Our group of five excited anglers arrived in Belize City on May 2. Not having been to Belize River Lodge, I was enjoying one of the few times in my life where I have no idea what's ahead. It was a feeling of true adventure. First of all, I had envisioned a bit of a trek to the lodge from the airport. What we experienced was a five minute ride in the lodge Isuzu Trooper and a thirty second boat ride across the Belize River to the dock in front of the lodge. Nothing like a nice logistical surprise! We were sipping Belikens ten minutes after clearing customs!
The weather for the week was nothing short of spectacular. Highs near 90, lows near 65, and a gentle breeze cooling off the flats each day while we fished for tarpon, bonefish, snook, and permit. The fishing was good - it's always good - but not red-hot. We had numerous shots at tarpon and bonefish every day, but only saw a few schools of permit and had no success...which is no surprise. Permit are very difficult to catch even when you get lots of opportunities.
The food was wonderful and the staff attentive and friendly. Owner, Mike Heusner talked with us each morning and evening and was a wealth of historical information as well as a great story teller.
On May 5, we awoke to a somber mood among the staff and lodge patrons as we entered the lodge for our morning coffee. Early that morning, long time head guide, Raul Navarette had passed away from an apparent heart attack everyone was in a state of total shock. Mike told us with glassy eyes that Raul was like a son to him and this would be a very difficult time. Everyone in our group was ready and willing to help in whatever way we could - including foregoing fishing if necessary. I was struck by the way they handled this mind-blowing event. Belizian life includes a very accepting view of death. The show just went on. The guides were quieter that day on the water, surely processing the shock. But other than that, the routine did not change at all. I really have no words to describe this tragedy. Raul left a wife and two children and I learned from talking to the staff, owners, and guides that he was truly an amazing person in addition to being a top notch fishing guide.
The rest of the week went well with some days better than others. My fishing partner for the week had never flyfished in saltwater and was able to check tarpon, bonefish, snook, and jack cravelle to his lifetime bucket list. My other two long time clients also got nice tarpon on their Jim Teeny 12 Wts along with dozens of nice bonefish. All in all, Belize River Lodge met or exceeded all my expectations and I look forward to sending clients there in the future...and hopefully joining some of them soon!
|Coming in to the Outpost at Long Caye|
|The dock at the Outpost at Long Caye|
Contact Dale Williams - firstname.lastname@example.org
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