A day at Belize River Lodge starts with a big breakfast at 7. Then you head out fishing. Today was Day 1 and although I still know a few of the guides from years back, we had one I didn’t know, Jose. Jose knew my history here and we hit it off quick by talking about Raul, a top guide from here and mutual friend that passed away of a heart attack last spring at only 40. Raul is sadly missed. Then Jose and I went over a game plan, checked over the rigs and we were off to the mouth of the Belize River where there were some rolling tarpon.
I handed Granny my Ross RX 12-weight with a SA Tarpon Taper WF12I and a black fly tied up by my friend Milkfish. Granny is an incredible caster but doesn’t have the good fortune of chucking the 12 often. Jose and I did a little ducking as she warmed up. I grabbed my other 12 and a 400 grain sinking Tropic Express and cast from the middle of our panga.
About an hour later we reeled the big sticks in. Although we saw a few tarpon roll they wouldn’t cooperate. Granny caught a leather jack, a new species for her, similar looking to the queenfish you often catch in the Pacific but that was all.
Our light conditions for spotting fish remained poor so Jose suggested heading out to the ocean to pound big flies into the mangroves for snook. You don’t need to see a snook to catch him, and even so, snook appear very black in the water and even in poor sight fishing conditions you can see them. The move was a great call and during the rest of the morning Granny and I each landed a respectable snook.
We spent the afternoon struggling to see anything with more thick clouds. Our only hope was tailing fish and we found a few bonefish. However, they were in such skinny water we couldn’t get close enough for a decent cast. Accidentally we managed two because we got the wind behind us and launched a couple ridiculously lucky long casts.
It was a great Day 1. We had success in tough conditions and Jose is a great guide. Who knows what the weather will bring but judging by the changes in wind direction from north to south today, things should improve.
Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing