The southeast corner of the state is home to the state’s best bass lakes and its most picturesque rivers, which are stocked with a variety of fish species.
Using the town of Broken Bow as a base, one can venture out to the Glover River to catch smallmouth bass, fish Broken Bow Lake for trophy largemouth, then try for walleye, spotted bass or brown trout in the Mountain Fork River. Here’s a look at these three great fishing spots.
Oklahoma’s last major free-flowing river, the Glover River is the state’s premier fishery for smallmouth bass. These emerald waters support a thriving, genetically pure population of Ouachita-strain smallmouth, a unique and hearty subspecies able to tolerate the area’s climate. Most of these fish run from 1 to 3 pounds, though the river’s deep pools hold larger specimens, along with spotted and largemouth bass.
During spring and fall, the Glover River lends itself to the use of small boats and canoes. However, during the low-water periods of summer and winter, wading may be a better option. When fly fishing the Glover, uses woolly bugger flies. The flies imitate so many of the baitfish, insects and invertebrates found here, that you're sure to find success if you drift them through pools and runs or retrieve them in short, quick strips.
The Glover is a wilderness river that’s best fished with a buddy or two and is accessed through the Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area, located north of State Highway 3 between Antlers and Broken Bow.
You don’t have to be an angler to appreciate Broken Bow Lake. But if you are, the first time you visit here, you’ll understand why this lake is in a class all its own. This is a lake of deep, clear water, rock bluffs and gravel-rimmed mid-lake islands with breathtaking scenery and trophy potential.
When fishing this lake, look for long points extending out into the river channels in deep water. Find one, fish it slowly and you’re liable to connect with a 14-pound or bigger largemouth bass. Along with the largemouth, Broken Bow Lake offers anglers the chance to tangle with both smallmouth and spotted bass as well. Catch all three species in the same day, and you’ll achieve an Oklahoma grand slam.
Like the Glover, the Upper Mountain Fork River above Broken Bow Lake is a first-rate smallmouth fishery that also includes good numbers of spotted and largemouth bass. Additionally, the spring months see strong runs of both white bass and walleye, which move upstream from the lake. Visit here during March or April, and you could fish four or five different species.
If you’d rather try for trout, the portion of the river below the Broken Bow dam is for you. The Lower Mountain Fork River holds both rainbow and brown trout and is a diverse fishery featuring everything from small-stream pocket water to calm, quiet pools and even deep, cypress-studded sections that more closely resemble a swamp. Great fishing is found the length of the river, but the largest trout are found in Zones II (extending from the state park dam to the Re-regulation Dam) and III (the section of river from the Re-regulation Dam downstream to the U.S. 70 bridge).
While a trophy trout can be caught at any time of year, the period from November through March is the best time to catch one of the stream’s bruisers.