Oklahoma may be the last place that comes to mind for a fly-fishing excursion, but don't let its landlocked nature fool you. This state is home to some of the country's best trout and bass fishing spots, making it a great destination for anglers looking for adventure. From sparkling rivers to well-stocked lakes, there are several prime spots for fly fishing.
Some of the best fly fishing spots in Oklahoma include:
- Edwards Park
- Glover River
- Lake Carl Etling
- Lake Pawhuska
- Lake Perry Park
- Lower Illinois River
- Baron Fork Creek
- Blue River, more.
From the picturesque Edwards Park to the lively Glover River, there is something for every angler in Oklahoma. Whether you are looking for a remote spot or a more populated one, Oklahoma has it all. Looking a bit more in-depth at each of these locations, we'll give you a better understanding of what to expect when you set out on your Oklahoman fly-fishing adventure.
Best Fly Fishing locations in Oklahoma
The Sooner state is home to a multitude of prime spots for fly fishing. Here are the top 16 places to cast your fly:
1. Baron Fork Creek
The Baron Fork of the majestic Illinois River is a stream that flows through two U.S. states: Arkansas and Oklahoma. Locally, it's also known as Baron Fork River or Barren Fork Creek. No matter what you call it, this body of water showcases some stunning natural beauty!
Boasting a beautiful landscape and the title of being an Oklahoma scenic river, this tributary of the Illinois River promises great fishing for smallmouth bass and black bass and one of the best sand bass runs during springtime.
The stream commences in Washington County, Arkansas, south of Lincoln, and winds its way southwestward before traversing beneath the Arkansas Highway 59 bridge. It continues into Adair County, Oklahoma, where it passes under U.S. Route 59 near Baron and further on to Cherokee County, Oklahoma. Eventually, emptying into the main branch of the Illinois River close to Welling, Oklahoma, just upstream from Lake Tenkiller.
The 1,660 square miles (4,300 km2) region covered by the Baron Fork river is said to be the major contributor to Oklahoma's Lake Tenkiller. Its tributaries include Evansville Creek, Shell Branch, Peavine Creek, and Tyner Creek from Oklahoma, as well as Jordan Creek in Arkansas. Back in 1970, according to The Scenic Rivers Act of the state legislature of Oklahoma, Baron Fork was officially designated a scenic river.
Recommended Fly Patterns for Baron Fork Creek, Oklahoma:
- Poppers - Size 6
- Double Bunny in Olive & White - Size 6
- Autumn Splendor - Size 4
2. Blue River
Spanning a length of 141 miles (227 km), the majestic Blue River is an integral part of southern Oklahoma, connecting to the Red and, ultimately, Mississippi Rivers. In 1977, after years of debate over what to call this river -- with some calling it "Blue Creek" instead -- The Board on Geographic Names reached their decision: its official name would be "Blue River."
Sparkling in its upper course, the Blue River is a prized fishing destination and has been designated as an important recreational spot. The state of Oklahoma and The Nature Conservancy own several areas along this river. Originating near Roff in southeastern Murray County, it winds eastward into Pontotoc before looping southeast through Johnston county to Bryan county, where it passes by Milburn town and ends just three miles from Durant's city limits.
The Blue River is one of the few pristine streams in Oklahoma, where its waters flow freely without regulation from man-made structures. Anglers are graced with an abundance of fish, including Smallmouth and largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, and panfish. Moreover, Rainbow and Brown trout can be found stocked throughout the river at the Blue River Fishing Area northward from Tishomingo from November to March every year, which makes it a state-designated trout stream.
Recommended Fly Patterns for the Blue River, Oklahoma:
3. Edwards Park
Located in Oklahoma City, Edwards Park is a picturesque area that makes for the perfect spot to fly fish. It’s tightly tucked away in a quiet corner of the city and offers an abundance of natural beauty while also being conveniently close to all the amenities of city life.
Trout Unlimited-89er Chapter, Oklahoma City Parks & Recreation Department, and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation have contributed funds to ensure that anglers will be able to enjoy a special winter trout season for 33 consecutive years.
Throughout December, January and February, fresh out-of-state stocked trout are added roughly every other week, giving anglers a chance to catch some truly quality fish.
