Oklahoma Fly Fishing

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OK - Lower Mountain Fork River : 34.138342, -94.697578
SALT FORK ARKANSAS RIVER NR ALVA, OK: 36.815031, -98.648140
SALT FORK ARKANSAS RIVER AT SH 11 NR CHEROKEE, OK: 36.805556, -98.247222
SALT FORK ARKANSAS RIVER AT TONKAWA, OK: 36.671979, -97.309489
CHIKASKIA RIVER NR CORBIN, KS: 37.128912, -97.601995
CHIKASKIA RIVER NEAR BLACKWELL, OK: 36.811421, -97.277265
ARKANSAS RIVER AT RALSTON, OK: 36.504217, -96.728367
BLACK BEAR CREEK AT PAWNEE, OK: 36.343665, -96.799479
CIMARRON RIVER NEAR KENTON, OK: 36.926687, -102.959095
CIMARRON RIVER NEAR FORGAN, OK: 37.011137, -100.491817
CIMARRON RIVER NEAR BUFFALO, OK: 36.851975, -99.315387
CIMARRON RIVER NEAR WAYNOKA, OK: 36.517256, -98.879537
CIMARRON RIVER NEAR DOVER, OK: 35.951708, -97.914499
COTTONWOOD CREEK NEAR SEWARD, OK: 35.813660, -97.478097
CIMARRON RIVER NEAR GUTHRIE, OK: 35.920602, -97.425875
SKELETON CREEK AT ENID, OK: 36.376145, -97.800333
SKELETON CREEK NEAR LOVELL, OK: 36.060040, -97.585047
WILDHORSE CREEK NEAR PERKINS, OK: 35.985556, -97.119167
CIMARRON RIVER NEAR RIPLEY, OK: 35.985893, -96.912250
ARKANSAS RIVER AT TULSA, OK: 36.140648, -96.006387
JOE CREEK AT 61ST ST AT TULSA, OK: 36.075650, -95.960550
HAIKEY CREEK AT 101ST ST SOUTH AT TULSA, OK: 36.017043, -95.848878
LITTLE HAIKEY CREEK AT 101ST ST SOUTH AT TULSA, OK: 36.017598, -95.860823
ARKANSAS RIVER NEAR HASKELL, OK: 35.822778, -95.637778
VERDIGRIS RIVER NEAR LENAPAH, OK: 36.851196, -95.586088
CANEY RIVER ABOVE COON CREEK AT BARTLESVILLE, OK: 36.755644, -95.972206
CANEY RIVER AT TUXEDO BLVD AT BARTLESVILLE, OK: 36.756667, -95.956389
SAND CREEK BELOW LITTLE ROCK CREEK NEAR OKESA, OK: 36.732778, -96.080000
CANEY RIVER NEAR RAMONA, OK: 36.508982, -95.841931
VERDIGRIS RIVER NEAR CLAREMORE, OK: 36.307500, -95.699722
BIRD CREEK AT AVANT, OK: 36.485088, -96.060274
HOMINY CREEK NEAR HOMINY, OK: 36.473679, -96.378906
BIRD CREEK NEAR SPERRY, OK: 36.278425, -95.954162
FLAT ROCK CREEK AT CINCINNATI AVE AT TULSA, OK: 36.215369, -95.995276
COAL CREEK AT TULSA, OK: 36.194538, -95.914160
BIRD CREEK NEAR OWASSO, OK: 36.248705, -95.867213
BIRD CREEK AT STATE HIGHWAY 266 NEAR CATOOSA, OK: 36.223151, -95.819432
VERDIGRIS RIVER NEAR CATOOSA, OK: 36.203889, -95.706667
VERDIGRIS RIVER NEAR WAGONER, OK.: 35.955556, -95.494167
NEOSHO RIVER NR PARSONS, KS: 37.340059, -95.109969
NEOSHO RIVER NEAR COMMERCE, OK: 36.928681, -94.957457
NEOSHO RIVER AT MIAMI, OK: 36.864793, -94.878845
