half-day: Fly fishing the flats from a boat is highly dependent on the tides but a half day is plenty of time to cover a lot of ground. These trips focus on a few specific spots over the course of four hours. We aim for dawn or dusk to make the most out of changing conditions. Even if you have to get back for time on the beach with the family, your experience on the flats will stay with you. Cost: $575
full-day: A full day onboard will give you the best chance at sight fishing for stripers as they hunt the sand bottom of the flats or feed in darker waters. Either way you will get a chance to see a few different environments and their inhabitants, including potential encounters with whales, sea turtles, mola mola, dolphins and great white sharks. Plan for between six and eight hours on the water. Cost: $800
the boat: The Jones Brothers Cape Fisherman we run has a clean deck, retractable cleats and lots of space to keep your line in the water instead of snagged on an obstruction. Combined with the workhorse of outboard engines – the Yamaha 150 – it is ready to tackle most any conditions while keeping you comfortable and dry. Find out more about Jones Brothers here. These boats were built for what we do.
half-day: The flats are made for walking and we can get you to the right spot at the right time. Leave the traffic and crowds behind and focus only on the open sky, breaking waves and the moment a striper hits your fly. Low tide at dawn on the bay or the incoming on the Atlantic, we will put you in the right position to get the job done and, if you feel like keeping on, let us know and we can make those four hours into a full day. Cost: $300
full-day: The full day experience is all adventure. Wandering the edge and chasing submarines in the surf can be like an African safari. We’ll start by guiding you to fish and then back home again so you don’t end up over your head. We may even try a few spots to see where the bite is best. As with the boat trip, plan for six to eight hours but a little more of a workout. Cost: $475
gear: We suggest bringing your own rods and reels if possible. An 8- or 9-weight rod will do the trick in most cases. Lines will depend on the trip and we can discuss suggestions when you book. If you can’t bring your own rod and reel for some reason, we can provide equipment for a cost of $25 per day. Just make sure to let us know about any special requests and we’ll put the right combo in your hands. Feel free to bring your own flies but we’ll have plenty onboard that are suited for the conditions and fish we’ll be targeting.
what to bring: It’s important to remember that we will be in the elements. Even on a hot summer day, layers are a good idea as is protection from the sun. Trader Joe’s Spray-on 50 SPF is a good place to start because you don’t have to lather it on your hands and get it on the line. If you’re worried about the effect of sunscreen on your body and the environment – more people and states are – go with Trader Joe’s Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Stick or light long sleeves and pants that have SPF protection built in; you’ll still want sunscreen for whatever is left exposed. Please bring any water or food that you want for the trip. If you want to bring a small cooler that’s fine but no alcohol and no drugs are permitted onboard. Marijuana is still federally prohibited even if state law says otherwise so leave it in the car.
payment, reservations and cancellations: We accept payment and gratuities by Venmo, Square, PayPal, check or cash and require a $100 deposit to secure a trip. The deposit must be received a week before the scheduled trip. We reserve the right to cancel a trip for any reason, at which point a new date can be scheduled or your deposit returned. If you cancel a trip with less than a week’s notice, the deposit is forfeited. If you are more than a half hour late, the trip will be canceled and the deposit forfeited. If you are running late because of traffic or some unexpected circumstance, call and we will figure out whether rescheduling is required or possible. Be on time. Better yet, be 15 minutes early and we’ll get you out on fish even faster. Do not be late. The fish don’t care about our excuses. Did I mention being on time?
about your guide
Patrick Cassidy has been fishing the waters around Cape Cod for more than 30 years. Before starting Cape Cod on the Fly, he worked for the Cape Cod Times, writing and editing stories about a variety of topics, including fishing. He is fully licensed and insured; is the owner of New England Maritime, which provides approved courses and testing for mariners seeking a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Credential; is on the pro staff of Predator Fly Gear; and is a member of the American Saltwater Guides Association.
the fish and the flats
striped bass: Strong, smart, an underwater mirage. First among fish.
bluefish: Driven by instinct, a fighter, voracious.
false albacore: Exhilarating, a torpedo, maddening.
the flats: Walking or boating the flats in search of action takes patience but the reward is an experience you will look back on and forward to throughout the year.
Fish on the flats spook easily; placement, timing and perseverance are needed in equal parts. The Brewster flats stretch from Dennis to Eastham and provide a variety of opportunities to throw crab and sand eel patterns in front of big linesiders. The maze of the Monomoy flats off Chatham is equally productive and consistent, including for bluefish and the fall run of albies.
The fish love these areas and, while nothing is guaranteed, there is a reason they are iconic for stalking them. What looks like a vast expanse of water at high tide is cover for underwater rivers, drop-offs and ledges teaming with life that can feel like the far ends of the planet. Let us put you there.