Recommended Fly Patterns for Edwards Park, Oklahoma:
4. Glover River
Meandering 33.2 miles (53.4 km) through the Ouachita Mountains of southeastern Oklahoma, the vibrant Glover River is a tributary to Little River and ultimately contributes to Mississippi's watershed. Its East Fork spans 22.4 miles (36 km), while its West Fork stretches 21.3 miles (34km). Both forks arise in McCurtain County before converging 4 1/2 miles southeast of Wright City and entering into Little River with an abundance of energy and vitality!
Glover River is considered by many to be the best smallmouth stream in Oklahoma. Glover river is full of channel catfish, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass, including the Neosho strain of smallmouth bass, spotted bass, and sunfish, and boasts exciting Class I and Class II rapids.
Recommended Fly Patterns for the Glover River, Oklahoma:
- Autumn Splendor - Size 4
- Poppers - Size 6
- Clouser Crayfish - Size 6
5. Lake Carl Etling
Lake Carl Etling, an expansive 159 acres and 5 miles of shoreline at a majestic elevation of 4,311 feet (1,314 meters) in Cimarron County's Black Mesa State Park, is the perfect destination for adventure seekers. It's fed by South Carrizo Creek giving it an 11-foot average depth with depths reaching up to 38 feet. So come explore and experience all that Lake Carl Etling has to offer!
Operated by the Oklahoma Wildlife Department, it is stocked with largemouth bass, flathead catfish, walleye, and smallmouth bass. Lake Carl Etling also offers plenty of opportunity for nature watching, with bald eagles, osprey, and other birds of prey frequently spotted in the area.
Recommended Fly Patterns for Lake Carl Etling, Oklahoma:
- Elk Hair Caddis - Size 16
- Half Chernobyl in Brown and Orange - Size 14
- Parachute Humpy Ant - Size 14
6. Lake Pawhuska
With over three miles of shoreline, Lake Pawhuska has the distinction of being the second-best sunfish lake in the entire state, promising the perfect opportunity for anglers of all levels.
This large body of water, located in Osage County, Oklahoma is no ordinary lake. Spanning 100 acres and reaching a maximum depth of 44 feet, this picturesque spot offers an unforgettable experience for all who visit.
Lake Pawhuska allows anglers to fish for a variety of species, including trout, channel catfish, blue catfish, spotted bass, striped bass, and large and smallmouth bass.
Recommended Fly Patterns for Lake Pawhuska, Oklahoma:
7. Perry Park
Just a mere two miles away from Highway 77 lies the magnificent and secluded Perry Lake. This reservoir of the Upper Black Bear Creek system doubles as both an incredible source for outdoor activities but also serves as a cost-effective backup water supply for the City of Perry in times of need.
Whether you're looking to stay overnight or just spend your day engaging with nature, visitors are able to indulge in primitive camping alongside R.V. parking options which provide electrical & sewer connections too!
Furthermore, guests can partake in various recreational activities such as boating, skiing, swimming, and fishing while they enjoy their time at this hidden gem. With plenty of rainbow trout, channel catfish, and largemouth bass, anglers can be sure to find something bite-worthy.
Recommended Fly Patterns for Perry Park, Oklahoma:
8. Lake Texoma
Sitting at the Red and Washita Rivers junction is Lake Texoma – two-thirds of which lies in Oklahoma. This world-renowned lake was constructed by Denison Dam on the Red River approximately 726 miles (1,168 km) upstream from its river's mouth. Its breathtaking beauty continues to draw visitors both near and far!
If you're searching for a unique freshwater fishing experience in the United States, home to self-sustaining striped bass populations, look no further than Lake Texoma!
Whether it's yourself or a large group you wish to bring along - there are plenty of experienced Stripped Bass guides on hand here at Lake Texoma, ready and waiting year-round. Lake Texoma also features black bass, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, and Spotted Bass.
Recommended Fly Patterns for Lake Texoma, Oklahoma:
- Clousers Minnow - Size 0/1
- Lefty deceivers - Size 4 to 0/1
- Double Bunny Olive & White - Size 6
9. Lower Illinois River
The Lower Illinois River is a well-known hotspot for Oklahomans. Its inviting waters draw in trout anglers on any given day and competitive striper fishers hoping to break state records. The river originates from Lake Tenkiller - meaning its temperature stays around 60 degrees at all times and its waters remain crystal clear throughout its eight-mile run into the Arkansas River.
The river’s water temperature is cool enough for trout survival, unlike most Oklahoma rivers and lakes that become inhospitable to trout for much of the year.
