The only problems with the Elk are two: 1) The license price is exorbitant, and 2) It is a tailwater and you need to check the generation schedule.

An hour south of town is the Sipsey which again is a tailwater, but the license is much more reasonable, and there is a fly shop on the river that can help you out.

Holler at me if you need more info. czkid at knology dot net.