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Travel News & Equipment Updates

Belize Bluegrass: El Pescador Lodge

February 12, 24

Following on the heels of the amazing 2023 Baja Bluegrass event, we’re pleased to announce our 2024 location and line-up for a one-of-a-kind “fishing/beach/bluegrass vacation” event! This year – in September of 2024 – we’ll be headed to beautiful Belize and the island of Ambergris Caye for a five-night, four-day all-inclusive package at El Pescador Lodge

WHERE: El Pescador Lodge

WHEN: Tuesday, September 17, 2024 through Sunday, September 22, 2024 (5 nights / 4 days)

WHO: This is the ideal couple’s trip, and space is limited to a total of 60 people (30 couples). This bluegrass gathering will have exclusive use of the entire El Pescador property.

Bluegrass Performances By: 

THE MUSIC: Those who were lucky enough to have attended Baja Bluegrass 2023 were completely blown away by the music, the live venues, and of course the musicians that played on a nightly basis. For 2024, we’re once again planning on a line-up of six incredible musicians who will collectively headline the gathering, and each evening will feature an exclusive and intimate live musical offering. Nightly performances will vary from full bluegrass sets featuring the entire line-up of musicians to smaller, more intimate trio, duo, and solo performances. The small, personalized, and private setting at El Pescador Lodge will give attendees the feeling of being "backstage" at a show versus sitting in the audience at a larger concert venue. (Guests who are musically inclined are also encouraged to bring instruments for informal jamming!)

Woody Platt is a Grammy Award-winning bluegrass singer, songwriter, guitarist, and a founding member of Steep Canyon Rangers. Platt has won awards, collaborated with the likes of Del McCoury and Steve Martin, and been inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.

Shannon Whitworth is an incredible talent! In the early 2000s, Whitworth toured and recorded with the iconic bluegrass band, The Biscuit Burners, sharing lead vocals and playing the guitar and banjo. After two critically acclaimed albums with the band, Whitworth released three solo albums and a duet album. Whitworth is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, and often performs with her husband, Woody Platt.

Larry and Jenny Keel - founders of The Larry Keel Experience and Natural Bridge - have released over a dozen albums. Larry is an award-winning innovative flat picking guitarist and singer/songwriter hailing from Appalachia, while Jenny is an exceptional bass player that has played and toured with Larry since they first met in 1994. With the acoustic guitar, Larry has brought the flat picking form to its highest level of sophistication and sonic power with his muscular, yet refined style of playing. He has appeared on over 20 albums and has written songs that have been recorded and performed by artists that include Del McCoury and The Infamous Stringdusters.

Buddy Melton is an award-winning fiddle player and vocalist, and a founding member of Balsam Range. He sings lead and tenor harmony, and his distinctive voice and artistry are instantly recognizable and widely admired. Tony Rice described him as having "one of the most exciting and purest voices I have ever heard…." He keeps up a busy performance schedule, playing for many events throughout the region with Balsam Range, solo, and with other great Western North Carolina artists.

Daren Shumaker is a next-level mandolin player who has performed on Saturday Night Live with Chris Stapleton, and at the Grand Old Opry with Del McCoury. He's spent most of his career as a live sound engineer for the likes of Sam Bush, Steep Canyon Rangers, Del McCoury, and Chris Stapleton, but is now stepping onto the stage more often.

Bennett Sullivan is an incredible banjo player who has played and toured with the likes of Balsam Range, Willie Nelson, Zoe & Cloyd, Steve Martin, and the highly acclaimed collective of Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native. Bennett’s solo albums include "Lady Nora" (2013) and "Eager To Break" (2021).

PLUS … additional guest musicians will be joining the line-up – More names T.B.A.!

About El Pescador Lodge in Belize

AMBERGRIS CAYE: Running parallel to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Ambergris Caye is the largest of the more than 200 islands that dot the coast of Belize and by far the most popular tourist destination in the country. Home to the funky, bustling beach town of San Pedro, Ambergris draws more tourists and visitors on a year-round basis than any other place in Belize. There is a ton to do on and around the island, and the town itself offers great restaurants, shopping, sightseeing, and the best nightlife in the country.

