Your guide to some great Oklahoma Smallmouth Bass fishing!

Being a guide for smallmouth bass on the upper Illinois River in Oklahoma is one of my favorite things to do. You will love this trip if you are brand new or a seasoned veteran! The river is full of Smallmouth, Kentucky (spotted bass), Sunfish and and a few largemouth that will crush most of the flies such as wooley buggers, crawfish patterns or small poppers. The average size of the fish is decent but what really makes this trip is the numbers of fish present.
The upper Illinois River is traditionally known for it's commercial canoe and kayak float trips because of it's scenery, clear water and good flow. Those who have taken their tackle with them on those float trips know the deeper pools in the river have a healthy population of gamefish and usually claim great fishing success while floating the river. However, there is a section of the river between the southern end of the commercial zone and the most northern boat ramp on Tenkiller Lake that doesn't recieve much pressure because it is not very accessable to most boats. Bank fishing and wade fishing are possible though in this is a great area and is where we will be if you book a trip with me.
I believe that fishing for bass on the upper Illinois with a fly rod is one of the most overlooked oppotunities in the state but in case you were wondering I do offer this trip with regular gear if fly fishing is not your thing. Location is a key factor for the upper Illinois which lies in the Eastern part of the state near Tahlequah, which is an easy drive from Tulsa and is a reasonable drive for Oklahoma City Residents. The eastern part of the state also boasts some great places that you may consider including Spavinaw Creek and Barron Fork. I do offer trips on these creeks as well from time to time but these trips require the water level to be just right. If water conditions are acceptable, we can cover a lot of water through the course of the day, which makes for a great adventure.
 The great thing about fly fishing for bass on some of these waters is that you have very little competion. You won't be able to see 10 fisherman upstream and 10 fisherman downstream of you at any given time like you would while on the Lower Mountain Fork or the Lower Illinois rivers on the weekends. What you will see though is amazing scenery, abundant wildlife and maybe even a bald Eagle or two. In addition to the action, bass fishing trips on these small waters in Oklahoma make for some Fantastic rest and relaxation, call me asap to book your trip!



Important River and Creek Links

Places to stay

If you plan on floating the river and renting a canoe or Kayak, this is the place to stay. The area you will be floating is miles above where I normally fish in my motor boat butI  have canoed this section and know it to be great fishing as well. There are several option for your stay including camping, cabins and beautiful cottages to learn more about staying at the Arrowhead resort and renting a canoe or kayak CLICK HERE.




If you are looking for a cost effective place, check out Sparrow Hawk Campground. They only charge $14 per vehicle per night for camping and they have new bathrooms and showers recently installed! The property sits right on the banks of the Illinois River just east of Tahlequa so you can wake up, get out of your tent and go bass fishing from the bank. They also have two cabins for rent at $100 per night with a two night minimum stay on weekends. To learn more about Sparrow Hawk Campground     CLICK HERE.