DESTINATION BELIZE!

Whether or not you agree that global warming is starting to have an impact on our climate there can be little doubt that increasingly normal, seasonable global weather patterns are becoming more unpredictable. From my own observations travelling and fishing around the world I would say that unseasonably strong winds are becoming a problem, along with an almost complete reversal of wet and dry seasons at some tropical locations.

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Andrew Leaves casting a fly for tarpon & snook at Money River, Belize, under the watchful eye of George Garbutt.

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A stunning snook.

I have just returned from my annual trip to Belize, a much anticipated trip to one of the worlds truly great flats fishing destinations where we target tarpon, bonefish, permit and snook. Typically May is an especially hot month with generally light winds and little if any rain, but this was far from the case this year. On several days strong wind meant we were unable to reach our favourite offshore cayes and flats, and when we did get out heavy cloud cover often made effective sight fishing at best problematic. We also experienced several exceptionally heavy rain showers. All in all the weather was more what you would expect in November, rather than May.

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The eyes of a great guide; priceless!

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Bonefish selfie!

That said we fished hard every day, and during our six days fishing we steadily amassed a decent enough tally of fish. May marks the end of the main flats fishing season in Belize, by which time most of the well known areas will have been given an almost daily pounding with fly rods. Consequently the bonefish at this time of the year are at best ‘spooky,’ and some fish can be bordering on the uncatchable.DSCN4719

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I never tire of catching bonefish on fly.

A few years back I tied a rather nondescript tan fly, a subtle variation of the Crazy Charlie, which I found worked especially well for hard fished bonefish in The Cayman Islands. Thankfully one of our group, Del Elliot, had packed a few of these flies, which I named ‘Pretty Alison’s’, and when he tried them experienced instant success.

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The Pretty Alison!

They were tied on a size 6 or 4 hook with a body and tail consisting of peacock hearl, a clear rib as with the classic Charlie pattern, and a sparse wing of tan calf tail. I tie Pretty Alison’s both with and without bead eyes, and on this trip those flies without eyes, the skinny water version, seemed to work best. My assumption is that the fish had become wary of flies displaying too much flash?

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My great friend and outstanding guide George Garbutt, loving his new Costa’s!

The snook fishing we experienced in the rivers was very good, and we had great sport with these and baby tarpon using flies such as the ever successful Clouser Minnows and large surface poppers. We caught several rarely seen swordspine snook on fly, a first for me. Permit were present in decent numbers on most flats, offshore and inshore, and we had plenty of solid shots at tailing fish, but no eats on fly; nothing unusual there!

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One of several rarely seen swordspine snook we caught on fly.

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Snook selfie!

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Large popper, small snook!

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My Clouser got chewed!

Tarpon fishing this time last year was exceptional, this year it was extremely tough. Plenty of fish were around, perhaps not as many as usual, but those tarpon we cast to were extremely reluctant to eat a fly. The guides were convinced that the unsettled weather we were experiencing caused by the passing of a near continual succession of low pressure systems had put the fish off the feed, and from previous experience I feel this is highly likely.

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Andrew Leaves working a likely spot for snook.

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Thats a better fish!

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A very nice fly caught snook for Andrew.

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And one on a lure for Dave Brady.

Several of our group were happy to fish bait and lures, and when doing so they did catch large numbers of fish including bonefish, permit, big jacks, barracuda, snapper along with a multitude of other species.

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Dave Brady & Terry Thomas fishing Monkey River.

I have now fished in Belize on 6 occasions, three times in May, and three times at the very start of the season in November. In November we typically experience a day or two disruption due to weather, but on those days when we do manage to get offshore to fish the flats and reefs the bone fishing in particular has been nothing short of incredible, and we have always seen a lot of permit. At this time of the year inshore there are plenty of snook and small tarpon throughout the jungle rivers and mangrove systems along the mainland, so we expect to fish, and catch fish, every day.

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Tools of the trade!

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Do you think Andrew Likes A.F.T.C.O. product? 10 out of 10 for colour coordination!

After discussing next years trip with our guides we have made the decision to schedule next years trip in November. Certainly we will be extremely unlucky if the weather impacts upon this trip more than it did this year, but we know that on those days when the sun does shine down from a clear blue sky and the flats are ruffled with a gentle 5-15mph north-easterly breeze, we can expect plenty of shots at tailing fish resulting in bent rods and screaming reels!

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“Yeah Mon!” I always look forward to fishing with George Garbutt, you’ll find him on Face Book.

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Well protected from the sun, and bugs!