EL PESCADOR LODGE: In business for over 40 years, El Pescador is one of the best-run, most famous fishing lodges in all of Central America. Situated three miles north of San Pedro, the lodge location is far enough from town to offer privacy, but close enough to offer access to all sorts of activities. As a fishing destination, the lodge is famous for offering world-class sight fishing for the “Big Three” – tarpon, permit, and bonefish. It is also the ideal setting for non-anglers looking for a great beach vacation and access to all that Ambergris has to offer. This is a true all-inclusive resort that will be completely private and exclusive to our group for this September trip. Great service, great food, an open bar, and plenty to do!

THE FISHING: Belize offers some of the best shallow water flats fishing in the world. Anglers can fly and conventional fish for bones along the many tidal flats and mangroves that surround Ambergris, or for larger species along the Barrier Reef. Target large permit on deepwater flats, chase schools of smaller permit between the mangrove islands, or sight fish for tarpon that roam the area flats on a year-round basis. It is also possible to find other species, like snook, large jacks, snapper, and barracuda. While the tarpon and permit fishing in this part of Belize is almost always done from the boat, there are some places where an angler can wade hard-bottomed flats while stalking schools of bonefish. The guides at El Pescador fish two clients at a time utilizing 23-foot Mexican super pangas outfitted with large and spacious casting decks and poling platforms for the guides. The lodge offers top-of-the-line loaner gear and equipment included in the cost of the overall package, and there is a fully stocked fly shop at the lodge where you can purchase flies, leaders, tippet, and other items.

NON-ANGLING ACTIVITIES: For non-anglers or those looking to take a day off from fishing, there are countless non-angling activities and attractions available on San Pedro as well as on the Belizean mainland. In fact, this large number of non-angling activities available makes Belize the perfect destination for a couple’s trip or a vacation with a non-fishing significant other. Touring and exploring Mayan ruins on the mainland, bird watching, diving, snorkeling, exploring the town of San Pedro, a catamaran trip to nearby Caye Caulker, or exploring the area via SUP, bicycle or golf cart are just some of the activities available. And because Belize is so small and easily navigated, day trips and tours of all kinds are easy to arrange. With this special trip package, we have pre-arranged a number of daily activities that will be offered and included with the trip package.

WELLNESS CLASSES WITH EMILY SULLIVAN: Included with the overall package and line-up will be daily wellness and mobility classes with Emily Sullivan. Emily is a gifted instructor known for movement training, movement medicine, and metaphysical teachings. She’s trusted by award-winning musicians, actors, renowned artists, executives, entrepreneurs, and many more. Emily will be holding daily sessions that focus on valuable movement and building a deeper understanding of your body. The ultimate purpose of movement should be to help you feel great, and in a world where everyone is regularly over-taxed and busy, it’s essential to have spaces to reset, recalibrate, release tension, and focus on mobility. These classes are ideal for all levels.

FLYING TO BELIZE: Direct international flights to Belize are available through Charlotte, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Denver, Chicago, Seattle, Minneapolis, Newark, New York, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Toronto and Calgary. Major airlines that service Belize include Alaska, American, United, Delta, Jet Blue, Air Canada, and Southwest. Plan on arriving in Belize City at any time as long as it is before 3:00 PM on September 17th. This will allow you to easily make the necessary in-country connection on Tropic Air for the 14-minute flight to Ambergris Caye.

