Catch Fish on a Fly
Fly-fishing can be as frustrating as it is rewarding—particularly for novices. Luckily, the folks at Backwater Angler, along the Gunpowder River north of Baltimore, can help demystify the sport. Backwater’s easygoing guides offer everything from fly-casting lessons for newbies ($50 and up) to fully outfitted, daylong guided trips in search of elusive brown trout ($275 half day, $325 full day). Your chances of landing a fish are good: Field & Streamnamed this section of the Gunpowder one of the top five tailwater trout streams in America a few years back. 410-357-9557. 68 miles.
E – M (Easy – Moderate Difficulty) / $$ – $$$ ($76 and up per person)
Catch a Sport Fish
Rockfish are the Chesapeake Bay’s premier sport fish, and finding these striped bass can be a thrill for anglers. Charter boats headquartered at the Rod ’N’ Reel Dock at the Chesapeake Beach Resort & Spa specialize in catching this prized species, and their crews can teach you the art of reeling in a “keeper”—rockfish must measure at least 18 inches or be set free. You can choose a private charter for six people ($600 for six hours, $750 for eight); reservations are required. After a half day on the water, you might stretch your legs on a bike ride on Chesapeake Beach’s Railway Trail or, if kids are along, splash around at nearby Chesapeake Beach Water Park. 301-855-8450. 34 miles.
E (Easy Difficulty) / Great for Groups / $$$ ($76 and up per person)
Fish from a ’Yak
The cool thing about fishing from a kayak is that it lets you access shallow waters where anglers can find rockfish, bluefish, and speckled trout. Captain Chris Dollar is one of few outfitters specializing in kayak fishing. A former educator at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, he draws on 25 years of angling knowledge to dispense bay ecology lessons. Rest assured these kayaks aren’t those tippy touring kinds but boats with comfy seats and wide, stable hulls designed so anglers can even stand up to land the big one. Trips—out of the Chester River—cost $225 for half day ($75 each additional angler), $350 for full day; 410-991-8468. 49 miles.
M (Moderate Difficulty) / Great for Groups / $$$ ($76 and up per person)