Already I have several names confirmed for this trip, along with our return to Puerto Rica for tarpon, most likely in May. If you are interested in either of these trips contact Anglers World Holidays on Tel: 01246 221717 or visit: http://anglersworld.tv

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Tough work, but someones got to do it!

ENDS:

DESTINATION MEXICO!

This year was the forth in a row I have fished the stunning expanse of flats and mangrove islands found throughout the Sian Ka’an Biosphere on the Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. Once again the fishing was excellent though at times conditions were challenging, with a constant strong to very strong north easterly wind making accurate casting tough, and occasional clouds blocking good light to spot fish.

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One of my favourite species of fish, bonefish!

However such is the dynamic of the area with it’s hard white sand flats along with plenty of opportunities for  finding a lee shore behind which to cast when the wind was gusting at its strongest, you are always going to get shots at fish.

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Eduardo Gomez looking for fish at Sian Ka’an.

When it comes to sight fishing for bonefish in skinny water The Yucatan must rank as one of the worlds great fly fisheries with plenty of bonefish, along with permit, tarpon, snook and jacks. The bonefish are typically small to medium size fish averaging around 2-3lb, but you will get daily shots at larger fish. Usually you’ll be casting at individual fish or small groups consisting of just two or three, occasionally more, so a reasonably accurate cast is necessary, which is precisely why so many anglers love sight fishing tropical flats.

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Eduardo with a great bone!

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And another one…

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Eduardo with one of several jack caught on fly, these guys pull!

I fished a total of four full days with my good friend Eduardo Gomez. Eduardo is based at Boca Paila at the once famous though sadly now deserted Boca Paila Lodge. He has fished the area for 45 years so yes, he knows it like the back of his hand. Regardless of the state or size of tide, current angle of light or strength of wind, Eduardo will always find you a fish to cast your fly at.

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One of my home tied Gotcha variants. I include rubber Sili Legs to add some movement, and small Hareline Dubbin Inc. Pseudo Eyes to sink the fly quickly in front of fast cruising fish.

We saw permit on each day and I got several good shots at fish, with predictable results. On the last day we found a small permit feeding alongside a few bonefish in a sheltered bay, but despite looking at my Gotcha variant fly once or twice it refused to eat. I quickly changed to a small brown crab that produced a similar result. With the fish still hanging around and displaying a confidence that is totally unusual for the species, I changed the fly again, this time to a small white, swimming crab. First cast and the permit was confidently swimming over to investigate the fly when a group of small perch, a type of mojara, mobbed the fly and spoiled the presentation.

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You’ve never got enough bonefish flies! My go to box plus my favourite Thomas & Thomas Horizon 8wt, Tibor Everglades bonefish outfit.

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One of the bonefish I caught during the trip.

I cast again, and once again the permit responded and this time it beat the greedy perch to the fly, and inhaled it. I stripped the line tight and set the hook into what should have been my second permit on fly, but the 12lb tippet snapped like cotton. When I reeled in to inspect the tippet I discovered the last inch of line had been trashed by the small sharp teeth of those perch just the cast before. My next trip is to Belize in a few weeks time, a destination where I know I’ll get more shots at permit; in between targeting tarpon!

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Lunch was great!

You can contact Eduardo Gomez via his son Nestor on email at: monsrealcr7@gmail.com Boca Paila is a short drive south of Tulum, which is under an hours drive south from Playa Del Carmen and under two hours from resorts nearer Cancun, so this is a great opportunity for indulging in a days fish during a family holiday to these popular destinations. There are many excellent small boutique hotels and guest houses at Tulum, along with many great restaurants. We stay at The Hip Hotel, two minutes from the entrance to Sian Ka’an. http://www.hiphoteltulum.com

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Cenote diving, the perfect way to clear your head after a heavy night sampling local tequila! Yes, that’s me!!!

DESTINATION ARGENTINA!

I have just returned from my second trip fishing for freshwater dorado in northern Argentina. Several years had passed since my previous trip, which at the time I thought would have been a one off. Well finally the lure of outstanding Argentinian steaks washed down by copious quantities of robust Malbec wine, a near perfect climate with mostly hot and sunny days followed by cool evenings and, of course, the most amazing fishing had proved too much.

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ARGENTINA IS HOME TO THE SEDUCTIVE TANGO

Our group of eight had flown direct with British Airways to Buenos Airways from London Heathrow, where we had spent two full days enjoying and relaxing in this wonderful city, before taking an overnight coach to San Isoro. It’s a ten hour trip, but the coaches are superb featuring airline business class style seating, food and drink served on board and, of course, toilet facilities. Arriving around six at a dusty roadside halt, we were met and transported the short distance to our base for the week Dorado Cuá Lodge; just in time for breakfast, followed by a full mornings fishing.

