Searching for Permit in Belize

Searching for Permit in Belize
Searching for Permit. Photo Credit: Drebitko Photography

Rick Crawford

My wife and I took a trip to Belize and stayed at Thatch Caye Resort in May of 2015.  It was absolutely beautiful and I lined up a guide with Blue Horizon Fly Fishing to fish for permit while we were there.  Below are some images and excerpts from my journal….

May 20, 2015

We flew into Belize City and took a puddle jumper to Dangriga where a boat picked us up to take us to Thatch Caye.

Island near Thatch Caye.

Island near Thatch Caye.

The water in Belize is stunning with so many shades of blue and is crystal clear.  We are staying in an over the water cabana with two hammocks and a ridiculous view!

Over the water cabana at Thatch Caye, Belize.

Over the water cabana at Thatch Caye, Belize.

May 21, 2015

We hung around Thatch Caye today, went kayaking to some nearby islands and relaxed.  Thatch Caye is powered by wind and solar, which is incredible.  This is very important to me because of the negative impacts the burning of fossil fuels has on fisheries.

Thatch Cay powered by wind and solar.

Thatch Cay powered by wind and solar.

Thatch Cay powered by wind and solar.

Thatch Cay powered by wind and solar.

May 22 & 23, 2015

Over the course of two days I had 11 shots at tailing permit on the flats.  It was an unbelievable experience and an honor to have been guided by Lincoln Westby.  I swear he could see a tailing permit from a mile away.  It was truly impressive!

Blue Horizon founder and legendary guide, Lincoln Westby.

Blue Horizon founder and legendary guide, Lincoln Westby.

Of the 11 shots I had at tailing permit, half of them were good shots and would watch the permit stop, inspect and circle the crab pattern and arrogantly ignore the fly.  Lincoln said they weren’t eating because of the moon phase.  He gave some good advice for my next trip…It is best to start fishing on a full moon and the 3-4 days after because the permit know they are running out time to gorge themselves.

Searching for permit in Belize.

Searching for permit in Belize. Photo Credit: Drebitko Photography.

While I didn’t have any luck with the permit over a day and half of guided fishing, we did manage to find some bonefish.  I hooked up once, but the fly broke off.  

Hooked up on a bonefish. Photo Credit: Drebitko Photography

Hooked up on a bonefish. Photo Credit: Drebitko Photography

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And the bonefish broke off….Photo Credit: Drebitko Photography.

Fly fishing in Belize was a bucket-list trip and although I got skunked, it was an amazing experience.  Everything from exploring new water, targeting a new species (permit) and especially getting to know and fish with Lincoln.  I hope to get back to Belize one of these days and scratch permit off my list.  Until then…I’ll just keep searching!

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