Urban Fly Fishing!
Updated: Apr 3
Like most kids who love to fish, I grew up mainly fishing places that were close to home. From public saltwater fishing piers to stocked city lakes, I made the best of what I had and developed a solid foundation of skills during the many, many hours I spent at these places. Although there was the occasional opportunity to hop on a friend's boat or go fish at a more distant body of water, I was quite content on my "home waters" and discovered some really surprising fishing there at certain times of the year. It was then that I gained a real appreciation for urban fishing.
Fly fishing is a special sport that can take you to some of the most remote and beautiful parts of planet earth. Just look at all of the awe-inspiring pictures in advertisements and on social media of anglers fly fishing in exotic and foreign lands from Russia to tiny tropical islands. For the record, yes I'm jealous! Who wouldn't want to be one of those fortunate folks that travels the globe tangling with taimen, bonefish, trevally, and other bucket-list species? Hopefully someday I get to take at least one of those "trips of a lifetime," but in the meantime for most other anglers as well as myself, we must focus on fishing within a reasonable distance of our homes. What anglers might be overlooking is the fact that some pretty entertaining fishing can exist near or right within highly-populated areas.
Urban waters can be finicky. Some of them lack fish and many are heavily-pressured, but there's a few hot spots and gems here and there that can really open your eyes—you just have to get out and see for yourself! Personally, I recently fished a local beach (that for some reason I've ignored for years) and found it to be brimming with hungry snook. Two years ago, a friend from CA came out here to FL to visit and explore some land-based fishing opportunities. He wound up doing very well, and even found some nice tarpon in a tiny ditch alongside a busy road that I've driven by many times without ever thinking anything lived in there besides minnows and mosquitoes. Looks can be deceiving!
Many more personal examples exist on top of the ones given, but the point is that local waters you may have ignored can be very productive. Sure, the scenery might consist of buildings, traffic, and graffiti and you may have to dodge duck droppings and joggers, but if you can catch fish all of that stuff doesn't matter so much—at least to me. Have a look at satellite images, do your research, and explore some new fishable waters nearby. You may be in for a treat!