March 7th, 2005

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories . . .

Trout Fishing Oklahoma

By K.C. Meek, Oklahoma

If I wanted to see gin clear water ripple down a rocky stream bed in western Oklahoma I had to keep an eye out for the next Coors beer commercial. To see some one cast a fly line I had to rent "The River Runs Through It," but I became a fly fisherman nevertheless. And I did it here at Fly Anglers On Line.

My home is in southwest Oklahoma, land of sand hills and mesquite trees; the rivers are warm and just wide enough a man can jump them and not get his feet wet. The only fish I have seen in the Salt Fork of the Red River are a couple of carp trapped in a hole in an ox bow. Oh don't be fooled the little farm ponds have some of the best Large Mouth Bass a soul can find, but the idea of fly fishing and fly tying haunted me. Especially when I was carrying sixty pounds of spinning tackle in three ice chest sized boxes to catch them.

Finally, one hot August afternoon I threw down my bait cast rod, went out and bought the only fly rod for sale within 90 miles of my home, an $18.00 8wt. Shakespeare from Wal-Mart. I also purchased a book on fly casting just in case it wasn't as easy as it looked. I brought it all home strapped across the handle bars of my motorcycle.

While the sun set that evening I stood in my front yard with twenty feet of fly line laid in front of me preparing for my first fly cast. I brought the rod up, the line whizzed by, and the tippet kissed me on the ear, and all twenty feet of line pilled up in front of me. Brad Pit I wasn't. Undeterred I carried on well past dark with little more success.

In a search for answers to the mystery of the effortless loops I saw in the movies I came across FAOL. There I read about balanced rod and reel weights, weight forward lines and casting techniques. I searched other sites but found them crammed with advertisements for billion dollar tackle I now knew I didn't have the capacity to use. FAOL had a beginners column and advice for people like me who didn't know a caddis from a cactus. With this new found wealth of information I purchased an appropriate fly line. I ordered a fly tying kit for Bass and Panfish flies, and began again. I practiced stopping the rod at ten and two in the front yard until I could feel the rod "load." I followed the tying instructions from beginner to expert. Then tied some poppers and dragon flies I found in the archives. Within a few weeks I pulled in my first blue gill and was completely smitten.

July fourth found me clear across the state in Broken Bow, Oklahoma and it was beautiful. To my delight I found an ice cold gin clear stream rippling over slippery rocks between pine covered mountains. Broken Bow State Park has one of only two year-round trout fisheries in Oklahoma and the state record Rainbow. Having a spontaneous wife made it easy to pick up and move. The first few months were consumed with starting a new business and it was November before I was able to break out my fly rod. I just fished the lake with my bass flies but caught a couple of the Small Mouth Bass the lake is famous for. I was afraid my rod was too heavy for the tiny flies needed to fish the trout in the twelve miles below the dam. Then Mrs. Santa Clause put a 4wt. Hobbs Creek Rod in my stocking at Christmas. I tied a size 22 olive dun and on my third cast ever for trout I pulled in a small Brown; still having never received instruction from any one but the fine people at FAOL. I have been trout fishing nearly every day since New Year's Eve and I haven't come home skunked yet.

Thank you FAOL, tight lines and God bless. ~ KC Meek

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