Trophy Sailfishing at the Famous Casa Vieja Lodge
Perhaps the most famous lodge in the entire world of bluewater sportfishing, Casa Vieja Lodge has long been known for world-class bluewater boats and crews, the best captains in the business, and the highest quality accommodations in the area. The Lodge is located less than a mile from the entrance to Marina Pez Vela, and after a long and productive day on the water, you can be back in the Casa Vieja’s pool in under five minutes. Gone are the days of running the not-so-popular “la cala de la muerte” (the “inlet of death”) to and from the Lodge to the fishing each day. And while a trip to Casa Vieja Lodge is definitely a four-star experience, the total “cost-per-fish-released-ratio” makes this one of the finest values in the entire world of bluewater fishing.
Casa Vieja Lodge, surrounded by landscaped gardens and tropical foliage, offers great accommodations and the ultimate in privacy. Built over twenty years ago as the private retreat of one of Guatemala’s most prominent sporting families, the recently-renovated Lodge today caters to guests and anglers from all over the world. Continual upgrading has made Casa Vieja a great retreat for anglers, with 21 different guest rooms and all of the amenities that one would expect from a world-class fishing lodge. All bedrooms feature either a king bed or two queens, and each room features its own private bathroom with step-in showers and spa-quality bath products. The managers and staff at Casa Vieja are all past employees of the Fins ‘n Feathers Inn, and all know the importance of great customer service. Casa Vieja Lodge is also a facility that has been designed particularly well to serve groups. Corporate retreats, team building, small conventions, or fishing clubs will find beds enough to accommodate up to 35 guests. Within the compound is a seminar facility capable of hosting meetings or presentations for up to 50 people.
Food and Beverages
The Lodge’s air-conditioned restaurant is located on the first floor of the Casa Vieja complex. The menu features the finest cuisine on Guatemala’s Pacific Coast and a fully-stocked bar.
Typical Length of Stay
The most popular package at Casa Vieja Lodge is a four (4) nights / three (3) fishing days trip, although longer trips can certainly be arranged. Contact Yellow Dog for more details.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
Most guests of Casa Vieja Lodge are there to fish. That said, there are some non-angling options in the area, and for non-anglers, Guatemala is an interesting and diverse country. Side trips can be arranged to the town of Antigua, the ruins of Tikal, and the Lake Atitlan region. These areas offer national parks, biosphere reserves, wildlife viewing, Mayan temples, and more.
Internet / Communications
Wi-Fi is available for Lodge guests. Some U.S. cell phone providers may have service that works in this part of Guatemala.
How To Get There
Fly from your home city to Guatemala City’s La Aurora International Airport (GUA). After processing through immigration and customs, you will walk outside the arrival lobby where a representative from Casa Vieja Lodge will be there meet you. You will then be transferred by private vehicle to the Lodge, a trip that takes under 90 minutes. To accommodate early flight departures at the end of the trip, clients will typically spend their final night at the first-class hotel in Guatemala City. These are true five-star hotels located in the heart of Guatemala City’s most popular restaurant and nightlife district. Located ten minutes from the airport, these are among Guatemala’s finest hotels.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Guatemala City’s La Aurora International Airport (GUA) is easily reached by flights from Miami (2-hours), Houston (2.5-hours), Dallas and Atlanta (3.5-hours), and Los Angeles (6-hours). After clearing customs, a chauffeured van from Casa Vieja (stocked with beer, sodas, and bottled water) will transport you directly to the lodge via a fast, modern highway. The drive brings you down from the mountains, passing by several volcanoes, coffee bean, and sugarcane plantations, and finally to the Pacific coastline in less than 90 minutes.
A valid passport is required for all visitors to Guatemala and must be valid for at least six (6) months beyond the duration of your stay. Citizens of the U.S., the British Commonwealth, and Canada are NOT required to have Visas.
