My wife and I spent a week at Mango Creek Lodge on Roatan, Honduras, the week that straddled January and February. The trip was arranged for us by an outfitter. We were told to expect very pleasant accommodations and flexible guides who were willing to work very hard and very long. We were not disappointed.
We stayed in one of two cabanas built on stilts over the water, making it possible for a morning pick up or evening drop off literally at your doorstep. Two more of those structures were under construction during our stay. Another alternative would have been to stay in the lavishly decorated main lodge. The owners, Terry and Patrice, are fanciers of fine woodworking and woodcarving, and everywhere in the main lodge, in the casitas and in the restaurant are beautiful examples of these art forms. The grounds are equally impressive with 4 full time groundskeepers and could be highlighted in some sort of landscape digest.
The fishing is somewhat unique in that flats exist within only a few hundred yards of water that may be 300-400 feet deep. Though I would prefer not to admit this, in the spirit of full disclosure, I took off a morning of fly fishing to go trolling. The guide and I caught a wahoo that yielded 73 pounds of meat. Not my idea of sport, but the taste of fresh wahoo was more than worth the sacrifice. That afternoon, I caught a bonefish. I spent a total of 5 days fishing and landed at least 1 bonefish per day with the largest being about 4 pounds. Access to what was considered the best bonefish flats was denied by constant windy conditions. Of course, the morning we left was dead calm.
An email note on my computer indicated that the only other angler, a beginning fly fisherman, caught 23 bonefish this day. He, by the way, was the only other sport fisherman I saw on the flats all week. I had only one shot at a permit which rushed the fly but didn’t take, and hooked and lost one tarpon. I also caught and released at least 10 other reef species in relatively brief periods of fishing.
The flats are mostly covered with turtle grass, so weedless flies and knotless leaders were helpful. The two flies I used most were bonefish bitters and small Clouser’s deep minnows. My personal feeling is that fishing should improve as netting has recently been outlawed and as more is learned about this developing fishery.
Other activities include diving and snorkeling which we were told is exceptional. The owners have sailed extensively and offer the use of a small sailboat here along with instruction for beginners. Picnic lunches on small remote islands and my wife’s favorites – hard core loafing in a hammock, reading a good book and walking the grounds with an occasional trip to town for shopping are also possibilities.
The bottom line – Would I recommend Mango Creek? Absolutely, if they understood the niche that Mango Creek fills. It does not offer world class fishing for any one species. It does offer a good and diverse fishery along with multiple other activities in a beautiful setting with pleasant people.