“Jimmy the Barracuda”
The beautiful flats and first-class operation of Turneffe Flats of Belize did not disappoint on day one. The day began when met our guide, Pops, shortly after 9 AM. Before that we had a fantastically thought out introduction of the Turneffe Flats fishery. This 30 minute discussion came in very handy later on in the day. From flies and leader selection to showing us the difference between a triggerfish tail and a bonefish tail, it is clear Turneffe Flats has its program dialed-in. The resort’s General Manager, Jad D, gave all of us some general expectations of what to use, what to look for when fishing for bonefish, and how to best prepare ourselves for the highs-and-lows of the ever-elusive permit.
At Turneffe Flats with us are nine other western US folks (four from Bozeman, Montana alone, so the Gallatin Valley is well represented for sure) and one London native currently living in Dubai. With this mix of guests, the conversation and general vibe is as good as it gets at any destination lodge. We get the feel this “vibe” is standard at Turneffe Flats. We dig it, too.
At the end of day one, attitudes are great and we are all facing the week ahead with the rooted optimism that only a few Belikins and the hope for permit can provide. Group-wide, over a dozen shots at permit occurred today with one fish landed. We’ll take those odds any day of permit fishing. Within the first hour of permit fishing Jimmy and Pat had four legitimate shots. On two of the shots, the fish failed to get the memo to eat Pat’s fly and the other two Pat failed to give the fish an opportunity to eat the crab—in other words, even good anglers make bad casts on occasion.
Now, onto the goodies of the day: some of the bonefishing here at Turneffe Flats is done on foot. After a day of travel from Montana to Belize, getting out of the boat refreshed us and our new Simms Flats Sneakers were a golden purchase. As Jimmy and Pops stalked a bonefish flat, a large school of 5 to 10 pound bonefish moved into the skinny water. Pops said, “these fish are nervous. Must be a barracuda nearby.” I said, “If I were a fish, I’d be nervous—Jimmy’s in the house armed with an 8 weight.” Pops quickly chimed-in, “Jimmy the Barracuda.”
Ten minutes later Jimmy’s first bonefish came to hand. Ire, mon. Ire.
Day Two update when it happens.....