Belize Fly Fishing Packages
Belize is one of the best salt water fly fishing destinations in the world thanks to miles of salt water flats, crystal clear water for sight casting, and an abundant population of game fish. In 2008 Belize became the first country in the world to mandate by law the catch and release of all bonefish, permit, and tarpon which means populations are as strong as ever. Poling across the flats in your skiff or wading and stalking your fish, our expert English-speaking guides will put you in casting position time and time again. Whether you are aiming to complete the Inshore Grand Slam or are laser focused on a specific species, we will custom design your fly fishing trip to cater to your experience, target species, and budget. Below are some of our top Belize fly fishing packages to give you ideas for your next fishing vacation. Trust our decades of local expertise and see why nearly 40% of our anglers are repeat & referral guests!
Fly Fishing at El Pescador
Fly Fish Permit Alley
Fish the Turneffe Atoll
Tarpon Caye Lodge
Best of Belize
Grand Slam Placencia
Grand Slam Ambergris Caye
Belize Fly Fishing Info
Belize is Central America’s smallest country and only has 240 miles of Caribbean coastline to enjoy, but yet it is still considered one of the best saltwater fly fishing destinations in the entire world. Despite it’s diminutive stature, Belize was blessed with three of the four atolls in the Western Hemisphere, over 400 island and cayes, the second longest barrier reef in the entire world, and miles and miles of shallow saltwater flats which are home to bonefish, permit, and tarpon all year round.
Best of all, Belize realized what a gift they were given and has done a fantastic job protecting their marine treasures becoming the first country in the world to make into law the catch and release of all bonefish, permit, and tarpon back in 2008. Bonefish are available on a daily basis and few places on Earth can offer as many shots at permit as Belize. Healthy fish populations in combination with the friendly English-speaking locals, expert flats guides and world class fishing lodges & luxury hotels make Belize a fly anglers dream vacation destination. So whether you are after your first bonefish or are gunning for a Grand Slam, Belize has the fish, the habitat, and the guides to make it happen.
All Inclusive Fly Fishing Vacations
Anglers have been traveling to fly fish in Belize for over four decades. Although they had very humble beginnings forty years ago, Belize is home to several world class fly fishing lodges that today feature modern amenities like air conditioned rooms, pools, wifi, and fully equipped tackle shops. If your idea of a dream fishing vacation is to fish every day from 7 AM to 3 PM, trading stories of triumph and heartbreak at the bar over cold Belikin beer or rum drinks, and enjoying big Belizean dinners an all inclusive fishing vacation to one of our leading lodges may be the right fit for you.
You’ll find these lodges scattered throughout Belize as we have options on the mainland, on private cayes so you can fish right in front of your room, and even at an atoll 20 miles out to sea. Each of these lodges have different pros and cons, and more importantly slightly different fisheries, so we’ll help you hand pick the best fit based on your budget, experience, and target species. Our all inclusive fly fishing vacations are great for novices and die-hards alike because we will set you up with a guide to match your personality and experience. Some guides are better teachers and are very calming while others get as frustrated as you when a permit won’t take your fly. Some lodges offer daily casting lessons to make you a better angler while others offer you the opportunity to wade fish on your own before or after your fishing day.
Fly Fishing Day Trips
Belize has so much to offer we can’t blame you if you don’t want to (or aren’t allowed…) to fish every single day you are here. Whether you are exploring Mayan ruins in the jungle, snorkeling or diving along the Mesoamerican Reef, or simply relaxing on the white sand beaches you do not need to stay at a fishing lodge to experience the incredible fly fishing in Belize. Tourism started to boom in Belize in the 2000’s and today it is home to award winning eco-lodges, private villas, and high-end luxury hotels in addition to it’s famous fishing lodges. So whether your reason for visiting Belize is a honeymoon, family vacation, or just a winter getaway we can help you hit the water for a day or two with one of our expert local guides.