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FRESHWATER DORADO, UNDOUBTEDLY ONE OF THE WORLDS GREAT SPECIES OF GAME FISH.

Located in Corrientes Province, gaucho country, right in the heart of the Iberian Wetlands, the area around the lodge consists of a vast complex of shallow lagoons, all of which are interconnected by a couple of small rivers along with countless miles of narrow, reed fringed channels. During my previous visit the water throughout the entire system had been crystal clear, but stepping aboard my boat that first morning I quickly noted it was heavily coloured, which I was told was the result of heavy rain the previous weeks. Thankfully this had not seriously affected the fishing.

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MY GUIDE, ALFREDO, HOLDS ONE OF MANY FISH WE CAUGHT ON FLY.

This trip I had decided I would concentrate exclusively on fly fishing, and when I hooked and landed a modest dorado on my very first cast of the trip, any doubts that I might have had about not packing a spinning outfit were soon forgotten. Once again the fishing we experienced was excellent. On the second day I hooked a monster dorado, a fish of at least 12-14lb,possibly bigger,  but the boats landing was more appropriate for securing a 2lb grayling on the Derbyshire Dove rather than a toothy South American predator weighing well into double figures. Three times Alfredo, my guide, had the leader secure in his hand, the big fish thrashing alongside the boat, until the inevitable happened and the fish spat the hook depriving me of the photo of a fish of a lifetime. The solid estimated 9lb+ fish I caught just an hour or two later was some consolation for that lost opportunity.

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ALMOST 10lb OF PURE ARGENTINIAN GOLD!

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ANDREW LEAVES WITH AN 8LB DORADO

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Dr JOHN SHERVINGTON WITH A GREAT FISH!

During the week everyone caught dorado, with most of the group catching very good fish in the region of 8-10lb, along with several other much bigger fish lost for various reasons that included straightened hooks and snapped lines. Aside from dorado, this trip we caught a lot of different species including both golden and black piranha, red tailed barracuda, a fish called a ‘boga’ that looks like a cross between a carp and and mullet, catfish, and several others I have yet to identify, but all of which had teeth.

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ANDREW LEAVES WITH A CARP/MULLET CROSS CALLED A ‘BOGA’

The ideal outfit is a 9-10wt fly rod, which is necessary to cast the big flies you need, most of which feature heavy lead eyes. Not surprisingly in the coloured water dark flies worked best, especially those with lots of black and purple. For obvious reasons, a short wire leader is essential. Take plenty of flies, you’ll need them, most last no more than two or three strikes before they are stripped back to just the bare hook!

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WATCH YOUR FINGERS!

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FISH ON! ANDREW LEAVES SETS THE HOOK ON YET ANOTHER DORADO

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THERE’S A GAUCHO IN MY SWIM!

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DORADO FLY BEFORE USE.

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DORADO FLY BOTH BEFORE AND AFTER USE!

My trip was arranged by Anglers World Holidays, whom you can contact on Tel: 01246 221717 or visit: http://anglersworld.tv I am planning a return trip most likely in about two years time, by which time I should just about have finished digesting the huge amount of steak I consumed last week! Get in touch with me or Anglers World Holidays if you think you might be interested in joining us…

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SEE YOU NEXT TIME!

DESTINATION PUERTO RICO!

What an amazing sport fishing destination Puerto Rico is! I have just returned from my first, and certainly not last, visit to this historic and immensely beautiful Caribbean island, which I am certain ranks as being both the closest and the best value tarpon and snook fishery anywhere for British anglers.

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Andrew Leaves and Terry Thomas working their fly rods along a productive mangrove edge in one of the lagoons.

I first heard about the Tarpon Nest Lodge and their sister company Caribbean Fishing Adventures through my good friend Doug Olander, editor of US based Sport Fishing Magazine http://www.sportfishingmag.com. Doug has fished here on several occasions, and based on his solid and always reliable recommendation I eagerly organised the first group of visiting British anglers; and what a week we had!

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The closest mark, just two minutes from the lodge, is located at the end of the airport runway!

Let me start off by listing just a few positives about choosing Puerto Rico as a destination. Firstly British anglers now have a direct flight into San Juan from London Gatwick. This flight is not only around an hour shorter than flights to Miami, but also it is considerably cheaper. Progress through customs and baggage reclaim on arrival at San Juan was seamless, and the lodge is located less than 15 minute drive from the terminal building.

