Any angler worth his or her saltwater fly rod already knows that Belize is a world-class fishing destination. Fly-fishing on the flats for permit, tarpon, and bonefish is the main draw, and the fish are excellent all up and down the coast and on the saltwater flats the length of the barrier reef. Bonefish- and permit-fishing is good year-round, while tarpon are best sought from April to November, with July and August being the best months. The southern zone around Punta Gorda and Placencia is prime fishing grounds for permit, while the coastal mangroves and rivers are excellent spots to land lively snook.
Just beyond the barrier reef, anglers can land snapper, barracuda, jack, and grouper, while those who head further out can stalk sailfish and marlin.
By Belizean law any angler over the age of 16 must have a license. Most operators can help you obtain one; or you can go directly to the Ministry of Agriculture's Fisheries Department at www.agriculture.gov.bz.
Action Belize (tel. 888/383-6319 in the U.S., or 223-2987 in Belize; www.actionbelize.com) is a Belize City-based operation offering a vast array of package and custom tour options. They are especially good with fishing itineraries, and even have their own boats and captains. A 7-day/6-night trip with 4 full days of fishing costs US$1,896 per person, double occupancy. A full day of fishing starts at US$150 per person for cruise-ship passengers and independent travelers.
Cayo Frances Farm & Fly (tel. 610-3841, www.belizeflyfishcamp.com) is a remote, rustic camp on the leeward side of northern Ambergris Caye. Surrounding by still, clear water, it’s perfect for practicing and perfecting the art of fly fishing.
Copal Tree Lodge (tel. 844/238-0216; www.copaltreelodge.com) is by far the most luxurious lodge that accommodatesfisherman. Permit is the prime game sought here, and the hotel’s guides are some of the best in the area.
El Pescador (Ambergris Caye; tel. 800/242-2017 in the U.S. and Canada, or 226-2398; www.elpescador.com) is a luxury lodge on the northern end of Ambergris Caye, specializing in fishing packages. They have excellent guides and boats.
Turneffe Flats (Turneffe Island Atoll; tel. 888/512-8812 in the U.S.; www.tflats.com) is a beautiful fishing lodge with a privileged position right on the ring of the Turneffe Island Atoll and its extensive mid-ocean lagoon and open-water flats.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.