After a few cold Belikin beers and a lobster burrito the size of a grown human’s forearm last Saturday night, we departed Sunday morning from San Pedro, Belize to Cayo Frances where our group of six would spend the next week. Cayo Frances is located 12 miles north of San Pedro on the leeward side of the island, and is one of the most unique fly fishing eco-lodges one can visit in Belize.
Our first day found all three boats catching numerous bonefish on the fly, as well as snook, ladyfish (which are an absolutely incredible species, imagine a perfect mix of bonefish and juvenile Tarpon), with one boat finding a good school of Tarpon in the 40-50 pound range on the flats.
The odd rainstorm found us on the first few days, luckily they never last more than a few minutes. Brett hooked his first Tarpon on fly with guide Rojo on day two, the fish ate on the surface within 20 feet of the boat and the sound resembled that of a toilet flushing. The fish picked up his stripping line in a matter of seconds, as soon as the fish got onto the reel it popped off. Tarpon were hooked throughout the week, it is not as easy landing them as it looks on the internet.
Mid-week we took our self-guided day and were brought to a small caye on the west side of the island. Brett landed the biggest bonefish of the week, one of two that were cruising side-by-side in shallow water. A few trips deep into the backing and he had his hands on a bonefish that was pushing four pounds. If you’ve never caught bonefish, a fish of this size is the equivalent to hooking a freight train with and 8-weight fly rod. I managed to hook a Jack Cravelle on a bonefish fly that made short order of my 200 yards of backing, to the point where we chased it on foot around the island for 40 minutes before losing it less than 20 feet away. The fish was somewhere between 20 and 25 pounds and absolutely full of it.
A huge thank you to Jeff Spiegel and the crew at Cayo Frances Farm & Fly, Wil Flack of Tres Pescados Fly Shop and guides Rojo, Hilian and Tayo. Lastly, thank you to all that travelled with us on the first leg of this hosted trip. It has been a pleasure watching first-time flats anglers get the saltwater bug. Our next group arrives on Wednesday, and they are in for another great week of fishing with winds coming out of the east. Permit fishing weather!
Though I am halfway around the world, I will say that May and June are booking rapidly for our guided Stillwater program in Kamloops, BC. If you want to get your name on a few days for this upcoming year please feel free to drop an email!