Fly Legend Dave Whitlock Elected to IGFA Hall of Fame

Whitlock is the third Oklahoma resident to receive one of fishing's highest honors.

Fly Legend Dave Whitlock Elected to IGFA Hall of Fame

Dave Whitlock, one of the world’s most recognizable fly anglers, has been elected to the IGFA Hall of Fame. (Photo by Lynn Burkhead

For a state that is landlocked and often thought of as one of the opening scenes from John Steinbeck’s "Grapes of Wrath" detailing the hardships of the Dust Bowl era, Oklahoma has a surprising amount of fishing water and angling excellence.

From world-class paddlefish angling to double-digit largemouth bass fishing to ample waters offering up big slab crappie, there’s certainly more to the Sooner State’s angling resume than many might think.

And that includes the sport of fly fishing, a pastime that now boasts of Oklahoma’s newest member elected to the International Game Fish Association’s Hall of Fame, none other than Tahlequah’s Dave Whitlock.

Described by Tulsa World outdoor writer Kelly Bostian as Oklahoma’s least-known internationally acclaimed angler , Whitlock becomes the Sooner State’s third IGFA Hall of Fame member. He joins Cookson’s Jimmy Houston (Class of 2003) and Tulsa’s late Darrel J. Lowrance (Class of 2012).


Not bad for a state better known for Oklahoma Sooner college football and springtime twisters than it is for places to wet a line.


Whitlock, now 85, joins pelagic game fish researcher Dr. Barbara Block; famed billfish angler and conservationist Jose Campos; marine conservationist Ken Hinman; and game fish advocate Patrick Gay as the IGFA HOF’s newest inductees.

The 2020 class of five inductees—elected unanimously by the IGFA Board of Trustees—will be enshrined at the IGFA Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Sept. 12, 2020 in Springfield, Mo. at Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium.

DaveWhitlock” width=
Dave Whitlock, a longtime contributor to Fly Fisherman, has been elected to the International Game Fish Association’s Hall of Fame. Whitlock is a prolific author and a recognized authority on coldwater and warmwater fly fishing, frequently lecturing on the topics. (Photo by Lynn Burkhead)

A longtime contributor to Fly Fisherman magazine, a member of Outdoor Sportsman Group’s family of industry-leading outdoors publications, Whitlock was named to the magazine’s "50 Most Influential Fly Fishers in the Last 5 Decades." That list was announced in the fall of 2018 when the 50th Anniversary edition of Fly Fisherman was published.

An active angler, fly tier, writer, photographer, lecturer, and artist, Whitlock lives on a ranch near Tahlequah, Okla. with his wife Emily. He still routinely fishes the Illinois River and other waters in the Ozark Mountains region near his Sooner State home.


Born in Muskogee, Okla., Whitlock’s rise to international fly fishing renown started many years ago when he was introduced to the sport as a child with a bamboo fly rod and the bass-, panfish-, and crappie-filled waters at Greenleaf State Park.

Growing up with a love for fish and the water, Whitlock was educated at Tahlequah’s Northeastern State University, an institution that provided him with a science degree that he turned into a chemistry research position in the oil industry.

But at the age of 35, Whitlock’s love for fly fishing and the outdoors world spurred him to make the leap into a career devoted to angling. He's never looked back, becoming a multi-talented communicator who writes, lectures, photographs and paints the fly fishing world.


Along with countless magazine stories and Internet articles, Whitlock is the author of several books including the L.L. Bean Fly Fishing Handbook; the L.L. Bean Bass Fly Fishing Handbook; and his recent Artful Profiles of Trout, Char, and Salmon and the Classic Flies That Catch Them.

Whitlock, a member of four other angling Hall of Fames including the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, is one of North America’s most innovative fly tiers as well, coming up with dozens of patterns that have filled fly shop bins and fly fishing catalogs over the years.

A renowned artist, Whitlock is a talented painter who creates fly fishing images for fly tying vise bases, coffee mugs, and limited-edition prints. He has been a prolific illustrator too, creating art for his own books and some 20 others.

On the conservation side of things, Whitlock has been a key contributor to the propagation and management of wild trout with the Whitlock-Vibert Box System that he helped to create. An in-stream salmonid egg incubator and nursery device, the system—which Whitlock wrote a book about—has helped to develop northern Arkansas’ trout fisheries into renowned rivers and streams that have produced world record size brown trout.

To learn more about Dave Whitlock and his wife Emily, please visit their website at www.DaveWhitlock.com. To learn more about the IGFA Hall of Fame, please visit here.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Berkley

Berkley's Surge Shad

Major League Fishing pro Scott Suggs has relied on the Berkley Surge Shad lure concept for years, using similar designs to capture MLF titles and a $1 million dollar FLW Forrest Cup win. With new features in the Surge Shad, Suggs tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead that even he can find success out on the water!

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

As Mustad continues to expand into an all-around tackle company, Reid McKinstry shows off some innovative features that make the Mustad Skatter Shad bladed jig a winner in big bass waters.

Simms

Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor Hoody

John Frazier of Simms Fishing Products helps OSG's Lynn Burkhead understand the new features of the new Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor sun protection hoody.

Minn Kota's Brad Henry shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead that there's much to like in the new Minn Kota Riptide Terrova saltwater trolling motor that comes with I-Pilot and an 87-inch shaft.

Trending Articles

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find the Garden State's hottest bass fishing. Destinations

7 Best Bets for New Jersey Bass

J.B. Kasper - October 04, 2010

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find the...

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers. Other Freshwater

3 Deadly Bait Rigs For Stripers

J.B. Kasper - April 21, 2005

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers.

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews of smelly ingredients often used to catch catfish. Catfish

How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some great bass pond fishing. Bass

Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You

Dan Anderson

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some...

See More Trending Articles

More News

8 state fishing records have been broken this year in the Old Line State. Records

Maryland Record Gray Triggerfish Caught

G&F Online Staff - November 04, 2019

8 state fishing records have been broken this year in the Old Line State.

So far, ICAST still on, but fly-fishing show canceled. Conservation & Politics

COVID-19 Brings Hope, Despair for 2020 Fishing Shows

Lynn Burkhead - April 08, 2020

So far, ICAST still on, but fly-fishing show canceled.

Amid COVID-19 closures, American Sportfishing Association asks to keep fishing open. News

ASA to Governors: ‘Fishing is Safe Activity'

Game & Fish Digital Staff - March 30, 2020

Amid COVID-19 closures, American Sportfishing Association asks to keep fishing open.

COVID-19 crisis cancellations, postponements spread into outdoors sports world. News

Coronavirus Shutters NRA Annual Meeting; Impacts MLF, FLW Derbies

Lynn Burkhead - March 13, 2020

COVID-19 crisis cancellations, postponements spread into outdoors sports world.

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.