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Fly fishing the great state of Oklahoma for Trout, Striper and Bass
About me and Fly Fish Oklahoma Guide Service
My name is Russell Grafrath and I started the Fly Fish Oklahoma Guide Service in 2011 for two reasons, the first being a need that I saw while working in the Bass Pro fly shop in Oklahoma City. There were so many times when I had beginners come into the fly shop, drop hundreds of dollars on equipment and I was unable to spend much time with them to help them get started. Even if I did have more time in the shop, it would never replace time on the river. Most were off to try their luck on trout fishing at popular destinations such as the Lower Illinois River near Gore Oklahoma or the Lower Mountain Fork River near Broken Bow Oklahoma. Some would even tell me of their plans to catch Smallmouth, Kentucky or Largemouth Bass on the Upper Illinois River or to go Striper fishing on the Arkansas River. With their beginner status I knew most of them were woefully unprepared for what they were attempting. Fly fishing can be an incredible sport but it can also be one of the most frustrating things you have ever done if you don't know what you are doing. There is much, much more to fly fishing than tying on a fly and throwing it out there and catching a fish. It is an INCREDIBLY detailed form of fishing and slight variations of what you are doing (or not doing) for that matter can make or break you on the river. Starting this fishing guide business allows me to provide the level of coaching and instruction I've desired for some time now while on thie river.
The second reason I started this guide business was due to some of the unique fly fishing opportunities in Oklahoma. The average angler in Oklahoman may be completely suprised at how many fly fishing opportunities there are in the state that don't involve trout. For example, Sand Bass making their annual spawning run on the Upper Mountain Fork and Upper Illinois rivers is an outstanding opportunity to get out the fly rod, some white wooley buggers and catch as many fish as you can stand, not to mention filling your freezer with 25 pounds of sand bass fillets! The Upper Illinois River above Tenkiller lake is also an excellent destination for Smallmouth Bass, Kentucky (or Spotted Bass) and Largemouth Bass, which can be a blast on a fly rod! Yet another great fly fishing opportunity in Oklahoma is chasing stripers on the Red River, the Arkansas River and the Lower Illinois River on a Fly rod. It requires some specialized gear, certain flies and an experienced caster but it can be done with good chances of success due to the abundance of striper in these river systems. In addition to good numbers of stripes, the Lower Illinois River also boasts some of the biggest stripers in the state of Oklahoma. The current state record striper weighing 47 pounds 8 ounces came from the Lower Illinois River and every year there are several fish over 30 lbs. that are caught. If you hang into one of these brutes on a Fly Rod, it is something you will never forget.
If you are not 100% sold on the idea of fly fishing just yet, don't worry. I also break out the spinning gear for clients who aren't ready yet or who may want to bring a friend that doesn't fly fish. Pursuit of different species of fish in the US has left me a seasoned and skilled fisherman with several styles and techniques that I can employ. If you are a beginner that wants to catch a mess of trout for the first time on spinning tackle, I can make that happen. If you are an advanced fly fisherman that wants something unique and out of the ordinary, we can pursue some tackle testing striper on a fly rod as I mentioned above. I have also been known to put the fly rods down and chase stripers around on the Lower Illinois while using live bait. My point is that I am not locked into a single type of fishing and I cater to what you want out of a trip and stop at nothing to ensure you have a great time, catch some fish and more importantly that you come away from the experience having increased your knowledge.
Please continue to read through the site as I have inportant links, maps and tips on different fishing opportunities in Oklahoma. My contact information is above and I have posted my trip
calendar on the trips and rates page. If you have any questions or need clarification on any trips, rates, saftey ect. please do not hesitate to contact me. Give me a call to set your trip SOON and
let's make it happen!
Oklahoma fishing calendar - Use this table to help schedule your trip.
Species and Place/Month
|Trout on the Lower Illinois and Lower Mountain Fork||Very Good||Very Good||Excellent||Excellent||Very Good||Very Good||Very Good||Moderate||Moderate||Good||Very Good||Very Good|
|Striper on the Arkansas and Red River||Very Good||Very Good||Very Good||Excellent||Excellent||Very Good||Good||Moderate||Moderate||Good||Very Good||Very Good|
|Striper on the Lower Illinois River||Good||Good||Poor||Poor||Poor||Excellent||Excellent||Very Good||Poor||Poor||Poor||Moderate|
|Sand Bass on the Upper Illinois and Upper Mountain Fork River||Poor||Poor||Excellent||Very Good||Poor||Poor||Poor||Poor||Poor||Poor||Poor||Poor|
|Smallmouth, Largemouth, Spotted Bass on the Upper Illinois River||Moderate||Good||Very Good||Very Good||Excellent||Excellent||Very Good||Moderate||Good||Very Good||Excellent||Moderate|
View the moonphase calendar if you wish to plan any night trips for striper on the Lower Illinois. The primary reason to check the moon phase is for visability at night while using lures. Great night trips can be had all summer regardless of the moonphase but using bait is preferred when not fishing during a full moon phase. CLICK HERE FOR MOON CALENDAR