Fly Fish Big Darby Creek at Prairie Oaks Metro Park


Added by Marc Fryt

Fly fishing a National Scenic River all within a thirty-minute drive from downtown Columbus, Ohio.

The Big Darby Creek is just one of four National Scenic Rivers in Ohio. Exploring and fly fishing for smallmouth bass, rock bass, or panfish is just one way for you to experience the river near the Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

Located within a thirty-minute drive from downtown Columbus, the Prairie Oaks Metro Park offers hiking trails and a pedestrian bridge along the banks of the Big Darby. Wading and fishing the river is best late spring through late fall. Maintaining one the richest watershed biodiversities in the U.S. the Big Darby is sure to surprise you with bald eagles, otters, herons, and plenty of other species.

For fly fishing equipment, a five to seven weight fly rod, a floating fly line, and an inexpensive reel are all you need to get started on the Big Darby. Some of the best fly patterns are: clouser minnows (chartreuse or pink colored), crawfish patterns, poppers, and damselfly nymphs. Kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards can also be very useful on the river when the current is high (which is typically early winter through late spring). A canoe launch is located three miles upstream at the Darby Creek Boat Ramp provides access to float the river back down to the Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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