Growing up within an unsupervised bike ride of Brays (Braes – see note below) Bayou*, I’ve seen countless carp swells from the Braeswood running trails. As kids, we would take our conventional starter rods and some hot dogs under the Stella Link bridge to channel our inner city Huck Finn-nature, even if only for a couple of unsuccessful casts.
It’s not a normal fishery. Brays Bayou is an urban stream, subject to all that goes with being an urban stream in metropolitan Houston, Texas. Let’s be honest: it’s a drainage ditch of poop (sewage) water fed by the treatment plants.
After some internet digging, I found the Brays Bayou hasn’t always been sporting the industrial funneled-with-concrete look. Way back in the mid-1800s, Brays was a much more attractive tree-shaded waterway lined with sporadic sand bars and filled with swiftly moving, clean water.
Regardless of the nasty nature of the water, it isn’t uncommon to see a fly angler casting along the banks. A curiosity that stemmed back to my childhood adventures led me to reach out to experienced Houston fly fisherman Matt Phillips for some basic tips for beginners looking to get into urban fly fishing Houston’s Brays Bayou. Here is what Matt had to say: