Blue Horizon: Thatch Caye

2018 Dates: May 26-June 2, 2018

Founded by legendary fishing guide Lincoln Westby, Blue Horizon Fishing and it’s team of fishing guides are considered to be the utmost authority on fly-fishing the flats of Central and Southern Belize.

Blue Horizon operates inside the protection of the Belize Barrier Reef, the epicenter of the finest flats in the world. We fish daily around a chain of small cayes from north of Dangriga to south of Placencia. Miles of undisturbed flats surround each of our resort options, increasing your chances of success at hitting the grand slam: permit, tarpon and bonefish. Other targets such as barracuda, snook, jack crevalle, bonito and mackerel are abundant.

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Thatch Caye

General Information

PERMIT:

Permit, known as the “Holy Grail” of fly fishing, are by far the most difficult, picky and frustrating fish you’ll encounter on the flats. They have superb eyesight and a well-developed sense of smell. Due to body shape, permit seem to be much more comfortable in deeper water. Although it is fairly common to see a permit with its tail and dorsal fin sticking out of the water, it usually won’t remain that way for long. Permit seem to suddenly appear on a flat for a brief feeding spree and then fade back into the safety of the deeper water. They’re constantly on the move.

Quick, accurate casting skills (and a lot of luck) are essential. Our experienced guides greatly increase your chance of catching this tricky fish.

SUGGESTED GEAR

Rod: 8,9, or 10 wt (Stiff to cast crab patterns in the wind)

Reel: Anodized, corrosion resistant saltwater model. Should be able to hold a full line plus 300 yards of 20 or 30 lb. backing.  A high quality smooth disc drag is essential.

Line: Tropical Floating Line

Leaders: 10 ft. 16lb leaders are standard. Extra spools of 16 and 20 lb. saltwater tippet are nice to have.

Flies:  A large selection of crab and shrimp patterns in a variety of sizes, colors, and weights. Tan, olive and various shades of brown seem to be the most effective colors for most Belizean waters. Be sure to have a variety of different sink rates.

TARPON:

Tarpon are the largest, strongest and most acrobatic of the grand slam. Even juvenile fish will put angling skills to the test and strain tackle beyond belief. In Belize, tarpon are typically small- to mid-sized specimens (20-70 pounds), although fish over 100 pounds are seen. A large majority of these fish remain in Belize throughout the year. Migratory fish begin to show up around late March and numbers will increase significantly from April through July.

Belize offers the tarpon angler a very unique selection of diversified conditions, ranging from inland river lagoons to shallow-water flats. Tarpon are attracted to Belize because of their affinity for brackish water.

River and Lagoon Fishing: Fish will be in deep, murky water where sight fishing is difficult. Rolling fish are somewhat common, but blind casting is the general rule.

Flats and Channel Fishing: Fishing will be done from small skiffs in clear, shallow flats (3-5 feet deep) or in the tidal channels which connect the flats.

SUGGESTED GEAR

Rod:  12 or 14 wt

Reel: Anodized, corrosion resistant saltwater model. Should be able to hold a fly line plus 350+ yards of 30 (or 45) lb. backing.  A high quality, smooth disc drag is essential.

Line: Tropical floating line. On a spare spool it is recommended to have a heavy sinking line for deep water Tarpon.

Leaders: Pre-tied leaders with a 16 to 20lb class tippet and 80-100 lb. shock tippet.  A Tarpon stretcher is great if you are planning on specifically going for Tarpon.

Flies: A basic selection of Tarpon flies in variety of colors and materials. Sizes 2/0 and 3/0 will cover most Tarpon situations in Belize.

BONEFISH:

The bonefish is the most abundant of flats species in Southern Belize. Bonefish display a great eagerness to take both flies and lures, but they are best known for their astonishing strength and reel-stressing runs.

Bonefish inhabit the shallow-water flats for food and protection. Bonefish will blend into their environment more than any other fish on the flats. Their eyesight is exceptionally good and the slightest hint of danger will send them bolting off into the deep blue yonder.