Minors Travelling To Guatemala Without Both Parents
If you are planning on traveling with minors, remember that all children 18 years of age or younger entering Guatemala accompanied by only one parent or legal guardian must have a NOTARIZED letter of consent from the other parent stating the child/children have his/her permission to enter the country. Single parents need a notarized documentation of divorce decree or death certificate of spouse. Minors unaccompanied by either parent require a NOTARIZED letter of consent signed by both parents. Please visit the Embassy of the United States website for Guatemala to obtain more information.
Yellow Dog provides airline reservations ad ticketing assistance through etcTravel Group, and a full-service airline logistics agent that can help with booking airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, and more. You can click here to request a quote or contact Yellow Dog for more information at 406-585-8667. etcTravel Group offers dedicated support services for all Yellow Dog clients. Service fees may apply when booking or researching tickets, and etcTravel will discuss this with you prior to sending quotes.
Sailfish in this area are abundant year-round, and since 1994, the fleet has averaged more than 20 billfish raised per day, per boat, YEAR-ROUND! The rainy season from mid-July through September coincides with the slower travel period for anglers heading to Guatemala, with October through June being prime booking months. The larger sailfish (up to 150 pounds) are usually taken during the Fall months, but for a pure volume of 80 to 100-pound fish, the December through June timeframe is fantastic. During these winter and spring months, you can often experience 20 to 40 bites per day. Lodge statistics show that numerous 40-plus sailfish release days have been experienced every month of the year. Days with finicky or non-aggressive feeders are few and far between.
Marlin adds to the excitement and they generally show up in concentrations for a week or more several times a year. At any time, a run to the far offshore drop can normally put you on yellowfin tuna as well as blue marlin that can average 400 pounds. Usually, while targeting sailfish, every Casa Vieja boat will encounter a marlin every third day during the year. This number can be seriously upped by requesting a day or days that focus entirely on marlin. Throughout the year, there are also great numbers of football-sized tuna, and dolphin in the 20 to 40-pound range are readily available.
For more than a decade, billfish conservation has been central to Casa Vieja and the fishing fleet’s philosophy. With a total release policy, these captains also exclusively use circle hooks with bait billfish when operating. As innovators in this style of fishing, they have upped their hook-up ratios while ensuring a far healthier condition of all released fish. Guatemala’s fishing laws are exemplary of a strong national marine conservation ethic and of a country that is the region’s leader in billfish protection. Although always under test by commercial interests, the future of billfishing in Guatemalan waters appears quite secure.
Boats and Equipment
The Lodge employs several boats.
Powered by twin 150HP Yamaha four-stroke outboards, these smaller boats give anglers the ability of fishing inshore for roosterfish, grouper, and snapper as well as the ability to fish offshore. It’s the perfect boat for fly anglers and light tackle specialists. Ideal for two anglers, with a maximum of three with a captain and a mate.
Captain Hook (Captain Ron Hamlin)
This 40-foot Whiticar is Guatemala’s premier charter boat. This legendary sport fishing machine offers the finest tackle and a fast, comfortable ride with dual Cummins Diamond series 450HP engines. Traveling to and from the fishing grounds each day is as fantastic an experience as the fishing itself. Onboard Captain Hook you can relax in an air-conditioned salon featuring a full entertainment center and a galley that is equipped with a refrigerator and freezer, a microwave oven, and a stovetop. Hot lunches such as cheeseburgers, dolphin, and chicken sandwiches are a trademark of “Captain Hook.”
Rum Line (Captain Chris Sheeder)
This 40-foot Gamefisherman was built in 1989. The boat has a top speed of 24 knots with twin Cummins 450s, and can easily fish five anglers in comfort. While in Stuart, Florida, it recently had a quarter-million dollar re-fit before being shipped to Guatemala.
Intensity (Captain Mike Sheeder)
Launched in 1993 and immaculately maintained, the 37-foot Gamefisherman has 900HP of diesel power. Up to five anglers can enjoy an unforgettable day aboard Central America’s most famous game boat. A longtime member of the old Fins ‘n Feathers fleet, she’s an incredible fish-raiser.
