fly fishing smallmouth bass (copy)

Fly fishing and smallmouth bass are subjects of the 18th Smallmouth Rendezvous at Tahlequah. KELLY BOSTIAN/Tulsa World file

The key to learning a new activity — and learning more about something you’ve done forever — is connecting with the experts and those who have specialized in different aspects of the avocation.

If fly fishing is your thing, then you’ll want to be front and center Friday and Saturday at the 18th Annual Smallmouth Rendezvous at First Baptist Church, 201 Ron Rice Ave., Tahlequah. The Northeastern Oklahoma Fly Fishing Club, Native Women Fly Fishers and First Baptist Church sponsor the event.

Dozens of experienced fly tiers from around the region will set up tables to share their knowledge — and sell their wares — and experts in Oklahoma fishing will share their secrets in short seminars.

At those tables, fly-tying demonstrations are underway all day both days.

The rendezvous is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. both days, admission is free, and each day includes a full schedule. Fly-casting lessons are offered for those who inquire at the reception desk 10 a.m.-noon each day.

Friday includes a seminar on rod wrapping at 11 a.m. with Joe Strain. The afternoon brings Oklahoma guide Donavan Clary talking about how to catch carp on a fly rod, Valley Bransum on what to expect drift-boat fishing and the Bighorn River, and Scott Hood will share some of his secrets for fly fishing the Lower Illinois River.

Talks on Saturday include Toby Vaughn on fly fishing Belize, Larry Clark popping bugs and fishing for smallmouth bass, and authors Terry and Roxanne Wilson on fly fishing for largemouth bass.

The programming wraps up with a fly-tying contest, a live auction and results of a silent auction and raffle.

For more information on the event, go to

Kelly Bostian


Twitter: @KellyBostian