The 2019 New York City Fly Fishing Recap

Fly fishing is the fastest-growing fishing segment by participation in the U.S., with 1.2M first-time participants enjoying the sport in 2018. As a part-time casting instructor, my goal is to help those interested in fly fishing to learn the technique so that they can fish successfully and enjoy the experience more fully. When I look back on this past season of teaching, I see many reasons to be excited about the future of fly fishing as 2020 approaches.

My Brooklyn and New York 2019 “casting lesson” season came to an end in the last few weeks of October. Throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall, we had a great time sharing fly fishing with the city of New York through public and private casting lessons. We ran a casting clinic with Patagonia NYC in Prospect Park in the Summer with over 40 anglers who turned out, and got many new anglers into the sport through individual casting lessons with Fly Fish NYC

Accessible Angling:

People don’t often think of fly fishing as being a realistic option in New York City, and surprising them with the range of fishing opportunities is one of the most rewarding experiences of the casting lessons. We can get out in one of the beautiful NYC public parks, work on your cast, and then hopefully catch some fish! 

Highlights of The 2019 NYC Fishing Season:

  • 60+ anglers introduced to fly fishing
  • Witnessing the first fish caught on the fly by many of those anglers
  • Casting event in Prospect Park with Patagonia NYC and Fisher Guiding guide partner Freestone Expeditions
  • Fly casting lessons in Central Park. There's a special feeling teaching one of my favorite things in one of the world's most iconic parks.
  • 2nd Annual Panfish Pandemonium contest in Prospect Park
  • Texts from new anglers after they catch their first fish on the fly after our lesson 

There’s a new crop of anglers looking to fish, and we’ve been happy to help get them started on the water. If you’re in NYC and looking for your next step in fishing, feel free to book a lesson next year with Fly Fish NYC. If you're ready to go out and explore on your own, here are a few places to try. 

A few of our favorite places to fish in the NYC area...

  • Trout fishing in the Croton Watershed near Brewster, NY (1.25 hrs from NYC)
  • Striped bass fishing on Rockaway Jetties 
  • Trout fishing in the Catskill Mountains (2-3 hrs from NYC)
    • Guides: Esopus Creel or Freestone Expeditions (Freestone offers overnight backpacking and fly fishing trips with round-trip transportation from Brooklyn to the Catskills!)
  • Trout fishing in Ken Lockwood Gorge, NJ (1.25 hrs from NYC)
  • Bass fishing in Prospect Park Pond or Central Park’s Harlem Meer

Other Fishing Clubs, Groups, or Events to Follow in the NYC Area:

  • Brooklyn Fishing Club: Fun group of urban anglers fishing the borough of Brooklyn and meeting up through. (www.instagram.com/brooklynfishingclub/)
  • Panfish Pandemonium! Fishing tournament in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, held in the Summer. Panfish are a fun fish for anglers of any skill level or attention span to target because you can catch them frequently and in high numbers. (https://panfishpandemonium.com/)
  • Patagonia SoHo: This Patagonia store hosts weekly events in their SoHo store ranging from conservation, outdoor travel, fishing and more. The events are a great time, and so is the team. 
  • The Livingston Manor: Fly Fishing and gathering lodge outside NYC. Recently featured in the New York Times, along with Fisher Guiding guide Esopus Creel! (www.instagram.com/livingstonmanorflyfishingclub/)

Reviews from the past season at Fly Fish NYC

  • Nick, March 2019: Highly recommend this trip for anyone looking to fish and learn to fly cast. Edward is super knowledgeable and helped identify and tweak certain issues in my casting. Also, a lot of great tips on finding fish, selecting flys, and proper fly presentation. All in all a really fun afternoon on the water!
  • Michael, June 2019: ...Learning to fly fish has been on my button list for a while, and while I still have a long way to go, I can't imagine a better introduction to the sport. I look forward to booking more time in the future.

  • Mike, July 2019: ...Haven't fished since I was a kid, and haven't fly fished before, so I was a total novice, but he went over everything in a way that wasn't overwhelming. We practiced casting then tried out several different flies in the water. He had all the gear. If you're thinking of getting into fly-fishing but don't want to spend a lot of money right off the bat, then I suggest taking a lesson with Edward and seeing if it appeals to you.
  • Marcos, July 2019: I couldn’t be more pleased with my experience with both Fisher Guiding and Edward. I have fished only a handful of times before and didn’t really know what to expect. The site was easy to use and self-explanatory. The actual session itself was a joy. Edward is a great teacher. He was very patient and knowledgeable. I felt guided through the whole experience. I’m looking forward to getting my own equipment and trying my hand solo thanks to Edward’s lesson. Couldn’t recommend highly enough.
  • Jennifer, October 2019: We had a great lesson with Edward. It was very professional, and we learned way more than we hoped. We enjoyed getting to practice what we learned, such that we feel we could do it on our own in the future. Of course the highlight of the day was catching a tiny adorable bluegill from the pond and then letting it go.