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Capt. Angel Muntaner hold one of many small to medium size tarpon we caught during our week.

All guests at The Tarpons Nest get a single room. The boats are located right at the lodge, and are operated by first class, highly experienced English speaking guides. The closest areas we fished were less than a two minute run from the lodge dock, pretty much at the end of the airport runway! Finally, within a five minute walk you have a great selection of local bars and eating establishments where on some nights we ate truly tremendous, freshly cooked food for less than $5 per person, yes you did read correctly, less than $5 per person!

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One of many fly caught snook I landed during the week.

The fishing is almost exclusively for tarpon and snook, fly, lure or bait. Occasionally jacks and snapper make an appearance, and if you venture out into the open ocean you can add a few other species. You fish within an extensive and very sheltered system of inter-connected tidal lagoons and mangrove channels that both fringe and extend to well within the urban environment of the city itself, creating a truly unique and varied fishery. One minute you are watching an iguana basking in the sunshine from its precarious perch on a mangrove tree, the next you are ducking your head as you pass under a low road bridge next to Burger King, with police sirens wailing above you. If you need fresh baits, there are plenty of locals throwing casting nets who are more than happy to supply live perch.

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Strip, strip, strip…SET!

Our group concentrated mostly on fly fishing, and both tarpon and snook were caught on fly every day we fished. During the week everyone caught several tarpon on fly. Nowhere have I seen more snook, during the trip catching upwards of a dozen fish in the 1-3lb range per session on fly was a formality and much bigger fish are present, a few were hooked and lost.

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Small tarpon are a lot of fun on a fly rod!

Tarpon are the main attraction here for most visiting anglers and there were tarpon everywhere, frequently rolling seductively on the surface. Most fish we encountered were in the 3-10lb range, perfect 8wt fly rod size fish, but we all hooked much bigger fish in the 20-60lb range, some of which were landed successfully with others lost, so be sure to pack a 10wt. My best fly caught tarpon was a modest 40lb fish that engulfed my home tied EP Minnow fly in an explosive take, before cartwheeling around around the lagoon in an impressive series of head sharking jumps. During the week the biggest caught on fly was a solid 50-60lb fish landed by my good friend Andrew Leaves. The biggest fish caught on bait was an estimated 120lb specimen landed by Harmohan Khanna, and each day we saw numerous much bigger fish.

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Duck or Grouse!

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Andrew Leaves with an estimated 50-60lb fly caught tarpon, I think he is pleased with his fish!

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Capt. Angel Muntaner and Harmohan Khanna with a solid 20lb fly caught tarpon.

The fishing day is split into two 4-hour sessions, organised to coincide with prime bite times at dawn and dusk. The morning session is 0600- 1000, followed by a swim, an early lunch and siesta in your private air conditioned room, before heading back out at 1430 to fish until 1830. Thats an 8-hour day, during which I estimate you actually get to fish a minimum of 7-hours, possibly more.

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One of my home tied EP Minnow that were very successful during the trip.

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I don’t think he is quite ready yet Capt. Angel!

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Puerto Rican bait shop.

Fishing aside Puerto Rico has much to offer the general tourist, with beautiful beaches, rain forests, numerous historic and natural sites and attractions, including the spectacular ‘Old San Juan’ town. You’ll find great shopping in several enormous American style indoor malls, making it the perfect location for non-fishing partners. On this trip I spent 10-days on vacation with my wife, then she flew home on the flight the group I hosted arrived.

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You can never be sure whom you might bump into in Old San Juan!

Trips to Puerto Rico to fish with Caribbean Fishing Adventures based at The Tarpons Nest are now arranged in the UK by Anglers World Holidays. For more details Tel: 01246 221717 or visit: http://anglersworld.tv During this trip we shot a video, for which I will include a link as soon as it has been edited. Click here to watch the video!: http://anglersworld.tv/sea-fishing/puerto-rico/

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My favourite Abel Super 9 reel and Thomas & Thomas 10wt rod, rigged with a purple cockroach; a classic tarpon fly.

Since its launch in August sales of my latest book, Destination Angler, have been incredible, with around 250 of the first edition of just 350 signed, numbered hardback copies already gone. If you would like a copy get in touch by email, david.lewis21@hotmail.com it would make a great Christmas present for anyone with aspirations to fish in far flung places!DAVE LEWIS DUSTJACKET 1DAVE LEWIS DUSTJACKET 2

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE!

