Urban Retention Pond Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing, Retention Pond Fly Fishing, Urban Fly Fishing

It's sometimes embarrassing to admit, but I do enjoy fly fishing retention ponds in the middle of developed areas.  I know I am not the only one who fishes them, but I seem to be the only one that fly fishes them.  And, the mix of someone who enjoys the solitude and peace of fishing quite, out-of-the-way hill country streams, fishing these man-made ponds amongst the hustle and bustle of the city seems odd, but I guess it works. 

As much as I would encourage everyone to head out on their own rural adventure in search of nice fish, I would also encourage you to hit up these local impoundments as well.  Here is why you should give these retention ponds a chance, and what you can expect when you are there.

Why You Should Fish Them

1) There are actually fish in there...I promise.  The fish are usually largemouth bass and different species of sunfish, and they are fun to catch.

Bluegill Fly Fishing, Texas Freshwater Fly Fishing, Bluegill on the fly
Bluegill from a retention pond

Texas Freshwater fly fishing, largemouth bass, bass on the fly , retention pond fishing
Largemouth Bass from a retention pond
2) There is probably one close to you!  You don't always have to drive an hour to find fishable water.  Sometimes you only have an hour to head out, and when this is the case, you want to maximize your time on the water.  Going somewhere close gives you more time to fish!  If you live in a neighborhood, there might even be one within walking distance of you!  Is your wife shopping in Target?  You probably have time to hit up the retention pond that is bound to be around there somewhere.

3) These can SOMETIMES be good spots to learn how to fly fish/cast.  I say sometimes, because sometimes they are not very open (I'll get into that later), but oftentimes you can find an area or two that might be open, with nothing behind you, and that is a great place to practice casting.  Plus, the chance of catching fish while learning only increases the likelihood that someone will stick with fly fishing.  My son has done some of his learning on our local retention ponds. Here is his first fly fishing, completely on his own (no help from me), fish.

What to Expect When You are Fly Fishing a Retention Pond

1) Lots of questions!  Almost everyone that walks by will have questions for you. Here is a list of questions to be prepared for:
  • Caught anything?  
  • Are there actually fish in here?  Can you eat them?
  • Are you fly fishing?  I've never seen anyone fly fish around here before.
  • Have you been fishing over in Brushy Creek?  You should fish there, I've seen tons of fish jumping in that creek.
2) Other People Fishing.  Here is the pretty extensive list of people you will find fishing these retention ponds with you:
  • Teenagers.  They are usually in groups, and sometimes this can get annoying, but remind yourself that you were once them and they could be doing worse things.
  • A Redneck in a cutoff Kyle Bush shirt and jean-shorts.  He will probably yell at you from across the pond to show off every time he catches something.
  • The Pro.  This guy is probably the rednecks friend, but he is decked out in his pro-team shirt, with all of his gear, and fishing like he is on the BASS tour.  He probably wont talk to you.
3) Strange Things in the Water.  Often trash or flip-flops, but sometimes other things.
Yep, that is a bike.

4) Overgrown Banks and Often Algae.  Being located in urban areas, these pods collect a ton of run-off that usually contains plenty of fertilizer.  In the summer this can lead to tons of algae growth in the water, but this also provides extra nutrients for the banks to become overgrown with reeds or other plant-life, sometimes making it hard to find spots to fly-fish.  Not good.

5) Animals.  Pets and Wildlife.  Turtle, turtles, and probably more turtles.  There might be some year round domestic ducks that live in the pond, and in the winter, you might see migratory ducks (which can be cool).  If there is a bridge nearby, you could see bats in the warmer months.  And you will almost always see people walking their dogs.

So, yeah.  It is different, there will be civilization surrounding you, but you will probably have a bunch of fun if you give fishing these urban retention pods a chance.  

Peace out-side, Y'all.