I initially came to Roatan for the diving. It’s great! I then became interested in flats fishing and have been trying for a couple of years to find someone knowledgeable who could show me the ropes. I was thrilled to discover your lodge and meet your experienced guides.
My last trip fulfilled all of my objectives. I caught both bone fish and permit and I greatly improved my flats fishing technique. There are some great differences between fly fishing for salmon on narrow bear streams in Alaska and fishing for bones in windy conditions on the open flats. I found that I’m hooked on flats fishing in part because of the stalking aspect. To stalk the flats looking for bone fish and permit, to spot them and make a successful cast is thrilling.
My most memorable moment was when I hooked and landed my permit. I was separated from our guide and my fishing partner who were locked onto some tailing bone fish. I spotted a school of permit approaching! They were coming quickly directly towards me so I knew that I would have limited chances. As they got closer, I crouched low on the water to reduce my profile and was able to make a good cast ahead of the approaching school. I stripped the line a couple of times, felt it tighten and set the hook.
Immediately after hooking the fish, the school bolted, right at me. They passed right by me, on both sides. I couldn’t strip fast enough to keep up with my fish as it blew by but caught up with it on the other side. I was still facing where the fish were and stripping the line over my head until it tightened and I was able to turn towards where the fish were heading. I could see the school of fish moving towards the deep with my fish in the middle. After 125 yds- 150 yds, I turned him and the school moved on.
About this time I caught the eye of my guide who was still stalking the bones. He gave me a big thumbs up as I continued to fight the fish. After landing the fish and taking my celebratory photos, I released him to go find his buddies. I was amazed at how quickly this fish recovered and swam off. They are strong and powerful fish!
Since I’ve returned home, I’ve thought about fly fishing for permit & bones versus salmon. They are very different sports. But it’s kind of like asking what’s your favorite meal; steak or fish? I enjoy them both. I’m hooked on flats fishing and I’ll see you next spring.