Europe, Fishing

Streetfishing along the canals of Amsterdam

Where to go fishing

You may think that fishing is restricted to finding isolated spots in the wilderness and escaping the crowds. You’re not completely wrong. For some of us though this is not always possible. Some of us live in the heart of a big city and just don’t have the time to get away for a whole day or weekend to scratch the fishing itch. For those people lucky enough to be in a city with waterways, streetfishing is the way to go.


My wife and I, fiancee at the time, spent two months traveling mainland Europe with backpacks in 2017. This meant no space for fishing gear! We also only spent a few days in each location so it didn’t leave much spare time to go fishing. This didn’t stop me from hopefully peering into every body of water we saw to look for signs of life!

Water, water everywhere, nor any place to fish

Considering how many European cities have rivers and canals I was quite surprised at the lack of streetfishing activity I saw. In Paris I saw a few guys fishing in one of the canals near a hostel we stayed at. In Prague I only met one guy fishing in the river even though I saw lots of fish activity on my morning runs along the bank. That was it!

Great stretch of river bank to fish

Apart from Amsterdam that is. I had been trawling instagram in every location we went to to see if anybody was posting catches in the heart of the city. I was lucky enough to make contact with Huib Lommers, aka the_streetfishing_activist, based in Amsterdam.  He graciously agreed to take me streetfishing along the canals one evening, he even lent me fishing rod!

Hitting the streets

It was still early spring and the weather wasn’t the greatest for streetfishing. Windy and cold! Nonetheless we headed out. Neither of us managed a fish but it was still a great experience, sidewalks crowded with cyclist and pedestrians, two of us with fishing gear looking for likely places that could hold some perch or zander. I was surprised at the number of people who asked us what we were doing and incredulously nodded when Huipie told them we were fishing. Even more so when he told them that there were actually fish to be caught. Some people even stopped for selfies!

Cold but happy!

Pack you gear everywhere

Next time you find yourself in Amsterdam be sure to pack some gear and go streetfishing! You do of course also need a fishing licence if you want to fish in The Netherlands. I will say that we were not asked for licences at any time during the evening…

Since then I have been following the streetfishing hashtag on instagram to see who is out there doing some exploring and fishing in the heart of big cities. It has been an eye opener! It has also become a goal of mine to at least have one fishing session everywhere we travel to from now on.

I did manage this in most places in the USA and there will be or have been posts about most of these on our blog or on my instagram account, @thelazyfisherman, so be sure to check it out if you want more up to date information.

Bonus fishing session

I also stumbled upon a lucky fishing session at a hostel in Ireland. We had rented a car to drive cross country and offered to drop off two girls from Canada at their next hostel as we were heading in the same direction. Upon arrival I saw two dams next to the building and trout rising all over the place! I promptly rented gear and fished for an hour with a can of corn as bait before we headed off.

In Ireland, somewhere…