Each week, anglers in the Illinois River region are treated to a bounty of fish species—rainbow trout, brown trout (when available), white bass, walleye, and even occasionally striped bass! With such an impressive variety of catches to target from this single area alone, it's no wonder why so many fishing enthusiasts make their way here time and again.
Recommended Fly Patterns for the Lower Illinois River, Oklahoma:
- Jigged Caddis Pupa - Size 12
- Flashback Pheasant Tail in Gold - Size 18
- Parachute Adams Indicator - Size 14
10. Lower Mountain Fork River
Mountain Fork, a 98-mile stretch of the Little River flowing through western Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma, leads to the mighty Mississippi. This tributary has become known as one of America's most scenic rivers offering an array of outdoor activities for everyone in its path.
For the ultimate trout-fishing adventure any time of year, head to the Lower portion of the Mountain Fork River. This 12-mile stretch boasts phenomenal fishing, and its tributaries extend from Broken Bow dam downstream to the US-70 bridge. Here, you'll find a plentiful supply of species, including:
- Brown Trout
- Largemouth Bass
- Rainbow Trout
- Smallmouth Bass
- Spotted Bass
- White Bass
Recommended Fly Patterns for the Lower Mountain Fork River, Oklahoma:
11. Medicine Creek
Medicine creek is a small stream located in northeast Oklahoma near the city of Medicine Park. Not far from the Oklahoma-Texas border, Medicine Creek is a great spot for bankside fishing.
Here, anglers can expect to find plenty of largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill. In addition to the plentiful fish here, Medicine Creek is also home to several species of waterfowl and other wildlife such as deer, turkeys, and beavers.
Recommended Fly Patterns for the Medicine Creek, Oklahoma:
12. Quartz Mountain Nature Park
Home to the Wichita Mountains, Quartz Mountain State Park sits peacefully in southwest Oklahoma. Easily accessible from Mangum (13 miles away) and Altus (20 miles), its closest neighboring town is Lone Wolf lying just 9 miles north of the park. Open year-round and well-maintained by Oklahoma State Parks, you'll feel right at home in this scenic corner of nature's paradise.
While outdoorsmen of all types come here to explore a variety of activities, Quartz Mountain State Park is known for its excellent fishing. With strong concentrations of catfish and plenty of bass (Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted), pulling in a catch is almost guaranteed. Year-round, you can also find plenty of species, including:
- Largemouth Bass
- Striped Bass, and
- White bass
Recommended Fly Patterns for the Quartz Mountain Nature Park, Oklahoma:
- Clousers Minnow - Size 2
- Muddy Buddy - Size 6
- Surf Candy- Size 6
13. Robbers Cave State Park
Robbers Cave State Park, nestled in the gorgeous woodlands of the Sans Bois Mountains of southeast Oklahoma and located 5 miles north of Wilburton on State Highway 2, has been drawing visitors for years. Formerly known as Latimer State Park, it was aptly renamed Robbers Cave in 1936 due to its historical significance as a hideout for infamous outlaws such as Jesse James.
Fishermen of all skill levels are invited to cast away at both Lake Carlton, and Lake Wayne Wallace, where a variety of freshwater catches, such as largemouth bass, crappie, perch, sunfish, bluegill, and catfish await. Whether you prefer fishing from the shore or in small boats including canoes or kayaks - access is available via boat ramps built conveniently on each lake.
Recommended Fly Patterns for Robbers Cave State Park, Oklahoma:
14. Route 66 Park
In Yukon, Oklahoma, just blocks from the original Route 66, sits a small urban park with a big impact. Route 66 Park is the perfect place to go fishing near Oklahoma City, providing anglers of all ages and abilities access to an expansive lake stocked with bass, catfish, and other species.
Celebrating the legacy of historic Route 66, Oklahoma City's 148-acre Route 66 Park sits gracefully along the shores of Lake Overholser. Offering families a unique outdoor experience, this park includes three ponds with interpretative signage and bridges and around one mile of walking trails.
Route 66 Park is generously stocked with rainbow trout every other week by the beneficent Trout Unlimited-89er Chapter, Oklahoma City Parks & Recreation Department, and the esteemed Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Recommended Fly Patterns for the Route 66 Park, Oklahoma:
15. Sunset Lake
For those seeking peace, tranquility, and respite, look no further than the tranquil 17-acre Sunset Lake in Thompson Park. Take a scenic walk around the one-mile concrete path that encircles it while admiring its native plants, feathered friends on the lake's surface, and calming waters.
