riverside canoe campsites on the 13 mile stretch below the Smith Lake dam ?
    Henry Duggan