Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Little Midwinter Fishing

In the cold, cloudy, and particularly in Oklahoma, windy months of winter, getting outside to spend some time in the little sunlight that is to be found can do wonders for someone’s mood. The problem is finding something to do outside with an inch of snow on the ground. Even the most steel-willed adventurer would think twice about hiking through the woods or scaling a cliff in a 20-degree wind chill. Not only can venturing into the wilderness in the fickle Oklahoma winters be dangerous, but also many camping areas are closed during the winter season.

However, this does not mean that outdoor lovers have to be stuck inside all winter long waiting on the snow to melt. In fact, Oklahomans can find a perfect outdoor winter getaway in a very unexpected place-a river. Just outside the little town of Broken Bow sits the Lower Mountain Fork River, a haven for anglers regardless of the time of year. Whereas the bass and catfish found in Oklahoma lakes are not active in the winter, the rainbow and black trout of this river can be seen jumping in the fast-moving white water year round.

The rapids here are fed by a hydroelectric dam at the beginning of the river, which means that regardless of water level, the river will always be moving fast enough for trout to be very active. During the late spring and summer months, the river becomes a popular destination for kayakers looking to run the rapids. However, once the temperature drops and the tourists subside, people come from miles around to test their luck at fly-fishing.

The beauty of the Lower Mountain Fork is the feeling of seclusion the river provides. While standing in the cold shallow water casting a fly, civilization feels a million miles away; yet, the warmth of a car heater is only a few steps away making this secluded river the perfect place to beat cabin fever during these long cold winter months.

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