Trout Fly Fishing in Oklahoma – Where to Fish OK

Thinking of a trip to do some epic trout fishing in Oklahoma? Whether you’re a local or you’re coming from out of state, Oklahoma is a fly fishing destination that offers some great opportunities for trout fishing throughout the year.

trout fishing in oklahoma

From regularly stocked rivers and lakes for brilliant winter trout fishing to the year-round opportunities on the two major trout rivers, the best trout fishing in Oklahoma rivals any in the US. 

In this rundown, we’ve got you covered with everything you could ever need to know about trout fishing in Oklahoma. From the license you’ll need to the fishing regulations and the best lakes and rivers to fly fish in Oklahoma, you’ll find it here! 

8 Best Oklahoma Trout Fishing Lakes and Rivers

Oklahoma has a generous trout stocking program run by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation which you definitely want to take advantage of as it makes catching trout, well, stocked trout, a lot easier!

For year-round fishing in Oklahoma, your best bets are the two major trout rivers, the Lower Mountain Fork and the Lower Illinois Rivers.

Both of these rivers receive regular brown and rainbow trout stocking every week to two weeks throughout the year. With year-round fisheries, winter fly fishing opportunities are also impressive, with six seasonal fisheries and two easy-to-access urban trout fishing locations too. 

1. Lower Illinois River

Lower Illinois River

The Lower Illinois River is one of only two year-round fisheries in Oklahoma. The views are stunning, it’s teeming with wildlife and the fly fishing is excellent. You’ll find healthy numbers of both brown and rainbow trout in this amazing trout stream.

With weekly brown and rainbow trout stockings and 5 public access points, you’ve got a great chance to catch trout all day long at this year-round trout fishery. You’ll also find some of the biggest brown and rainbow trout in this river and it holds some state records.

This is a very popular spot where local trout anglers fly fish but there is more than enough river to find a place to yourself.

There are some special regulations to be aware of. Click through to check out the full regulations for yourself. 

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Where To Fish On The Illinois River

Popular spots for fishing on the Lower Illinois River include the mile-long Lower Illinois Public Fishing Area, the fishing access area at River Road, and another bank access area at Gore Landing, which boasts a campsite too.

The best spot during hot and cold temperatures will be at the part of the river located immediately below the dam which has

Recommended Flies For The Illinois River

  • Midges
  • Adams
  • BWO
  • Drakes
  • Small nymphs
  • Streamers

2. Lower Mountain Fork River

Lower Mountain Fork River

With 12 miles of trout stream running through Mountain Fork Park and frequent stockings of rainbow trout and brown trout, this river is a favorite of many fly fishers, and for good reason.

The Oklahoma fish respond well to anglers, the river bank access is very easy, and there are plenty of great little spots to set up for bank fishing for the day. 

The Lower Mountain Fork River never gets too busy with trout anglers, so you can get lost in your fly fishing without having to elbow your way through the crowds for a fishing spot! This is also a year-round trout fishery so it’s good in winter too.

This river is divided into Blue Zones and Red Zones, with their own specific regulations. The first Red Zone spans from the first bridge across the Highway to the second bridge after Broken Bow Dam.

The second Red Zone stretches between the Dam at State Park and the Rough Branch Creek mouth. Here, you’re limited to taking one rainbow trout of more than 20″ and you may only use artificial flies and lures and barbless hooks which are key for trout survival.

The daily bag limit for brown trout anywhere on this river is 1 per day per person, again with a minimum size of 20″. In the Blue Zones, you can fish with bait and barbed hooks

Take a look for yourself at some fly fishing on the Lower Mountain Fork River early on in the 2018-2019 season.

Where To Fish On The Lower Mountain Fork River

There are great public access points at Beavers Bend State Park and again at Presbyterian Falls. You can fish at any point along the 5 miles of the river stretching through the Beavers Bend State Park.

Recommended Flies For The Lower Mountain Fork River

3. Blue River

Blue River oklahoma

Although this river isn’t stocked year-round, you should try to plan a visit any time from November through to March. During this period, you can take advantage of the regular trout stockings which take place every other week. The Blue River runs for 140 miles, but for trout fishing, you’ll want to head to the 6-mile section near Tishomingo. 

The Blue River fishing is rated as some of the best in the state, with sparkling, pure water, free access to the banks, and more than 6 miles of designated trout waters to practice your fly fishing in.

