Urban Tenkara?

Some people may laugh at the idea of urban fishing in and around Boston for any fish, never mind fly fishing for trout. A lot of people believe you have to drive at least a couple of hours from the city to find decent fly fishing. Of course, driving a few hours from Boston may put you onto some of the best fly fishing in the region but that doesn’t mean you can’t find decent fishing closer to home.

There are a number of water bodies in and around metro Boston that has trout and salmon, both wild and stocked. The Mass Wildlife site lists their stocking schedules by locations and dates. If you want to expand your horizons and fish for other species landing a bass or carp on a Tenkara rod can be really exciting fishing. There are advantages and disadvantages to fishing in these urban settings.

You may find parking in a recreational or municipal lot or you might find yourself searching for a legal spot that won’t get you towed. I love checking out these urban settings when I don’t have the time to get away to Western MA or Northern NH. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can lose yourself in the moment and forget that you’re fishing so close to a major city.

Many of these settings are heavily tracked by runners, walkers and the general public looking for exercise but more often than not you won’t find anyone fishing. So be prepared for the occasional passer-by to stop and ask questions. I lean towards being polite and informative even if the questions are a little silly. You never know who’s asking the questions and you could inspire new anglers to take up the sport and support conservation of fisheries. Many of these urban fishing spots tend to be tight, narrow and surrounded by obstacles both natural and man-made.

This is where Tenkara really shines. You can set up your Tenkara gear for casting in tight spots and you can travel very lightly. By doing little things like shortening your level line and/or tippet you can set up for urban conditions. You don’t have to worry about a reel and or excess line at your feet with Tenkara. This past January, my good friend Denver and I went to a spot in Milton MA that is known to have brook trout. It was a rare warm day in January so we decided to venture out and try our luck.

This location and is just outside of Blue Hills reservation and only about 10 miles from Boston. It is connected to water that is stocked by Mass Wildlife and has been known to produce some beautiful brookies. It’s kind of surreal to be fishing a spot like this with traffic going by on both sides of you as you cast a fly down into the running brook at the mouth of a giant concrete culvert. We didn’t have any luck on this outing but plan on going back when the conditions are better in late spring. So what are you waiting for?

Grab some Tenkara gear and check out the local streams, brooks, rivers, and ponds along your local trails and urban recreational areas. It’s so easy, nowadays to find good fishing spots. Use technology like google maps and go explore your own backyards and start your next adventure. -BH


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