Dawn Breaks: Fly Fishing at Fort Tilden

Early a.m. wash as the tide comes in


I tagged along to try fly fishing Fort Tilden this morning with some spin fishermen I know to see if I could move a few striped bass with my Rise Level seven weight. The Rise is splendid, and is my go-to bass rod for any warm water lakes (or just fishing locally at Prospect Park) but I didn’t quite have the muscle to punch into the surf. There was no wind, which was nice, but the surf was up and it was tough to work anything reasonable through the wash. The whole Gateway National Recreation Area is lovely, and makes me wish I had more aplomb in the salt. There’s a lot of fly fishing available at Fort Tilden, which is actually a decomissioned military base, and housed missiles to defend us from the Russkies at one point, as well as further up at Breezy Point as well as inside Jamaica Bay. Fort Tilden also has the reputation of Williamsburg-by-the-Sea during the summer months, with the free-and-easy of Brooklyn enjoying the quiet, occasionally au natural.

But, let’s not get distracted, yes? We’re talking about trying new styles of fishing, not lounging in the sun looking at boobs. Focus up.

Of course, new styles means new gear.

So perhaps a bigger stick is in order to explore this new frontier? Yes, well, as you suggest, I’m looking at a bigger two-handed rod to be able to get flies out beyond the breakers. A rod that could double as a steelhead stick in Michigan and Oregon later in the winter. I’ve been speaking to specialists at several local graphite emporiums who have given me all manner of opinions on what style and specification of fishing tool may unlock these waters. Of course, this all depends on my ability to take a few rabbit punches in the old credit card. It could be a busy autumn.

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