Angler Woodrow Barnes holds a rainbow trout he caught at the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area last year. Trout stocking will begin by Nov. 1 at six seasonal fishing areas across the state. (Doron Lovett via Facebook)
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Winter will be here soon enough, but anglers don’t have to put away their gear. Here are some current updates about fishing, which can be great anytime of the year in Outdoor Oklahoma!
TROUT SEASON ARRIVES SOON
The weather might be getting colder, but the fishing action is getting ready to heat up at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s seasonal trout fishing areas across the state.
Each year, by Nov. 1 and continuing into March or April, the Wildlife Department stocks trout in six public fishing areas: Perry CCC/Lake Perry Park, Robbers Cave, Blue River, Lake Watonga, Medicine Creek and Lake Carl Etling. For more information, go to wildlifedepartment.com/fishing/trout-information.
In addition to these “cold weather” trout fisheries, the Department also operates two year-round trout fisheries in the Lower Mountain Fork River below Broken Bow dam and in the Lower Illinois River below Tenkiller Ferry Dam. Trout are normally stocked in these areas every week or two, as long as water conditions allow for trout survival.
Trout stocking is on schedule for all areas except the catch-and-release portion of the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area, which won’t receive fish until Nov. 8.
Trout, both rainbows and browns, are introduced species to Oklahoma. They thrive in colder waters and make excellent table fare. Using ultralight fishing gear with 4- to 6-pound test line and small hooks can lead to some thrilling action. But anyone can catch trout using regular angling gear with small jigs or spinners, prepared bait or live bait.
Trout fishing is also available from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28 at two Close to Home Fishing locations in major urban areas: Oklahoma City’s Dolese Youth Park Pond and Jenks’ Veterans Park Pond.
For complete trout fishing regulations, including daily and size limits, restricted areas and maps, consult the current Oklahoma Hunting and Fishing Regulations Guide found online at wildlifedepartment.com or in print across the state wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.
FLY FISHING SCHOOL ENROLLING
Enrollment is underway for the Illinois River Fly Fishing School. The 2019 session will be Feb. 22-23 at Tenkiller State Park and on the banks of the Illinois River.
This will be the 31st year that Patton Fly Fishing has conducted the course, which is always a great holiday gift for any angler. Early registration is suggested.
This basic course includes sessions on tackle and gear, knots, flies, fly selection and casting techniques. On Saturday afternoon, participants receive on-stream instruction. Fly rods will be available for loan Saturday. A state fishing license is not required for students during course instruction.
Instructors will be Mark Patton, Tom Adams, Blake Patton and Tre Dupuy.
Course fee is $175, with a $50 deposit due at enrollment. Saturday meals at $35, if desired. For more information, click here or call (405) 613-6520.