Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rumble in the Jungle-Belize 2010!

I joined two of my old Alaska buddies, and three new ones, for a 10 day adventure, fly fishing the rivers, flats, and keys near Placencia, Belize.

It didn't take long to discover how friendly the people are, and we quickly settled in to our home at the Westwind Hotel. Lisa and George made us feel right at home.

The nice weather that greeted us quickly changed, and we struggled with stormy weather most every afternoon.


However, not to be discouraged,
we fished on, and quickly discovered our prize......


Permit Tails!


Soon our guide, Benji, had me out of the boat and wading toward my first permit of the trip!


This past August (see my recent Blog entry) I had found success, in the Yucatan, with a new tan crab design, the "Crusty Crab". Now I was eager to fish the green pattern in Belize, over the coral and turtle grass flats, as well as the tan pattern over the more sandy flats. Both worked very well. In fact, one "eat", using the tan Crusty Crab was so well received that the big permit took the fly deep into the crushers, and flattened the hook point against the crab body!!! Amazing!!!


With the weather turning bad and the wind preventing a full flood over the flats, we headed south toward the Monkey River, to search for tarpon, snook, and jacks, in the jungle rivers.


During a short stop at the Monkey River, we found snook, small baby tarpon and Howler Monkeys objecting to our presence. This was my first experience with the Howler Monkey, and it became a highlight for the trip!

Then we moved further south to fish yet another jungle river, and found a nice pod of tarpon.... ......and some big girls too!

This 90+ lb. tarpon put quite a strain on my 10 wt. outfit!!!




A Red & Black Neutralizer worked its magic on this big tarpon!

I was very impressed how our guide, Bruce, insisted we handle this fish. He made sure it was supported well for a quick picture.

Once back in Placencia, we were all tired, happy, and hungry for conch fritters and Belekin beer.


Although bone fish were not our primary species, we did find a few to keep us busy.



The Shrimp Neutralizer was very effective on bonefish and even had an "eat" from a big permit!
Great to use a fly that suspends and doesn't hang up in the grass or coral!


Out on the keys we found huge concentrations of small baitfish....
.... and the big tarpon were not far behind!




This 60# tarpon was especially rewarding...
...once I hooked this fish, a small knot appeared, and flew up the guides, pulling the top section away from the rod. I couldn't apply much pressure on the fish until my partner could retrieve the tip and get me back in the game!



Spanish Mackerel

It was nice to have a change of pace with other species.



It seemed that almost every evening, as we headed home, we were treated to a magnificent sunset!


Many thanks to Phil, Mike, Al, Mack, and Gary for making this trip a complete package. What a great group of fishing buddies and an awesome fishery!


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