About OzarkAnglers

Posted by Phil Lilley on December 2nd, 2011
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First, a bit of history on me.  I grew up in southeast Kansas riding my bike to whatever pond I could find to fish — usually way past my allotted curfew. I loved to fish. My maternal grandfather Dain Harvey took me frequently to Lake Texoma outside Denison, TX, where my parents grew up.

I never considered that I would be fishing for a living, but that’s the avenue God blessed me with —  that and a desire to teach and host people at a fishing camp or resort. We settled with a resort. In May, 1983, we purchased a small, “fixer-upper” resort on upper Lake Taneycomo, and the rest of the clan began to trickle in over the years — my sister, Lisa Henderson, our great office manager; my wife’s parents, Dave and Jean Woolery, who had long loved Lake Taneycomo, then my parents, Jerry and Carolyn Lilley, all moved to the area.  In the meantime, we started adding children — Lisa’s two sons, and our two daughters and two sons, never dreaming that after they grew up, some would  come back to help in the business!

In 1997, I discovered the internet. What a great tool to relay fishing reports!!  A few years later, friend and internet partner, Jim Turner and I bought a domain called
OzarkAnglers.Com, and I started filling it with fishing tidbits for Lake Taneycomo. Then Bill Babler, friend and fellow angler, started helping with reports and articles for Table Rock . . . then Bull Shoals. Then I met Brian Wise, Brian Sloss and Sam Potter from the North Fork of the White, the Eleven Point and the Current Rivers. They contributed fare from their respective waters.

Want to see my first fishing resort? December, 1997

In late 2005, I launched the forum. I knew it would be a hit but could not envision how big. In a just a little over two years it grew beyond our expectations.  The most rewarding aspect has been the quality of people who share their angling knowledge — or just every day experiences — about dozens of different “waters” here in the Ozarks. What a blessing it is to witness the admirable character qualities of  genuine outdoorsmen (both male and female)!

Our first and foremost objectives are to educate the masses about fishing, to respect our incredible resources, to use fishing to improve our relationships with each other and to purposely pause and thank our Creator for such a wonderful hobby.

This is an open invitation for anyone to add articles, stories, picures and comments to the site — the more, the better, right?

Best Regards,


Phil Lilley

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