Saltwater 101 Fly Fishing School Trip Report – October 8th – 15th:
Saltwater 101 Fly Fishing School Trip Report – October 8th – 15th: Where do you start your journey as a beginner salt water fly fishing angler? With so many options to choose from, no wonder it’s an intimating step to take. Am I going to the right location? Am I using the correct gear? Do I need to cast far? Is it similar to fishing out of drift boat? Do I have to buy a bunch of new rods and reels even if I haven’t tried it before? All of these questions and more are common conversations points and topics. The staff at WorldCast Anglers engages in and answers on a day to day basis when it pertains to Saltwater Fly Fishing Destinations and Travel.
We created out Saltwater 101 Fly Fishing School for just that! A school intended for those who want to start their own personal fly fishing knowledge, foundation and experiences in the saltwater environment. We know the obstacles that have found their way to discourage many passionate freshwater anglers from giving saltwater flats fishing the time and the effort it requires. With our goals to break down those barriers, we were excited to offer a product to do just that and welcome new anglers into the saltwater realm of fly fishing. The school comes complete with personalized instruction and tips and tactics from seasoned guides and dedicated hosts and instructors.
El Pescador is located on near San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, Belize. Travel is relatively easy with most major airlines offering direct flights to Belize City and a 15 minute light aircraft flight to San Pedro. The large schools of Bonefish, great Permit population and year round resident Tarpon and Snook make the 400 square miles of saltwater flats surrounding Ambergris Caye the PERFECT for beginner saltwater flats fishing. Coupled with English as the official language of Belize and the guides all being patient and excellent teachers and instructors; the ability to start a journey into saltwater fly fishing is easy. The Lodge at El Pescador is very comfortable and incredibly well operated, making everyone’s lives easy to concentrate on fishing and learning! To make things even easier, WCA provided all the necessary rods/ reels/ lines from premier manufacturers such as Orvis, Scott and Lamson free of charge as well as two highly experienced saltwater anglers as hosts to further everyone’s education in the boat and over beers by the bar in the evening.
The school started with an evening fishing orientation that starts every angler on the right foot for their experience. We covered a detailed explanationsof the fishery, location, boats, gear, communication, expectations and had plenty of time to answer questions with Fishing Manager John Bilotta. Hosts, WCA President Mike Dawkins and WCA Head Guide Trevor Wine aided in propelling each angler into a better mindset of how to start and execute their first saltwater fly fishing day. With no question going unanswered on casting, riggings, knots, how to spot fish, fly presentation, tides, stripping techniques and hooking fish; our anglers were ready to hit the saltwater flats and put some of their knowledge to use. Anglers chose between 3 or 6 days to explore the flats and fishery surrounding El Pescador Fly Fishing Lodge and Ambergris Caye!
For the beginning of the week, the weather was incredibly uncooperative. Invest 91L was developing in the eastern Caribbean and heading straight for Nicaragua and Honduras. Ambergris Caye was forecasted to receive heavy winds and downpour rain. WorldCast Anglers always recommends the purchase of travel/trip insurance for this specific reason. Most lodges, whether saltwater or freshwater have very strict cancelations policies and weather events, including Tropical Storms and Hurricanes are not covered in most cancelations policies. Travel insurance policies give traveling anglers the peace of mind that if something does arise; your investment in your trip is protected and refundable. On our first morning, we were able to get out on the water with just enough time to learn some foundations and skills, catch some fish, ask some questions and review feedback before lightning and thunder forced everyone back to the lodge. Invest 91L gained strength to Hurricane status with 45+ MPH winds hitting the island and preventing anglers to journey out on the water due to safety concerns. With ample room, plenty of non-angling activities and a fully stocked bar, El Pescador is a great place to spend a day off the water due to weather.
After the storm passed, it was game on for the reminding days of the angling week. With plenty of room on leeward sides of Ambergris Caye including Hol Chan Marine Reserve and southern portion of Chetumal Bay, anglers were able to get out of the wind and target Bonefish and find some opportunities at Permit. The weather was stabilizing and the fishing was starting to kick back into gear after the storm. While conditions weren’t perfect, students were now developing the skills of a saltwater angler through ample opportunities to target, hook, loose and land a couple fish each day. The pieces of the saltwater angling puzzle were falling into place as instructions from the guides and hosts melded with the actions and learning of stripping techniques, finding and seeing fish, presenting their flies and bringing the fish to hand. It was all coming together! Anglers were finding bonefish, permit and even a couple big tarpon on a daily basis. Anglers were now engaged with the fish instead of merely watching and hoping for a chance.
As the end of the school neared, smiles from experiences and fish landed abounded. The fly fishing obstacles that may have been present to discourage our anglers from giving saltwater flats fishing an honesty try had been broken down! We would like to congratulate all our anglers for “hanging in there” with the weather, having an open mind, their motivation to learn and sticking with it to make themselves better saltwater anglers by the end of the week. Saltwater fly fishing can be hard and it is a lifelong pursuit. We feel everyone left El Pescador left as a more complete and experienced saltwater angler ready for their next pursuit! Angler Carrie Payne landed a Permit! While saltwater fly fishing may not be for everyone, we are proud to build and continually offer our Saltwater 101 Fly Fishing School to provide the opportunity for anglers to try the saltwater game in a nurturing and welcoming environment complete with instructors, equipment and incredible lodging and service. For those interested in future Saltwater 101 Fly Fishing School options, please contact WorldCast Anglers. Be sure to stay updated on the WorldCast Anglers Hosted Destination Travel Offerings!
Whether as part of a WorldCast Anglers group, school or just traveling on your own, El Pescador is a perfect destination for dedicated saltwater anglers, couples, families and non-anglers. Long known as a world-class fishing destination offering outstanding flats fishing for bonefish, tarpon and permit, El Pescador is a beachfront lodge and villas situated on over 45 private acres with ambiance, specializing in fishing, diving and eco-adventures. As a family-owned and operated lodge, emphasis is placed on creating camaraderie and an authentic Belizean experience.
WorldCast Anglers President
October 8th – 15th, 2022
El Pescador Fly Fishing Lodge, Ambergris Caye Belize