Renewed interest in a more natural L.A. River has led to a push to make it more fishable. On Sept. 5, Friends of the L.A. River (FoLAR) organized the second annual fly-fishing competition on a foliage-filled section of the river in North Atwater Park. While the steelhead trout have long been missing, several species of bass, tilapia and carp are thriving and very catchable, with the first-prize fisherman reeling in a four-pound carp and three small bass. The real winners, however, were the local residents who packed into the recently upgraded park to enjoy a river that's been neglected for half a century. Montana it is not, but with marshy bushes, 212 species of birds and a view of the lush humps of Griffith Park, you might just feel as if you're in a less concrete kind of wilderness.

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