Bryant Park

Learn to fish in New York City: Fly fishing lessons offered in Bryant Park, Central Park

June 25, 2014
Caroline Linton, amNY

Being in NYC's urban jungle can make you feel like you're miles away from somewhere you can fish. So why bother learning, right?

There are plenty of places to learn to fish in New York City -- in fact, you can take lessons in Bryant Park.

Run by Orvis, the fishing retail store, fly fishing lessons are held in three parts: Beginners in Fly Fishing 201 convene in the midtown store, then head over to Bryant Park for free lessons through July 19. If you're ready for the next level--actual fishing--you can head to the Harlem Meer for Fly Fishing 201, which runs mainly in the spring. The third installment is is a trip to the Croton Watershed in Westchester, which also runs in the spring. The first installment is free and the gear is provided, but you have to sign up ahead of time. For more information on the classes, go to orvis.com/nyc.

New Jersey resident Emery Mersich took Fly Fishing 101, 201 and 301 last year--and he returned this May with his wife and two daughters. His wife and daughters gave him a fly fishing trip as a vacation.

Doug Lopez, the area manager for Orvis, said the classes came out of the "idea that flying was very difficult, not accessible, and not too fun."

"We started this program to demystify fly fishing," Lopez said.

For Andrew Corrigan and Amanda Slaughter, who live on the Upper West Side, the Fly Fishing class gave them a chance to feel like they are escaping the city for a few hours--despite being on Fifth Avenue.