The moment your feet step off the panga and onto the landing dock of the breathtaking Thatch Caye Island Resort you are greeted by a fresh glass of ice cold watermelon juice prepared specifically for your private arrival. Pearly white smiles of the hospitality crew surround you. From that moment until you return back to the mainland, every wish and desire you have is accommodated at the all-inclusive island resort. The entire island only takes you 20 minutes to walk from one end to the other, it is complete with 15 rooms and can sleep up to 32 guests.

The resort attracts honeymooners from all over the world as it is complete with oceanfront penthouses and overwater bungalows, so there will be no shortage of drunken happy go lucky couples to laugh the evenings away with. The advantage to this is that while yes you will mostly come across a plethora of vacationing couples, you will be all alone in your fly-fishing quest for one of the most challenging sport fish of all time. Trachinotus falcatus. Otherwise known as the Permit.

Thatch Caye is centered in the heart of permit country. Surrounded by the world’s largest living reef, the Belize Barrier Reef you can literally cast to schools of tailing permit and not see another soul for miles past the horizon. One morning we just hopped on a couple of the community bicycles and peddled down to the north end of the island.

Stealthy as we could peering through openings in the hanging palms we spotted bonefish tailing just a rod lengths from the shore. Someone wake me up, it can’t be this easy… All along the west side and close to the overwater tiki bar thrashing takes and baitfish raining just above the surface for their lives echo throughout the night.

The water is alive with hunting barracuda, reef fish brilliantly strutting every color of the spectrum, and of course your game fish: bones, tarpon and permit.

Say for example not every person in your party wants to fly fish every day. No worries, your experience is completely designed by the interests of you and those who accompany you. Snorkeling, diving, lobster/conch hunting, basket weaving, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, river boat tours, island crawl via a floating bar, body treatments, spa massage are all on the table. Evenings if you so desire can end with popping bottles on a stargazer’s cruise under the Belizean Night Sky. And again if all you came for is the fly fishing then you can literally fish till your heart’s content.

While we were there we had the incredible opportunity of fishing with the Permit Master himself. When you meet Lincoln Westby you have immediate innate respect for this man. A legendary Belizean fly fishing guide he was fishing for permit with a fly rod before the rest of the world knew what a permit was.

At 78 years of age, he was polling us around the flats as if he had just reached his prime, telling us fish stories from 40-50 years ago while slipping in life lessons of forgiveness, humility and well-being.

Lincoln is simply an immense wealth of knowledge that no video, book or article could ever fully convey. His kindness, patience and direction deemed him an absolute pleasure to spend the days fly fishing with and the words and stories he shared with us will not soon be forgotten. (Lincoln is the lead guide for Blue Horizon Belize, an Orvis Endorsed fly fishing outfitter that operates out of Thatch Caye Island Resort).

The island resort is well aware of the jewel of a location in which they are located when it comes to destination fly fishing so they have cleverly designed several of their cabanas to accommodate the visiting angler. At the end of a long day on the salt, all you want to do is shower and be cold right? Well, you just mosey yourself on down to your private quarters, hang your rods on the fly rod holders built right onto your cabanas deck, step inside and blast the AC.

You must, however, be very cautious of the beds in the angler cabanas…. I kid you not, the first night I slept there I awoke the next morning feeling as though I had slept for a week and subtracted 10 years of aging. A nap could turn into missing dinner and dinner at Thatch Caye is not something you can forgive yourself for if you miss.

The first night prepared by the Island’s private chef we had lobster that was caught that day from a rocks throw away. The food is thoughtfully and artistically prepared as the chef has the support of a crew of 5-6 servers, sous chefs and line cooks all with one goal which is to make sure that every bite is an invigorating experience.

I think that in itself is exactly what this Muy’Ono Resort envisioned when they designed this paradise destination. They pictured a glistening sunset and you walking barefoot, past the breezy palms on your way to a hammock, pina colada in hand and a smile from ear to ear reminiscing on a day of fly fishing that you won’t ever forget.

Article by Ruth Simms (@navajoflyfisher) on a recent Team Flylords trip down to Thatch Caye Island Resort while fishing with Blue Horizon Belize in the famed Permit Alley region of Southern Belize.

You can book your adventure down to Thatch Caye by visiting their website or emailing info@bluehorizonbelize.com. For more information on Lincoln Westby and Blue Horizon Belize check them out online here.

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