Destinations: Caribbean / Belize

As a fly fisherman, I have made trips to the Bahamas, Florida Keys, and Mexico multiple times. I have been to Belize once, back in 1984. Of the saltwater destinations I have fished, Belize is by far the place I would recommend first. I say this for several reasons. First, the fishing...on a daily basis you can have opportunities for bonefish, permit and tarpon as well. There are also barracuda, snook, snapper, grouper and jacks  and a host of other fish I cannot even name. There are miles and miles of saltwater flats, cuts with deeper channels and just a mile or two offshore from the barrier islands or cayes (pronounced "keys") is the second largest barrier reef in the world. All of this combines to make Belize a magic place for the fly fisher. Although Belize is tucked between Mexico (the Yucatan) to the North and Guatemala to the West and South, I never met a person there that did not speak English...many of them with a bit of a British accent. Belize was an English Colony from 1862 until it gained it's independence in 1981. It was a little bit disconcerting when when you are in that part of the world and you meet someone who looks more like a Mayan Indian than the most Mexicans I know and speaks like a Londoner. I will write more about my experiences in Belize somewhere below but first I want to give you more information of value.

From what I know, have heard and read, I do not think there is any "bad" fly fishing in Belize. There are bonefish, tarpon and permit (the big three) from Ambergris Caye in the North to Punta Gorda in the far South. I do think that if permit is your target, the Southern part of Belize may hold more opportunities.

Key information:

When to go - From what I know and what I have read, the information here is accurate and may help you plan your trip if Belize is a destination of interest

Other Activities - Besides the incredible saltwater fly fishing, there is a lot more to Belize. With the barrier reef just a few miles of the coast, there is snorkeling and scuba diving. For scuba divers, there is the famous "Great Blue Hole" as made famous by Jacques Cousteau   There is also big game deep sea fishing just outside the reef for many species. If the water is not your thing, there are many 4000 year old Mayan ruins, primitive rainforests that are home to a host of animals including the jaguar, jungle caves to explore and more.

Maps of Belize - there are numerous maps of Belize here. Click here...

Lodges in Belize - the following list is by no means complete. This list of links is just those lodges that either I have experience with or others I know have had experiences with. 

El Pescador Lodge - Ambergris Caye 

Blue Horizon Lodge - Southern Belize

Turneffe Flats Lodge - Turneffe Atoll (Caye)

Turneffe Island Resort - Turneffe Caye

Tarpon Caye Lodge - Tarpon Caye

Fishing in Belize:

My experiences in Belize - 

As a fly fisher interested in saltwater, I had an opportunity to go to Belize in May or June of 1984. The trip was organized by George Anderson, owner of Yellowstone Anglers. I went with Mike Lawson who I had been friends with since he opened Henry's Fork Anglers in 1976, at the time had never been to Belize and had not done much fishing in saltwater. Mike and George were good friends and both of them were kids at heart so I looked forward to both the fishing and stories I had never heard...I was not disappointed. See more here...