Flats Fly Fishing in Belize: The Ultimate Angling Adventure

by David McKenna

Belize is a fly fishing paradise, offering anglers the chance to catch three of the most sought-after species in the world: Permit, Bonefish, and Tarpon. The crystal-clear waters of Belize's flats provide the perfect habitat for these elusive fish, making it a prime destination for fly fishing enthusiasts.

Belize Fly Fishing Species


Permit with Psycho Mantis in its mouth

Permit are known for their agility and strength, making them a challenging catch for even the most experienced angler. They are typically found in the shallow waters of the flats, where they feed on crabs and small fish. To catch a Permit, anglers should use a crab fly pattern and present it to the fish with a slow, steady retrieve.


Releasing a bonefish on the flats

Bonefish are another popular target for fly fishermen in Belize. They are found in the shallower waters of the flats and feed on small crustaceans and worms. To catch a Bonefish, anglers should use a small, lightweight fly and present it to the fish with a quick, smooth retrieve.


Tarpon rolling in deep water

Tarpon are the largest of the three species and are known for their powerful runs and acrobatic jumps. They are typically found in deeper waters and feed on a variety of baitfish. To catch a Tarpon, anglers should use a large, flashy fly and present it to the fish with a fast, aggressive retrieve.

When to Go

The best time to go flats fly fishing in Belize is from April to June, when the water is at its warmest and the fish are most active. However, fishing is good year-round and anglers can catch Permit, Bonefish, and Tarpon at any time.

Where to Go: Belize Fly Fishing Lodges

Blue Horizon Lodge Belize

Blue Horizon Lodge, Belize

Belize offers a wide range of fly fishing lodges and each has it's own personality and amenities. This breadth means you can always find a spot that will fit with your style and preferences, and will also give you access to the rich fishing flats of Belize! A few of our favorite lodges can be found below:

Cayo Frances | Farm & Fly

Tarpon Caye Lodge

Blue Horizon Lodge 

Copal Tree Lodge

El Pescador Lodge

Turneffe Flats Lodge

Find more great Belize lodge options, here!

Belize Fly Fishing Gear Guide

Fly Rods, Reels and Lines for Belize

When planning a fly fishing trip to Belize, it's important to bring the right gear. A 8-9 weight rod with a floating line, a reel with a good drag system and a 9-foot leader with a 20-pound tippet will be sufficient for most of the species. A good guide is also essential for a successful trip. They will know the best spots to catch the fish, the right flies to use, and how to present them to the fish.

Flats Flies for Belize

Now that you know where to go, and the tackle you'll need to chase the Grand Slam in Belize, it's time for our favorite topic: the flies you'll need. The flats of the western Caribbean are where we got our start, and our fly patterns and kits are all you'll need to find success on the flats of Belize!

Guide Flies - Belize Kits

Belize Fly Fishing Fly Kits

Punta Gorda Fly Kit

Belize Grand Slam Fly Kit

Turneffe Flats Fly Kit

Ultimate Tarpon Kit

Belize Crab Flies

 Guide Flexo Crabs

Shop all Guide Flies Crab Patterns!

If you want to learn more about why you need mantis patterns in your flats fly box, check out this article!

Baitfish Patterns

Tarpon Toad Fly Pattern


In conclusion, Belize is a prime destination for flats fly fishing, offering anglers the chance to catch Permit, Bonefish, and Tarpon in the crystal-clear waters of the flats. With the right gear and a knowledgeable guide, you can expect to have an unforgettable angling experience.

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