By Christian Toews
From the Feb. 2022 Biskinik
Fishing for trout in a mountain stream nestled in beautiful scenery is the dream of many anglers. There is magic in a running river, casting your luck on the water, hoping for a bite. Oklahoma is home to several prime locations for trout fishing, and two of the best are located within the Choctaw Nation in southeast Oklahoma.
Trout fishing is unique from other types of fishing in this part of the country. Most fishing in Oklahoma is for species of fish endemic to the local lakes and streams, while the trout are stocked in several locations across Oklahoma.
Ken Cunningham is the Assistant Chief of Fisheries at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Across the state of Oklahoma, there are only two year-round trout fisheries in Oklahoma, and one of them is right here in Choctaw Country, according to Cunningham. According to Cunningham, trout stocked in the year-round fisheries are provided to mitigate the impact on the natural fish of the river and help maintain a sustainable ecosystem.
Cunningham said there are eight seasonal trout fisheries in Oklahoma, including five lakes and three rivers and streams. He said trout love cold water, so November through March is when trout are regularly stocked in these seasonal fisheries. One of the best places to fish for trout in the winter is along the Fourche Maline River at Robbers Cave State Park. This State Park is located just a few miles north of Wilburton, Oklahoma.
Robbers Cave was given its name because it was a former hideout for infamous outlaws Belle Starr and Jesse James. Given the beautiful scenery of this area, it’s no wonder that they chose this location (OK, maybe they chose it for its secluded nature, but that is still an excellent trait for a trout fishing destination).
This area is perfect for a fishing weekend with friends and family or a day trip alone. You can pack a lunch for the day or spend the weekend taking advantage of everything the area has to offer. Some of the other things to do in and around Robbers cave State Park include camping, hiking, horseback riding, and fishing.
Another premier trout fishing in Oklahoma is the Lower Mountain Fork River inside Beavers Bend State Park. This river has some of the best trout fishing in the country. Trout can be stocked here all year, so you will find trout no matter what time of year you want to visit this area.
Photo by Christian Toews
Choctaw Country is filled with breathtaking views and rivers and stream filled with trout during the season.
Many fly fishers come to this location because of the running water and large trout.
Chris Schatte with Beavers Bend Fly Fishing Guide Service said that he has fished all over the country, and this area has some of the best fly fishing in the country. It doesn’t matter how you like to fish; this area has something for you.
Joshua Richards owns Mountain Fork Outfitters and has been guiding fishing trips inside Beavers Bend State Park for years. Richards offers spin cast and Zebco style fishing and a fun time for everyone.
“I offer family fun and excitement. I make it simple and easy to where we catch the most amount of fish,” he said. Richards typically sees people catch larger fish during the colder months.
“Once it cools off, I’ve caught huge rainbow trout,” explained Richards. “Up to nine and ten pounds. They are huge.” Part of the appeal of the area is the scenery. According to Richards, the scenery is one of the reasons people come and fish.
“We have some of the best views. Everyone who comes to the area says that it’s some of the best views they have ever seen. It’s really a unique experience and unique place,” said Richards.
Whether you are an angler or not, you will enjoy this area with hiking trails that lead to breathtaking vistas and beautiful ATV trails.
Only a few miles from the best fishing spots, Hochatown, Oklahoma, offers excellent restaurants, breweries and activities. Many people come out and fish for part of the day and then enjoy some downtime exploring everything the area offers.
To fish in these locations, tribal members must follow the newly updated Choctaw Nation Fish, Game and Animals Code. Tribal members are still subject to special restrictions such as hunting/fishing in wildlife management areas. For more information, visit choctawnation.com/huntingandfishing.
Non-tribal members will need a State of Oklahoma fishing license, and you must follow all the trout fishing guidelines. These regulations are found on the Oklahoma Wildlife Department’s website.
For more information about Mountain Fork Outfitters, you can visit mountainforkoutfitters.com.
If you’re interested in fly fishing, you can learn more and book a guided trip at beaversbendflyfishingguideservice.com.
Maybe you are a lifelong angler who wants to fish in a new location, or perhaps you want to try trout fishing for the first time. Either way, trout fishing can be a great family experience, a fun time with friends, or some quality alone time out in nature.
Now is a great time to fish for trout, so don’t let the colder weather discourage you from getting out and enjoying the incredible fishing that southeast Oklahoma has to offer.
Things to Do
- The Maze of Hochatown
- Big Foot Axe Throwing
- Beavers Bend Mining Company
- Wild Boar Ridge Hunting Ranch
- Vojai’s Winery
- Jake’s Brickhouse Grill
- Rock Bottom Boyz BBQ
- Roma’s Italian Restaurant
- Papa Poblano’s Mexican Café
- Whip-Poor-Will Fudge Factory & Sweet Shoppe