Monkeys howling in the trees, snook lurking beneath the mangroves, bonefish tails sparkling like diamonds beneath the noonday sun and a finicky permit challenging every angling skill that you possess. A flats trip to Belize can encompass all of these things and more. Having operated in the region for more than twenty years, Belize River Lodge has a vast and varied saltwater fly fishing program that can target all of the region’s species, including bonefish, tarpon, permit, snapper and snook. The habitats surrounding Belize River Lodge are equally as diverse, with rivers harboring large and rolling tarpon to jungle creek fisheries that are home to juvenile tarpon and snook, to a vast array of outlying cays and flats where permit and bonefish may prowl. Many exciting and diverse opportunities for non-fishing companions are also available from guided birding to touring Mayan ruins, not to mention visiting the spectacular Belize zoo and numerous other sites of natural and historic significance. Let Belize River Lodge's 50 plus year history, comfortable surroundings, attentive guides and convenient location provide you an amazing saltwater experience that will surely leave you yearning for more.
Belize River Lodge is located on the banks of the Belize River outside of Belize City.
Fly fishing for bonefish is a year-round pursuit in Belize. Belize’s bonefish tend to be smaller than in other countries, however, they can be very plentiful at times. Bonefish within this ecosystem vary from 2 to 6 pounds, with the majority being approximately 2 - 3 pounds.
The explosive snook, saltwater’s bass, can be found in sizes of 5 to 25 pounds. Snook fly fishing is also good year-round, however, low tides make casting to these fish easier, so November through February are the more optimal months if you only want to fly fish for snook.
Tarpon, the silver king, is one of the most acrobatic fish sought by saltwater anglers. Tarpon at Belize River Lodge are categorized in two categories, juvenile tarpon and large tarpon. Belize has a resident population of large tarpon, however in the spring and summer migrating tarpon visit these waters as well, making for larger numbers of these big fish. While you can fly fish for large tarpon year-round, the bigger tarpon are primarily found in the months of May through early August.
Tarpon from 5 to 80 pounds are found along the mangrove cays, along the flats and in the rivers. The tarpon areas of Central Belize are diverse making for very good tarpon fly fishing and a year-round fishery.
The Belize coast is known worldwide for its permit fishing flats. Permit range from 5 to over 30 pounds. The best time to fish for permit is when there is less wind, usually the months between April and September, or when your schedule allows. Permit can be extremely challenging and to land a permit is the ultimate fly angler's trophy!
Snappers, jacks, groupers, cobia, barracuda and a large variety of other saltwater game fish can be caught at various times along the coast of Belize.
While all anglers like to measure success in landed fish, saltwater fly fishing should be viewed as landed fish plus the experience. Saltwater fish are very strong and acrobatic and tend to shake flies frequently. Even more frustrating to the angler, is when they make the perfect cast and the fish looks and turns away without biting. Saltwater fly fishing should be viewed in the number of fish seen, casted to, hooked, jumped and finally landed!
There are usually two anglers to a boat and anglers rotate fishing. Fly fishing from the skiff is one person at a time, a rotation can be made by an agreement between anglers determined by caught fish, shots at fish, or landed fish. Sometimes 30-minute stretches of time on the bow can be employed as well. Typically if you are fishing for bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, one angler gets to fish to the group until he either catches one or spooks them and then the next person gets the next group. The guides do their best to make sure that both anglers have equal time on the bow, but ultimately it is up to the anglers themselves to make sure they are rotating appropriately. Wading is minimal in this part of Belize, however, you may always ask your guide if there are potential wading spots available.
Belize River Lodge is located in central Belize, which is an area offering a very mixed bag of saltwater fly fishing environments. The flats, cayes, reef, mangrove islands, channels, the Belize River, Sibun River, Manatee River, Black Creek and several other creeks & lagoons in between are the areas fished from the lodge in a normal six-day fly fishing package. This is a very large area with a great variety of fishing conditions, fish species and scenery. Landed grand slam are possible on any given day but a lot will depend upon your skill, the fish and a bit of good luck!
The coast of Belize is a complex system of river mouths, creeks, lagoons, flats, small cayes, mangrove islands and barrier reef. The ecosystem that exists here supports millions of crabs, shrimp, bait fish and other aquatic life, which is why there is an abundance of game fish.
Belize River Lodge offers an extensive array of eco-tours. Snorkeling, horseback riding, and SCUBA diving are also offered.
Accommodations and Meals:
The Belize River Lodge rests quietly on the lush, green banks of the Belize Olde River, only 3.5 miles from the mouth of the river – the entrance into the Caribbean Sea and classic flats fishing. This beautiful historic mahogany lodge is situated amidst an abundant tropical setting. Balmy breezes rich with the sound of bird song drift among the private cottages creating a naturalist’s paradise. Relax and delight in Belizean hospitality and the delicious combination of fine Belizean-Creole cuisine. The lodge can accommodate up to sixteen people.
The "Guest House" is a two-story mahogany building. It contains four rooms, each with two single beds, private hot & cold showers, ceiling fans, a/c and screened verandas overlooking the Belize Olde River. The "Cottage" is set up for two groups of two or for a family of four. Each room has separate hot & cold showers, ceiling fans, air conditioning and two single beds. Both are separated by a connecting door and share an open veranda. One of the cottage rooms has a cozy sitting area.
The "Bungalow" has two rooms, each with a queen and a double bed, private hot & cold shower, ceiling fan, air conditioning and a large screened veranda, which allows the tropical trade winds to blow through. All of the lodge rooms are air-conditioned and decorated with a tropical Belizean ambiance. When you return from fishing, fresh purified water and ice will be ready in your room and your bed will be turned down for you during dinner. Belize River Lodge’s accommodations offer excellent service with an old world charm.
From the Belize River Lodge's kitchen comes an excellent combination of the best Belizean, Creole and American cuisine. The Lodge cooks use the freshest and finest ingredients (even coconuts off the trees in the front yard) and along with some of Mags' old family recipes, create some of the most memorable and tasty meals, which will have you asking for a few of her recipes. Remember, save room for coffee or tea and dessert!
Day 1: Arrive Belize City, transfer to Belize River Lodge
Days 2-7: Full days of guided fishing
Day 8: Depart lodge
Arrival Information: To get to Belize River Lodge you need to make flight arrangements to Belize City, Belize.
Getting to the Lodge: A lodge representative will meet you at the airport for the transfer to the river docks. You will then take a boat across river to the lodge.
Departure Information: On your departure day you will be transferred back to the airport in Belize City according to your flight schedule.
2020 Rate: $4,575 per person for a 7 night/6 day package
Included: Round trip airport transfers from the Belize City airport, accommodations and all meals, soda & drinking water, guided fishing, Belize Taxes of 9%, Hotel Taxes & 12.5% GST.
Not Included: Airfare to & from Belize, fishing license (US$25 per angler per week), alcoholic beverages, gratuities, departure tax.
Species: Bonefish, permit, tarpon, barracuda, snook, jacks
Season: October to July
Capacity: 16 anglers
Map: Belize City, Belize
Time: GMT/UTC - 06:00 hour. Daylight Saving Time not observed.