Welcome to our Home Waters Series

New York City
By Becky Garrison, NCY

Fly-fishing within the concrete confines of New York City's may seem strange at first. How can a city noted for its noise and excitement offer the tranquility required to cast a line in anticipation that a fish will rise and take the waiting fly? Fortunately for die-hard urban fly fishers, the Big Apple can provide a relaxing respite from urban stress by affording ample opportunities for fresh and saltwater fly-fishing.

The Hudson River, whose delta formed the island of Manhattan, is one of the primary spawning grounds for striped bass. Weather permitting, expect the spring run of stripers to begin in mid-April and continue throughout June. During this time, flyrodders have an excellent opportunity to land a bluefish or a weakfish as well. Check out the CCA-NY's annual Glenlivet CCA Manhattan Cup, an excellent opportunity to participate with twenty-five of New York City's most prominent fishing guides competing for the largest striped bass, bluefish and weakfish among three categories (fly, artificial and bait).

Access Map

Starting in late summer, the Bonita and false albacore move into the area. Favorite spots with urban saltwater flyfishers include the area around the Statue of Liberty, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Raritan Bay, the East River and Jamaica Bay. Periodically, Coast Guard issues boating regulations post-9-11 restricting boat traffic in areas around government owned property and other major landmarks. Check out the USCG web site for the latest updates.

Sandy Hook Light

One of the premier places on the East Coast for surfcasting is Gateway National Recreation Area located in Jamaica Bay, Staten Island and Sandy Hook, New Jersey. All of these areas offer excellent access to flats and jetties. Favorite fishing spots in the Jamaica Bay area include Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn; Canarsie Pier in Jamaica, Queens; and Breezy Point in Rockaway, New York. Other favorite places to cast one's line in Brooklyn include Bayside (Pier 69), Coney Island, and Red Hook.

Fishing is permitted in select areas along the Hudson River including under the George Washington Bridge at W. 179th St., West 96th Street to West 79th Street, Pier 45 and Pier 25, as well as Wagner Park in Battery Park City. The Hudson River Park's website features the latest news about the development of additional recreational shoreline fishing opportunities along the Lower Hudson River.

Hudson River Park

Other New York City spots include the East River near Gracie Mansion; the lighthouse at the north end of Roosevelt Island; Little Neck Bay in Queens; Randall's Island and Orchard Beach in the Bronx. Also, flyfishers can access a variety of Staten Island hot spots, including South Beach, Midland Beach, Great Kills Park & Beach, Wolf's Pond Park & Beach, Lemon Creek Pier and Pier One at St. George.

Most saltwater anglers choose a 9- or 10-weight rod with either a Lefty's Deceiver, Clouser Minnow or one of Capt. Dino Torino's specialty saltwater flies. While many anglers practice catch and release, anyone, who wants to take a fish home should check with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection for the latest regulations. Also, one must be sure to inquire with the New York State Department of Health for any fish consumption advisories before eating their catch.

Harlem Meer

Starting in late spring and continuing until early fall, one can find freshwater enthusiasts casting in Central Park for bass, pickerel, carp, bluegills, perch and catfish. The Harlem Meer, which is located from E. 106th St. to E. 110th Street, is stocked with white bass. Bamboo poles are available for rental free of charge to the children when accompanied by an adult at the Dana Discovery Center located at W. 100th Street near Fifth Avenue. Another favorite hot spot is the Boathouse Lake on W. 72nd Street, where flyfishers can catch a bass along the wide range of shoreline structure. Even though some flyfishers try their luck in the 59th Street Pond, the crowds can make it difficult to find a secluded spot to fish. Edwin used a 5 or 6-weight rod for bluegills and small bass and a 7 or 8-weight rod to reel in the largest fish. While the bluegills enjoy poppers and brassies, the bass are partial to ants and freshwater Clouser Minnows. Strict catch-and-release rules are in effect for any fish caught in any New York City park. Fishing is not permitted from a rented rowboat or on the bridges. Also, one cannot fish in the Reservoir or in Turtle Pond.

S.Beach Staten Island

In Brooklyn, check out Prospect Park for freshwater bass fishing. Other places where one can cast their line for warmwater fish include Van Cortland Lake and Crotona Lake in the Bronx, Oakland Lake, Baisley Park Pond, Kissena Lake, and Meadow and Willow Lakes in Queens and Clove Lake, Silver Lake and Wolf's Pond in Staten Island. Also, the New York City Chapter of Trout Unlimited has begun preliminary efforts to restore Alley Creek Lake in Queens. When completed, this will mark the first trout stream in New York City.

A short train ride on Metro North takes flyfishers to the Croton Reservoir Watershed. This series of reservoirs and streams in Westchester and Putnam counties offers excellent trout fishing. While the fishing season applies to much of the watershed, the east branch of the Croton River is open year-round. Post 9-11, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection has issued new watershed permits, which are needed in order to fish any NYC reservoirs. Freshwater enthusiasts looking for nearby freshwater fly-fishing on Long Island can cast their lines in the Connetquot or Nissequogue Rivers. For a more detailed listing of New York City area freshwater fisheries, check out The Flyfisher's Guide to New York (Wilderness Press, 2002).

Saltwater enthusiasts looking for a quick day trip out of the city can cast their lines for stripers in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Even though many of Long Island's private beaches are off-limits to non-residents, check out public Long Island fishing spots such as Caumsett State Park, Robert Moses State Park, Captree State Park, Heckscher State Park and Jones Beach for some prime shoreline saltwater fishing opportunities.

Generally speaking, the best times to fish the New York City area are from April to June and then from September to around Thanksgiving. However, die-hard saltwater anglers dot the Hudson River throughout most of the winter months.