Makaira (Captain Jason Brice)
A truly exceptional example of the Rybovich day boat, this classic has been fully restored with new Cat diesels in 2005. This 1961, 37-foot offers the same day boat style that traditionalists demand. Makaira has always been one of Fins ‘n Feathers’ best fish-raisers and most requested boats. She has held the record for most billfish caught in a single season for two years. The Makaira fishes four anglers in comfort.
Spindrift (Captain Nicho Alvarenga)
This 38-foot Stolper 380 Tournament Express was custom built-in 1998 in Stuart, Florida. She is the essence of a no-compromise fishing machine. Powered by twin Cummins diesels, Spindrift has been engineered to have a low-frequency hull signature said to attract fish. Cruising at 25 knots with comfortable bench seating for up to six, the Spindrift’s raised bridge deck gives anglers an excellent and unobstructed view of the baits. Below the deck, you will find a well-appointed, fully air-conditioned cabin.
Release (Captain Chico Alvarenga)
A 37-foot Merritt built in 1961 by Buddy Merritt himself. He called the Release “The Perfect Fishing Boat” and built her with one purpose in mind: to raise and catch fish. In 1999, she was meticulously restored and re-powered with twin 450HP Cummins Diesels giving her a 24-knot cruising speed. Hosting up to five anglers, Release is the Queen of the fleet. Release’s open teak cockpit and clean wake make her truly a “World Class” fishing machine. Her ability to back down at high speeds and spin on a dime makes catching doubles, triples, and quads seem easy. The combination of it all makes her the ultimate fly fishing boat! On March 11, 2006, the Release set the new one-day record for sailfish caught on the fly with 57 fish in a single day!
Rates and Terms
2023 Package Rates
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. All prices listed below are per person and quoted in US dollars. Trips of any length can be arranged, so please call Yellow Dog for details and custom package pricing. Rates vary based on the size of the sportfishing boat, the number of people in each group, and length of stay.
Length of Stay # Anglers Package Price
Contender 35 Foot Boat
4 Nights / 3 Days 4 $2,760.00
4 Nights / 3 Days 3 $3,285.00
4 Nights / 3 Days 2 $3,920.00
4 Nights / 3 Days 1 $6,515.00
37 to 39 Foot Sportfishing Boat
4 Nights / 3 Days 4 $3,235.00
4 Nights / 3 Days 3 $3,970.00
4 Nights / 3 Days 2 $4,845.00
4 Nights / 3 Days 1 $8,895.00
40 Foot Sportfishing Boat
4 Nights / 3 Days 4 $3,605.00
4 Nights / 3 Days 3 $4,470.00
4 Nights / 3 Days 2 $5,590.00
4 Nights / 3 Days 1 $10,165.00
44′ Foot Sportfishing Boat
4 Nights / 3 Days 4 $3,935.00
4 Nights / 3 Days 3 $4,910.00
4 Nights / 3 Days 2 $6,250.00
4 Nights / 3 Days 1 $11,490.00
- Airport reception and roundtrip airport transfers between Guatemala City and the Lodge
- Double occupancy accommodations at Casa Vieja
- Breakfast and dinner daily at Casa Vieja Lodge
- Non-alcoholic beverages
- Daily lodge-marina transfers
- Fishing on a choice of game boats with captain and crew
- Lunches served on the boat each day
- All bottled water and soft drinks on the boat
- All trolling, spin and fly tackle
- Bait, lures, and flies
- Alcohol and bar tab (minus top shelf)
What’s Not Included:
- Gratuities for the staff, boat captain, and crews
- International flights to Guatemala City
- Non-angling activities while at Casa Vieja
Casa Vieja Lodge
TERMS AND CONDITIONS – CANCELLATIONS
A deposit of 50% per person is due within 10 days of booking for all trip packages and reservations, and final payment is due 90 days prior to arrival. All trip cancellations must be received in writing, sent to Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, LLC. Payments are refundable for cancellations received in writing outside of 120 days prior to your arrival date at Casa Vieja Lodge, less a $500.00 per person lodge cancellation fee and a $100.00 per person cancellation fee charged by Yellow Dog. If you cancel your trip for whatever reason inside of 120 days prior to your arrival date at Casa Vieja Lodge, all payments made on your trip are non-refundable and non-transferable, and no credits will be issued. RESERVATIONS ARE NOT CONFIRMED until deposit is received. If no deposit is received and/or posted 10 days after you have been invoiced, your reservation is subject to cancellation. If bad weather arises and your Captain determines that due to safety issues the trip should not be taken, you will receive a credit for that day’s fishing on your next booking at Casa Vieja Lodge. Casa Vieja reserves the right to adjust the Captain and vessel you have booked as needed and determined by Casa Vieja Lodge. Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgment that registrant has read and accepts the deposit, cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses for these packages. Once again, Yellow Dog strongly recommends that anglers and guests purchase travel insurance these Guatemala packages. Scope of Responsibility: Casa Vieja Lodge and its subsidiary engaged in contracting suppliers of services pursuant to or in connection with any itinerary shall act only as agents in making arrangements for air and/or ground transportation, accommodations or any other service provided within the terms of the solicited itinerary, and do not assume any liability whatsoever for any injury, damage, death, loss, accident, failure, omission or delay to person or property due to an act of default of any carrier, hotel, company or person rendering any of the services included in the trip package, or by act of God. Furthermore, no responsibility is accepted for quarantine, government restraints, weather or other causes beyond their personal control. No responsibility is accepted for any additional expense, omissions, delays, re-routing or acts of any government or authority. Rates subject to change without notice and fuel surcharges may apply.
Payment Terms For All Yellow Dog Trip Bookings
In order to lock in your trip reservation, we ask that you please remit payment within 10 days of receipt of invoice. For your convenience, Yellow Dog accepts on-line payments via a direct and secure ACH platform – a quick and easy way to complete your trip reservation. Note that all Yellow Dog invoices include a live link that takes you directly to the Yellow Dog ACH platform for fast and easy payment. For open and existing invoices with a remaining balance, payment reminders also include this easy link to the ACH page.
Other customary forms of payment that are accepted are checks or wire transfers. If you would like to pay in a different way or have any questions about alternate payment methods, please contact Yellow Dog at (888) 777-5060 or (406) 585-8667. We are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Beginning September 1st, 2020, Yellow Dog will apply a 3% convenience fee for all credit card transactions.
Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures Standard Forms For Payment
- ACH online payments (for US banking institutions only).
- Traditional checks (sent via mail)
- Electronic wire payments (client is responsible for any wiring fees)
*Please contact us if you prefer or require a different payment option. Convenience fees may apply for other payment methods.
**Please be aware that the ACH platform is only available for US financial institutions and bank accounts. International payments can be made via wire or with a credit card.
Yellow Dog Client Reviews
“Been to Casa twice now, fantastic lodge and operation. Good sightseeing opportunities too…have seen Antigua twice and Volcano Pacaya once. Lodge staff is really nice, spend more time talking with them than other guests. Every day I have fished down there, have hooked up with something good. Always a good time there.” – Matt N.
“Greatly enjoyed it; the lodge was nice, the room was always cleaned, food was delicious. Got to interact with staff (getting the rust off of my Spanish). Fishing was fun, slow in the mornings but took around noon and after. Landed probably 7 yellowfin tuna (including a 100 pounder) 4 Mahi Mahi, of course, a Sailfish and got to tangle with a Blue Marlin (other fella fought it from the beginning, got it to the side of the boat after an hour, got the leader, handed it off to me, fish took off again for another hour, got back to the boat and got the leader again). The weather was generally cooperative.” – Matt N.
“As near perfect as I could want or expect. I’m 68. My goal for the trip was just to see a billfish caught… I’d never seen or caught one, though I’ve chased after them for years. I ended up catching (- reeling in, leadering…the captain and mate took care of the baits and spread -) 5 sailfish and a marlin.” – Jeffery M.
“Unique and good experience. Not really fly fishing, but fun and memorable.”
“Action throughout the day. Sail on the fly is so much fun. This is the place to try it.” – Sonny C.
“This is one of the finest lodges and best-run fishing operations we have ever experienced. Absolutely top-notch in every way, can’t wait to return again!” – Bill H.