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The Backstage Pass

Beginner Trip Series: Saltwater Fly Fishing Trips For Beginners

May 03, 23

Maybe you’ve never tried saltwater fly fishing, or maybe you've done it only a handful of times. For the beginner saltwater angler, choosing a lodge and destination can be overwhelming and even intimidating.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a lodge – how’s the overall atmosphere and feel, what’s the fishing like in their waters, will the guides be forgiving over a missed shot on a fish? These are all things to take into account. Thankfully though, Yellow Dog prides itself on pairing anglers with destinations that meet their specific needs.

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Belize has several different fisheries suitable for beginners. The destinations are generally in the northern part of the country. Anglers can expect a variety of fish with minimal pressure. Bonefish, tarpon, and even the occasional permit all roam the flats and channels that make up the fisheries. Belizians are notoriously nice people, and that same, laid back, hospitable approach to life is translated into the guides and lodges. Guides will patiently, and gladly, instruct first-timers into their first saltwater species. Both you and the guide will be reminiscing about the day’s fishing over fresh seafood and cold drinks at dinner.

El Pescador Lodge, located on Ambergris Caye is one of Yellow Dog’s first ever lodges it worked with. It’s one of the best-run and still remains a perennial favorite. It’s the perfect destination for first-time saltwater anglers, seasoned veterans, couples, and families.

Belize River Lodge was the first lodge in all of Belize and offers anglers access to several different rivers, creeks, the Barrier Reef, and the world-class flats and mangrove cayes.

Turneffe Flats Lodge has access to over 250 square miles of flats and reef. This hands-down one of the best operations in the whole Caribbean.

Turneffe Island Resort is located on a private island on the southern tip of Turneffe Atoll. Situated on the flats, the anglers can be on the water within minutes and chasing bonefish.


Ascension Bay in Mexico is ranked near the top of the best fly fishing destinations for beginners. Aside from some amazing fishing, Mexico offers probably the best value. Between reasonable travel expenses, easy flights from the US, and terrific rates, it’s a favorite destination for saltwater angling. With bonefish, tarpon, permit, and snook all found in Ascension Bay, there are plenty of opportunities to pursue many different fish. Maybe the wind picks up on the flats? No problem, you can fish for juvenile tarpon and snook in the mangroves.

Pesca Maya is about 90 miles south of Cancun. Surrounded by hundreds of square miles of flats it’s a great place to catch your first bonefish.

Grand Slam Lodge, situated in the little fishing village of Punta Allen, is one of the few places in the world that can back up the claim that fishing improves every year.

Casa Blanca Lodge offers an incomparable location, a one-of-a-kind fishery, superb facilities, excellent food, outstanding equipment, and professional staff. Private and secluded, the lodge sits on the northern tip of a small, coastal island called Isla Punta Pajaros, located in the southern waters of Ascension Bay.


Regarding convenience, Louisiana is right at the top of the list. But don’t be fooled, this often-overlooked saltwater fishery is the best redfish angling on the planet. It also happens to be a perfect place for a novice saltwater fly fisher to take some shots at fish – redfish are naturally aggressive and have very little discretion when taking a fly. Cruise the bayou and marshes in your guide’s skiff and fish for tailing bull reds.

Dogwood Lodge is a historical vessel anchored on the edge of Biloxi Marsh. Staying on the vessel while being guided by some of the best redfish guides in Louisiana will equate to a complete Lousiana fishing experience. Be immersed in the scenes of the south with shrimp boats, alligators, and copper-colored bull redfish.

Sportsman’s Lodge offers a blend of great accommodations, memorable southern and Cajun cuisine, and true hospitality while partnering with some of the best fly fishing focused guides in Louisiana. Located on the edge of the Mississippi River Delta, anglers can fish for big redfish as they move from the gulf into the shallow marshes.

The Bahamas

The islands that make up The Bahamas harbor, maybe, the largest numbers of bonefish on earth. Anglers can find crystal clear flats with bonefish offering consistent enjoyment throughout a trip. The Bahamas have perpetually been a favorite destination for Yellow Dog clients for a quick and easy getaway.

Swain's Caye Lodge is on one of the nicest white sand beaches of Andros. It’s a full-service bonefishing operation and is ideal for anglers, non-anglers, families, and couples. Combine the great fishing and the amenities that non-anglers desire and it’s a great option for a Caribbean beach vacation.

East End Lodge is high-quality fishing focused destination where you can expect to fish long days with a fantastic, experienced guide staff. The second-largest island in the Bahamas, Grand Bahama is home to amazing numbers of exceptionally large bonefish. Travel is easy to Freeport, Grand Bahama so this is a perfect destination for the quick two and three-day trips, as well as week-long excursions.

Christmas Island

Similar to Mexico and Belize, Christmas Island offers a wide range of exotic species. Christmas Island is home to a large number of bonefish as well as giant trevally, triggerfish, milkfish, and barracuda. Anglers will find a massive saltwater wilderness with flats of hard white sand, coral, and turtle grass.

The Villages has a client guide ratio of one-to-one, and anglers can look forward to fishing with their own guide each day. With a friendly staff, good food, and a fishing-focused atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to call home for a week on Christmas Island.

Ikari House is a very comfortable base of operations for fishing the remote coral atoll of Christmas Island. The staff and management are always accommodating and work hard to make sure your visit is pleasant and relaxing.

Yellow Dog has numerous fly fishing trips for beginners who want to experience saltwater. It should also be noted that all pieces of gear can be rented for a saltwater adventure. There’s never been an easier nor better time to experience all the adventure of saltwater fly fishing. Contact Yellow Dog today to start planning your trip. Remember that the number one mission for the program directors of Yellow Dog is to get you to the best place that has the best fit.

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