I love fishing in Central America, especially in Nicaragua, and especially at the magnificent Rio Indio Lodge, where I was based last week with a group of 8 friends. Statistically we had booked the very best week of the fall tarpon run and should have had numerous shots at big fish each day, but unfortunately hurricane Matthew put the spoiler on that. At one stage this intense low pressure system was based just 300 miles to the east of us, off the coast of Venezuela, and while we experienced mostly bright and sunny weather with very little wind, the ground swell was enormous. This and and the very air low pressure clearly affected the fishing in the ocean.

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Jungle fishing!

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Paul Bowen and Phil Byrne fishing for bass

Several tarpon were caught and several others were lost, I managed a beautiful fish estimated at 130lb on the last day, which made my trip.

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Hook up!

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A very nice last day fish.

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Rosendo, my guide for the week, holds my fish prior to release

The beauty with a trip based at Rio Indio Lodge is that when the ocean is inaccessible you can alway fish within the jungle, which is an amazing experience. The very best months for this are February through April, the end of the dry season when the water levels within the jungle are at their lowest. October is the end of the wet season and far from ideal for targeting most jungle species, but the guides do know several areas that can and do produce fish in high water conditions, and that’s where we fished.

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Access to some of the more remote lagoons can be an issue, requiring attention with a machete!

On one or two days we enjoyed excellent fishing amidst pristine jungle, in areas rarely if ever visited. We caught some great rainbow bass, aka guapote. One day myself and boat partner Andrew Leaves boated 17, including many over 4lb, the biggest probably close to 6lb.

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Andrew with a fine rainbow bass.

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And another one…

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One of 17 rainbow bass all caught during one day lure fishing.

In addition to rainbow bass most days produced a few high jumping machaca and colourful mojara, along with one or two snook and a few other species, all of which fight hard when hooked on lures using light tackle.

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A nice lure caught machaca, think chub with teeth!

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One of several lure caught mojara.

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Spinner baits such as this are perfect for most jungle species, and are very effective in thick cover as they are virtually snag free when fished amidst dense cover.

The lodge itself was, as always, truly outstanding with first class accommodation and amazing food, not to mention a free rum bar stocked with my favourite Flor de Cana 7-year rum. This was my 6th trip to Nicaragua, my 4th to Rio Indio Lodge, and I know just how good the tarpon fishing can be in what is now officially Central America’s safest country. I am already looking forward to my next trip there.

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A trio of white faced monkeys, common in the area we fished along with howler and spider monkeys.

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Thats lunch sorted!

Nicaragua is featured in my new book, Destination Angler, get in touch if you would like to order a copy. For more information on fishing here visit http://therioindiolodge.com Trips can be booked through Anglers World Holidays Tel: 01246 221717 or visit: http://anglersworld.tv All of my scheduled group trips for 2017 are now fully booked, and we are starting to plan group trips for 2018. These will certainly include several destinations throughout Central America, get in touch if you would like to join us.DAVE LEWIS DUSTJACKET 1DAVE LEWIS DUSTJACKET 2

DESTINATION OUTER MONGOLIA!

Towards the end of last year I was offered the opportunity to host a small group consisting of just myself and four other anglers on an exploratory trip to fish a remote river in central Mongolia. The iconic taiman that country is most famous for were not present in this particular river, I was told, we would be fishing for lenok trout and the huge numbers of Mongolian grayling that were. I love fly fishing for trout and grayling and being in a part of the world I had never visited I jumped at the opportunity.

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One of many lenok trout caught during the trip.

The trip was grueling, to say the least. A four hour flight from London Heathrow to Istanbul for a six hour lay over, followed by another four hour flight to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, with time for a couple of much needed cold beers-don’t ask me what they were called! Next came a third near six hour flight to Ulan Bator, capital of Mongolia, for an overnight stop over at a city centre hotel.

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The impressive parliament building in central Ulan Bator.

The following morning we set off on an 11 hour drive in 4 x 4 vehicles, the first 6 hours on open roads through some of the most desolate and sparsely inhabited terrain I have ever experienced. The last five hours of our adventure involved an arduous off road drive though wild and mountainous countryside, and when I say off road I mean OFF road! We had to ford numerous rivers, the water often lapping above the door cills, and covered vast tracks of ground through which we had to inch our way at painfully slow, back jarring speeds in the lowest gears. When we got to the camp that evening we were all eternally thankful we had thought to bring a bottle or two of our favourite tipple; they were much needed!

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We started with a long 6 hour drive through remote and sparsely populate wilderness…

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Followed by 5 hours of extreme off road driving.

