View Full Version : Sipsey Trout - 9/15
09-15-2006, 05:00 PM
It was such a beautiful day yesterday, 59 degrees when I got up, I couldn't help but feel like I had to rig up. I spent a couple hours dressing lines, sorting fly boxes and tying dropper rigs. Just doing that made me feel good. *:). I hadn't fished since the beginning of August and while I've had the bug to head up to the Smokies, I haven't been able to work out days I could get away. * :-? Maybe next week. So I was determined to wet a line, and headed up to the Sipsey this morning. Got there about 9:00, and temps were already up close to 80, but it felt great being in the water again. I started out with a tandem rig, stimulator and BHP to see what the story was. I fished hard for an hour without a hit. I decided to switch, and tied on an ant with a midge dropper. I missed an explosive hit on the ant, tangled the midge all up in my line, and decided to cut it off and stick with just the ant. I must have fished almost and hour and a half without a bite, but that instant when the line went tight, I immediately forgot how my back was hurting, and how long I had been standing there, and evidently how to play a fish. * ;D The water had exploded at the take and the pull was excitingly strong. I didn't get my finger off the line quick enough, and he was gone. After regaining my composure, I proceeded to hook and land several nice rainbows, the longest measured a respectable 13". I don't care how many times I do it, there is something extraordinarily special about holding a rainbow and seeing and feeling him settle down and swim off. WOW !!! That's why we all love it so much. Tight lines to everyone.
09-17-2006, 04:40 PM
im gonna ask a stupid question, where exactly is the sipsey? is it a tailwater or wild? thanks
09-21-2006, 09:50 AM
The Sipsey is a tailwater fishery in central Alabama, about 45 minutes north of Birmingham off I-65. The dam is the largest earthen dam in the eastern US and holds Smith lake. This lake in some spots is over 300 feet deep, so the water coming out of the bottom is cold enough to support trout.
"The deep waters leaving Smith Lake provide a fishery unique within Alabama. The Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River below Lewis Smith Dam remains in the fifty to sixty-five degree range all year. These temperatures are too cold for native populations to thrive, but the cold water provides an opportunity for anglers interested in rainbow trout to test their skills. The tailwaters also provide a seasonal skipjack herring fishery (March-April) and a fishery for both large "saltwater" striped bass and white bass / striped bass hybrids (also known as wipers). The Alabama record hybrid striped bass came from the Smith Lake tailwaters.
Rainbow trout are stocked by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through a cooperative agreement with the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. The Dale Hollow Fish Hatchery usually stocks 3,000 to 3,500 rainbow trout every sixty days, with an extra load in the spring. 3,000 trout were released July 13, 2006. Trout are usually stock the second or third week of January, March, April, May, July, September, and November. Trout are released at the dam and slowly move downstream."
Many anglers fish the Sipsey Fork so they can fly fish for trout. These trout will often rise to very small midges. Fly fishers use light rods usually 5 Weight or smaller 8-foot or longer in length. The flies change seasonally and can be as big as a #10 Woolly Bugger and as small as a #24 CDC Caddis Midge.
For access on the east side of the Sipsey Fork, a paved road runs north off Hwy 69. For 2 miles to the Birmingham water pumping station, this road has many access points to the river. To fish above the pumping station, dirt road can be hiked by walking around the pumping station. Anglers need waders with felt sole boots because of the water temperature and the slick algae-covered rocks. This area is close to the dam, and the water may rise very quickly without warning. Anglers can also fish at the dam from the west side of the river with access provided by Alabama Power Company. Boat access is available downstream off County Road 22 near the town of Sipsey.
Probably more than you wanted to know.
Here's a link for more info.
09-21-2006, 10:19 AM
I went back on the 17th. While on the 16th I was there a little later, and the action was mostly on top, we got there pretty early Saturday morning and the fish were only hitting down under. Here's a couple of pics, which will probably be the last for a while. I forgot to close up the zipper on the waders, and PLOOP !!!! *::)
Luckily the memory card wasn't effected, but the camera is still drying out, and I doubt it will recover. *:'(
09-21-2006, 03:36 PM
That first pic is cool! Prince lipped 8-)
09-21-2006, 03:48 PM
I pretty much leave my camera on macro when I'm fishing cuz I usually only have time for a quick grab, shoot, and release.
Google has this free software called Picassa that allows you to do pretty cool stuff with photos, and they just added web hosting service. I just don't have the patience to upload all the photos.
I do enjoy recalling the moments, though.
09-22-2006, 07:48 AM
thanks man. i was wondering because i saw a sipsey river in alabama the other day when i was looking at a map. i had heard you guys talking about it but i didnt think there would be water cold enough to support trout in alabama. that will be good because my grandparents live over in columbus, mississippi. the next time i visit ill talk them into taking me over there.
09-30-2006, 03:56 PM
Nice fish. Heading up there in a little bit to do some flyfishing. Should be a good day! 13 incher is a nice size for the Sipsey. I have seen some nice ones up there these last few months. Maybe I can get one today. After all, I'm going to wear my lucky hat!
09-30-2006, 05:10 PM
Beautiful weather for you today. Good luck.
09-30-2006, 11:57 PM
It was a beautiful evening. Only had about 2 hours of light but did okay- mainly on caddis. They weren't too interested in my wolly bugger or salmon egg imitation- they'd come to it and turn and leave. The light colored caddis did fairly well especially right as it was getting dark. All in all, a good day for flyfishing. Thank goodness for my lucky hat!
10-01-2006, 02:05 PM
Glad to hear the Sipsey was agreeable. They've said that Smith Lake is still real low so they haven't been generating too much lately. This is definitely ok with me. We're going to head up to the Smokies this coming weekend to get some camping/fishing in before it turns too cold, so we'll skip the Sipsey this week. Have a great week.
10-01-2006, 10:47 PM
Making me jealous! Well, it should be good weather and a perfect time to be in the Smokies fishing. Have a great time and be careful. BTW, let us jealous folks know how you did when you can. Guess pic will be out of the ? since your camera is messed up.
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