Travel Details, Rates, and Lodge Info

Option #1: Classic Lodge Room
Each of the fourteen main lodge guest rooms lookout to the sea and are just steps away from the lodge swimming pool, bar, and main beach. All rooms feature private bathrooms, overhead fans, two queen beds, and air conditioning.
Total cost per couple of $7195.00 (total for two people, double occupancy)

Option #2: Private Villa Room
These are ideal for three couples wanting to stay together in what is essentially a private house. Each two story, three-bedroom, three-bath villa overlooks the beach and features a full kitchen, common living room and social areas, air conditioning, and large outdoor decks. Again – villas are perfect for groups of three couples that are interested in being in the same complex.
Total cost per couple of $7795.00 (total for two people, double occupancy)

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • Double occupancy accommodations as specified (in classic lodge room or private villa room)
  • A total of six guided fishing day sessions per couple over four days (One person per day = one guided session in a two-person per boat/guide scenario.) These six (6) rod sessions can be divided any way you choose between two people! Example: An Angler can fish all four days, and non-angling companion could fish two of the four days. Choose between flats fishing or reef fishing, conventional or fly.
  • All meals at the lodge (breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon bar snack
  • Packed cooler lunch and beverages during fishing days
  • Open bar for all Belizean beer, regional liquor, mixed drinks, and sodas (imported liquor is not included, but can be purchased at the bar.)
  • Round trip in-country Tropic Air transfer flights from Belize International Airport to San Pedro Airstrip on Ambergris Caye
  • Land and water transfers from San Pedro Airstrip to El Pescador Lodge
  • Use of fly, conventional, or spin equipment for each day of fishing (if needed)
  • All taxes and GSTs
  • Two guided snorkel sessions for non-anglers (Mexico Rocks and Coral Garden)
  • Full-day catamaran excursion for non-anglers to the village of Caye Caulker and Hol Chan Marine Reserve for snorkeling
  • Daily wellness and movement classes from instructor Emily Sullivan
  • The best live music in Belize for four solid days!
  • A total of six guided fishing day sessions per couple over four days (One person per day = one guided session in a two-person per boat/guide scenario.) These six (6) rod sessions can be divided any way you choose between two people! Example: An Angler can fish all four days, and non-angling companion could fish two of the four days. Choose between flats fishing or reef fishing, conventional or fly.
  • All meals at the lodge (breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon bar snacks
  • Packed cooler lunch and beverages during fishing days
  • Open bar for all Belizean beer, regional liquor, mixed drinks, and sodas (imported liquor is not included, but can be purchased at the bar.)
  • Round trip in-country Tropic Air transfer flights from Belize International Airport to San Pedro Airstrip on Ambergris Caye
  • Land and water transfers from San Pedro Airstrip to El Pescador Lodge
  • Use of fly, conventional, or spin equipment for each day of fishing (if needed)
  • All taxes and GSTs
  • Two guided snorkel sessions for non-anglers (Mexico Rocks and Coral Garden)
  • Full day catamaran excursion for non-anglers to the village of Caye Caulker and Hol Chan Marine Reserve for snorkeling
  • Daily wellness and movement classes from instructor Emily Sullivan
  • The best live music in Belize for four solid days!


WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:

  • International flights to and from Belize City (airport code: BZE)
  • Gratuities for fishing guides and lodge staff
  • Imported alcoholic beverages and imported wines (can be purchased at bar and paid at end of the week
  • Off-site and optional tours and mainland guided activities (can easily be arranged daily)
  • Additional fishing sessions above and beyond the six sessions per couple

  • Gratuities for fishing guides and lodge staff
  • Imported alcoholic beverages and imported wines (can be purchased at bar and paid at end of the week)
  • Off-site and optional tours and mainland guided activities (can easily be arranged daily)
  • Additional fishing sessions above and beyond the six sessions per couple

  • Flies and terminal tackle (available through Yellow Dog or on-site at El Pescador)

How to Reserve Your Spots

1. Email Yellow Dog (matt@yellowdogflyfishing.com) to reserve spots.

2. Include contact information to get things started:

  • Full names (as they appear on passports)
  • Physical mailing address
  • Preferred email address to use for documents
  • Contact phone number
  • Specify Classic Lodge room or Villa Room

3. Once we have this information, we’ll email you your pre-trip packet, event details, and a trip invoice for your 50% deposit.