TAR CREEK NEAR COMMERCE, OK: 36.943680, -94.853286
TAR CREEK AT 22ND STREET BRIDGE AT MIAMI, OK: 36.900070, -94.868288
SPRING RIVER NEAR QUAPAW, OK: 36.934511, -94.747171
NEOSHO RIVER (SERVICE ROAD) NEAR LANGLEY, OK: 36.462029, -95.033573
NEOSHO RIVER NEAR LANGLEY, OK: 36.438974, -95.048573
BIG CABIN CREEK NEAR BIG CABIN, OK: 36.568418, -95.152189
SPAVINAW CREEK NEAR SYCAMORE, OK: 36.334722, -94.641389
SPAVINAW CREEK NEAR COLCORD, OK: 36.322581, -94.685224
BEATY CREEK NEAR JAY, OK: 36.355359, -94.776339
SPAVINAW CREEK NEAR EUCHA, OK: 36.379251, -94.936901
NEOSHO RIVER NEAR CHOUTEAU, OK: 36.229538, -95.182741
ARKANSAS RIVER NEAR MUSKOGEE, OK: 35.769543, -95.297187
ARKANSAS RIVER AT GORE, OK: 35.518611, -95.127222
ILLINOIS RIVER NEAR WATTS, OK: 36.130082, -94.572165
FLINT CREEK NEAR WEST SILOAM SPRINGS, OK: 36.216111, -94.605278
SAGER CREEK NEAR WEST SILOAM SPRINGS, OK: 36.201748, -94.605221
FLINT CREEK NEAR KANSAS, OK: 36.186472, -94.706891
ILLINOIS RIVER AT CHEWEY, OK: 36.104253, -94.782728
ILLINOIS RIVER NEAR TAHLEQUAH, OK: 35.922869, -94.923566
BARON FORK AT ELDON, OK: 35.921200, -94.838563
CANEY CREEK NEAR BARBER, OK: 35.785091, -94.856340
ILLINOIS RIVER NEAR GORE, OK: 35.573151, -95.068846
CANADIAN RIVER NR CANADIAN, TX: 35.935042, -100.370688
CANADIAN RIVER AT BRIDGEPORT, OK: 35.543662, -98.317839
CANADIAN RIVER NEAR MUSTANG, OK: 35.324167, -97.723611
CANADIAN RIVER AT NORMAN, OK: 35.194511, -97.485034
CANADIAN RIVER AT PURCELL, OK: 35.013961, -97.347528
WALNUT CREEK AT PURCELL, OK: 34.998961, -97.366973
LITTLE RIVER BLW LK THUNDERBIRD NR NORMAN, OK: 35.221736, -97.213917
LITTLE RIVER NEAR TECUMSEH, OK: 35.172574, -96.931966
LITTLE RIVER NEAR SASAKWA, OK: 34.965362, -96.512511
CANADIAN RIVER AT CALVIN, OK: 34.977867, -96.243617
BEAVER RIVER NEAR GOODWELL, OK: 36.705858, -101.636827
BEAVER RIVER AT BEAVER, OK: 36.822248, -100.519316
WOLF CREEK AT LIPSCOMB, TX: 36.238649, -100.275689
WOLF CREEK NR GAGE, OK: 36.326667, -99.761111
NORTH CANADIAN RIVER AT WOODWARD, OK: 36.436703, -99.278438
NORTH CANADIAN RIVER NEAR SEILING, OK: 36.183373, -98.921206
NORTH CANADIAN RIVER AT CANTON, OK: 36.076984, -98.596750
NORTH CANADIAN RIVER BLW WEAVERS CREEK NR WATONGA, OK: 35.811989, -98.420905
NORTH CANADIAN RIVER NEAR CALUMET, OK: 35.616993, -98.065332
NORTH CANADIAN RIVER NEAR EL RENO, OK: 35.563107, -97.957550
NORTH CANADIAN RIVER NEAR YUKON, OK: 35.539499, -97.742544
NORTH CANADIAN RIVER AT HWY 66 AT OKLAHOMA CITY, OK: 35.514501, -97.663653
NORTH CANADIAN RIVER BLW LK OVERHOLSER NR OKC, OK: 35.478668, -97.663375