The two most popular vacation spots in Belize are Ambergris Caye in the north and Placencia in the south. Today both of these beach towns survive on tourism so you’ll find tons of great options for local restaurants, tour companies, shopping and quality hotels. To be certain, not everyone who owns a boat and speaks English in Belize is a quality guide that will pole you across miles of flats in search of tailing fish for hours on end. It takes serious talent and experience to be one of our guides, so trust our local expertise and know that even if you are only fishing for a day or two from a luxury beach resort you’ll hit the water with a professional guide we know personally.
Where is the Best Fly Fishing in Belize?
Belize is the smallest country in Central America with a coastline that stretches just 240 miles from the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico to the southern border with Guatemala. While their national territory may pale in comparison to our offshore destinations like the Pacific Coast of of Panama or Costa Rica, when you are searching for a tailing bonefish or permit that’s more than enough room to escape your line of sight. The fishing is fantastic all over the country, but it does vary from north to south. Knowing where to go, and why, can be the difference between just an OK trip and the trip of a lifetime. Below are our four favorite fly fishing destinations in Belize:
The shallow waters off of Placencia offer miles and miles of flats perfect for wading and poling while sight casting to tailing fish. This area is referred to as ‘Permit Alley’ as it offers one of the best permit fisheries in the country, if not the world. Nearby lagoons hold snook and tarpon.
2) Ambergris Caye
The most popular vacation destination in Belize offers a 400 sq mile fishery for anglers to enjoy. This area doesn’t have as many saltwater flats as Southern Belize, but instead offers sandy & mud bottoms full of turtle grass, mangroves, and lagoons.
3) Turneffe Atoll
The most remote and exotic fly fishing destinations in Belize. The Turneffe Atoll is located 20 miles off the coast of Belize and measures 30 miles long and 10 miles wide, making it the largest atoll in the Western Hemisphere. An untouched fishery with very little pressure.
4) Punta Gorda
The southernmost city in Belize is the self proclaimed ‘Permit Capital of the World’. While it doesn’t offer as many flats as the Placencia area, there is really only one well-known operation here so fly fishing on the flats and a massive protected lagoon is fantastic.
When is the Best Time to Fly Fish in Belize?
The truth is, there is never a bad time to plan a fly fishing vacation to Belize. Our top fishing lodges have recorded Grand Slams in every month of the year. Located just 17 degrees north of the equator, the temperatures are consistently in the 80’s F throughout the year so there are no major seasonal changes or winter to worry about. With Belize’s perfect habitat of mangroves, lagoons and shallow flats protected by the Mesoamerican Reef, the fish are around all year and are not highly migratory like the offshore species tend to be.
That said, the weather on the Caribbean isn’t perfect all the time so there are some months that are better for fly fishing than others. The high season for tourism in Belize is December through April, but that is mainly due to the fact it’s winter in North America and everyone wants to head somewhere tropical. The fishing is generally very good these months, but cold fronts from the North American winter are also most common during this time. Locally called “northerns“, the weather in Belize turns gray, windy, and rainy for a few days at a time and obviously that makes it hard to spot fish, let alone make your casts. The weather tends to be much better from late March through November, although wind and rain can happen at any time. When it does, we will fish the leeward side of an island or mangrove or spend the day in one of our many lagoons that are generally more protected from the wind.
Bonefish and permit are caught all 12 months of the year in strong numbers in Belize. They will spend more time upon the flats when it’s calm out, but they are always around and don’t travel too far from their home region. Tarpon are found year round in Belize as well, though there is a noticeable uptick in numbers during the great summer migration throughout the Caribbean. This “peak tarpon season” tends to be from April to September every year.
