The Best East Coast Adventures: Fly-Fishing

Montauk, New York

Montauk blitz!

Montauk blitz!     Photo: Caterina Bernard/Getty

For sheer density of fish, no place rivals Montauk during blitz season, from late August to November. That’s when huge schools of striped bass flood Montauk Point in search of the tiny bay anchovies that turn the water a swirling chocolate brown. During the blitz, just about every striper in the Northeast shows up to feast on the baitfish. Large schools of fishermen follow—locals surfcasting from shore and visitors working the action from guide boats. The only etiquette you need to know: boaters don’t encroach upon the range of the surfcasters. Whether you set up on shore or in a boat, bring a ten-weight rod, a reel with strong drag, and a bunch of anchovy-imitating flies. Then let ’er rip. “If you can get your fly out of the boat, you can catch fish,” says Captain Paul Dixon, a Montauk guide who started fishing the blitz 20 years ago (daylong trips, $650). You’re allowed one keeper (28-plus inches) a day, which the chef at Gurney’s Inn, a waterfront hotel and spa (doubles, $420; gurneysinn.com), will cook up for you. To go on your own, pick up flies and leaders from Tight Lines Tackle. Boat rentals are available at Uihlein’s Marina ($170 per day for a 16-foot dinghy).

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