If we had thought the previous days off road experience had been extreme, the following morning we were in for a something of a shock. The trip to the river and back involved a one hour trek in a battered old ex-soviet 4×4 minibus, which transported us through vast boulder fields, over steep and hilly ground and though fast flowing rivers; that a mini bus could make such a journey simply defied belief.

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The ex-Soviet 4×4 mini bus that took us to the river each day.

Finally two days after setting off from home I pulled on a set of chest waders, rigged up my 5wt fly road, tied on a bushy floating hopper fly and stepped into a freezing, crystal clear river in the heart of central Asia; and started catching fish.

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One of countless grayling I caught during the trip.

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And another one, note the deer hair hopper fly.

The fishing was outstanding. Most days we could catch as many grayling as we wanted, I averaged between 30-50 fish a day, along with good numbers of lenok. As the days unfolded we got to learn the most productive spots throughout the river to target lenok, as well as the fact that by using a seriously huge foam bodied hopper fly that the grayling could not eat, we could more effectively target this most unique species of trout.

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A large foam bodied hopper fly, very effective for lenok.

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Jeff Smith holds a very nice lenok.

We got to visit several family groups of nomadic yak herders, who invariably invited us into their Yurts for a cup of warm yak milk, a taste of warm yak butter, a nibble at a hard piece of yak cheese that was invariably washed down by a blood warming glass of yak vodka; yes, yak vodka. Back at our camp we stayed in identical yurts that were basic in the extreme yet entirely functional. Most evenings we dined on some part of either a yak or a sheep.

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Family of nomadic yak herders in their yurt.

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Terry Thomas enjoys a cup of warm Yak milk.

This was one of the most amazing travel/fishing experiences I have ever had, certainly one which for me was a one off. Anglers World Holidays can arrange trips to this most amazing destination, Tel 01246 221717 or visit: http://anglersworld.tv. Yes it’s a tough trip, a very tough trip that certainly will not suit everyone, but I assure you if you follow in our foot steps you will experience amazing fly fishing in one of the most remote and memorable destinations on the planet.

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Home for the week, my personal yurt!

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A yak herder leads his horses across the river.

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Saul Roberts casting a line in Mongolia.

Almost half of the first signed, numbered limited edition of my latest book, Destination Angler, have already been sold. The reviews and feed back I have received from those who have bought the book have been amazing. Destination Angler is available directly from myself, or exclusively through Farlows of Pall Mall and Sportfish at Reading or Hereford. If you would like a copy get in touch: david.lewis21@hotmail.com

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Bank side lunch, yes they are yak steaks!

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Dave Nevatt fishing a beautiful pool for lenok and grayling.

DESTINATION ANGLER-NOW OUT!

DAVE LEWIS DUSTJACKET:DAVE LEWIS DUSTJACKETMy latest book, Destination Angler now available. If you would like a signed copy contact me via email at: david.lewis21@hotmail.com Cost is £30 plus £2.99 UK P&P, payment via Pay Pal or cheques. Oversea postage will be charged at cost.

The book consists of 26 chapters, including a forward by Chris Tarrant, and introduction by Mel Russ, retired editor of Sea Angler Magazine. All colour & high quality printing in the UK, minimum of 6 x images per chapter.

Techniques covered, in essay format, pretty much everything, including lots of tropical popping & jigging, fly fishing, trolling, live baiting etc, etc. Mostly saltwater, 5 chapters are based in fresh water. Hope you like it!

Chapters include: Florida-tarpon; Kenya-swordfish, blue marlin & mako shark; Norway-giant cod; Cape Cod & NYC-striped bass; Tanzania-tigerfish; Costa Rica-rooster & sailfish; Namibia-sharks from beach; River Zambezi in Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe & Botswana-tigerfish; Turks & Caicos Islands-bonefish; Mozambique-giant trevally & sharks from beach; Argentina-freshwater dorado; Madagascar-sailfish, giant & yellowspot trevally; The Maldives-giant trevally, dogtooth tuna & Napoleon wrasse; Lake Victoria-Nile perch; Belize-bonefish, permit & tarpon; Uganda-Nile perch; Canada-salmon at sea; Cape Verde Islands-1000lb+ blue marlin & wahoo; Andaman Islands-GT’s & dogtooth; South Africa-black marlin & dorado; Panama-roosterfish, amberjack, cubera snapper; Morocco-European bass; Sierra Leone-barracuda with Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden; Sri Lanka-GT’s & kingfish; Mexico, bonefish, tarpon & permit:

DESTINATION ANGLER!