The river has great character, with several small waterfalls, small pools, and varying depths. You can play around and try out the different spots and some new techniques here. Make sure you check the Blue River fishing report before you head out, as the stocking schedule can change according to the water temperature. 

If you’re in southeast Oklahoma, the Blue River is the ideal location for you. But with the tempting option of free camping at the Blue River Campground, many avid trout fishermen and women make the journey to try out the waters on the Blue River.

Why not pitch up for a few days and hone your fly fishing skills? You’ll be sure to take back an impressive haul of trout after a Blue River fishing trip! 

Where To Fish On The Blue River

The best place to fish on this river is in the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Wildlife Refuge which you will below and the road to follow leads to the camping facilities.

You’ll find easy bank access all down the river and it’s great for wade fishing and you’ll catch trout of all sizes.

Recommended Flies For The Blue River

  • Griffiths gnat
  • Small adams
  • Midge flies
  • Elk hair caddis
  • Various nymphs
  • Black/olive streamers 

4. Lake Watonga

Lake Watonga oklahoma fishing

It’s not the largest lake at just 55 acres, but Lake Watonga is still one of the great trout fisheries to head to if you’re hoping to catch some trout.

Lake Watonga is located in the Roman Nose State Park in central Oklahoma, and you can camp here if you’ll be staying for a few days. There is also a boat launching ramp in the park so you can use the boat ramp and fish from a boat if you want to access deeper parts of the lake.

Thanks to the regular stocking of rainbow trout and brown trout throughout the winter and early spring months, the fly fishing possibilities make it worth a visit. If you fancy a challenge, why not take part in the trout fishing tournaments that are held here each spring? 

Where To Fish On Watonga

Lakes can be a challenging trout fishery to master but this trout fishery has a spring at the western finger, so it’s best to start fishing there.

Also, bring some sinking fly fishing gear so you can fish deeper if required, and remember the wind pushes all the food into a certain direction which is where you’ll find the rainbow trout and brown trout. There is also a fishing dock if you want to cast deeper into the lake.

Recommended Flies For Watonga

  • Small nymphs
  • Large nymphs
  • Streamers
  • Small dries

5. Lake Carl Etling

Lake Carl Etling

You can find this lake in the Black Mesa State Park, Kenton, just 30 miles from Boise City. The setting of this trout fishery is calm and quiet, and it’s definitely one of the best lakes in Oklahoma for fly fishing for trout. 

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation stocks rainbow trout in Lake Carl Etling from the beginning of November through to the end of April every year. You’ll be spoilt for choice with over 5 miles of banks and there are boat ramps you can use to fish deeper in the lake.

Where To Fish On Lake Carl Etling

Our top tip is to head for the south bank berms but if you do use the boat ramps, try fishing on ledges and drop-offs.

Recommended Flies For Lake Carl Etling

  • Small nymphs
  • Large nymphs
  • Streamers
  • Small dries

6. Robber’s Cave State Park

Robbers Cave State Park

Robber’s Cave is a tempting location for anglers: Healthy trout populations, easy river access throughout the State Park, the possibility for wading, and plenty of amenities nearby. Robber’s Cave State Park is located in Latimer County, just 5 miles north of Wilburton. 

Robber’s Cave is stocked between November 1 and March 15. You’ll find the best trout fishing area downstream from Carlton Dam.

You can also visit and go trout fishing new mexico if you want to have add more destinations to your trout fly fishing bucket list.

7. Medicine Creek

Medicine Creek

Medicine Creek is the place to head to if you want to get away from the bustle and enjoy the peace and quiet of a day out on the river, fly fishing for trout in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.

This area is also stocked regularly throughout the winter with brown and rainbow trout, and you can camp nearby at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge if you’ll be in the area for more than a day.

See for yourself what a gem the Medicine Creek in Oklahoma is and it’s one of the trout fisheries that are great to fish on all year.

Where To Fish

Go for the designated trout area downstream from Gondola Lake Dam all the way to the State Highway 49 bridge. 

The sidewalk that follows the east bank of Medicine Creek and the car park near State Highway 49 bridge is the best access points. Take note that a lot of the west bank is private property, so be careful not to trespass. 

