If you are looking to branch out of the typical bonefish lodge, and add some adventure to your next trip, then Honduras could be your answer. We would also add, if you want to save money and eat fresh wahoo and crabs for next to nothing, eat like a king, then this is your place. Just getting to the flats of Honduras is a trip. We travelled through the San Salvador airport in El Salvador to San Pedro Sula, Honduras (neither of these airports would I call “organized”), then we got on a plane to Roatan, and from there took a flight in a 6 seat Cessna to Guanaja. The service light came on about every 2 minutes of the flight and the pilot just kept turning it off as if he were hitting the snooze on his alarm clock. When we arrived at the grass roofed airport in Guanaja, we learned that the actual town of Guanaja is entirely built on stilts, and is entirely built for fishing; perfect. Although you can get nice flats fishing out of Roatan as well, and don’t have to go to Guanaja, if you want to be off the beaten path you may want to travel past Roatan.
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Line – We have really never needed anything more than a weight forward floating saltwater line that matches the rod well. However, if you do plan to go blue water for dorado or wahoo with a fly I would definitely recommend bringing an intermediate or sinking line. You are generally trolling for those fish and the weighted line keeps the fly in the water column much better.
Reels – sealed drag reels with strong drags, machined is preferred as they are stronger and hold up during travel.
Leaders – There is a lot of coral, we recommend using fluorocarbon on everything here to allow yourself to go up in breaking strength and still have a stealthy enough leader. For bonefish stay in the 14-16lb range with a 9 foot tapered leader. Permit leaders are generally 9 foot tapered leaders with 20-25 lb line and usually those are fluorocarbon due to the skepticism of the species. For the tarpon, dorado, and wahoo the shock tippet needs to be 100lb class.
Flies – For bonefish flies make sure to have a large selection of different sizes and weights, the coral is easy to get caught up in so make sure you have unweighted flies. When the tide is out you will be fishing in 6 inches of water and coral with tails everywhere and it is intense! Bonefish flies in sizes 4-8. For deeper water it is important to have some with lead eyes as well. The hot flies are always changing so email us for the most in vogue patterns. Of course Gotchas, Crazy Charlies, Shrimp Cocktails, Bunny Gotchas (Bonefish Bugs), Skampis, and Bonefish Bitters are all required. The triggerfish eat the same thing the bonefish eat and they eat in the same areas on the flats.
For Permit, right now it is a bring everything game. This is a relatively new area, however, we highly recommend bringing a big selection of crabs in sizes 2-4, patterns like Del’s, Bauer’s Flats Crabs, Permit Crabs, EP Crabs, etc. Also make sure to have spawning shrimp patterns like EP spawning shrimp, shrimp cocktails, and Epoxy shrimp in size 4’s.
For tarpon, generally the guides down there are most familiar with the most familiar patterns like the Cockroach, Red Death, different kinds of Tarpon Toads, Gurglers, and even Poppers.
Other Stuff – Other things we would not forget would be neoprene socks and wading boots. We did a ton of wading on the flats, and there is so much coral, so make sure to bring a good pair of wading boots, not the little bootie style ones, those will get tore up. It’s actually not bad at all to wade on with the right footwear, but without it, it is not so much fun. If you are DIY, you will mostly likely be using a kayak so keep that in mind. A soft sided cooler, sun protection, and some dry bags would be very handy on this trip.