We’ve just returned from an amazing trip to Dangriga, Belize. Danriga is a short 15 min flight south of Belize City, just north of another famous fishing town, Placencia.
This time we had the pleasure of staying at Thatch Caye Resort, about a 25 min boat ride from the coast, on a private island nestled in the heart of Permit Alley. Guides were provided by Blue Horizon, one of the most well respected guide crews in the Caribbean.
TC is a classic island getaway with all the amenities of your typical Belezian Resort, and then some. Our non fishing companions were treated to a laundry list of things to do such as diving, snorkeling, island hopping, jungle tours, lobster and conch hunting, kayaking and SUPs to name a few.
It was fun to get off the water each day and meet great folks from all over the world at the Star Fish Bar. The classic questions abound, “What’s a permit?” and “How do they taste?”
The accommodations were also some of the best we’ve experienced anywhere, ever.
On to the fishing….
This was our 4th hosted trip to Belize over the years, and our second to southern Belize. Those in the know have dubbed this region “Permit Alley”, and for good reason.
The amount of permit in this area is astronomical. Just like our trip to Placencia a number of years ago, the guides are laser focused on putting you on tailing fish, in shallow water whenever possible.
Don’t get me wrong, you will see and cast at plenty of cruising fish throughout a week. But these guides have it in their DNA to find fish in shallow water, tails up.
Although there are bonefish in the area, opportunities are very limited. Some of my guests had a blast chasing them around every once in a while throughout the week.
One vacationer we met was lucky enough to get one his first time ever fly fishing!
Back to the permit.
Although I like to throw 8 wts at permit from time to time for a number of different reasons, a 9 is my go-to. We had incredible wind during our week so most boats had a 10 wt rigged too.
Steve, my guide with 14 years experience, had me throwing 9-10 ft, 16lb leaders with about 3-4 feet of 16lb tippet.
I had my normal assortment of every crab pattern under the sun. That said, nearly the entire time we were throwing sz 6 tan and olive Bauer crabs. Made famous by head guide, Lincoln Westby. A legendary guide among permit circles.
It’s safe to say I saw hundreds of permit in my six days. Although I didn’t keep track exactly, we were getting 5-15 shots a day. Each shot could have been anywhere from 1-10 casts each. Ten being the exception to the rule. We found one fish that I got a countless number of shots at over a few minute period.
I also had one “magic hour” were I didn’t stop casting at permit for what seemed like 45 minutes. I’d get 1-5 casts, walk to the next group and repeat. This seemingly neverending cycle was something I won’t soon forget.
I was lucky enough to add two more permit under my belt this trip, Jay from Dallas TX, with our group added another.
My little one at a sz 4 tan Contraband crab, the big one at a sz 6 olive Bauer.
The bigger of the two was pretty special.
At lunch on day five, Steve picked a spot were we could eat and scan for fish so we left a rod at the ready. Ten minutes in he started yelling “fish, fish, fish!!”. I jumped up and chased a small group down the flat. My third cast did the trick. Once I was hooked up, I looked back to see Steve a few hundred yards away hooting and hollering. He was more excited than I was.
An unforgettable moment that makes these trips so special.
A huge thanks to our crew that joined this year, Matt, Sarah, Jay and Anna.
If you’d like to join our Hosted Travel Newsletter, drop me a note.