My latest book, Destination Angler, will be on sale in August, & already I am getting a lot of requests for pre-orders. If you would like to reserve a copy please contact me ASAP & I will add you to the list. Cost will be £30 plus £2.99 UK P&P. The book consists of 26 chapters, including a forward by Chris Tarrant, and introduction by Mel Russ, retired editor of Sea Angler Magazine. All colour & high quality printing in the UK, minimum of 6 x images per chapter. Techniques covered, in essay format, pretty much everything, including lots of tropical popping & jigging, fly fishing, trolling, live baiting etc, etc. Mostly saltwater, 5 chapters are based in fresh water. Hope you like it!

DAVE LEWIS DUSTJACKET:DAVE LEWIS DUSTJACKET

Chapters include: Florida-tarpon; Kenya-swordfish, blue marlin & mako shark; Norway-giant cod; Cape Cod & NYC-striped bass; Tanzania-tigerfish; Costa Rica-rooster & sailfish; Namibia-sharks from beach; River Zambezi in Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe & Botswana-tigerfish; Turks & Caicos Islands-bonefish; Mozambique-giant trevally & sharks from beach; Argentina-freshwater dorado; Madagascar-sailfish, giant & yellowspot trevally; The Maldives-giant trevally, dogtooth tuna & Napoleon wrasse; Lake Victoria-Nile perch; Belize-bonefish, permit & tarpon; Uganda-Nile perch; Canada-salmon at sea; Cape Verde Islands-1000lb+ blue marlin & wahoo; Andaman Islands-GT’s & dogtooth; South Africa-black marlin & dorado; Panama-roosterfish, amberjack, cubera snapper; Morocco-European bass; Sierra Leone-barracuda with Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden; Sri Lanka-GT’s & kingfish; Mexico, bonefish, tarpon & permit:

DAVE LEWIS DUSTJACKET 2DAVE LEWIS DUSTJACKET 1

BELIZE MAY 2016

This years Anglers World Holidays group trip to Belize was based at Roberts Grove, Placencia. The perfect location to run offshore to fish the plethora of flats and small cayes in Southern Belize, Roberts Grove proved to be an excellent choice providing wonderful accommodation, great food and outstanding service. Certainly Roberts Grove will be our choice for accommodation for all future trips to Belize, which I am sure will be many!

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One of there swimming pools at Roberts Grove.

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Location on the beach 5 miles north of the village of Placencia, Roberts Grove is the perfect location to fish in Southern Belize

Always the fishing in Belize is excellent, but this year was our best trip ever. May is one of the very best months for tarpon in Belize, and fly fishing for these amazing fish was high on our agenda. We had six full days fly fishing and myself and boat partner Andrew Leaves caught tarpon on every single day. The average size of the tarpon we caught was between 25-50lb, with Andrew catching the largest of the trip, a superb 80lb fish. The most productive fly was the Gummy Minnow, and luckily we had brought plenty of this perfect baitfish imitations, supplied by Fulling Mill and all tied on high quality, strong hooks.

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One of the tarpon I caught on fly, an especially acrobatic 30lb fish.

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A baby tarpon of around 5lb caught on fly in Monkey River, great fun on a 9wt fly rod!

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Fishing poppers for baby tarpon in the jungle rivers of Belize is superb sport.

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SET! Andrew Leaves gets hit in Monkey River.

Anyone who has caught a tarpon will know that these fish are amazingly strong, and the fight is never over until the fish is brought to the boat. Even when the fish are successfully brought alongside getting good photographs is difficult. We don’t lift them aboard as this can easily cause considerable damage both to the fish and tackle, so we attempt to work them onto the edges of a flat, where we could get out of the boat and safely hold the fish in the water. The trouble is the fish very quickly revive themselves and in almost all cases a final explosive display of defiance as we attempted to get photographs resulted in a refreshing shower and a broken leader.

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We wanted a photograph, the fish had other ideas!

As always I fished with my very good friend and outstanding guide George Garbutt, who without a doubt is one of the finest fly fishing guides I have had the pleasure of fishing with anywhere in the world. George’s knowledge of the flats is second to none, and of course this is an essential requirement for the success of any trip.

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George Garbutt, an outstanding guide.

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One of many bonefish caught on fly.

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Jack Crevalle caught on a chartreuse Clouser Monnow, these fish certainly test both your knots and the drag on your reel

While tarpon were our primary interest we also targeted other species. Bonefish are prolific throughout Belize and we caught plenty, even though we spent very little time fishing for them. On a few occasions we looked for permit and while we found one or two, on this occasion the main population of fish seemed to have moved offshore to spawn. Variety was provided by catching some great jacks and snapper of various species, but with the tarpon fishing so good, naturally these were the major focus of our attention on every day. Derek ‘Del’ Elliott caught a specimen 16lb snook of fly and a stunning 21lb African Pompano on bait, and along with boat partner Ray Jennings also got plenty of tarpon and other species.

