Belize isn’t a big country. But in the eyes of the saltwater fly fisherman it is huge.
The coastline of this Caribbean nation stretches a mere 240 miles. The world’s second largest barrier reef is a short boat ride from the mainland, providing protection for the nearly 1,000 square miles of pristine flats home to a year-round venue of fly fishing opportunities. The waters of Belize abound with aquatic life, from manatees and dolphins to persnickety permit, acrobatic tarpon, and lightning-fast bonefish.
Vic Barothy put Belize on the fishing map in the early 1960’s. Barothy was already notorious for his houseboat bonefishing trips in Isles of the Pines, Cuba, which then held every world record bonefish. When Fidel took power on New Year’s Day of 1959, Vic and his wife, Betty (a former silent movie star), loaded two cruisers with whatever valuable possessions they could get on board. Late that night, each took a helm and the two of them sailed for what was then British Honduras, towing all their skiffs and and a group of loyal Cuban guides.
There is something for everyone in Belize, and a collection of some of the most well-organized, professional lodges, guides, and fishing operations in the Caribbean. Each lodge has its own unique character. Some offer high-end services ranging from five-star culinary experiences, while others are remote fishing camps with an emphasis on dawn-to-dark fishing. And, quite literally, everything in between. Some lodges specialize in a particular species, while others excel at targeting all that Belize have to offer. Some are hard-core fishing camps, while others offer incredible non-angling and eco-tour opportunities, even Scuba diving along the Barrier Reef.