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ci rubberlegs

What to Bring to Belize for fly fishing

We tie most of our own flies, but we have also had good luck with the following patterns:

From Orvis:
Hot Legs Foxy Gotcha
Orange Christmas Island
Bonefish Bitters
Go-to Joe
Adams Norman Crab (either color)
Grand Slam Crab
Avalon Keel Crab 

From SS Flies:

AvalonSS Permit Crabs
Yellow Dog Crab
Spawning Shrimp
Christmas Island Special
SS Bitters
Tarpon Toads 

Most Fly Shops will have their own versions of the Gotcha or Crazy Charlie in cream, tan and pink. Christmas Island Specials are a guides’ favorite on the island. Tarpon Toads are a tarpon standard everywhere. Any small fly with rubber legs and a weed guard can be deadly. It’s good to have a few weedless flies for very shallow water grass flats. It is helpful to have some flies in each weight range, from totally unweighted for very shallow tailing fish, to bead chain, small lead or brass eyes and heavy lead or brass eyes. Belize bonefish usually prefer small flies. I have had days when 10’s were the hot ticket, but most of the time size 8’s are best. 6’s and 4’s can be useful for deeper water fish and for smaller permit.

 Our Minimum Recommendations:

Bonefish

3 – Christmas Island Specials, size 8, (weedless if possible) with small eyes
3 – Christmas Island Specials, size 8  with heavy eyes
3 – Gotcha’s or Crazy Charlies with rubber legs, size 8 in cream or white
3 – bonefish bitters in size 8

 Permit

2 – Long rubber legged yarn crab, size 1 or 2
2 – Avalon size 4
3 – Christmas Island Specials, size 4, with heavy eyes
3 Scrimp in size 6 in tan and pink

Tarpon

2 – Tarpon Toad purple/black,  black/red, tan/brown, all in 1/0
3 – Assorted sized minnow style flies in grey/white, blue/white in 1/0

 Other Fly-fishing equipment:

We like floating saltwater fly lines in sizes 8, 9 and 10, with a long leader and a long fluorocarbon tippet. If you are bringing more than 1 outfit, the best options are a 9 foot for an 8wt for bonefish and a 9 foot for a 9 or 10wt for permit and tarpon. A standard floating line in a neutral color is fine. A clear floating line is my personal choice most of the time. Sinking lines are not needed.

 The guides prefer long tapered leaders. Fluorocarbon works best, but any 12’ plus leader will do. Bring a few in 0x or 1x, with Fluorocarbon tippet spools in 0x, 1x, 2x and one spool of shock tippet in 40 -50 pound.

 Of course, you will also want nippers, forceps and a hook hone.

 For clothing, you will need clothes that dry quickly and are comfortable in hot weather.  Light colors that stay cool and don’t spook fish are important.  A long sleeve fishing shirt and long pants are recommended. A hat with a dark bill that won’t reflect light into your eyes, good polarized sunglasses in amber/brown, a glass cleaning cloth, sunscreen and sun proof lip balm are also vital. These days, everyone wears a buff around their neck to protect from the sun when needed.

 If you plan to do some wading, bring neoprene wading shoes or wading socks with a gravel cuff – any shoe that will keep sand and coral out are nice. Normal wading shoes will work in a pinch. In the boat, a comfortable shoe with no laces to catch fly line is acceptable. Most pros will go barefoot so that they can feel the flyline on the deck and avoid stepping on it. Some people will fish in their socks to avoid burning their feet but still maintain some feel.

 Options might include a waterproof camera, folding stripping basket, a small chest or hip pack, a packable rain jacket and sun gloves or a stripping finger.

 I would also bring some cash for gratuities.

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