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Looking for permit on one of countless stunning flats in Belize

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Hard at work in last weeks ‘office’, somewhere in Belize!

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Almost there, George wades out to land one of my fish.

We will be returning to Belize in May 2017 and there may be a place or two left on this trip. If you think you might be interest contacts Anglers World Holidays on Tel: 01246 221717 or visit: http://anglersworld.tv  George Garbutt can be contacted via email at: fishingwgg@gmail.com

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Don’t forget to pack plenty of Gummy Minnows, but make sure they are tied on good quality hooks.

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Andrew Leaves slugs it out with a big tarpon.

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Trying to keep a big tarpon away from the mangroves.

GRAND SLAM ON FLY!

Just home from what has become an annual two week trip to Tulum on the Yukutan Peninsula in Mexico. I fish throughout the extensive, productive saltwater flats within the beautiful Sian Ka’an biosphere. The flats around Boca Paila are one of the few places I know where you can experience good self guided sight fishing for bonefish with a fly rod, though in the years I have been visiting I have noted that the number of anglers fishing here has increased, despite the presence of saltwater crocodiles, and not surprisingly the fish have become very spooky.

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Anglers fishing the flats at Boca Paila. It’s starting to get crowded on the best flats you can reach on foot, but there are plenty of fish.

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Self guided bonefish on fly caught at Boca Paila.

This trip I managed to average a fish a visit, never fishing more than just a couple of hours in the afternoon. Last year I met Capt. Eduardo Gomez, take a look at my earlier blog, one of the best saltwater fly fishing guides I have fished with anywhere. Eduardo has 45 years experience fishing throughout Sian Ka’an, most of it as a full guide at the famous Boca Paila Fishing Lodge, which is no longer in operation.

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Eduardo Gomez poling a flat with the Sian Ka’an Biospere.

This year I booked three full day trips with Eduardo and experienced some of the very best fly fishing I have ever enjoyed. We started off each morning focussing on bonefish, which generally feed best in very shallow water before the sun gets too hot. On the first day with four bonefish successfully caught and released Eduardo suggested we move and try for permit. I very nearly said I would rather stick with catching bones but luckily I listened to Eduardo’s advice, reeled in my 8wt and rigged up a 10wt Thomas & Thomas with a large crab pattern.

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A nice bonefish caught on my first days fishing with Eduardo Gomez.

It was a windy day but luckily there was very little high cloud so the light for spotting fish was perfect. I soon got my first shot at a permit, but not surprisingly that fish showed zero interest in my fly, which is pretty much normal when attempting to catch these most spooky fish on fly. The second fish I cast at reacted very differently and as soon as the fly hit the water it turned to look at it and did everything but actually eat it. The fish did not spook and when I recast it once again turned and closely examined the fly, but refused to actually eat it. By now the fish was moving away from the boat at my extreme casting range and at an angle that meant the third cast would be directly into the wind. In my mind I had given up on catching it but cast anyway, and quite unbelievably the fly landed perfectly right in front of the fish; and this time it ate it. Ten minutes later Eduardo slid the net under my first ever permit caught on fly.

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Eduardo Gomez hold’s my fly caught permit.

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My first permit on fly.

With bonefish and permit now in the bag I only needed a tarpon to complete a coveted I.G.F.A Inshore Grand Slam on fly, a lifetime achievement for any angler, and one that has been at the very top of my personal bucket list for many years. Eduardo knew a good place and with the crab fly swapped for one of my home tied Black Death tarpon flies I started casting. Within ten minutes I had hooked the first tarpon, which came cartwheeling directly towards the boat before throwing the fly, ditto the second fish. The third fish stayed hooked throughout three spectacular series of acrobatic jumps and as Eduardo reached out to grab the leader all looked done and dusted, until the line went slack. By now the clock was ticking but undeterred Eduardo took us to another spot where I connected with another tarpon, that remained hooked all the way to the net.

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Grand Slam complete, tarpon an the fly!

With my inshore fly caught slam in the bag my day was done and I made it back to the hotel in time for the 2 for 1 Margarita happy hour, the start of a most memorable hangover! Eduardo Gomez can be contacted through the following emails, his son’s at monsrealcr7@gmail.com or bambi_020@hotmail.com

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Eduardo holds one of several jack crevalle I caught on fly during my trip.

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Another day, another great bonefish, I’ll be back very soon…