Fly Fishing Species List
Without doubt, the three most sought after fish on our Belize fly fishing packages are bonefish, permit, and tarpon. You of course need all three of them, or a snook, to complete the elusive Inshore Grand Slam. Belize has as many bonefish as it does coconuts, but the permit play much harder to get. Resident tarpon are available throughout the year, but the biggest 100+ lb tarpon are the migratory adults that roll through between April and September every year. Snook are most often found in the lagoons and mangroves, but can be found out at the cayes when the sardines are in thick schools. Whether you want variety or the Grand Slam simply isn’t in the cards, many of our fly anglers have fun with the other species we find on the flats like triggerfish, small jacks, and speedy barracuda.
Fly Fishing Tackle Guide
We strongly encourage you to bring your own fly gear to Belize so that you are familiar with how it feels and casts when you are out on the water. Some of our top lodges and outfitters do provide loaner outfits or full rental gear, but to avoid availability issues or bad fits it is best to travel with your own fly tackle.
Fly Rods: Nine foot fly rods are the standard for flats fishing in Belize. The most common set up is to have an 8 wt for bonefish, 9 wt for permit, and a 10 wt for tarpon. A lighter 7 wt can be a lot of fun for bonefish when conditions are calm, but an 8 wt rod has more muscle to deliver a fly in the wind and quickly tire the fish out. An 8 wt rod could also double as a permit rod in a pinch, but ideally you’ll fish with a larger 9 wt because the permit in Belize can approach 30 lbs and there is no way you want to lose a fish like that! A 10 wt rod is perfect for our resident tarpon that tend to be in the 35-75 lb range. If you are specifically targeting the larger migratory tarpon (May-Sept) an 11-12 wt is recommended as those fish can reach 100-150 lbs.
Fly Reels: We strongly recommend a large arbor, corrosion-resistant saltwater reel that will hold a fly line plus approximately 200 yards of backing. Having a high quality, smooth drag system is essential to prevent break-offs or being spooled by a hooked fish that is running to the deeper channels for safety.
Lines & Leaders: A weight forward floating line is ideal for most of the sight fishing you will be doing on the shallow flats. It’s also a good idea to have an intermediate sinking line when fishing for tarpon and snook in the deeper water of the mangroves and channels.
Flies: We will provide you with a full list of recommended flies for Belize once you book your trip with us. Fly patterns cna vary slightly based on where in Belize you will be fishing.
Additional Items: If you plan to wade fish we highly recommend a quality pair of wading boots or Simms flats sneakers. These need to be firm soled shoes designed for flats wading to keep out the small, sharp pieces of coral you are bound to encounter. Light tennis shoes, sandals, or booties will not work and can put a quick end to your wade fishing. Of course we recommend a light rain jacket for tropical showers, hat, sun lotion, and polarized sun glasses so you can spot your fish.
Belize Fly Fishing Lodges & Accommodations
Anglers have been traveling to Belize to fly fish the flats for decades. In fact, two of our most popular lodges, El Pescador and Turneffe Flats, can trace their humble beginnings in Belize back over 40 years! They’ve both come a long way since their days of no-electricity, today boasting air conditioned rooms, private baths with hot water showers, pools, and of course wifi to keep you connected. The fly fishing in Belize has become so world-renowned many more operations have been built over the years and today there are several quality fly fishing lodges throughout the entire country.
Belize is of course wildly popular among divers and regular vacationers as well, so the tourism industry has boomed and today there are accommodations to fit almost any travel style and budget. If staying at a fishing lodge isn’t your idea of a dream vacation to Belize we can choose between exclusive boutique hotels, luxury beach resorts, and private villas and condos. We even have several luxury properties that are located on private islands! As a luxury vacation outfitter, we only work with the nicest 3, 4, and 5-star operations that meet our expectations for quality, reliability, and service. Being local experts, we have personally visited every single property we represent so we’ll use our personal experience to hand pick the perfect fit for your group.
