Belizean Vibes

A guest blog post by FRA customer Sled Allen
Having a 15 pound permit turn on your fly on the first cast of a trip not only sends chills down your back, but puts your boat into an all out scramble. Unable to land that fish, the first day started off with a mix of emotions. Pumped and pissed at the same time, we continued to fish the same area and jumped on a huge school of bones. After catching my first bone, we waited all of about 5 minutes before we saw a large school of tarpon. My good friend Alec landed the first, and right after we got that one to the boat, I landed my very first tarpon from the same school. It was an incredible first day out.[row ] [col span=”1/2″ ]

Sled with Bonefish

The perfect way to start the saltwater addiction.

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Sled First Tarpon

Your first tarpon is one you won’t soon forget.

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We then went for two days of nothing but skunk. Rough winds and little sunlight limited our chances at permit, however the last day things started to clear up. Although still windy, we went to a lagoon to wade and set our eyes on two different schools. Dumping shot after shot, these fish simply would not go after the flies. Between Alec and I, we both realistically went through 6 different flies on the two schools, and our casts were placed right on top of their noses…still nothing. Finally accepting the reality of the challenge of landing a permit, we began to head back to El Pescador. We figured we’d at least enjoy a cold one and celebrate the tarpon and bones we were able to land. Then out of nowhere… BOOM! We began to see wakes from about 100 feet from the boat. Scrambling for the permit rods both Al and I jumped out of the boat and started hustling to get a good shot. A couple of false casts and Al hooks into one. Ecstatic and in awe at our luck in running into this school I begin to pick up my line and cast. First cast, BAM! I’m on my very first permit. I had never imagined it would happen, but Al and I were doubled up on permit the last hour of our trip. Incredible, absolutely incredible. Belize is something else. I have definitely caught the saltwater bug, and am itching to go back.

Sled with first Permit

You couldn’t ask for a better introduction to saltwater fly fishing than hooking up to the big three on your first trip!

I would like to mention one more thing to consider for anyone interested in chasing the elusive permit. On this trip I took a 9 weight Sage Salt, and Hatch Finatic 9 Plus, both of which I could not be more pleased with. Accompanying my Hatch was a Hatch Tropical line. Specifically a shooting head, 9 weight, floating line with a coffee color. After testing out a couple different lines in the shop at El Pescador, I quickly was able to tell the pros and cons. The Hatch line was incredibly light and very sensitive, in my opinion, ideal for targeting bones that are slow moving or in large schools. The line does not load fast enough to target moving schools of permit, as your window to cast is very small. All in all this Hatch line struggles in the short game, but can be effective in the long game given that you are able to make multiple false casts.

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