Just returned on Saturday from Belize and wanted to give an update of the fishing related festivities.
Spent the bachelor party at Westover farms in missouri the first part of May. If you guys have never heard of this place, it's a resort in steelville, Missouri that caters to fly fisherman. Stayed in a cabin with 5 buddies for the weekend and fly fished (among other things) all weekend. Had Dan guiding my buddies that hadn't fished before on Saturday. Everyone stuck lots of fish. Trout acted like they had never seen a rubberlega before.
Wedding was June 2. Flew to Ambergris Caye, Belize for the honeymoon and got to do a little fishing on the flats. One day guided with Tres Pescados fly shop and one day with an independent guide that the resort set me up with. First time saltwater fishing. Very humbling. Caught some nice bonefish. Lost a really nice one when the line wrapped around my reel handle. Had a few shots at permit, but screwed it up. Much different style of fishing and challenging. Really fun though.
Man, Dain, that looks like it was a great time! I've been a saltwater fisherman, primarily, in the past in Southern California. I didn't have the good sense to fly-fish at that time, though. I found that certain saltwater fish pull somewhat harder than any freshwater fish I've encountered. Did you find that to be the case? Man, you hook a little 11" mackeral while you're fishing for 'cuda or bonito and that lil' sucker's kind of hard to get to the boat. Meanwhile a 4 or so pound bonito on 12 or 15 lb test will give you a good workout before you land it. Once I got into a bluefin tuna on 40 lb test and COULD NOT BUDGE IT. it sounded and that was that. Glad to hear you and your bride had a great honeymoon!
Yeah I mean saltwater fish are definitely stronger than freshwater fish of similar size. All of the bonefish above took me into the backing and had multiple runs. Even though they aren't huge fish, if you tried to put the breaks on them during a run, they'd snap 16 on tippet no problem. I even caught some small (1 lb or less) jacks and snapper as a by catch, and even those were tough to bring in on the 8 weight.
Saltwater fly fishing in general was just a lot different. You spend most of the day on the front of the boat as the guide poles around looking for "nervous water." Then when you see the fish, you have to put a cast accurately at 40,50, or 60 feet. Was tough, but awesome when you actually hook up. Was also weird because you don't actually set the hook on bonefish. I tried to do a hard strip set on the first fish and that was wrong. Once you feel it you just keep stripping and the way the bonefish picks up the fly the strip will set the hook for you. Once they feel steel then they're off, but it sometimes takes them a minute to realize they're hooked.
I would definitely go back, in fact this wasn't my first trip there. If you're staying there, the accommodations are really nice. Cabin was as nice as what you'd get in broken bow. Fishing is great as well. There's about 3 miles of water and they restrict how many people can fish it on a daily basis. We saw only a couple other anglers when we there.