Larger bonefish are usually found in small, solitary groups away from the larger schools of smaller fish. Concentrate on the edge of the flats where the bottom drops off into deeper water. Big bonefish are less concerned with predators and feel secure in deeper water. They will usually drift onto the flat for short feeding sprees and quickly return to the deep water.

From the angler’s perspective (especially the novice), spotting these elusive creatures can be somewhat of a problem. A good pair of polarized sunglasses and a long billed hat (with a dark underside) will be essential for spotting fish. Look for the flash of an exposed tail, “nervous water,” or the shadow of a cruising fish.

Evolution has designed bonefish to be exceedingly wary, making delicate presentation a key factor in the success of the angler.

 

SUGGESTED GEAR

Rods: 8 or 10wt (Stiff enough to cast in windy conditions)

Reel: Anodized, corrosion resistant saltwater mode.  Should be able to hold a full line plus 250 yards of 20 lb. backing.  A high quality smooth disc drag is important.

Line: Tropical Bonefish taper line (WF8 or WF10)

Leaders: 9’, 20 lb. tapered leader. A spool of 10 and 20 lb. saltwater tippet are nice to have.

Flies: Have a good selection of Bonefish flies in a wide variety of sizes, colors and sink rates.  The standard sizes for Bonefish flies in Belize are #4, #6, and #8 with a general rule being the shallower water, the smaller and lighter the fly.

 

SNOOK:

Known for both their explosive topwater strike and their acrobatic, gill rattling fight, snook are generally found along the inland lagoons and mangrove-lined tidal channels which connect Belize’s shallow-water flats. During times of strong climatic change, the snook will move out of the mangroves and gather at the mouths of the channel cuts. It is at this time when the snook fishing can become “fast and furious.”

Snook are most often found in small schools, so remember to thoroughly concentrate on an area where a strike or hookup occurs. Snook tend to feed most aggressively during periods of low light; therefore, the best fishing time will be during dawn and dusk. If you choose to fish during periods of bright light, deep running lures or flies should be used. Top water lures and flies should generally be used during low light periods.

Snook often tend to stay close to structure such as mangroves or logs, so an accurate presentation is very important.

SUGGESTED GEAR

Rod: 8 or 10 wt (same rod you would use for Bonefish)

Reel:  Anodized, corrosion resistant saltwater mode.  Should be able to hold a full line plus 250 yards of 20 lb. backing.  A high quality smooth disc drag is important.

Line: Tropical floating line (Same as Bonefish setup)

Leaders: A pre-tied leader similar for those used for Tarpon is the ideal set up for Snook. Use a 16 or 20 lb. class tippet with a 40 or 60 lb. shock on the Snook leaders.

Flies: Selection of bright flies in red, orange, yellow, chartreuse, and white, plus saltwater poppers. Many standard Tarpon patterns will work for Snook.

OTHER GAME FISH:

There is a cornucopia of under-utilized species at Belize which will match the skill of the most sophisticated Fly Fisherman.

Barracuda, Jacks and Sharks: Lurking at the top of the food chain, these tough flats predators offer some outstanding action on a fly. They will viciously strike anything that darts away from them in an injured manner. When hooked, they are some of the fastest and most powerful fish to be taken on a fly rod.

THATCH CAYE ISLAND RESORT

Thatch Caye Resorts sits on its own 9-acre private island off the coast of Belize. Accommodations limit the number of guests to 24 at a time, making it a truly unique experience. With overwater bungalows, villas, and island cabanas, there’s the perfect island home for everyone. The resort offers a SCUBA and fly fishing shop on site, a natural saltwater pool and overwater Starfish Bar. All vacation packages are all-inclusive.

For our upcoming week of May 26th-June 2nd, we have 2 Premiere Beach Front Cabanas, as well as an Over Water Bungalow!

Non-Angling Activities and Options

Belize is so much more than beautiful beaches. Belize boasts the second largest barrier reef in the world, ancient Mayan ruins, jungles and wildlife reserves. There’s no shortage of adventure options, but we have a few recommendations!