NORTH CANADIAN RIVER AT BRITTON RD AT OKC, OK: 35.565615, -97.367258
NORTH CANADIAN RIVER NEAR HARRAH, OK: 35.500341, -97.193919
NORTH CANADIAN RIVER AT SHAWNEE, OK: 35.333127, -96.869466
NORTH CANADIAN RIVER NEAR WETUMKA, OK: 35.265645, -96.206117
DEEP FORK AT WARWICK, OK: 35.680896, -97.008362
DEEP FORK NEAR BEGGS, OK: 35.673988, -96.068608
CANADIAN RIVER NEAR WHITEFIELD, OK: 35.262319, -95.237189
ARKANSAS RIVER NEAR SALLISAW, OK: 35.349722, -94.771111
POTEAU RIVER AT LOVING, OK: 34.879824, -94.484111
BLACK FORK BELOW BIG CREEK NR PAGE, OK: 34.773715, -94.512169
FOURCHE MALINE NEAR RED OAK, OK: 34.912599, -95.155799
POTEAU RIVER NEAR PANAMA, OK: 35.165653, -94.653002
ARKANSAS RIVER AT FT. SMITH, AR.: 35.391758, -94.432437
LEE CREEK AT SHORT, OK: 35.565833, -94.531944
LITTLE LEE CREEK NEAR NICUT, OK: 35.573056, -94.556944
LEE CREEK NEAR SHORT, OK: 35.517222, -94.464167
SALT FK RED RIVER NR WELLINGTON, TX: 34.957553, -100.220949
SALT FORK RED RIVER AT MANGUM, OK: 34.858394, -99.508701
SALT FORK RED RIVER NEAR ELMER, OK: 34.478965, -99.382310
N FK RED RIVER NR SHAMROCK, TX: 35.264216, -100.241786
SWEETWATER CREEK NR KELTON, TX: 35.473104, -100.120950
SWEETWATER CREEK NEAR SWEETWATER, OK: 35.422272, -99.969277
NORTH FORK RED RIVER NEAR SAYRE, OK: 35.284773, -99.622041
NORTH FORK RED RIVER NEAR CARTER, OK: 35.168108, -99.507313
NORTH FORK RED RIVER BLW ALTUS DAM NR LUGERT, OK: 34.889505, -99.307028
ELM FORK OF NORTH FORK RED RIVER NR CARL, OK: 35.011720, -99.903714
NORTH FORK RED RIVER NEAR HEADRICK, OK: 34.638127, -99.103691
OTTER CREEK NEAR SNYDER, OK: 34.637849, -98.998688
NORTH FORK RED RIVER NEAR TIPTON, OK: 34.507021, -99.208139
JIMMY CREEK NR MEERS, OK: 34.796944, -98.584167
EAST CACHE CREEK NR LAWTON, OK: 34.594167, -98.369167
EAST CACHE CREEK NEAR WALTERS, OK: 34.362307, -98.282547
WEST CACHE CREEK AT FAXON, OK: 34.463056, -98.571389
WEST CACHE CREEK NEAR COOKIETOWN, OK: 34.275000, -98.387500
DEEP RED CREEK NEAR RANDLETT, OK: 34.220925, -98.453110
BEAVER CREEK NR HULEN, OK: 34.478056, -98.177500
LITTLE BEAVER CREEK NEAR DUNCAN, OK: 34.493136, -98.114207
COW CREEK NR ADDINGTON, OK: 34.245000, -97.974167
RED RIVER NR TERRAL, OK: 33.878711, -97.934480
RED RIVER NR COURTNEY, OK: 33.917500, -97.508333
MUD CREEK NEAR COURTNEY, OK: 34.004265, -97.566968
RED RIVER NEAR GAINESVILLE, TX: 33.727883, -97.160013
WASHITA RIVER NEAR CHEYENNE, OK: 35.626437, -99.668439
WASHITA RIVER NEAR HAMMON, OK: 35.656437, -99.306209
