2014/5/8 Central Park on the Fly – Tenkara Takes Harlem Meer

Visit to Manhattan’s Harlem Meer, lake inside Central Park, turned out to be a discovering experience of intersection bwetween Tenkara fly fishing and urban stillwater fishing.


Fishery & Regulations

“Meer” is “lake” in Dutch. This lake was built as part of landscape design of Central Park in the 19th Century and it is controlled by Central Park Conservancy and its water is regulated under the same New York State Inland Water Regulation.
Please attain New York State Fishing License. As for visitor, you can purchase a day for $10 or a week for $31. You can buy a license online at the DEC site and print out or use the confirmation number as proof while fishing.

Online and Phone Sporting Licenses Issuing System – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Fishing Licenses & Recreational Marine Fishing Registry:
When making an online transaction, the license/registration card must be printed and used as valid proof; you will NOT receive a license/registration card in the mail.
When making a phone transaction, the confirmation number can be used as valid proof until you receive your license/registration card by mail in 14 business days.



Variety of inhabitants are stocked in Harlem Meer. Largemouth bass, crappies, bluegills, yellow perches, and even small pikes.
There are occasional sightings of snakeheads, but under the NY Law, you have to kill the snakeheads you catch.



Harlem Meer is located in the northern end of Central Park where park welcomes daily fly fishing visitors and very friendly residents of Harlem.
There are 2 other small lakes in the southern part of Central Park with similar inhabitants. The great lake in the middle is off limit to entry, so please keep off.



Strongly recommend taking 2/3 train to “110 Stree Station Central Park North” which is the closest to Harlem Meer. You can also take B/C train to another 110 Street Station and take a bit of walk.


Fly Pattern

I was using Bead-head Micro Bugger tied on Gamakatsu B10S #14 all along, but there is a great tip by Alice Din:

“Pheasant tail (all- year long) , hare’s ear nymphs,  Griffiths gnats and parachute adams (May).  Brown wooly buggers will get you some nice crappies and an occasional largemouth bass.   Fish bite best just before sunset.”

More Information

If you would like to find out more about tenkara or stillwater fly fishing in New York City, please check following websites:


 Tenkara Takes Mantattan

Great Lakes of NYC