Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. Now that I have been home for a few days and have had time to reflect on our vacation, I wanted to write a little about our Belize vacation. I think the only constants that we have found in our adventures is that the more excited we are about a trip, the more likely we are to run into snags.
With the fog and sleet rolling through Colorado, we left extra early to make sure we made our flights. We made it to the airport with hours to spare but when the plane was ready to take off, the fog kept us grounded. We sat on the tarmac for almost four hours and missed all the connecting flights into Belize. We wanted to cry but decided that we would make the most of the rest of our time. We made it to our lodge and only missed one day of fishing.
Fishing Belize was like nothing we have ever seen. The first day we spent chasing bone fish and then blind casting under mangroves for snook and baby tarpon. When our guide picked us up for our second day, he asked us what we wanted and we told him we wanted to look for permit. We got onto our first flat and after about a half an hour, the guide called out the school at 120 feet and coming at us. He then yelled to look for the fins and they were now at 90 feet. 11:00 o’clock and they are moving, I began to cast and as I saw the outline of the leading fish, I gave the rod an extra push and my cast collapsed woefully short. We fought the wind pretty hard that day and ended up chasing more bones. The last three days had the best weather and our guide was able to put us on small permit schools constantly. We had some great casts that failed and some awful casts that were even worse. We caught as many bones as we wanted and I was able to land three permit. The last day had us most intrigued, our guide took us South to a flat called the Savannah. Our hope was to hook a tarpon. I got the first cast but the fish did not seem interested. We drifted down a little way and then we had three absolute monsters moving toward us, Cat put the perfect cast in front of them and began to strip, the fish teased us by staying just a little behind the fly and when they got right in front of the boat they turned and I think one of them winked, the guide guessed them out at around 90lbs. We knew at that moment, we were coming back.
Evenings at the lodge started with a long soak in the pool and then an incredible Belizean dinner. Most nights were spent swapping stories and trying to get tips from the lodge owner. Thursday evening, we headed into town to check out the world famous “Chicken Drop”. If you are wondering what that is, there is a small fenced area with boards covered in numbers. People buy tickets with numbers and then a chicken is brought in, a woman is picked from the crowd to give the chicken a gentle shake, lift the tail feather and blow, and then drops the chicken into the ring. And if you haven’t guessed, what ever number the chicken poops on, the person with the number has to clean the board and wins all the cash. I’m not sure PETA would ever allow anything like that to happen in the states, but it was actually pretty amusing to watch.
I’m not sure how else to describe the trip other than to say it was absolutely incredible. As we were sitting in the San Pedro airstrip waiting to head home, we started planning on when we can make it back. We talked to the lodge owner and are planning on hosting a trip next Spring. Now I know that seems like a long time from now but if you have ever thought about trying some saltwater fly fishing I would encourage you to get with us and see if this lodge is right for you. The lodge is much less expensive than other lodges that I have looked into and is much quicker to the flats than any other lodges on Ambergris Caye. The lodge can accommodate about 12 anglers and even more with non-anglers, we are looking at either the second or third week of April next year. If you are part of our trip, Cat and I can do casting instruction, and fly tying ahead of time. We already have a few spots taken so let us know if you are interested. We would love to spend the week in paradise with some of you.
The video was a little difficult to produce. Saltwater fish take a little extra time landing and we didn't want a two hour video of us fighting fish. We got a little scenery and hope we made it look as fun as it was.
Now, back a little closer to home. The river is on fire right now so get out and fish. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, The Blue Bonefish, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….