Fly Fishing an Enormous System of Flats, Lagoons & Pristine Estuaries
The flats on the northern side of the main island of Cuba present an inviting combination of hard-packed white sand and a semi-firm mottled bottom that still provides good wading. Collectively referred to as Cayo Romano and Cayo Cruz this is our preferred destination in Cuba for those who like to wade or those who are focused on permit and bonefish (though tarpon and snook can also be found along with other target species). It’s very similar to Los Roques, Venezuela in terms of the vast area that’s wadable. Cayo Cruz and Cayo Romano waters demonstrate all the characteristics of a recently-discovered, virgin fishing territory – large numbers of fish, good size, and an evident lack of exposure to flies and leaders. Add to this the natural beauty of the cays and water and you have a truly memorable place to fish with accommodations that are a five-minute walk to the skiffs.
For all Cayo Cruz trips, anglers will be accommodated in a luxury beach front hotel. This three-story hotel offers 60 rooms, a swimming pool, bar, lounge, a variety of restaurants (including Japanese and Mediterranean themed restaurants), a bowling lane, a spa, a rum and cigar store, and a salon. The hotel is a five-minute walk literally across the street to meet your guide and skiffs each morning. The second story infinity pool with views of the flats and nearby bar provide anglers with the perfect cool down option after a long day on the water.
Typical Length of Stay
The structured package is seven (7) nights / six (6) fishing days. A normal week includes six full days of fishing. Also offering fishing packages of four (4) nights / three (3) fishing days if desired, though you will wish you stayed all week! Please contact Yellow Dog for more details.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
This is a remote key off the northern coast of Cuba located in the mangrove and saltwater wilderness of the area surrounding the key of Cayo Cruz. Non-angling activities are limited to beach and resort activities. Overall this destination is best suited for anglers.
Wi-Fi is typically unpredictable at best in Cuba, though it is available at the hotel with the purchase of a Wi-Fi card. Check with your cell service provider to see if your U.S. cell phone will work in Cuba. Also, satellite phones are prohibited in Cuba and will be confiscated at the airport upon arrival.
How To Get There
There are direct flights to Cayo Coco (CCC) can be booked from Canada, Mexico, and Europe. Upon arrival to Cayo Coco, you will be met by a representative from Avalon. From the airport, you will be transferred about an hour to Cayo Cruz and your accommodations. Alternatively, you can arrive a day early with flights into Havana (HAV) and a private eight and a half-hour transfer (not included in your package) from Havana to Cayo Cruz.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Please contact Yellow Dog when you are booking flights for the most up to date details on flights and times for this trip.
A valid passport is required for all visitors to Cuba and must be valid for at least six (6) months beyond the duration of your stay. Citizens of the United States are also required to have a Cuban entrance visa that can be secured when checking in for your direct flight to Cuba. You will be asked to sign an affidavit for your trip to Cuba and determine which OFAC category your trip qualifies for and as an American traveler, you are obligated to maintain a record of your trip for five years – documentation is supplied to you by Yellow Dog.
Yellow Dog works directly with and recommends Kanna Travel along with other agents who are experts depending on the routing that makes the most sense for your travel needs. They can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact them at 855-739-3139 or [email protected] for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services, and trip insurance.
General Fishing Information
Located on the north shore of the eastern province of Camaguey, the Cayo Cruz fishery is an enormous system of flats, lagoons, and pristine estuaries. Located on the eastern portion of the greater Jardines del Rey (Gardens of the King) fishery, commercial fishing within this designated area is strictly forbidden and rigorously enforced. The sportfish-only area is 366 square kilometers in size, meaning that on an average day, each skiff has over 50 square kilometers to itself. The fishing area is virtually untouched and represents one of the cleanest and most biologically diverse ecosystems in the Caribbean. This is one of the primary reasons we have chosen this destination. It is still more or less untouched and has only seen a handful of anglers for a few seasons. The fish are plentiful and aggressive. Cayo Cruz is also privileged in having an extensive string of cays on its northern border which protects it from all but the most violent of weather patterns.
The flats present an inviting combination of hard-packed white sand and a semi-firm mottled bottom that still provides good wading. And what a place this is for those who like to wade! It’s very similar to Los Roques, Venezuela in terms of the vast area that’s wadable; there are places here where you can wade for hours without heading back to the boat. Cayo Cruz demonstrates all the characteristics of a recently-discovered, virgin fishing territory – large numbers of fish, good sizes, and their evident lack of exposure to flies and leaders. Add to this the natural beauty of the cays and water and you have a truly memorable place to fish.