Fishing is a popular activity here, with Trout and Catfish abundantly available - so much so that it was Oklahoma's first municipally stocked lake. Want to give fishing at this spot a go? Pick up your trout stamp for any season from January 1st through April 30th.
Recommended Fly Patterns for Sunset Lake, Oklahoma:
16. Veterans Park Pond
Located in Jenks, Oklahoma, Veteran’s Park Pond is the ideal spot to spend a peaceful day fishing with friends and family. South of Tulsa and situated just west of the Arkansas River, it’s a great spot to take in the views of nature and water.
The "Close to Home" fishing program allows anglers of all ages and skill levels to take part in the exciting sport of recreational fishing at Veterans Park. Every six months, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation replenishes the pond with catfish, bass, sunfish, and even trout from December through February! No extra permit is needed for this spot – simply ensure you've secured an Oklahoma Fishing License before your visit!
Recommended Fly Patterns for Veterans Park Pond, Oklahoma:
What Gear Do I Need to Fly Fish in Oklahoma?
When it comes to fly fishing conditions in Oklahoma, you'll need just about any kind of fly fishing gear. The most important equipment is your rod and reel, which should match the type of fish you plan to target. You'll also need a selection of flies that match the local hatch and an assortment of floating, weighted, and sinking lines for different water depths.
Fly fishing in Oklahoma requires a few essential pieces of equipment. A lightweight, short-rod fly fishing rod and reel combination is best for the often tight streams and creeks here. Additionally, you'll want to make sure your tackle box includes quality lines and several different types of flies, such as nymphs, dry flies, streamers, and grasshoppers.
Don't forget to include a landing net for those bigger catches! Lastly, waders are essential for fly fishing in Oklahoma, so ensure you have them on hand before embarking on your adventure.
Additional Facts about Fly Fishing in Oklahoma
Oklahoma offers a unique variety of fish species and fly fishing opportunities. Some of the most popular species to target in this region include bass, trout, catfish, crappie, sunfish, bluegill, shad, and gar. With over 200 public lakes and rivers and numerous private locations, plenty of fly fishing spots are waiting to be explored.
Fly fishing in Oklahoma is not only an exhilarating sport but one that fosters a sustained bond with nature. Whether you're looking for family fun, relaxation, or a thrilling weekend trip, fly fishing in Oklahoma has something for everyone- from beginners to expert anglers.
Is There Any Trout Fishing In Oklahoma?
Dolese Youth Park Pond in Oklahoma City and Veterans Park Pond in Jenks are two of Oklahoma's most popular trout fishing locations. In both of these spots, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation releases rainbow and brown trout during the winter months. If you're looking to try your hand at some trout fishing, be sure to pick up a Trout Stamp from the ODWC before you hit the water!
Trout fishing in Oklahoma is very popular, especially during the winter months. Trout can be found in all of the state's major rivers, such as the Arkansas, Illinois, and Grand Rivers. You may also find them in several smaller creeks and streams.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation stocks hundreds of bodies of water with Rainbow Trout from December through February, so be sure to check out their website for more information. Additionally, many of the lakes in Oklahoma are stocked with trout throughout the year, so you’re bound to find some great spots nearby.
Where Is the Trout Capital of Oklahoma?
The trout capital of Oklahoma is the town of Gore, located in Sequoyah County. This small town is home to the Lower Illinois and Arkansas Rivers, which provides some of the best trout fishing opportunities in the state. The river runs through Sequoyah Wildlife Management Area and is stocked regularly with Rainbow Trout by the ODWC.
Can You Fly Fish In Oklahoma?
You can definitely fly fish in Oklahoma! Fly fishing is a great way to experience Oklahoma's incredible natural beauty and abundant wildlife. From trout-filled rivers and lakes to bass-filled creeks and streams, and with over 1 million surface acres dedicated to recreation, there are plenty of spots for fly anglers in the Sooner State.
With a wide variety of fish species, fly fishing in Oklahoma can be quite exciting. In addition to the popular trout and bass species, anglers also have a chance of catching walleye, crappie, and carp.
Regardless of your skill level or experience with fly fishing, you'll find plenty of great spots here to cast your line and try to land a big one. And with the proper gear and strategies, fly fishing in Oklahoma can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. So, don't forget to pick up your fishing license before you head out on your adventure!