Capt. Ralph Burtis
Island Charters
Jamaica Bay, NY Harbor and surrounding areas in spring and early summer - Montauk in early fall and NYC area in late fall

Capt. Peter Chan
Mostly Montauk
Jamaica Bay and Montauk

Capt. Frank Crescitelli and Capt. Dino Torino
Fin Chaser Charters
718-317-1481; Finfly@aol.com (Capt. Frank)
917-662-TUNA; fly4tuna@adelphia.net (Capt. Torino)
Fishing charters including but not limited to Raritan Bay, Jamaica Bay, Lower New York Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. Also, Capt. Torino guides in Montauk and Capt. Crescitelli guides in Long Beach Island, NJ.

Capt. Ken Courtlangus
Cold Spring Harbor, Oyster Bay, Long Islands East End.

Capt. Dick Dennis
Backcast Charters
Barnegat, Raritan Bay, New York Harbor

Capt. Tony DiLernia
Rocket Charters
New York Harbor

Capt. Paul Eidman
(732) 922-4077
Capt. Paul Eidman
(732) 922-4077
Fly/Light Tackle Fishing charters by Boat and Kayak Raritan Bay, Jamaica Bay, Raritan River, Sandy Hook, Shrewsbury/Navesink Rivers, Lower New York Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean

Capt. Hobitzel
Outback Charters
Raritan Bay, Sandy Hook, and New York Harbor

Captain Scott Holder
Dragonfly Charters
Fire Island, Smithtown

Misako Ishimura
Casting Instructor

Capt. Barry Kanavy
Long Island's South Shore

Capt. John "Spot" Killen
Briny Fly Charters
631-728-BASS (2277)
Cellular: 516-901-6652
South Shore of Long Island from Moriches to Montauk

Capt. Ken Kuhner
Long Island's North Shore and Eastern Long Island

Capt. Joe Mattioli
On The Bite Charters
Fishing charters in Jamaica Bay, Raritan Bay, Lower New York Harbor and New Jersey waters

Capt. Brendan McCarthy
212-727-3166; 917-847-9576
Jamaica Bay and Montauk

Capt. John McMurray
One More Cast Charters
Fishing charters in Jamaica Bay, Raritan Bay and Lower New York Harbor

Glen Mikkleson's Atlantic Flies (Shore Guide)
Walk and wade guide service for the North and South shores of Long Island

Capt. Bob Robl
Fly-A-Salt Charters
631 243-4282
Smithtown, North Folk

Capt. Joseph Shastay, Jr.
201-451-1988; 201-725-6755 (cell)
New York Harbor, the East River and Western Long Island Sound

Shore Catch Guide Service
Captain Jim Freda, Captain Gene Quigley, and Shell E. Caris)
Flyfishcharters@aol.com (Boat Charters)
jfreda@bytheshore.com (Beach trips)
Fishing Charters from Sandy Hook to Island Beach State Park, inshore and offshore

Edwin Valentin
c/o The Urban Angler
Central Park

For a list of fly and light tackle guides throughout the tri-state area, log on to www.pflga.org


Coastal Conservation Association
New York State chapter of this national organization dedicated to the conservation and preservation of marine resources

Juliana's Anglers
FDR Station, P.O. Box 7220
New York, NY 10150
Women's fly-fishing group offering meetings, educational opportunities (e.g., casting clinics), field trips.

Theodore Gordon Flyfishers, Inc.
P.O. Box 2345
Grand Central Station
New York, NY 10163-2345
Fly-fishing group offering local outings, talks on fly-fishing, Tuesday lunches at the Union League Club in New York City, Conservation activities, Trout in the Classroom, Project Access program.

New York City Trout Unlimited
Eric Newman
401 E. 81st St.
New York, NY 10028
e-mail: president@nyctu.org
New York City chapter, with more than 1,000 members, of the nation's leading coldwater conservation organization. Working to restore brook trout to Alley Creek in Queens and active in other conservation issues. Also holds Central Park casting clinic, fishing forum, fly tying event and two full-day trips to the Connetquot River.

The Salty Flyrodders of New York
345 East 57th St. 2C
New York, NY 10022
Saltwater fly-fishing group offering trips to local beaches, meetings, casting clinics, annual flyfishers' conclave


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Region 2 New York City
718-482-4922 (Information on fishing licenses, regulations and permits)
(Comprehensive guide to using mass transit to freshwater fish throughout the five boroughs of New York City)

New York City Department of Environmental
Protection www.ci.nyc.ny.us/html/dep/home.php
(Downloadable application and general information on obtaining a public access permit to fish NYC reservoirs and other designated areas.)

New York State Department of Health
1-800-458-1158 ex. 27815
Information on fish consumption advisories

Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation of the State of New York
54 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, NY

US Coast Guard - District 1
(View the latest Coast Guard regulations for boaters wishing to access New York Harbor)


Battery Park City Parks Conservancy
info@BPCParks.org (Request a free program calendar)
Public fishing is available in Wagner Park, as well as fishing programs for all ages and school marine education school programs

Dana Discovery Center
Harlem Meer,
110th Street and Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
Offers free bamboo fishing pole rentals to any child when accompanied by an adult. Call for details.

Gantry River State Park
49th and E. River, Long Island City

Gateway National Recreation Area
Permit information to access these areas in Jamaica Bay, Staten Island and Sandy Hook by car

Hudson River Park
Pier 45 at W. Houston St.
New York, NY 10014

New York City Parks and Recreation Department
1-800-201-PARK (within New York City only)
Detailed maps and information about New York City parks


Long Island Railroad 1-718-217-LIRR
Metro North 800-METRO-INFO
NYC Transit 1-718-330-1234
~ BG

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