Five Flies for Belize
When you talk about amazing saltwater destinations on everyone’s list it would have to be Belize! This country has everything from expansive bonefish flats, amazing permit hunting, and when the time comes schools of tarpon with individuals over 100Lbs. This means that you will need a good assortment of flies with you on your trip. Now there is a need for more than 5 flies in Belize but the following will be a good starting point on an essentials list. The Easiest way to divide your flies is by species so that is what we will do below:
- Christmas Special: Maybe the most productive bonefish flies ever invented. Carry it in sizes 4-10 and with every size eye big lead dumbbells to small beadchain; tan, pink, pearl, and olive are all must have colors.
- Bonefish Bitters: Who knows what this fly is supposed to imitate, but we do know one thing for sure: bonefish and even some permit see it as food. A classic in Belizian waters, the epoxy head gets the fly down and keeled properly and the rubber legs help give the fly life. Olive and tan in 4-8 will have you covered. Bonus: the deer hair acts as a natural weed guard which makes this a turtle grass essential. (Bonus fly: EP spawning shrimp: a classic that is always welcome in most bonefish destinations)
- Merkin Strongarm Crab: If I had to, this could be my only Crab. Carry in sizes 2-6 in tan, bi-color and olive. A classic merkin style body and a big claw off the hook bend. If tied correctly this fly: is easy to cast, lands soft, gets down quickly and has the right shape and profile to get some pretty aggressive eats.
- Bauer Flats Crab: This fly is a testament to simplicity. Carry in sizes 4-8 and mainly in tan/brown. Simple crab body made from Mcfly foam land extremely stealthy. Combine that with an extremely small profile makes it the Go To Choice for many anglers if Permit are tailing in low clear water. (Bonus Fly: Avalon Crab: If Permit are a little deeper or you want a fly with lots of realism and movement the avalon is a staple in every fly box for Belize.
Tarpon Toad: Chartreuse is the color of choice here and I carry both the marabou tail and rabbit strip tail. Throw in a little white to break up this monotonous fly. This fly has an amazing amount of movement and stays in the mid column right where tarpon want to eat. A clear tip line is best for this fly as it cuts through the water a little better and keeps the fly in the strike zone a little longer. Have sizes 3/0-1 and you can catch any side tarpon that you come across. (Bonus fly: Black Death, this red and black pattern is also a proven favorite, many big fish have been taken across the fishery on this fly)
Now there are tons of other patterns and species but with these 5 (or 7) patterns you should feel confident that you have something in your Fly Tool Box to feed any and all of these amazing fish. Whether you tie or buy, give us a call at Front Range Anglers 877-935-2975 and we will get you set up for an amazing Carribean Flats Fly Fishing Adventure!
Guide: Tyler Jaskey