WASHITA RIVER NEAR FOSS, OK: 35.538938, -99.169813
WASHITA RIVER NEAR CLINTON, OK: 35.530883, -98.967030
WASHITA RIVER AT CARNEGIE, OK: 35.117281, -98.563950
COBB CREEK NEAR EAKLY, OK: 35.290611, -98.594231
WILLOW CREEK NEAR ALBERT, OK: 35.233391, -98.466170
COBB CREEK NEAR FORT COBB, OK: 35.143670, -98.442836
WASHITA RIVER AT ANADARKO, OK: 35.084228, -98.243385
LITTLE WASHITA RIVER NEAR CYRIL, OK: 34.892566, -98.233105
LITTLE WASHITA RIVER NEAR CEMENT, OK: 34.837847, -98.124490
LITTLE WASHITA RIVER EAST OF NINNEKAH, OK: 34.963401, -97.899486
WASHITA RIVER AT ALEX, OK: 34.925903, -97.773927
NORTH CRINER CREEK NEAR CRINER, OK: 34.971459, -97.584756
WASHITA RIVER NEAR PAULS VALLEY, OK: 34.754802, -97.251412
WILDHORSE CREEK NEAR HOOVER, OK: 34.541474, -97.247244
HONEY CREEK BELOW TURNER FALLS NEAR DAVIS, OK: 34.431755, -97.147241
TRAVERTINE CREEK ABOVE U.S. 177 AT SULPHUR: 34.504444, -96.968889
ROCK CREEK AT SULPHUR, OK: 34.495367, -96.988628
WASHITA RIVER NEAR DICKSON, OK: 34.233427, -96.975845
MILL CREEK NEAR MILL CREEK, OK: 34.405092, -96.863344
PENNINGTON CREEK EAST OF MILL CREEK, OK: 34.420370, -96.758896
PENNINGTON CREEK NEAR REAGAN, OK: 34.347593, -96.708060
PENNINGTON CREEK AT CAPITOL AVE AT TISHOMINGO, OK: 34.234722, -96.682500
WASHITA R. AT MCADAMS ACCESS NR TISHOMINGO, OK: 34.198056, -96.694167
RED RIVER AT DENISON DAM NR DENISON, TX: 33.818991, -96.563326
BLUE RIVER NEAR CONNERVILLE, OK: 34.383426, -96.600558
BLUE RIVER NEAR BLUE, OK: 33.997041, -96.241099
MUDDY BOGGY CREEK NEAR FARRIS, OK: 34.271485, -95.912205
CLEAR BOGGY CREEK ABV CANEY CREEK NR CANEY, OK: 34.255090, -96.212768
MUDDY BOGGY CREEK NEAR UNGER, OK: 34.026767, -95.750248
RED RIVER AT ARTHUR CITY, TX: 33.875105, -95.501902
KIAMICHI RIVER NEAR BIG CEDAR, OK: 34.638437, -94.612724
KIAMICHI RIVER NEAR CLAYTON, OK: 34.574823, -95.340803
KIAMICHI RIVER NEAR ANTLERS, OK: 34.248712, -95.605248
RED RIVER NEAR DE KALB, TX: 33.684000, -94.694377
GLOVER RIVER NEAR GLOVER, OK: 34.097607, -94.902167
LITTLE RIVER BLW LUKFATA CREEK, NR IDABEL, OK: 33.941221, -94.758548
MOUNTAIN FORK AT SMITHVILLE, OK: 34.462326, -94.635220
MOUNTAIN FORK NEAR EAGLETOWN, OK: 34.041778, -94.619936
Beetle Bluff my first trout on fly rod: 35.591300, -95.058000
Horse Pasture Pond: 35.504700, -95.346400
Bull Pasture Pond: 35.492000, -95.348900
Duck Blind Pond: 35.499100, -95.358800
Texas Deer Stand Pond: 35.483700, -95.353900
Lower Illinios River: 35.593600, -95.051900
Lake texoma: 33.925200, -96.619600
Close to home: 35.351900, -97.071100

