Show host Frank Smethurst and Rob Woodruff fishing the river on a drizzly winter day.
Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout Year-Round in the Kiamichi Mountains
The Kiamichi Mountains and Beavers Bend State Park are located in the southeastern corner of Oklahoma near the town of Broken Bow, within 200 miles of Dallas, Tulsa, Little Rock and Shreveport. Called the "Little Smokies" for good reason, the region offers mountain vistas, year-round trout fishing, white water rafting, hiking and spectacular fall foliage reminiscent of the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.
Enjoy fly fishing for Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Walleye and Smallmouth Bass on the beautiful Mountain Fork River with Woodruff Guide Service. Rob has been fly fishing the river literally since the first week Trout were stocked in 1989 and guiding since 1992; longer than any fly fishing guide on the river.
Lower Mountain Fork Trout Fishery Since its inception almost 25 years ago, the Lower Mountain Fork River trout fishery has rapidly improved to become one of the top year-round trout destinations in the South. The river supports trout for the first 11 miles below Broken Bow Dam and has produced Brown Trout weighing over 17 pounds and Rainbows weighing over 10 pounds. The river has both stocked and native trout and is unique among Southern Trout Tailwaters in that it has trout both above and below the hydroelectric power station, making it a true every day of the year fishery. Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall, the Trout fishing is great on the LMFR.
The section that supports Trout all year is divided into three distinct waterways:
Spillway Creek A fast-moving feeder stream with pocket water and riffles inside Beavers Bend State Park, it runs clear and cold through a canyon for 1.3 miles from the Broken Bow Dam spillway to its confluence with the main river. The creek offers both rainbow and brown trout and is more like a Rocky Mountain stream than a Southern Tailwater. Spillway Creek has benefited from numerous Trout habitat improvement projects by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) and the Lower Mountain Fork River Foundation (LMFRF).
Lost Creek Formerly an intermittent stream that was dry most of the time, Lost Creek became an all year Trout stream in 2007 when a project by the ODWC and LMFRF diverted water from Spillway Creek through it. The project also installed habitat structures and spawning substrate. The creek is home to some large Trout and is an active spawning location in the late autumn. The creek is located in the "Upper Red Zone", one of two special regulation and restricted harvest sections for the fishery.
Lower Mountain Fork River The main river channel, this fishery offers a range of water types, from slow and tranquil to fast and raging. Blessed with an abundance of food sources, the Mountain Fork offers opportunities for trout on dry flies, nymphs and streamers. The months of December, January and February are especially strong for dry fly action, but hatches occur throughout the year. The entire river is productive, but fly fishermen often find the best action in one of the two Red Zones, the upper "Evening Hole" section and the lower "Zone 2" section where regulations restrict anglers to flies or hard body artificial lures, with barbless hooks, and allow the harvest of only one trout over 20 inches per day permit the trout to grow to their full potential.
Weekly Fishing Report Rob maintains a weekly fishing report for the Lower Mountain Fork River on the Orvis Website. Click to get the most up to date information on conditions, hatches and top flies:
Tenkara is the Japanese method of fly-fishing where only a rod, line and fly are used. The popularity of Tenkara is growing at a rapid pace in the US and Canada. Rob has been fishing and guiding using Tenkara USA rods and traditional Sakasa Kebari flies on the Lower Mountain Fork River since 2010. He can vouch that it is a peaceful, effective, fun way to pursue Trout. Interested in finding out what all of the fuss is about? Book a full or half-day Tenkara trip and learn to simplify your time on the water.
Contact Rob with any Tenkara questions you may have, or visit the Tenkara USA Website for how to videos and a wealth of information.