SCUBA Diving

The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System lies off the eastern coast of Belize and is the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and the second longest in the world. Belize Underwater hosts incredible scuba diving and snorkeling in the best dive sites in the country. Visit the Blue Hole, South Water Caye, Glover’s Atoll, or Turneffe Island. Not certified? We also offer Discover SCUBA where you spend a few hours learning to dive, then you go on a real SCUBA dive, all in one day!

Snorkeling

Experience the Belize Barrier Reef from above! Belize Underwater will take snorkelers out to any of our dive sites, but we also offer a shorter snorkeling-only option. Snorkeling the Belize Barrier Reef is a must-do during your visit!

Mayan Ruins

Explore the history of the Maya and their traditions and be guided by an indigenous Maya from the region. Enjoy the orange farms, banana farms and a good view of our Maya Mountains, during the three hour drive through the Hummingbird Highway, one way. Then cross the Mopan River on a ferry. The reward for climbing to the top of El Castillo is a spectacular view of the Cayo District and Petén Guatemala. The tour guide will stop for lunch at a local restaurant. On the way back, enjoy the fresh dip at the inland Blue Hole.

Inland tours: Zip Lining & Waterfall Rappel, Cockscomb Basin & Jungle River Tubing, Horseback Riding, Half Day Chocolate Factory Tour

Details about fly fishing at Thatch Caye

Upcoming Thatch Caye Dates Available:

  • May 26-June 2, 2018

Cost:

2 Anglers per room and boat: $3892.00 per person
2 Anglers per room and 1 angler per boat: $5625.00 per person

Island Property Package Includes: (Thatch Caye)
– Accommodations in a Oceanfront Cabana or Premier Ocean Cabana
– Full days of fly fishing
– 3 meals a day plus afternoon snack
– Local alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
– Boat transfer to and from the island
– In-country flight transfers
– Use of island toys (kayak, paddle boards, snorkel gear, and catamaran) – WiFi
– Marine fee and taxes

Does not include:
– International flight
– Upgrades for different types of accommodations
– Extra tours
– Gratuity
– Fishing License

ARRIVING AT THE BELIZE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Belize International Airport is a small airport that provides excellent signage to help travelers get through customs and transfer to your in-country flight to Dangriga or Placencia. At the point of entry, a passport and proof of return or onward ticket are required. When booking your international flight, we recommend arriving to Belize City no later than 3:45 pm, as the last flight to Dangriga and/or Placencia departs at 5:00 pm.

TRANSFERRING TO THE Dangriga or Placencia AIRSTRIPs, YOUR FINAL DESTINATION

We work exclusively with Tropic Air and are happy to arrange your connecting flight. Tropic Air has a small fleet of new, safe and comfortable 14 seat Cessna caravans. You will take a breathtaking flight down the coast of Belize.

As you land, one of our guides will be waiting to pick you up and take your by ground to the resort or to the marina to transfer to our island resorts.

Travel Documents Needed

DO NOT FORGET YOUR PASSPORT. A valid passport is required to enter Belize. We recommend that you carry a change of clothing and your necessary personal items such as medications in your carry-on bag. Although we have not had a substantial problem with lost luggage, this can help prevent some major headaches. Keep the bottom portion of your Immigration Form, which you will fill out on your arriving flight. It will be used when you depart Belize.

All U.S. citizens are required to have a valid passport that does not expire within six (6) months of trips dates. Please be sure that your passport has at least two blank, unstamped pages remaining in back, and that it is not torn, de-laminated, or damaged in any way.

Travel Arrangements& Insurance

Front Range Anglers will assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for trips to Christmas Island. Contact us at 877.935.2975 or 303.494.1375 or info@frontrangeanglers.com for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services and trip insurance. FRA requires all anglers to have Medical Evacuation Insurance- we recommend Global Rescue, and we HIGHLY recommend Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance

Cancellation/Refund Policy

At time of booking 50% of the trip is due and payable. At 90 days the remainder plus all VAT and taxes are due. Cancellation greater than 90 days from date of trip, all monies refunded less $100 fee if a replacement angler is found. if within 90 Days, no refunds are provided unless a qualified replacement angler is provided. No refunds are provided for trip cancellation due to Weather, Acts of God, Airline/Travel issues. Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance is strongly advised & recommended.