End of the Line
Photos by Jimmy Jacobs.
Situated on the shores of Alabama’s Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River, the Riverside Fly Shop has taken on new life in the last couple of decades. As the trout fishery in the river has become more recognized and popular, the shop has become the “must-do” first stop for a fishing trip to the river.
It was the quality of the trout fishing in the Sipsey that led to present owners Brandon and Mary Carole Jackson acquiring the shop. The Jacksons moved to the Jasper area in 2002 while involved in youth ministry. But, they also both were fans of fly fishing, and became regular customers of the Riverside shop.
In 2005 the former owners decided to move out west and were looking for a buyer to take over the business. Since the Jacksons were already spending time (and money) at the shop, they worked out a deal to buy the business. In the ensuing years they have built up a regular clientele by listening to customers and fulfilling their needs. Realizing that the Sipsey is a destination fishery, dependent on drawing more that just folks in the immediate area, the Jacksons have become advocates for the river and making it accessible for both veteran and new fly fishers.
Today Riverside is a full-service fly shop. Once you are through the door, you can expect to be greeted with a smile and a readiness to provide information about the river and tips on fishing it. You also will find a complete array of gear to make your trip a successful one.
Their inventory includes hundreds of flies and fly-tying material, rods and reels, felt-soled boots and waders, along with all the other accessories important to fly fishing. Additionally, if you are just beginning and not yet ready to make the investment in gear, the shop offers its “Give it a try package.” You can rent boots and waders, plus rod and reel for $45 for a day of fishing.
And, there’s more. You can try casting any of the rods they carry prior to purchase. When you buy a rod, reel and line, that comes with a free casting lesson.
One final benefit to anglers (or just paddling enthusiast), the shop provides a private boating access for a small fee. The site is just behind the shop and offers launching of paddle craft only. You also can arrange shuttle service for groups of four or more boats.
Riverside Fly Shop is open daily from Wednesday to Sunday. The hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on Sunday when they are 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The address is 17027 Alabama Highway 69, Bremen, AL 35033.