Israel is a small country, the size of the state of New Jersey, but has great variety in its climate. The south is scorching desert. Tel Aviv is a warm costal town, surrounded by fertile valleys. The area surrounding Jerusalem, the Judean Hills, is filled with some of the most desolate and beautiful spots of solitude and peace found anywhere. And in the north of Israel stands Mt. Hermon, Israel’s only mountain, a snow-capped peak in the winter. Flowing down from this mountain, there are spring-fed streams that empty into the Jordan River. Not too long ago, a number of trout farms opened, making use of the cold water creeks. Some of the trout escaped, and live in those streams.
Many of the cold-water streams are situated in designated nature reserves, where fishing is prohibited. Those who chose to ignore this law are subject to fines, and rangers patrol the stream to stop anyone from fishing.
According to a friend in Israel, unfortunately some people chose to fish illegally on the streams in the nature preserves. Since there are no regulations, they use any method they like, including spear guns, and keeping every fish they catch, no matter how small. These tactics are clearly not good for the fish or the natural sites.
While the small rivers may be off-limits, Israel does offer a taste of fly fishing for those so inclined. Here is the report from my friend in Israel: “Kibbutz Dafna has a trout farm and they opened one of their pools to pay fishing. They stock it with half to one kilo rainbow and charge slightly less per kilo for caught fish than you would pay at their store. I have taken orders from friends and fished there, catching 4 or 5 fish in less than one hour. It is like fishing in a barrel! It is not easy to fly fish the pond, so I have used spinners, but it is possible to use a fly rod, especially if you are there when no one else is. So I guess you can say there is fly fishing for rainbows in Israel! The price for caught fish is about $4.5 per pound (40 IS per kilo), so the average fish cost about $5.” This fly fishing friend of mine in Israel also runs a terrific guesthouse near the Sea of Galilee. For more information: Click Here.
Here are some pictures from the year I lived in Israel in the late 90s: