Permit can be one of the most frustrating fish on the planet to hook on a fly rod. The right cast combined with a perfect strip can often lead to a refusal. And more times than not that could be your only shot for the day if not for several days. Despite the odds of hooking a Permit, fly anglers from around the world spend countless amounts of money pursuing these finicky game fish. Over the last several years we have traveled to numerous Fly Fishing Destinations trying document anglers successfully landing a Permit on the fly. Our most recent trip was to Southern Belize with the incredible guides of Blue Horizon Fly Fishing. We had read that this was the mecca of Permit fly fishing but were skeptical due to difficult conditions encountered in the past.
Anthony Mazza, Blue Horizon Fly Fishing Ambassador With A Southern Belize Permit Caught On The Fly.
The first morning everyone was excited with anticipation, we loaded the Pangas with camera gear and were on our first flat just as the sun broke the horizon. As soon as the motor was turned off we saw the first of 30 tailing Permit and quickly realized that this truly was Permit Alley.
Over the course of 3 days we saw more tailing Permit than any another location we have filmed, which includes: Yucatan Coast, Remote Mexican Atolls, Northern Belize and Florida. The pancake flats that appear out of the dark blue depths are covered with life. Surrounded by deep water these unbelievably gorgeous coral bottom flats are ideal for happy Permit. As avid fly fishermen we can say with confidence that the flats off of Placnecia and Hopkins is the best fly fishing destination to catch a Permit on the fly. Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures agrees.
Scanning the Pancake Flats off the coast of Southern Belize in search of Tailing Permit.
The current fly fishing guides at Blue Horizon have a combined 75 years of guiding experience and are lead by the “Permit Master” Lincoln Westby. We were fortunate enough to spend several days with Lincoln and after listening to his words of wisdom you quickly realize why he earned the label “The Permit Master.” With 59 permit landed personally and responsible for landing over 2000 Permit on the fly, Lincoln Westby is the utmost authority on fly fishing for Permit. We highly encourage all anglers to visit Blue Horizon and take advantage of all they have to offer. We are excited to be working with this incredible Permit Fly fFshing Operation and look forward to bringing you more Permit footage from Southern Belize.
Mother nature gave us our first big bump on the Eagle River over the weekend allowing Bobber and I were able to strip down his little green fly fishing vessel and sneak down the river. This time of year offers some amazing dry fly and streamer fishing opportunities and Yesterday was proof in the pudding so they say. I got a text from bobber saying its at 190 do you wanna go. Since my previous float plans got canceled due to a blow out on the Fork i was all in. Of course the honey do list had to be completed prior to my departure so I scrambled and got permission from the war department. Thanks Honey. From the put in to the take out we hooked too many fish to count on Streamers and BWO Dries.
Bobber navigating his was through a shallow rock garden on the Eagle River, Colorado
About 200 yards from the put in we did laps in a pool casting to numerous risers of all sizes. We could have sat there for a good long while and pulled the boat back out. It was that good. From there we did a constant switch of streamers through the fast pocket water to dries in the slower slicks and pools. The net never got dry and a lot of banter was exchanged between Bob and I. For a river that is nestled between 2 highways it is difficult to imagine that the fly fishing can be as good as it is. The quality of fish in the river is sure to impress the most seasoned angler and only seems to improve year after year. Most of our winter crowd has left town leaving locals on the water enjoying the spring season. Now is an excellent time to be fly fishing in Colorado. If you want to hop in a boat shoot me an email and lets do this. Hopefully we have a long pre-run off float season before the water gets big and brown.
When it comes to Mexico there are plenty of fly fishing options. Especially in the Yucatan. There are well know places and lodges up and down the Caribbean coast line that offer ” the best permit fly fishing in the world.” Having been spoiled in my fly fishing journey I have been to some of these lodges and they are truly amazing. Some of them in remote areas that run off generators and others that are a bit easier to get to. But, it was not until last year when I found a new place on the Yucatan that welcomed me like no other. Perhaps it was the quaint town, the beautiful water and the great fly fishing but I believe it was the company of NIck Denbow and his wife Verena that made me admire the town of Mahahual, MX. I first met Nick around midnight after a hellish day of travel.He was one of those people that I liked right away. No bull shit, accommodating, a great sense of humor and not to mention one of the hardest working saltwater guides I have come across.
Nick runs his own company call Western Caribbean Fly Fishing school out of Mahahual MX and offers fly fishing trips to the traveling anglers looking to full fill life long bucket list fishing trips. This is not your standard fly fishing trip that you may be used to. Most of the Permit fishing is done by foot off the beach where you watch permit cursing along the coast line. Nick has developed a fly pattern that these picky fish cannot refuse, in fact they have even taken this fly pattern fresh off the vise still smelling of adhesive.If the Permit and bonefish game is not on you will find Mr. Denbow in the back country lakes polling around his aluminum ( AL- U- Mini- UM) skiff putting his anglers on Juvenile Tarpon and Resident Snook.Nick is a great teacher and has great patients for anglers who are new to salt water fly fishing.
For those of you who are looking to try a new fly fishing destination in Mexico please look up Western Caribbean Fly Fishing and let Nick show you his local waters. It is because of Nick and Verena that I feel like Mahahual is my second home. Cheer to you Mate, thanks for the Spanish Lessons.
I met Al Keller during the Polar Vortex in NOLA last January. Of course we had shit weather I was in town and I am now for certain that I am a bad weather curse. Regardless of how we met I was able to connect with him again in SWFL for a little tarpon fishing. Well… my dad fished and I watched. I held the camera and put together this short promo for Al, who is a terrific salt water fly fishing guide.
Just got back from a week of sun and fun with the family in FLA. Of course my wife wasn’t thrilled when I told her that I had 4 days of Tarpon fishing booked with Capt. Al Keller. But isn’t that the way is goes. I was excited to be on a skiff cruising around the mangroves but didn’t get overly anxious as I didn’t want to wake the bad weather curse that hangs over my head. We spent 3 days on Al’s skiff watching tarpon roll in coves and in deeper channels. I was bound to the camera but watched patiently as my dad made some shots a giant minnows older than all of us. On day 2 the old mans line came tight and the battle commenced. An acrobatic 100lb beast flew through the air about 8 times before gracing us on the starboard side of the skiff. high fives and laughter all around. Awesome.
Thanks Al for putting up with 2 Joe’s for a few days and congrats to papa mac on his personal best Tarpon on the Fly. A promo video for Al will be out shortly. Wait to you see these Jumps. Damn!!