Saturday, December 12, 2015

Cuba is a Salt Water Delight

Hi Everybody! Troy Langelaar and Steve Luethi headed down to Cuba for an amazing salt water fly fishing trip. Steve wrote up a report of the week which you can read below. Special thanks to the photographers for the images! on the images to view them full size!

On November 28th Troy Langelaar and myself (Steven Luethi) along with five other anglers including Courtney Neal, Kathryn Nugent, Akasha Bopp, Steve Gardiner and his dad George teamed up with Josh Nugent of Out Fly Fishing Outfitters for one of his hosted trips to Cuba. We flew from Canada landing in Cayo Coco, Cuba and from there had a two and a half hour drive away from the all inclusive resorts to where we would spend the next 7 nights. Hotel Casona De Ramano, is located in a small town called Brasil. It was built in 1919 originally as a house for the owners of the town's sugar cane factory but was renovated a few years ago to accommodate today's traveling angler. The hotel staff are friendly and the food is excellent. Each bedroom has two double sized beds, a full bathroom and much desired A/C . 

The Cayo Cruz fishery is an enormous system of flats, lagoons and pristine estuaries. Commercial fishing within this area is forbidden and strictly enforced. The sportfish only area is 366 square kilometers in size, meaning each day, every skiff has over 50 square kilometers to itself. The fishing area is virtually untouched compared to the rest of the Caribbean and the fish are plentiful and aggressive. 

The guides here are excellent, knowledgable, hard working and enthusiastic. It was incredible listening to the stories from fellow anglers throughout the week of how hard the guides worked to get them either their first permit or their 100th bonefish. Troy and I had a guide, Nelson, who poled into 30km/hr winds for 15 minutes just so I could get a cast to a permit. 

The bonefishing here is absolutely spectacular. Tailing bonefish are common, you'll find large singles and doubles, all the way up to large schools. Your average bonefish we found to be about 4-5 pounds which would be considered a big fish anywhere else in the Caribbean, as well there are sightings of fish upwards of 10 pounds daily. If you're an angler who is only after a quality fishery for bonefish than this is your place. As for permit, it's common to get a good number of shots almost daily. It was rare when a skiff did not get a cast to a permit in a day. You'll find permit tailing as well as following rays waiting to ambush any food kicked up by the ray. There were a total of 6 permit caught all week with a few of us who either pulled the hook or broke the tippet on 5 others. On the second day I was lucky enough to hook a permit on a flexocrab but my trout knot connecting my tippet to the leader slipped, so remember to brush up on your saltwater knots before you embark on your next flats destination. There are also plenty of barracuda and sharks if you're looking for predatory fish and at the right time of the year the migratory tarpon come through, this happens in the months of May and June.

There was quite a diverse number of species caught including: bonefish, permit, snapper, barracuda, cowfish, jacks and shark, some of which were firsts and some personal bests. For both Courtney and Kathryn they were able to land not only their first bonefish but several after that. Kathryn was also able to land her first barracuda and got to witness first hand at how hard and acrobatic the fight is. Kathryn tied her first ever fly one evening at the Casona and the very next day caught bonefish on it! Courtney definitely caught the most odd fish out of anyone in the group, a cowfish. Akasha was able to not only land his first permit, but he got a second one during the week! Though Josh has a leg cast it didn't slow him down as he landed a personal best permit for himself but came up three inches short on a leader touch with a tarpon that day, the closest anyone came to a Grand Slam. Both Steve and his dad George hooked and landed their first permit on the very first day! After that day George was lucky enough to catch the biggest barracuda out of the whole group for the week. Troy also had a great trip by getting his first barracuda, his personal best bonefish and probably his favorite of the trip, his first nurse shark. My trip was incredible and like most, I've already been asking Josh about his next hosted trip. I was able to get a permit to eat my fly but unfortunately didn't land it and will have nightmares for weeks. I caught my personal best bonefish and also my first lemon shark. If you have the desire to catch a shark and bring it into the boat be careful. These are powerful fish that can actually bite their own tail. As I found out while we were wrestling the squirming shark on the deck it actually whipped around and scraped it's teeth against my toes. A close call and I'm lucky I didn't lose any toes. 

Looks like the lemon shark left his mark on Steve! Ouch!

If you're looking for a salt water destination trip then contact Josh Nugent at Out Fly Fishing Outfitters. He has the knowledge and experience to make every trip  smooth and enjoyable one with memories that will last a lifetime. 

Josh Nugent!

The average sized bonefish is very impressive!


Nurse Shark

Troys First Barracuda!

A few elusive permit were caught during the week!

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