Recommended Flies For The

  • Griffiths gnat
  • Small adams
  • Midge flies
  • Elk hair caddis
  • Various nymphs
  • Black/olive streamers

8. Dolese Park Pond, Oklahoma City & Veterans Park Pond

Dolese Park Pond

The Sooner State runs a ‘Close to Home Fishing’ program to make fishing more accessible to everyone, especially those living in urban areas and larger cities. Not everyone has the opportunity or the means to travel out to the lakes and rivers afterall. 

Thanks to this program, there are trout fishing opportunities at Dolese Park Pond in Dolese Youth Park, OK City, and the Veterans Park Pond.

You can snag some decent-sized trout here from December 1 through to February 28, though make sure you follow the special regulations in place in these areas.

You may only use one rod and reel per person, and the daily limit is six trout each day. Neither wading nor culling is allowed, and you’ll need an Oklahoma City fishing permit before you cast your line here.

Fly fishing Missouri should also be on your list for this year. It will offer a lot of fly fishing destinations.

Oklahoma Fishing License

To fish in Oklahoma, you’ll need a resident or nonresident fishing license as applicable. However, there’s no need to purchase a trout permit as this is included in the fishing license. 

The Oklahoma Wildlife Department has made it really easy for you to buy your fishing license with a brand new mobile app. You can purchase your license online here – there’s a $3 processing fee. 

Alternatively, you can buy it from any of the 700+ license dealers across the state, including bait shops, convenience stores, sporting goods stores and more. If you need any fly fishing accessories to get the job done head over to our recommendations. 

best fishing in oklahoma

You’ll need to know the Oklahoma fishing regulations before you set out, but don’t worry – they’re pretty straightforward. 

Anyone fishing in Oklahoma waters must have a fishing license. The daily limit is 6 rainbow trout and 6 brown trout, generally with no minimum size limit. But do take care, because certain sections of the Blue River, Lower Mountain Fork, and the Lower Illinois River have special regulations. 

No culling (releasing fish caught earlier in the day) is allowed and you’re limited to catching fish with just one rod and reel. Take note that it’s artificial lures and flies only. 

You can check out the Official Regulation Guide for 2018-2019 to find out more. 

Oklahoma Fishing Report

You’ll want to have an idea of the OK fishing report before you head on out. You can find more or less regular Oklahoma fishing reports on the Wildlife Department’s website for the lakes and rivers across the state. 

It’s updated most frequently – generally once a week – from the months of March to June which make up the peak fishing season in Oklahoma. You’ll find the Blue River fishing report here too. 

But even outside of these times, you’ll find trouts fishing report from dedicated anglers and county game wardens who venture out to relate back the temperature, clarity, and elevation of the water and also how the fish are behaving. It’s a really useful resource to take a quick look at before your fishing trip.

Arkansas is also a place to visit if you’re planning on your next trip. Fly fishing Arkansas will surely give you a very fun experience fly fishing.

best lakes in oklahoma

Recommended Fly Shops In Oklahoma

If you need to top up on flies or tippet while in Oklahoma or need some advice on trout fishing in Oklahoma, here are some great ones – unfortunately, they don’t have websites but they are on GoogleMaps.

ok fishing report

Recommended Guides In Oklahoma

There aren’t too many guide operations in Oklahoma but there are a few and it’s always useful to have a guide on your first day on any river.

Wrap Up

There’s everything you need to know about fly fishing for trout in Oklahoma. We’ve covered the Oklahoma fishing regulations and the trout fishing report. You know where to find the best fishing in Oklahoma and what license you’ll need.

So what are you waiting for? Here are the steps you need to take so that you’re ready for your next trip to catch some Oklahoma fish: 

      • Get your fishing license – easy to get online!
      • Pick your spot from our list of the best lakes and rivers in Oklahoma for snagging those trout.
      • Double-check the trouts fishing report for your chosen location. The stocking schedule can vary if the temperature is warm, so verify the Oklahoma fishing report first!
      • Grab your gear and…
      • Go out and catch some fish!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and found it helpful in planning your next trout fishing trip in Oklahoma. Why not drop me a comment below to let me know which fishing spot you like the look of best? 

Or if you’ve got any questions, just pop them in the comments section and I’ll do my best to get back to you. Now get out there and make the most of the amazing trout fishing locations that Oklahoma has to offer!

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