When someone says Belize many things tend to come to mind:
- Beautiful Island Living
- White Sandy Beaches
- Friendly, English Speaking People
But, when a fly fisherman hears someone say Belize they think of the Beautiful White Sandy Beaches with Friendly, English Speaking People but they also are thinking:
- Crystal Clear Water Covering Belize Coral Flats
- Huge Fly Crushing Permit
- Energetic Bonefish Spooling Your Reel
- Making Fishing Memories That Will Last A Lifetime
If you are looking for a Belize Fly Fishing Lodge the general destination is the same as a traditional Belize Fishing Lodge, but the activities and expectations are much different. That is why there are Belize Vacation Resorts and there are Belize Fly Fishing Lodges.
Don’t Confuse A Belize Vacation Resort That Offers Fishing With A True Belize Fly Fishing Lodge
There Is A Big Difference!
If you are a true Fly Fishermen you want to be with people that understand the difference between a SS Merkin Crab and a Black Death Fly and most importantly which fish is attracted to which.
A true Belize Fly Fishing Lodge immerses its guests in an environment that is focused on the lifestyle of fly fishing. Sure, they may have a pool or hot tub to relax in after an exciting day on the flats, they should even have a professional chef preparing their meals, but there should also be a fully furnished fly shop, fly tying stations, and expert fly fishing guides and management to help them hone their knowledge and skills.
In General What Makes A Great Belize Fly Fishing Lodge is: They Focus on Fly Fishing in Everything That They Do
- Offer Professional Fly Fishing Guides With Years of Local Experience
- Their Owners Have A Love For Fly Fishing
- Offer The Best Equipment Including Fly Rods / Fly Reels / Flats Boats
- Close Abundance of Fish and a Focus On the preservation of the Sport and Fish
What You Will Find At The Best Fly Fishing Lodges In Belize
- Commitment to the Community – they respect Belize and what it offers
- Comfortable Choices of Accommodations – private & semi private rooms etc to relax in
- Experienced Chef and Kitchen Staff – knows both local and international cuisines
- Helpful and Friendly Housekeeping Staff – willing to go the extra mile
- Questions You Need To Ask Fly Fishing Lodges You Are Considering
- How close are you to the fishing grounds?
- Is the Lodge Easy to get too?
- Is there an opportunity to explore the area?
- Staff – Is there a consistency in staff from year to year
The Premier Belize Fly Fishing Lodges Offer This And More
The Very Best Fly Fishing Lodges in Belize put their best foot forward from the initial contact. They know that you have questions that need to be answered truthfully before you are willing to commit your time and money to come and stay with them.
They understand that you have a choice and want to make sure that your expectations and what the lodge offers is a match.
When some people hear the term Fly Fishing Lodge they automatically think “expensive”. Yes, there are Fly Fishing Lodges that focus on serving the elite but there are others who provide the same experiences, minus for example the private helicopters to get you to and from the fishing grounds, no joke there are lodges all over the world that offer these services. Many fishermen mistake price for value, and have found out later that they could have spent a lot less money for the same, if not better experience.
Use the internet to help you find the right lodge, but do not use it as your only source of information. A few thousand dollars invested in a website can paint a totally different picture than what you will experience.
Fishermen Reviews Are Key
Review websites like Tripadvisor, Yelp, Fishing Booker, etc can help but you need to remember that these sites are also in the business of selling advertising for fishing trips.
The best and most unbiased review site is Google Business Pages. You find Google Business Pages under the maps section when doing a Google Search. You can also find them by going to Googlemaps.com and type in the lodge name in the search bar titled “Find A Place”.
Once the lodge listing comes up take notice of the average number of stars and the (counter) number to the right of it. This counter tells you how many people have left reviews. A lodge with only 5 reviews and an average ranking of 4 stars is most likely much different than a lodge with 30 reviews and 4 stars.
You Are Looking For A High Number of Reviews with A High Average Ranking …. An average of 4.5 stars to 5 stars is what you are looking for
Another good way of checking out the credentials of a Fly Fishing Lodge in Belize is to see who they have endorsements from or are recommended by.
For instance Cabelas publishes their top ten recommended lodges annually. These are places that they have visited and assessed to see if they meet their standards. Many other tackle manufacturers and suppliers have other such programs.
Don’t be fooled by the term ProStaff. You will hear that used a lot in the industry: “Yes, we are on the Shimano ProStaff”. Etc. The word “Pro” as used in the phrase “ProStaff” refers to a fisherman who has agreed to Promote a company’s products. In many cases it has nothing to do with being a Professional Fisherman or Fishing Guide.
So With All This Information How Do I Pick The Right Fly Fishing Lodge?
After you have done your due diligence it basically comes down to which lodge you feel will best suit your needs and budget. If you have been to fly fishing lodges in the past rely on what your gut is telling you. If you have a funny feeling, or don’t have the answers to all your questions then don’t hesitate calling the appropriate lodges again and share with them your questions and concerns.
A word of caution about your “Trip of a Lifetime”. I can’t count the number of people that have said to me that they are planning their trip of a lifetime only to have such a memorable experience that they return annually to the same lodge over and over. More times than not, fishermen become friends with the owner and staff and consider them family even after the first trip. If you find your fishing Mecca then don’t hesitate returning to build on the memories you created the trip or trips before.
Enjoy the search and give yourself enough time to make the right decision. Don’t forget your spouse and/or fishing buddy. They can help you with the decision and you both will enjoy the process.