Belize Day Tours & Excursions
Our Belize fly fishing packages don’t need to be all fishing, all the time. While in Belize we can have you visit Mayan ruins, explore caves, hike into the rain forest in search of incredible wildlife, rapel down waterfalls, and of course snorkeling and diving along the famous Mesoamerican Reef. Whether it’s an off day from fishing or for the non-anglers in your group, Belize offers a host of eco and adventure tours to enjoy. We can also customize your Belize fishing vacation to spend a few nights in different locations so you can see all that Belize has to offer. The list of non-fishing activities includes:
- Mayan Ruins
- Cave Explorations
- Cave Tubing
- Horseback Riding
- Canopy zip-line tour
- Waterfall Rappelling
- Guided tours of national parks
- Bird Watching
- Catamaran cruises
- Manatee watching
- Chocolate making
- Cultural Immersion & cooking classes
Belize Fly Fishing FAQs
Do I need a fishing license to fish in Belize?
YES. All anglers between the ages of 16-65 need a fishing license to fish in Belize. These are sold by the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI). A one day license can be bought for $20 BZ ($10 USD), a one week license for $50 BZ ($25 USD). Many of our fly fishing lodges will include that in your package
Do I need to bring my own fly fishing gear?
We highly recommend that all of our fly anglers bring their own tackle. This helps so that when the moment arrives you are familiar with your rod and how it casts. We will send you a fly fishing checklist after you book your trip with us so you know what size rods, fly patterns, leaders and tippet you’ll need.
For the anglers who don’t want to travel with their fly tackle or don’t have everything on the suggested list, some of our fly fishing lodges and day charters offer loaner rods or full tackle that you can rent by the day. Some of our top lodges even have fly shops to buy items you forgot like extra leader, tippet, sunscreen, and local fly patterns that are proven to work. We will custom design your trip to make sure you are fishing with the right operation if this is the case.
How long is a typical day fly fishing in Belize?
Most fly fishing operations in Belize prefer to leave the dock by 7:00 AM and have you back between 3-4 PM. This gives you the opportunity to fish two tide changes most days, which can be the key to getting the fish to bite. Breakfast will be served at your lodge or hotel and then you’ll enjoy a boat lunch somewhere beautiful among Belize’s 400 different cayes!
What if there is bad weather on our fishing day?
This is a question that is asked frequently about our Belize fishing packages. The weather in Belize is unpredictable and changes quickly. Every month of the year has gorgeous days and throwaway days, that’s just life on the Caribbean. That said, some months of the year have a history of better weather than others, so we will plan your trip to give you the best shot at having an unforgettable trip.
If your flats guide, the fishing lodge, or government deem the conditions unsafe the trip will be cancelled. The first course of action is to try and reschedule you, but if that is not possible you will be refunded in full. Keep in mind that rain and dark clouds are not considered bad weather, that can be a daily occurrence in Belize followed by hot and sunny weather! Even if there is rain and windy, most locations we fly fish in Belize offer protected lagoons or mangroves on the leeward side of an island that we can fish. We can’t contorl the weather, but we can make the most of what Mother Nature gives us to work with!
How many people will be on my fishing boat?
All fly fishing charters booked by Central America Fishing are private, so the boat is 100% yours. We do not set up any shared charters. Fly fishing skiffs prefer to fish a max two per boat.
What is the standard tip for a fishing charter in Belize?
A standard tip for a fly fishing guide in Belize is $50-$100 USD per day. Tipping in USD or Belize dollar (BZ) is fine. You can tip at the end of each day or give one big tip on your final day as you will fish with the same guide all week.
All Belize Fly Fishing Packages booked with Central America Fishing include the following:
- Free Vacation Planning (no fees + direct rates)
- Meet & Greet upon exiting the BZE Airport
- Private, air-conditioned transfers with English speaking driver.
- All in-country domestic flights
- Luxury accommodations in your choice of all inclusive fly fishing lodge, luxury beach resort, or a boutique hotel.
- Private fishing charters
- Day tours & excursions
- All Belizean taxes and service fees
- Free quotes on travel insurance
- Pre-arrival assistance with dinner reservations, tee times, pre-stocking your condo or villa, hiring a private chef, and special requests.
- 24/7 support once you are here in country