Yellowdog’s Screaming Deal at Turneffe Flats Lodge
Tough time to be away from the Rockies. I know that from experience; I just got back from five weeks in Seattle, British Columbia and Alaska; and, a few years ago, I took off, in August and flew to Belize with my sites set on bonefish, tarpon and permit.
And why then? For one, because the price during August through December is often discounted and that was the case for me. Mostly, however, because Belize gets those giant, migratory tarpon in late summer and that’s what I was after.
Day one, we’re an hour into glory and my guide says, “Cast there. Strip, strip.” I do so and all of a sudden my line goes a little slack. The guide again screams, “Strip, Strip!” Nothing.
Next cast and I feel the same sensation and I strip like my life depends on it and then this massive tarpon leaps completely out of the water about 40 feet from the boat. The next thing I know the backing is almost gone and I pinch down as hard as I can. About 200 yards out this freakin’ whale comes out of the water and my line goes slack. I’m shaken. I can barely function. It’s like I’ve been in a car accident. All I can say is “Pops, how big?”
He replies, “One-ninety. Two-hundred,” and shrugs his shoulders. I sit down, say WTF, uncap a Belikin, and gather myself.
Two hours later and I have a 75-pounder cradled in my arms. A day later and my bud, Dan, has 125-pounder cradled in his arms. The following day I spend time with the lodge owner and Dan comes back spouting off about another 125-pounder, plus a couple big bones and, get this, a permit. Triple Crown winner Seattle Slough…I mean Dan Summerfield! Pops ribs me—”Bad day to not go fishing. See what happens? You’ll learn. You should fish when you can.”
That my friends is why you go to Belize during a Rocky Mountain summer and fall and right now is a great time to buy a trip south. Jim Klug and Ian Davis at Yellowdog Flyfishing Adventures (www.yellowdogflyfishing.com) are offering specials to Craig Hayes’ Turneffe Flats Lodge, which is where the aforementioned tarpon madness occurred. Right now, extending through December 22 you can take advantage of a two-for-one deal, meaning you share a cabana, a sweet flats boat, and a guide with a bud or a mistress (your choice). Total price is $5,342. Split between two that is Belize, for giant tarpon, bonefish, permit and jacks, for just over $2,500 each. An old motto: if you got them, smoke them! On that tact, if you have a few spare dollars this is a trip that’s well worth it.
NOTE: To be upfront, Yellowdog and Turneffe are sponsors of Angler’s Tonic. When I went to Belize there were no sponsor ties between me and a friend and the lodge or Yellowdog. I can tell you that Turneffe is a top operation and a great opportunity, offering, perhaps, the best opportunity in the world to take the grand slam. Turneffe and Yellowdog are money. If they didn’t they wouldn’t be part of AT. —gt