The average bonefish weighs in at a healthy three to four pounds. During the course of a week, it is not unheard of for anglers to land a fish or two in the eight-pound-plus range. Tailing bonefish are common and guests can expect to see bonefish in singles and doubles, all the way up to schools of several hundred fish. What really sets this location apart from so many other fisheries is that guests can expect to encounter and get shots at good numbers of permit each day as well. There are very few places on earth where guests can fish for big bonefish each day and also get shots at tailing permit. This combination may occur in other locations, but not with the consistency seen at Cayo Cruz. It is a rare day when you don’t encounter and get shots at permit. The permit will range in size from approximately eight to 30 pounds. The flats at Cayo Cruz are a little deeper than those found in other regions of Cuba, which means bonefish and permit are found in excellent numbers throughout the year. Aside from the exceptional flats fishing, guests need to keep in mind that this is a new fishery still very much in its infancy. Nonetheless, the fish are usually plentiful and aggressive.
Two locations within the Cayo Cruz area offer good tarpon fishing. Guides tend to save these areas for when an angler has already boated a permit and is looking for a Grand Slam. These fish will range from 30 to 90 pounds. Besides the fishing for permit, bonefish, and tarpon, you will also cast for other challenging species as mutton snapper, snook, cubera snapper, jack crevalle, and barracuda.
Each morning, skiffs will depart from Cayo Cruz to different zones, areas within the greater Cayo Romano / Cayo Cruz fisheries. From Cayo Paredon Grande in the north to Cayo Guanaja and Versailles in the south, there are countless islands, lagoons, and bays that will keep anglers happy and on fish throughout the day. Much of the fishing takes place in the areas between the island and the mainland, in and around the massive island of Cayo Cruz. The average boat run to the fishing areas can range anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes in length and in some areas. The run time depends on where your guide wants to take you that day and what your requests are. With more than 50 square kilometers of the fishing area available per boat, the options are just about limitless. There are so many great aspects to this fishery that it can truly be a sensory overload at times.
Boats and Equipment
The fishing boats used by Avalon are Dolphin Super Skiffs outfitted with Yamaha 60 or 70 HP motors. Radios and life jackets are carried aboard every skiff. As is the case with most areas in Cuba, be prepared to bring all your rods, reels, and lines with you! Flies, leaders, tippet, all terminal tackle, and all accessories should be packed as well, as very few items are available anywhere in Cuba. Yellow Dog will provide a complete pre-trip packing and equipment list for fishing Cuba.
Rates and Terms
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. Prices listed below are per person and quoted in US Dollars (USD).
Please contact Yellow Dog for rates for 2021 and 2022 trips
- Reception at Camaguey Airport and transfer to oceanfront luxury hotel
- Seven (7) nights in Cayo Cruz Hotel in double occupancy room (Single room supplement fee of $350 for single occupancy room for the week)
- Six (6) full days of guided fishing (two people per skiff)
- All meals at the oceanfront luxury hotel, Cayo Cruz
- All taxes and GSTs
- All transfers to and from Cayo Cruz
What’s Not Included:
- International flights to Cuba (Yellow Dog can help arrange)
- Meals, drinks, taxis, and any additional expenses while in Cuba
- Fishing tackle, equipment, flies, and all terminal tackle (Bring it all with you!)
- Gratuities for guides and staff (must be paid in cash with CUCs)
- Other items of a personal nature
- Premium rum, cigars, or snacks purchased on site
- Conservation Fee ($100)
Avalon Cuban Fishing Centers and Live-Aboards (Cuba)
TERMS AND CONDITIONS – CANCELLATIONS
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. For trips outside of 90 days, a 70% deposit is required within 10 days to hold and confirm all reservations and trip dates. For all Cuba trips less than 90 days out, full payment is required to secure reservations. Passport number, date of birth and full name (as printed in passport) is required to confirm any Cuba reservation. Payment for all Cuba trip must be made in US dollars and can be made using check, money order or wire transfer only (no credit card payments for Cuba trips will be accepted). All trip cancellations must be received in writing, sent to Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, LLC. and cancellations will incur a $250.00 USD per person Yellow Dog handling fee, regardless of timing or reason. For cancellations outside of 180 days from start of trip, trip payments are refundable minus an 800 EUROS per person cancellation fee charged by operator and a $250.00 USD per person fee charged by Yellow Dog. Inside of 180 days from start of trip, deposits and/or final payments are non-refundable and no credits will be issued unless Avalon and/or Yellow Dog are able to resell the trip(s) (in which case there will also be an 800 EUROS per person cancellation fee charged by operator and a $250.00 USD per person fee charged by Yellow Dog.) No refunds will be issued for unused portions of packages. Because of the operator’s strict cancellation policies, we highly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance. In no event will Avalon be responsible for any cancellation of services or operations due to inclement weather, any event of force majeure, airline delays or flight cancellations, or any other reason beyond the control of the operator. Avalon Outdoors will not refund payments in the event of poor weather. If your flights are cancelled and connections are missed, Avalon is not responsible for alternative travel arrangements including flights, hotels, meals and any other expenses incurred. Please note that credit card payments cannot be accepted for any incidentals or expenses once in Cuba. Once again, Yellow Dog strongly recommends that anglers and guests purchase travel insurance these Cuban packages.
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 2% convenience fee for all American Express credit card transactions, and a 3% convenience fee for Visa, MasterCard and Discover 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.