Pesca Mayas Recommendations For Fly-Fishermen Flyfishing Ascension Bay Flats

Bonefish Tackle
  • Fly Rods: Multi-piece 7 or 8 wt. Fly rods in the nine foot length are the best choices. We like fast tapered saltwater rods, that have been specially designed for the riggers of the salt. Good models to choose from include the Sage RPLX, G. Loomis GLX and the Scott Saltwater series, all in three or four piece, for easy traveling. Bringing along a spare rod is not a bad idea.
  • Fly Reels: (minimum 150 yards of 20 lb. backing) Reels specifically designed for saltwater Fly fishing are the ticket. Smooth disk drags, plenty of backing capacity, and sturdy aluminum anodized frames are features to look for in a reel. Models to consider are the Sage 5000 Series (5300 or 5400), Tibor “Everglades”, Billy Pate “Bonefish”, Abel (2 or 3N) and Streamline (SL 3N).
  • Fly Lines: A weight forward floating line is all you need. Scientific Anglers Mastery Bonefish are the best going. These lines are specifically designed for saltwater Fly fishing with a special braided monofilament core that provides the proper stiffness to allow excellent shooting while resisting tangles, even in tropical heat.
  • Leaders: Tapered saltwater leaders made from clear monofilament (8 – 15 lb. class ) 10′ – 12′ are the way to go. Umpqua Bonefish Leaders and the Rio Powerflex Knotless Bonefish Leaders are good choices. You should bring along some tippet material, clear monofilament (8 – 15 lb. class). Fluorocarbon leaders are another good choice as they are near invisible in the water, perfect for spooky fish in very clear water.
  • Flies for Bonefish: Bonefish flies come in an array of styles and colors. The following list of flies, should cover most of the bonefishing situations you will encounter. Crazy Charlies #6 (silver, amber, crystal pink, crystal chartreuse) Blind Charlies #6 (silver, amber, crystal pink, crystal chartreuse). Mini Puff #6, # 4 (pink, tan/orange, chartreuse) McVay Gotcha # 6 (chain bead-eye). Christmas Charlies #8 (tan, pink, yellow) Nasty Gilbert #6, Bonefish Clouser #6 (chartreuse), Raghead Crab #8, Popovic Ultra Shrimp #4, Mangrove Critter #1/0. Finally, Jan Isley’s, Yucatan Charlie #6 (pink or beige marabou tail with 3 – 6 strands of chartreuse crystal flash tied in, all about a 1/2′ long, white kip tail wing tied in on throat 3/4″ long, bead chain eyes or blind, translucent yellow swannundaze or v-rib wrapped over chartreuse flymaster plus thread).
Permit Tackle
  • Fly Rods: Multi-piece 8, 9 or 10 wt. Fly rods in the nine foot length are the best choices. We like fast tapered saltwater rods, that have been specially designed for the riggers of the salt. Good models to choose from include the Sage RPLX, G. Loomis GLX and the Scott Saltwater series, all in three or four piece, for easy traveling. Bringing along a spare rod is not a bad idea.
  • Fly Reels: (minimum 200 yards of 20 lb. backing) Reels specifically designed for saltwater Fly fishing are the ticket. Smooth disk drags, plenty of backing capacity, and sturdy aluminum anodized frames are features to look for in a reel. Models to consider are the Sage 5000 Series (5300 or 5400), Tibor “Everglades”, Billy Pate “Bonefish”, Abel (2 or 3N) and Streamline (SL 3N).
  • Fly Lines: A weight forward floating line is all you need. Scientific Anglers Mastery Bonefish are the best going. These lines are specifically designed for saltwater Fly fishing with a special braided monofilament core that provides the proper stiffness to allow excellent shooting while resisting tangles, even in tropical heat.
  • Flyfishing Leaders: Tapered saltwater leaders made from clear monofilament (12 – 15 lb. class ) 10′ – 12′ are the way to go. Umpqua Bonefish Leaders and the Rio Powerflex Knotless Bonefish Leaders are good choices. You should bring along some tippet material, clear monofilament (8 – 15 lb. class). Fluorocarbon leaders are another good choice as they are near invisible in the water, perfect for spooky fish in very clear water.
  • Flies for Permit: Bauer’s Fur Crab #6, Turneffe Crab (olive) #6, Raghead Crab #8, #2, or 1/0, Del’s Permit Crab #2, Popovic Ultra Shrimp # 4 or 1/0, Bauer’s Mantis Shrimp.
Tarpon Tackle
  • Fly Rods: Multi-piece 8, 9 or 10 wt. Fly rods in the nine foot length are the best choices. We like fast tapered saltwater rods with plenty of butt strength. Good models to choose from include the Sage RPLX, G. Loomis GLX and the Scott Saltwater series, all in three or four piece, for easy traveling. We highly recommend bringing a backup rod.
