Fly Fish Montauk (Capt. Ernie French), NY

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide in East Hampton, New York

Fly Fish Montauk (Capt. Ernie French), NY


Montauk, New York and the surrounding waters provide some of the best saltwater fly fishing that the Northeast has to offer. Whether you are a seasoned saltwater fly fisher, a freshwater fly fisher looking to try saltwater fly fishing or just getting started with fly fishing, Capt. Ernie French will put together a guided saltwater fly-fishing trip that is tailored to meet your specific objectives.

Date Range

Montauk, New York fishing seasons:

Summer flats season: this can be the most challenging, and the most rewarding, as we target striped bass and bluefish in the shallow, clear-water flats of Gardiner's Bay. The ability to sight, cast to, and catch these fish is as exciting as the scenery is beautiful. This season runs from June through September.

The fall run: starting in September and running to November, all the fish that migrate along the eastern seaboard stop at Montauk to feed. This is the time for multiple hook ups of striped bass, false albacore, and bluefish. Just watching the schools of fish feeding on the surface is an experience not to miss.

The herring run: beginning in November, as the water cools down and the false albacore and smaller bass and blues move on, the herring move in. Herring is the preferred food of trophy-sized bass and blues. Along with the herring come the gannets. These large sea birds add to the excitement by diving in mass from great heights adding to the mayhem of the crashing fish on the surface. The weather can be challenging but the trophy rewards can be great.

We do have a fourth season worth mentioning: During the summer and fall, small bluefin tuna move inshore and can be targeted with flies or light tackle. While not a regular event, when we can get to them, they are as exciting to catch as any fish in the ocean.

What is Provided to Customer

Captain Ernie French will provide you with all of the fly-fishing equipment and gear you will need to fish on your guided trip. Ernie's fly-fishing gear and equipment is the latest, most up-to-date and well maintained.

You will fish various fly rod-and-reel setups, ranging from 8-wt. to 14-wt. fly rods and reels, to a selection of high-quality spin and light-tackle gear.

Depending on the weather conditions, location, and the feeding patterns of the fish you will cast floating, intermediate, and fast-sink fly lines. Of course, if you wish to use your own fly-fishing gear and equipment you are welcome to bring it along.

Region/Terrain Where You Fish

Capt. Ernie French will fish the waters of eastern Long Island, New York all the way to Rhode Island. These world-class saltwater fly-fishing waters include Gardiner's Bay, Shinnecock Bay, Peconic Bay, the waters around Shelter Island, Plum Island, the Gull Islands, Fishers Island, Block Island, and, of course, the legendary waters of Montauk.

Typical Weather by Season

Weather can be tropical in the summer to very cold in the late fall.


Sample of Typical Itinerary

Contact me for different itineraries during the year.


Species You Fish for by Season

Montauk, Gardiner's Island, and the surrounding Northeast waters are known for legendary runs of striped bass, bluefish, bonito, false albacore, Spanish mackerel, and tuna. Whether it is spring, summer, or fall there are fish to be found. Sometimes the fish are on the flats and other times they are off the beaches or the points. Whatever the case, Ernie French has the perfect boat, all of the necessary fly fishing gear, and years of knowledge and experience finding fish and helping fly anglers target and catch saltwater game fish on the fly.


What Should Customers Bring?

You should bring polarized sunglasses, a hat, and a jacket appropriate for the weather.


Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide
Ernie French
2 Settlers Landing Lane
East Hampton, NY 11937

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