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Sure, it’s the state where the winds go sweeping down the plains…and it’s also the state with the highest number of artificially, dam-created lakes in the entire U.S., with Lake Texoma alone coming in at 88,000 square acres. On top of that, the Sooner State also boasts an astounding 167,000+ miles of streams and rivers. The infamous plains are cut through seemingly everywhere with expansive – and fish-packed – bodies of water.

Oklahoma loves its fly fishing. There are plenty of guided trips available in case you’re a first-timer and could use a little assistance in locating the best spots and honing your technique. But if you prefer to navigate the abundance of beautiful waters on your own, check out some of the best spots to practice your craft, and hopefully take home a little dinner.

​Where to Go?

With dozens of sizeable lakes and an overwhelming amount of riverbank to choose from across the vast state, it can be difficult to know where to start. Since fly fishing is typically used for trout, we’ll start with the most prominent sources for this popular fish.

Lower Mountain Fork River

This branch of the Little River, which flows through west Arkansas into southeastern Oklahoma, is a 98-mile tributary dubbed Mountain Fork, and is part of the Mississippi River watershed. Sitting about 10 miles from Broken Bow and less than three hours from Little Rock, Arkansas, Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, and Shreveport, Louisiana, this stocked tailwater is one of just two year-round Oklahoma trout fisheries. You’ll not only encounter rainbows and browns, but you might find a smallmouth bass or walleye from time to time as well.

There are plenty of public access points, including Beaver Lodge Nature Trail, Evening Hole Bridge, and Old Park Dam. The stretch measures about 12 miles – from the Broken Bow Reservoir to the U.S. 70 Bridge – and includes roughly five miles of banks inside the Beavers Bend State Park. Inside the park you’ll enjoy unlimited bank access, and you’ll find another at Presbyterian falls downstream.

The waterway is stocked year-round, and is divided into two zones – the blue zone and the red zone. The blue extends from the reservoir spillway to the Lost Creek diversion structure, skips over the red zone, and picks up again at the first State Highway 259A bridge to the State Park Dam. It then skips over another, larger red zone and runs from the mouth of the Rough Branch Creek to the U.S. 70 bridge.

In the blue zones there is a daily limit of six rainbow trout with no size limit, and use of bait and barbed hooks is allowed. In the red zones the rainbow limit is one per day with a 20-inch minimum, and no bait or barbed hooks may be used. Artificial lures and flies only.

Blue River

Travel to the southwest and you’ll find the Blue River, another designated trout area, although this one is not stocked year-round (rather, from November through March). The 6.25-mile stretch runs through the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area, which sits near Tishomingo on State Highway 78. Access isn’t a problem here either, as there is bank access and wading throughout, however keep in mind that the northern part of the water is catch and release only from November through February. With its clear waters, banks lined with trees and lush foliage, and little waterfalls accenting the flow of water, you’ll be hooked.

Lower Illinois River

The second of two year-round trout fisheries, the Lower Illinois is a favorite among locals. This stunning display of sparkling waters surrounded by the greenery, rocks, and trees that nature does so well encompasses a 7.75-mile stretch from the Tenkiller Ferry Dam to the U.S. 64 bridge. Located between Broken Arrow and Fort Smith, the trout haven features nearly one mile of access within the Simp and Helen Watts Management Unit, and four additional public access sites at points along the waterway.

Not only will you find trout – which are stocked weekly – there are rumored to be plenty of stripers as summer moves in. In fact, the record-holding striper, at 47.5 lbs., was caught in this very area in 1996. There are trout limits, as there are at Lower Mountain Fork. One brown trout per day, with a 20-inch minimum length, and six rainbow with no minimum length. From the USGS stream gauge to Gravel Pit County Road, there is a one per day limit with a 20-inch minimum length.