  • Fly Reels: (minimum 200 yards of 20 – 30 lb. backing) Reels specifically designed for saltwater Fly fishing are the ticket. Smooth disk drags, plenty of backing capacity, and sturdy aluminum anodized frames are features to look for in a reel. Models to consider are the Sage 5000 Series (5400 or 5500), Tibor “Riptide”, Billy Pate “Bonefish”, Abel (3N or 3) and Streamline (SL4).
  • Fly Lines: For 90% of your tarpon fishing a weight forward floating line is all you need. Scientific Anglers Mastery Bonefish or Tarpon Taper are the best going. These lines are specifically designed for saltwater Fly fishing with a special braided monofilament core that provides the proper stiffness to allow excellent shooting while resisting tangles, even in tropical heat. In addition to your floater, and intermediate sinking line can be necessary, especially when fishing over rolling tarpon in and around the various cenotes. Here again, Scientific Anglers Mastery Sinking Bonefish or Tarpon Taper lines are the best. These lines are abrasion resistant, with a very slick finish for distance casting, featuring a long tapered tip for delicate presentation and clear color that won’t spook fish. If you had to pick one line, go with the floater…
  • Leaders: Leaders for tarpon fishing incorporate a shock tippet section married to a class tippet section, by a series of special knots. If you are not into tying your own , then we recommend the Rio Powerflex Big Game Leaders. They are sold in packets of three with prestraightened shock tippets ready to go. The 16 lb. class tippet / 60 lb. shock tippet leaders are perfect for Pesca Maya. If you would like to tie your own tarpon leaders, some good reference books are Lefty Krey “Fly Fishing in Saltwater” and “Practical Fishing Knots” by Lefty Krey and Mark Sosin.
  • The Pesca Maya Tarpon Leader: Off your Fly line run a butt leader of 30 to 45 lb. test mono 5′ in length. To this attach a section of 50 lb. to 60 lb. test mono (shock tippet) 3′ to 4′ in length. To attach the two pieces of mono together, use back to back nail knots. This is a simple, and very clean leader, perfect for tarpon in Ascencion Bay.
  • Flies for Tarpon: In general, Pesca Maya tarpon flies should be tied on 1/0 & 2/0 size hooks. Slight variations in shape and color can be all that is needed to entice tarpon into striking. When fishing the lakes at Paradise (November – March) brightly colored flies work best in stained water. Dark flies are the ticket (April – October) when the water is typically gin clear. They key here is contrast in color between the water and the Fly. Flies that work well include the Paradise Sunset (orange, yellow & grizzly), Paradise Purple (black & purple), Prince of Tides, Paradise Cockroach, Grim Reaper, Borski’s Orange Butt Tarpon, Red & White Tarpon, Lefty’s Deceivers in various contrasting colors, and the Tropical Punch. Your flies should be dressed heavily in order to maintain neutral buoyancy and create an attractive silhouette that moves water. Recently there is good action with Dahlberg Rabbit Strip Divers & Dahlberg “Sliders” in red & white as well as lightly dressed Snook-A-Roos. Mini Crystal Poppers can produce savage top-water strikes, especially during the fall months. Pesca Maya has a well stocked Fly tying bench at the Lodge, and can help you create the current hot patterns.
Snook Tackle

You can use the same Fly fishing tackle that you use for tarpon. Snook key in on surface flies with a vengeance. Surface patterns like Whitlock’s Swimmin’ Frog, Swimming Baitfish, Randy’s Gator Frog, Peacock Diver, Snook-A-Roo, and Crystal Poppers are good choices. Flies outlined in the tarpon flies section will work for your subsurface patterns including Whitlock’s Sheep Fly Lefty’s Deceivers, and Dahlberg’s Rabbit Strip Divers.

Barracuda Tackle

Pesca Maya waters are full of barracuda. Your tarpon/snook or bonefish/permit Fly fishing outfit is perfect for hounding cudas. For barracuda fishing you’ll need a spool of nylon covered braided wire “Sevalon” or “SevenStrand” kink-resistant wire in the 40 lb. class. The Fly Shops’ “Cuda Fly”, Goddards Needlefish, and a chartreuse and white tarpon streamer, with plenty of flashabout is all you need.

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Flyfishing Tackle Recommendations / Saltwater Flies