Six anxious to travel best friends just returned from 5 days of fishing on Caye Caulker, Belize with the crew at Sea Dreams. We were all desperate for some salt air in our lungs and the chance to chase the black-tailed devil himself. And I suppose me getting married in July gave us a decent excuse to get together!
Gear was assembled, ZOOM calls were had and the anticipation was killing all of us leading up to the trip. Travel to Belize was a piece of cake and it was good to see airports buzzing right along again. With the exception of everyone in masks, life seemed almost normal in MSP and ATL. Upon arrival in Belize City, we cruised right through customs with vaccination cards and negative tests in hand. Again, all seemed normal minus everyone in masks. The friendly folks working the various duty-free stores at baggage claim were all too excited to see a plane full of eager tourists as well.
A quick stop at the Belikin store for our first beer of the trip and we boarded on our Tropic Air flight for the quick 9-minute jump to Caye Caulker. Upon arrival, our two taxis were already waiting for us. Gear was loaded, another Belikin opened, and we were off to Sea Dreams on the north end of Caye Caulker. Stephanie greeted us with a smile and showed us our rooms for the week. AC was cold, fridges were stocked with Belikin and we found ourselves on the rooftop bar before any bags were unpacked. It felt great to be in the Caribbean again!
Regarding COVID protocols, they were in place at all restaurants, grocery stores, and Sea Dreams itself. Very much similar to situations in the States. Masks required and no shortage of hand sanitizer at all locations.
We were up with the neighboring chickens each morning and at breakfast by 7 am. A light breakfast consisting of eggs, bacon, and fry bread was had most mornings with a couple mornings of pancakes thrown in. We were greeted at the dock promptly at 8 am each morning by our guides and they wasted no time making runs to the various spots each morning. We fished multiple areas each day and spent no extra time than needed in an area if the fish weren’t in the sweet spots. Initial runs seemed average for saltwater fishing – 30 to 45 minutes to get to the initial spots than 5-15 minutes to get to other areas. All boats had comfy chairs, casting platforms, and YETI 65’s filled with cold bottled water and you guessed it. More Belikin.
The wind is a reality in saltwater fly fishing and we struggled all week to avoid it the best we could. Mornings were spent chasing tarpon and all of us jumped fish throughout the trip. I was fortunate enough to land my first tarpon on one of the first casts of the trip! A 40-pound specimen that made me question why I would ever trout fish again. We fished lots of protected lagoons in search of tailing permit and bonefish in the afternoon and there was no shortage of them for us to cast at! The wind was a limiting factor for most of our permit shots but everyone got multiple legit shots every day of the trip and we all had heart-stopping moments of fish turning on our flies. Guess we all have reasons to get back to Belize.
The island of Caye Caulker is a blast to explore on a bike (which Sea Dreams has no shortage of for you to take at your leisure). We ate at the most local of local spots to the nicest place on the island. No matter where we went, the food was fresh and the service was friendly. The saying on Caye Caulker is “Go Slow” and they’re not joking. One friend was told he was walking too fast! We felt right at home and plenty safe.
We keep saying “this trip was one for the books!” so of course, we’re already scheming on when to go back. We’re ready to see our friends at Sea Dreams again!