Fly Fishing the Sipsey Fork in Alabama

The Sipsey Fork, a tailwater fishery below the Lewis Smith Lake Dam, is a unique fly fishing destination in Alabama. As the state’s only river stocked with rainbow trout, it offers a rare cold-water fishing experience for anglers in the region. The clear waters, scenic surroundings, and thriving trout population make the Sipsey Fork an unforgettable angling destination.

Key Details:

  • Location: Walker County, near Jasper
  • Access: Bank fishing and wade fishing spots along the river; Riverside Fly Shop offers fishing gear, guiding services, and information on access points
  • Target Species: Rainbow trout
  • Best Time to Visit: Fall and winter months, when water temperatures are cooler; trout stocking typically occurs from November through February

Top Flies and Techniques:

  • Nymphs: Pheasant Tail, Hare’s Ear, and Zebra Midge in sizes 16-20
  • Streamers: Woolly Buggers and Clouser Minnows in natural colors
  • Dry Flies: Blue-Winged Olives, Parachute Adams, and Elk Hair Caddis in sizes 16-20
  • Technique: Nymphing with an indicator or Euro-nymphing can be very effective; for dry flies, cast upstream and maintain a drag-free drift

Local Eateries and Breweries:

  • Warehouse 319: Located in downtown Jasper, Warehouse 319 offers a diverse menu with American favorites, including burgers, sandwiches, and salads. They also feature a selection of local craft beers.
  • Los Reyes Grill: A local favorite, Los Reyes Grill serves delicious Mexican cuisine in a lively atmosphere. Their menu includes a variety of tacos, fajitas, and other traditional dishes.
  • Twisted Barley Brewing Company: Just a short drive from the Sipsey Fork, Twisted Barley Brewing Company in Jasper offers a range of craft beers brewed on-site, as well as pub fare like pizza and sandwiches.

Local Attractions:

  • Bankhead National Forest: Located near the Sipsey Fork, the Bankhead National Forest offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing. The forest is home to several beautiful waterfalls, such as Kinlock Falls and Caney Creek Falls.
  • Lewis Smith Lake: Known for its clear waters and scenic beauty, Lewis Smith Lake is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and swimming. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, spotted bass, and striped bass.
  • Natural Bridge Park: A short drive from the Sipsey Fork, Natural Bridge Park features a 148-foot-long sandstone bridge, which is the longest natural bridge east of the Rockies. The park offers hiking trails and picnic areas for visitors to enjoy.

Fly fishing the Sipsey Fork in Alabama is a unique and rewarding experience. With its thriving rainbow trout population and picturesque surroundings, it’s an angler’s paradise. After a day on the water, you can indulge in delicious local cuisine, sample craft brews, and explore the area’s natural attractions, making your visit to the Sipsey Fork an unforgettable adventure.

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