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Sunday, March 31, 2019

A Magical Hour with a Gigantic Tarpon

I have tried to catch a tarpon in Belize 4 times! Today was going to be my day! The day was supposed to be a day to chase permit! We had a chance but an inconsiderate guide ruined my shot! We decided to try another spot! We motored to one side of an island! We saw some tarpon rolling! After discussing what to do, we decided to change to a tarpon set up! We did decide to fly fish with a large Avalon permit fly. Maybe a permit would grab the fly! 

There was a small pod of tarpon and a very large cruiser that we spied! Hilian had me cast in front of the small pod of 40 pounders! Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the big boy close by! The Avalon settled and Hilian had me strip the size 4 permit fly right in front of that gigantic tarpon. In the blink of an eye, the 80 pounder that was over 7 feet long inhaled my fly! The massive fish rocketed completely out of the water. My jaw dropped, Karen ran for the camera and Hilian calmly directed the confrontation. The tarpon next jumped 200 yards away from the boat about 5 seconds later. I just held on. The 60 pound tippet held the initial run! Well I got the big resident tarpon to the boat three times! He was tiring! We had a chance to get the leader! Hilian slid in the water and got the leader, the tarpon then spooked off with several incredible jumps! The leader touch gave us the “catch”. Shortly after, the tarpon was gone! I was soaked with sweat. The 45 minute battle was amazing. I tangled with that monster with my 10 weight Helios! I was able to manage the tarpon with Hilian repositioning the boat skillfully! Wow what an amazing hour! My muscles were shaking, the Adrenalin was flowing in every part of me! 

Did that just happen? I doubt I can repeat that tussle with such a massive tarpon! I did catch a 35 maybe 40 pounder the day after! It was exciting. Nothing can beat that hour. By far the biggest fish I have ever caught! I am still pumped just thinking about it! 

I have to thank Karen for capturing so many amazing shots with our camera. Hilian also kept me focused! No mistakes! What a day! It was definitely a fish of a lifetime! The decision to relocate and change up paid off handsomely!

Day Two on the Water

Day two was full of anticipation! The Mermaids, aka Karen and Taryn, headed out to find permit and bonefish! They tangled with bonefish while Bob and Stuart went looking for permit. The girls caught some nice bonefish and Stuart and Bob had some shots at permit but no luck! At the end of the day, we fished off of the dock! Surprise, there were bonefish, tiny tarpon and the occasional permit right out front! Karen caught a tiny tarpon and her grand slam was complete! Wow!

First Day in Belize

Our annual trip to San Pedro in Belize started off with a nasty snowstorm for our drive to the Calgary Airport! The predicted 3 cm of snow turned into 30 plus cm of white lightening but luckily we had Colin’s Ram 3500 to get us safely to the airport! Highway 2 closed just after our drive to the airport! Whew that was close! West Jet got us all loaded up, deiced the plane and off we went for our 5.5 hour flight to Belize City! We grabbed some scotch at the duty free shop in Calgary so we could have a drink after dinner to rehash our day! After a short flight on Tropic Air to San Pedro we were picked up and on our way to The Landings at Tres Cocos to get settled at our condo units! There were 8 of us so we had two units! We did some grocery shopping for the basics, then we headed to the Dive Bar for dinner! We were finally able to relax and get our fly rods ready for the morning!

A Very Special Day on the Water with Taryn and Karen

Well the first day on the water was special. Karen and Taryn were in one boat with Hilian guiding. I tagged along as a photographer while Doug and Colin spent the day with Pany. Pany is Omar’s brother! Taryn and Karen caught several bonefish over the course of the day although the highlight of the day was Karen landing a beautiful 7 pound permit. Karen had to make a tough backhand cast to catch her largest permit ever. Meanwhile, Colin and Doug were landing close to 3 dozen bonefish! The wind gods were kind today! That helped a lot. It takes a day or two to get your casting sorted out after a long winter! Yes, there were several glasses of scotch lifted to celebrate a fabulous day! We cooked supper at the barbecue and enjoyed supper at dusk beside the pool! What a fabulous first day!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Eldorado Deceiver Streamers for Argentina with Steve Luethi

Tonight was the last fly tying session of the season. Steve Luethi was our guest instructor and the West River Fly Shop was filled to capacity to take it his presentation!

Steve Luethi loves to tie big streamers and that is exactly what he needed to fish for the much sought after Dorado in Argentina. Dorado are hard fighting fish that have amazing colours and can get to over 40 pounds. They are aggressive and will attack a big streamer and just about rip it right off of your line. Steve showed the gang two excellent patterns that he used to cast to dorado. The first one is called TK's Eldorado Deceiver and the second fly is a "diver" called TK's Eldorado Diver.

Thanks Steve for the excellent instruction. I know our local pike will attack these flies.

Remember that this Thursday is the IF4 Film Festival at Carnival Theatre. The doors open at 6:30 and the films start at 7 pm. You can get tickets at West River Fly Shop for $15 or at the door for $20. You can also get tickets on line RIGHT HERE! Lets get a big turn out!

TK's Eldorado Deceiver

Hook: Size 3/0 wide gap streamer hook, Partridge Predator X
Thread: 3/0 thread or gel spun
Eyes; Lead Dumbell Eyes, medium to large
Tail: Hackle of constrasting colours and Flashabou
Overwing: Peacock herl, 6 herls
Body: Deer Hair, contrasting colours
Collar: Deer Hair of contrasting colours, stacked

TK's Eldorado Diver

Hook: Size 3/0 wide gap streamer hook, Partridge Predator X
Thread: 3/0 thread or gel spun
Head: Foam diver premade
Tail: Hackle of constrasting colours and Flashabou
Overwing: Peacock herl, 6 herls
Collar: Deer Hair of contrasting colours, stacked