Field & Stream Online Editors

In a state where bass dominate angling circles, cold-water discharges from under Lewis Smith Lake’s massive earthen dam into the Sipsey Fork of the Warrior River create Alabama’s only consistent rainbow trout fishery. When it comes to fly-pattern choice, variety is the key. Terrestrials work quite well in summer. Mayflies and caddis begin hatching in late spring and continue through summer, along with midges. Small minnow imitations also are productive. Light tippets and long leaders are recommended for the clear-water pools. Water temperatures on the Sipsey Fork remain between 55 and 60 degrees year-round. River levels may fluctuate as much as 15 feet, rising quickly without warning. Discharge schedules can be obtained by calling Alabama Power, but schedules are subject to change. Wading is the primary way to target the trout, but leave the river immediately if you detect water levels rising. Access is available along the bank off State Route 69. Contact: Riverside Fly Shop (256-287-0050;; Alabama Power (800-525-3711).