Gore is Trout Fishing Capital

Published On October 4, 2022

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Fish the Lower Illinois River

An angler’s paradise, most people don’t realize what a mecca Gore, Oklahoma is for fishing, trout fishing in particular, until they get here. The Lower Illinois River has a trout fishery with several recreational areas, ripe for the avid sportsman.

It is one of only two year-round fisheries in Oklahoma. The views are stunning, teeming with wildlife, and the fly fishing is excellent.

With weekly brown and rainbow trout stockings and five public access points, you’ve got a great chance to catch trout all day long at this year-round trout fishery. You’ll also find some of the biggest brown and rainbow trout in this river and it holds some state records.

Just How Good is the Fishing?

The Greenleaf and Tenkiller Lakes, along with the R. S. Kerr Reservoir have helped make Gore the trout fishing capital of Oklahoma. With year-round trout fishing, the Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife is in charge of stocking 100,000 rainbow and brown trout over three sites: the River Road Access Area, Tenkiller Powerhouse, and Marval Resort!

With sustained springtime water releases, white bass also spawn all the way to the Webbers Falls Lock and Dam, and in Greenleaf and Tenkiller Lakes. These releases also attract some walleye, paddlefish, and striped bass, among others.

You can even bring along friends and family who don’t care to fish, as Gore has some great shopping, including antique stores and restaurants. Scuba divers will love Lake Tenkiller, and an outfitter with scuba rentals is nearby.

The Lower Illinois River is roughly an eight-mile section running from the Tenkiller Ferry Dam to the US64 bridge near Gore. Trout are stocked weekly in the summer months and bi-weekly the rest of the year. One of the best access points is a one-mile section along the Lower Illinois River Public Fishing Area.

How to Get to the Lower Illinois River

Head north on State Hwy 100 from Gore about four miles, then turn east onto county road E0990 and drive about a mile to the entrance. Designated parking is available and the access points are walk-in only.

Where to Fish on the Lower Illinois River

Other public access points are available along the trout stream, including a nice spot with a pool in the river located just below the dam. Here, trout fishing is allowed, even during high power generation. Other public access points can be found at the River Road Public Access Area, which is about six miles downstream from the dam. Also, the Gore Landing Public Access Area has a boat launch ramp and camping facilities.

The Lower Illinois River is a very popular spot where local trout anglers fly fish but there is more than enough river to find a place to yourself. So come on down!