February 14th Through 21st 2005 — Belizean Adventures

What do you get when you add one fly fisherman and five bait casters, divide them into three groups, and stir in three of the best guides in southern Belize?  We got skunked.

Each year, the guide staff, Captains Bruce and Brandon Shuler, Captain Teddy Springer, Captain BJ Powell, and two of our favorite 'clients', Danny and Dwaine Winters take an adventurous trip to explore more exotic waters and chase large species not commonly found in our waters.  The trip this year was to the beautiful waters of Belize.  Belize is renowned for her crystal clear waters, the second largest barrier reef in the world, and PERMIT.

For three months leading up to our departure, I heard Cappy rave about catching a 20 pound permit on trout tackle.  Knowing the elusiveness inherent with permit, I figured being the only fly fisherman I would have the best shot.  Now, to the astute reader and angler, the paragraph above says it all…Belize is known for her CRYSTAL CLEAR water.  Added to the shyness of this fish and the worst neap tides witnessed in Belizean waters for as far back as our guide Charles could remember, we were in for a rough time fishing.  Between 6 anglers we cast to roughly 15 permit and 10,000 tarpon, surprisingly, they did not even bat an eye at our offerings.  However, PETA fanatics beware, I had the most incredible catch of a lifetime that maybe only a handful of people around the world can say they have caught one…I caught a full grown and very unhappy….get this…MANATEE.  Boy, those were the best steaks I have ever tasted…just kidding, he was released to fight another day.

After five days of barracuda and ready to get off of Tarpon Caye and get a real shower, we were ready to come home and get back into the fish.  However, after landing and hitting the voice mails, we learned of a possible brown tide bloom occurring in the lower Laguna Madre.  Running the prerequisite errands around town after being gone for 10 days; all guides headed south to see for ourselves.  Captain Ted reported the waters were fairly stained but still landed a number of decent trout and we had limited reports of the water being very fishable north to Three Islands.  More on the possible bloom next week.  Also, check out the full Belizean Adventure in our new section launching next month: Getaway Adventures Travel Section; chronicling our various misadventures around the globe.