Experiencing the Blue River in Oklahoma
If you’ve never been there and you put on a blindfold and had someone drop you off at the Blue River, you would never guess you were in southern Oklahoma when you took it off. The Blue River looks like it belongs in Colorado, New Mexico, Arkansas or even eastern Oklahoma but not south-central Oklahoma.
The Blue River has swift, clear, braided stream that arises in Johnston County from the Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer, a giant underground water source. The headquarters of the spring-fed Blue River are southwest of Ada. The stream continues until it flows into the Red River in southeast Bryan County.
The most scenic part of the river is along the 6¼-mile stretch through the Blue River Public Hunting and Fishing Area. Here, the granite rocks of the Arbuckle outcrop come to surface and the river comes alive. Along these six miles, the river transforms from a lazy, meandering stream to cascading water that forks through granite and limestone formations. Over and around these rocks is the creation of horseshoe waterfalls and deep, slow-moving pools and fast-moving riffles.
The river channel often becomes braided, forming smaller streams with interspersed islands covered with unique seaside alders and native hardwoods. The seaside alders, which grow in clumps along the banks, waterfalls and islands, are typically found only along the Eastern Seaboard.
The Blue River is one of Oklahoma’s most beautiful places. It receives between 75,000 and 100,000 visitors each year. Most of them, an estimated 70 percent, travel to the Blue during the winter trout season which runs from November through March.Most are bait fishermen, but the Blue draws its share of spincasters and fly fishermen as well.
On the north end of Blue River Public Hunting and Fishing Area is a portion of the stream for the purists — a catch and release only area that requires the use of barbless hooks. Fly anglers gravitate to this stretch of the river where it’s usually easy to find some secluded water. The Blue River has more falls than any other river in Oklahoma.
Beginning near Connerville in Johnston County, the Blue River flows southeast to the Red River. This spring-fed river has a designated trout area in the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area. Other fishing opportunities exist for black bass, crappie, as well as channel and blue catfish. Camping facilities are available only at the Blue River Campground. Float trip opportunities by kayak are available on this Class II-III river, offering several falls and ledges, dependent on seasonal waterfall. No commercial outfitters along the river are allowed and public access points are limited. Supplies and information can be found at Scotty's Blue River One Stop, located at the entrance to the public hunting and fishing area. A Blue River Conservation Passport is required of all persons who enter or use the Blue River area, unless exempt. Check with the Oklahoma Wildlife Department for availability and criteria.
Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies - Blue River Oklahoma
We recommend a 5 weight, floating fly line for most all of the fly-fishing. We recommend a 6
weight, floating fly line for nymph fishing and streamers. There are some larger size trout that
are stocked in this stream.
The five weight fly rod should be between eight and nine feet in length. A medium to moderate
action would be our choice. The 6 weight fly rod would be best in a nine foot length and a medium
fast action. A slightly stiffer tip would help with the nymphs and streamers.
The fly reel for either of these two rods should have a good drag. Disc drags would be preferred.
You should be using at least a 9 foot leader on the Blue River. A twelve foot length or even
longer length may be the right choice in some situations where the water is smooth. You
should have them in sizes ranging from 1X for streamers, up to 6X for small dry flies. I wouldn't
go any lighter on this stream.
Carry extra tippet material in sizes ranging from 1X to 6X.
We suggest you wear waders or hip boots anytime you fish the Blue River. We prefer the
breathable type but the neoprene ones can help keep you warm if you fish during the cold
Felt sole wading boots would be our first choice but are quickly being replaced by the new rubber soles that may also work well.
Many fly fishers will agree that the Wooly Bugger is one of the best patterns on Blue River. Best colors are olive, brown, and black. Other patterns that work well include the red midge larva, zebra midge, hare's ear nymph, pheasant tail nymphs, hare's ear soft hackle, brassies, and copper johns. When the midges are on fly fishers will want to concentrate on size 20 and 22 midge patterns.
Fortunately the fishing is only going to get better as the Oklahoma weather cools off. November on the Blue means big and aggressive trout just ready to slurp down a Wooly Booger
Last year we had the pleasure of fishing with a few very skilled anglers and we were able to target some of the larger fish at a stream just on the other side of the low water crossing. We landed several fish in the four to six pound range and had some great action mid-afternoon. If you would like to experience the Blue River, log onto blueriverok.com.
If you are interested in getting involved with fly fishing, you should check out the Bass Pro Shops website and the Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World in Oklahoma City. Ok.
We look forward to seeing you in our store and as always, thank you for shopping Bass Pro Shops. Good luck on the water.