​Hatches

The key to fly fishing, particularly with trout, is to match the hatch. This means your fly should be as close as humanly possible to the real insects and other prey that the fish normally eat. Some possible hatches in these popular Oklahoma fly fishing areas:

  • Caddis nymph – year-round (16)
  • Caddis – January to February (16)
  • Mayfly nymph – year-round (12)
  • Mayfly adult – February to March (12 – 14)
  • Midge (cream and black) – year-round (20 – 22)
  • Midge nymph – year-round (20 – 22)
  • Hexagenia mayfly – June to August (6 – 8)
  • Sulphurs – year-round (14 – 16)
  • Blue-wing olives – year-round (16 – 20)
  • Gray dun mayfly – year-round (12 – 14)

Observation is key. Oklahoma is a big state, and populations may vary in species depending upon what area and what season you’re fishing.

When to Go?

The Lower Mountain Fork and Lower Illinois can be fished year-round. Fall through spring are generally the best times for other trout locations, as well as bass as they go dormant in the winter.

Interestingly enough, winter fly fishing in Oklahoma has gotten a bit of attention recently in cyberspace. Aside from the two year-round locations, you can also try out Robber’s Cave State Park, Roman Nose State Park, and Black Mesa State Park, which are all reportedly stocked with rainbow trout during the colder months. Yes, it’s cold, but you won’t be fighting as many vacationing anglers to get a good spot – this alone may result in you taking home an entire week’s worth of meals. You can also sleep in because the fish usually do in the cold weather as well. It can take them until as late as 11am to get up and moving about!

​What You Will Need When You Get There?

Oklahoma is a fairly temperate climate, so typical clothing and gear will suffice for spring, summer, and fall. You’ll of course want your boots, waders, a hat that shields your face from the sun, insect repellant, and during seasonal cusps you’ll want to dress in layers just in case you find yourself freezing in the morning chill and roasting in the afternoon sun.

For winter fly fishing in Oklahoma, you’ll want to have gloves, a balaclava depending on the temp, and don’t overdo it with the socks. Waders are already pretty warm, and restricting your feet too much can actually interfere with circulation, thus reducing warmth rather than raising it.

For the Lower Mountain Fork River, experts recommend about a 9 foot leader on a 5 weight rod with a 5X tippet (in winter, when the water is calmer and it’s tougher to hide your gear from the fish, you can bring it down a size). March browns, pheasant tails, and zebra midges are solid choices, although you’ll want to have some backup options just in case. Caddis, nymphs, eggs, and streamers are always good to keep in your kit.

According to one Oklahoma fly fishing instructor, there are some specific flies that you should always have when you’re fishing in the Sooner State.

  • Soft hackle fly – this hundred+ year old pattern is old but reliable, and should be kept on-hand in orange, olive, or peacock, and used with a hook size 14-20.
  • San Juan worm – this unique fly imitates the aquatic worms that thrive in many trout waters. It’s particularly useful when water is running higher.
  • Midge – these little guys take advantage of the trout’s comfort level with the bug. They know them well, and are usually willing to go for the bite.
  • Wooly bugger – these are effective, although it’s tough to really nail down exactly why. They come in a variety of colors, and do a stealthy job mimicking leeches, damselflies, and baitfish. They’re also great for bass.
  • Parachute Adams – the adult mayfly, this one hatches throughout the year. Be prepared to use hook sizes 12-20.

If you’ve got access to a boat, bring that too. Lower Mountain Fork River and the Lower Illinois both offer convenient boat launch access, so you might as well take advantage of it.

Don’t forget the license – residents 18-64 will pay $25 for a yearly fishing license from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, while non-residents pay $55. There are two-day and five-year options, as well as a combo hunting/fishing option. Youths 16-17 pay $5 for a fishing license.

You could spend ten years in Oklahoma and never fish all of its many waters, but at least these well-stocked, popular fly fishing destinations give you a solid start on where to get your feet wet.