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Fly-fishing Hong Kong

Updated: Dec 30, 2022

Exotic fly-fishing in Hong Kong

Fish on! Shenzhen in the background.

Is there fly-fishing in Hong Kong?

Although I have been told there may be a fishing tackle shop or two in Hong Kong that stocks fly fishing gear, in the five months I was there I was unable to locate any. That should tell you something about the sport of fly-fishing in Hong Kong. On top of that, the scant few fly-fishing enthusiasts in Southeast China (and I have met a few) come to Hong Kong to fish! That should tell you something about the sport of fly-fishing in China.

I fished the canals of Hong Kong's Northern Territories for tarpon, carp and tilapia

If you are heading for Hong Kong, and want to fly fish, I will make it easy for you – take everything you need because you are unlikely to find any equipment there. And then connect with two Facebook sites, Fly Fishing Hong Kong and HK Fly Fishing. During my recent sojourn there, I was out on the water within a week accompanied by a few mainland Chinese to fly-fish for tilapia, carp and tarpon on canals near the border with China and using gear borrowed from them.

RayZ with a tilapia

shreksung with a larger tilapia caught on a nymph

Visit Hong Kong fishing blogs for insight

Bizarre, yes, but surprising, no, since the sport is attracting interest that breeds curiosity and a desire to download technology and know-how. All I needed to do was infiltrate a few underground fishing blogs and I was quickly invited to join an urban excursion with a diverse gang of fly-fishermen.

Sight fishing for tarpon. Watch that back cast!

I was impressed with the skill level of these “novices”, some of whom had been fly fishing for only a few months, but had serious casting skills and vocabulary (in English), which I gathered was downloaded from a select few that brought the knowledge from abroad – among them “Ray Z”, a Chinese national who spent his university career in the USA, and “Vlad”, a Serbian who teaches in China. Both of these personalities are active fly fishermen that regularly have two to three comrades in tow when they cross the border for a day of fly-fishing.

Vlad with a tarpon caught on a streamer

The best fly-fishing spots in Hong Kong are in the Northern Territories

The waters we fished were “rivers” flowing from Shenzhen Bay in China through to Sheung Shui in the Northern Territories of Hong Kong. But they feel more like urban canals and based on the apparent water quality, there is good reason to practice catch and release here! Despite that there is a massive fish population and “walking” catfish can be seen at lengths of three to four feet. Grass carp and tarpon can get hefty as well, so stiff fly rods and strong leaders will be helpful.

Tight lines!

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