A day on the flats in Belize is something Karen and I always look forward to. The day starts the night before ensuring rods, reels, tippet and flies are ready to go. We have two 8 weights ready for bonefish, one 9 weight for permit and a 10 weight set up for tarpon! Typically a 12 pound leader tapered down to 10 or sometimes even 8 pound tippet for bonefish, a 16 pound leader for permit with 16 pound tippet and 60 to 80 pound leader for tarpon. A day on the water begins anytime from 5:30 am to 7 am. The starting time usually has a lot to do with weather, wind, tides and our general destination for the day. Coffee and toast make the start up easy. We make our lunch the night before. We know that Hilian and Omar will have water and other drinks on the boat.
As the sun rises over the reef, we can see Hilian and Omar slowly motoring through the channel near the bridge. Occassionally they get checked by the Belizian Coast Guard to ensure they have all of their documents up to date! As they arrive at the dock, there is lots of anticipation. The wind and weather have a big say on that. The trade winds typically blow from the east or north east. When the wind blows from the north, we often head to Tranquility Bay or hide behind islands looking for permit or bonefish!
Our guys have their favourite places to take guests. If we are looking for permit, there are several great spots to look. If it is a bonefish day, there are several beautiful flats to pole along.
You take turns casting from the deck on the boat unless you are on foot. I like fishing both ways. Our guides do a great job setting up the boat so you have a good cast at the fish.
Overcast days are tough for the guide to see the fish. On those days we go searching for tails or disturbed mud that feeding fish have churned up. We also keep a close eye on rays. Often permit travel along with them looking for an easy meal.
We do take a break for lunch although we do sometimes eat on the fly as we motor to a new flat.
Hilian and Omar will try their best to give you the day you have imagined for yourself. Karen and I rely heavily on our guides to help us determine where we will go. We always encounter fish. We have learned to just enjoy the day, let it unfold. Just soak in being out on the water.
A typical day ends around 3 pm and sometimes a bit later. The day always seems to fly by! Once we get to the dock, a cold Belekin beer always goes down great. There are fish stories to share. Hopefully the stories are a celebration of a great day.
Sunrise and here comes Hilian and Omar
We love to fly fish with small Gotchas, sometimes as small as size 10 and Bonefish Junk