Learn All About Fly Fishing at Illinois River School

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The Lower Illinois River offers great trout fishing opportunities year-round.

By the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

For its 33rd year, the Illinois River Fly Fishing School is welcoming students wishing to learn all about the sport. Sessions are set for Feb. 25-26, 2022, at Tenkiller State Park and on the banks of the Illinois River in eastern Oklahoma.

The basic course includes sessions on tackle and gear, knots, flies, fly selection and casting techniques. On Saturday afternoon, participants receive on-stream instruction. Fly rods will be available for loan Saturday. A state fishing license is not required for students during course instruction Saturday.

Instructors will be Mark Patton, Kim Erickson and Tre Dupuy. Patton said if enough students haven’t enrolled by Jan. 31, the school might have to be canceled; in that event, all fees and deposits would be refunded.

A welcome session and orientation will begin at 8 p.m. Friday, with indoor training from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, followed by actual fishing instruction on the Illinois River. A fly selection and discussion session will begin at
7 p.m. after dinner break. Sunday is for fishing on your own, with appropriate license required.

Participants should bring a hat, sunglasses, rain gear, flashlight, alarm clock and appropriate clothing for Saturday’s outdoor session. If available, participants are urged to also bring their own equipment including rod and reel, flies, 3X leader and waders.

Course fee is $175, with a $50 deposit due at the time of enrollment. Meals Saturday at Big Daddy’s Restaurant can be reserved for a fee. For more information and school enrollment, call (405)613-6520.

Lodging is available separately through Tenkiller State Park. Participants may book lodging by calling (918)489-5643.

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