Dec 29th, 2012
2012 saw the Fly Water sales crew visit destinations across the Rockies, Montana, Olympic Peninsula, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Christmas Island, Mexico, Belize, Alaska, British Columbia and the Bolivian jungle. We’re very proud of the fact that we strive to visit every one of the outstanding destinations we represent.
This year my fishing travels included visits to 13 different operations across Belize, Mexico and Christmas Island. Along the way many new friends were made, some incredible fishing opportunities were explored and only once did I end up lost in a 3rd world taxi cab!
Below are some of my very favorite moments from a fantastic year of international travel and fly fishing adventures.
2012 started off for me at the wondrous and magical saltwater playground known as Christmas Island. Our small group of experienced anglers encounter some of the very best action for Giant Trevally anyone could have imagined. These fish are the absolute thugs of flats, without an ounce of quit in them and a savage spirit that is hard to characterize in words.
Brian Gies of Fly Water hoists the home run for adventure seeking, shallow water saltwater anglers, that of a big fly caught GT!
Plenty of eager and healthy bonefish were had on this trip as well. Our week fell perfectly on a mid-full moon week that was ideal for GT fishing. As we expected, while fishing around the full moon was spectacular for GT’s, it left the bonefishing slightly less predictable, but even so plenty enough were found to keep us happy.
The fishing at Christmas Island continues to just get better and better. Anglers making the trip are experiencing and seeing some of the best action for bonefish, trevally species, trigger fish, milk fish, sharks and a cast of others the island has ever seen. It is truly not to be missed if you are like me and addicted to the flats game.
My next trip sent me on fantastic mission up and down Mexico’s famed Yucatan Peninsula. My first stop was the beautiful Pesca Maya Lodge near Punta Allen. My stay was punctuated by a fantastic assortment of bonefish, shots at permit and one hair raising encounter with a very nosy 13 foot long bull shark.
Moments after this picture was taken my guide Nestor pointed and said, “Hey guys, you might want to get back in the boat!” I looked up to see a massive grey shape only 10 feet from us and pushing water around where were standing in a huge swirl. The assistant guide and both hot footed it back into the boat and upon asking Nestor what it was that tried to eat us, he responded “big bull shark man, about 12 or 13 feet!”. Needless to say, I was a very happy man to be safely back in the boat.
Next up was the decadent and impossibly beautiful Grand Slam Lodge. This operation is simply one of the most well appointed and luxurious lodges we send anglers to anywhere in the world.
Lunch time at Iguana Island is must do while in Ascension bay. The sublime shade during the heat of the afternoon is pure bliss and a custom sandwich and cold cerveza is just what the doctor ordered for anglers weary from being constantly teased by massive permit.
The boss of Iguana Island. No one gets the upper hand on this big guy when it comes to a wayward tomato coming his way!
The fantastic juvenile tarpon action found north of Cancun at Isla Blanca is a total sleeper fishery! These little guys were stuffed throughout the mangroves and made for one heck of fantastic afternoon, with high flying babies and top water fun!
Next up was Tarpon Cay Lodge. This destination quite simply offers fly anglers the very best baby tarpon fishing in the world. The shallow water turtle grass are prolific and these fish are some of the most healthy and high flying tarpon I have ever encountered.
One of my favorite experiences this year was catching a boat load of Mojarra of with Peto of Tarpon Cay Lodge. These insanely good eating little fish made for fantastic appetizers one night and they simply could not lay off our bonefish flies. Peto’s friend owned this brilliant little cenote and let us take all the Mojarra we could eat. We had a blast!
Next up was Isla Del Sabalo out of Isla Arena. The fishing here was simply OUT OF CONTROL good for tarpon up to 40lbs. We hit it just right. We may never hit it this right again, but maybe… just maybe we will… A group of anglers and I will be heading back next May to find out if lighting will strike twice.
A high flying juvenille tarpon at Isla Del Sabalo tail walks across the water.
Next up on the trip was a relaxing and wonderful stay at the picturesque and sublimely comfortable villa at Pesca Mahahual. Their incredibly diverse fishery is seriously addicting. This afternoon we had good luck on a rainy and windy day fishing for tarpon in the local cenotes.
Emanuel, the friendliest and most entertaining lodge caretaker in the planet at Pesca Mahahual grilled up some amazing steaks and lobster tails that he bought from a local diver. It was a feast of epic proportions topped off by some of his Margaritas Especial!
Next up was two fabulous weeks traveling and fishing my way all over Belize. The trip started aboard the 45 foot mother ship called The Meca. We setup three different anchorages within a 20 mile radius of Belize and experienced some incredibly diverse fisheries along the way.
This gnarly 4 foot long barracuda decided that my little crease fly was too irresistible to pass up!
This outrageous jack crevalle pushing 20lbs was pure firepower and landing this fish was sweet revenge after his buddy broke me off in deep water. I love jacks of all sorts and this one certainly did not disappoint!
Night time fishing around the lighted docs of Belize City was a ripping good time. Here Mat Trevors ties into a beast of Snook that wailed his baitfish pattern in the darkness.
After my week long mother ship trip, I picked up my wife Chrysta from the Belize Airport and she joined me another week of fishing fun. Our first stop was at the venerable Belize River Lodge.
Chrysta spotted her first bonefish in shallow water and made a perfect presentation. The fish swam over to investigate and she held firm. One more strip and the fish was her’s! She made her fishing addicted husband quite proud on this day and she followed up the performance with several more.
The river fisheries around Belize River Lodge are fantastic and highly addictive. We experienced some exciting tarpon fishing in the small confines. of Black Creek.
Bouncing baitfish patterns under mangrove branches and around roots is utterly addicting and Belize River Lodge has snook opportunities galore.
The Howler monkey’s antics were entertaining and they are remarkable to see so close living out a wild and free life in the trees of the Belizean jungle.
My last day at Belize River Lodge yielded this behemoth resident tarpon. This beauty is my largest tarpon to date and measured 60″ long by 30″ in girth, which put it right at about 80lbs.
The small and intimate setting at the Long Caye Island Resort is one in a million.
Chrysta and I spent our 8th anniversary at El Pescador Lodge on Ambergris Caye. Running short on time, we only had one night to spend there, but immediately we felt the professionalism, attention to detail and top notch customer service of this fine operation.
Our last stop would take us to Turneffe Flats Resort where Chrysta would continue her bonefish domination! Our guide Dubs was a blast to fish with and I’ve certainly not fished with a more positive, patient and professional guide.
Another beautiful Turneffe Flats bonefish comes to hand for Chrysta.
Chrysta gets up close and personal with a dolphin that decided to play on the bow wake of our skiff at Turneffe Flats.
A Turneffe Atoll Osprey lets me get just close enough as he takes flight to look for a tasty bonefish.
It was a fantastic year traveling and fishing abroad. With more exciting trips on the books, 2013 is looking like it will shape up to be everything 2012 was and more! If you’re thinking of making that once in a lifetime trip this year, give us a call. In the words of the great Warren Miller, “if you don’t do it this year, you’ll only be one year older when you do.”