Best Fly Fishing Charters in Chesapeake Bay

Top Fly Fishing Charters in Chesapeake Bay

Fly Fishing in Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay is a fishing goldmine for saltwater and freshwater anglers alike. With more than 150 rivers and creeks that flow into the bay, its aquatic habitat gives life to hundreds of amazing species. Its diversity allows for many different types of fishing techniques, but when it comes to fly fishing in the Chesapeake Bay, there’s really nothing else quite like it.

Top Target Species

Fishermen from all over the country visit the Chesapeake Bay to get a cut of the action. Whether you’re going after Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, Cobia, Redfish, Trout, or Stripers, this area holds some of the hottest fishing grounds for fly fishermen.

Striped Bass

Striped Bass, also locally known as Rockfish, is hands down the most popular species to target on fly. If you’re fly fishing for Stripers in the Chesapeake Bay, you’re working with a pretty good time frame. Striped Bass show up in April and stick around until Thanksgiving. However, when fly fishing for Stripers, you’ll need to switch up your technique, depending on the season and location.

Historically, Stripers have dominated the bay, but their numbers have been dwindling over recent years due to overfishing. Today, the largest schools of Rockfish are over towards the mouth of the Eastern Bay, so your best bet is to visit the Maryland side.

Speckled and Gray Trout

Speckled Trout is a relatively new species to target by fly, but if you’re fishing in shallower parts of the bay, it’s an excellent choice. Weakfish, or Gray Trout, is also a top target.

The bay’s tidal creeks and marshes produce excellent fly fishing conditions for Trout. The best time to target Gray and Speckled Trout is between May and October, especially on the eastern side of the bay, between the Choptank River and Tangier Sound.


Chesapeake Bay Redfish are on the rise. Due to conservation efforts from southern states, as well as warming water temperatures, Red Drum’s range has expanded north. Targeting a “Chessie Red” on a fly is extremely challenging and they’re known for being hard fighters. Redfishing in the Chesapeake Bay really starts to heat up around June and begins to taper off in October. July and August will give you the highest likelihood of catching a Bull Red.

Need to Know

Maryland and Virginia saltwater charters are licensed to cover everyone aboard, so you won’t need to purchase one separately. However, anglers 16 and older who plan on fishing alone need to buy a license before fishing.

Many charters provide fly gear, but some require you to bring your own, so check with your captain before heading out. Additionally, you might want to pack extra layers, as well as rain gear and sun protection, depending on the weather.

You’re now one step closer to planning your fly fishing adventure in the Chesapeake Bay. Pick your spot, choose a captain, and get ready to fish one of the most productive estuaries of North America!

Chesapeake Bay

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Top Targeted Fly Fishing Species in Chesapeake Bay

Bass (Striped)

Bass (Striped)



Spanish Mackerel

Spanish Mackerel