5/30 - 6/5: A late spring return to Belize. This time it was to Cocoa Plum Caye.
It could easily be labeled "The Bestest and the Worstest", and why would that be? The customer service was about the best we've encountered anywhere in the world - and the fly fishing was really the worst for us "do it yourselfers". Thus the labels.
We wanted to try a new resort in Belize and this came up on our radar when a booking agent for one of its sister resorts mentioned that fly fishing was available all around the island and also noted that the triumvirate of "wanted species" all lived here. As it turns out they probably do, but unfortunately not in the locations or numbers for us to be successful fly fishing for them.
So the trip was definitely a mixed bag.
Here's the good stuff about the place.
Nice sized and well appointed cabanas. Food was outstanding at all meals - easily at the upper end of the scale of wherever we've previously been.
Almost better than that was that we could have our own private tables for each meal as opposed to being clumped together family style as happens at other resorts in Belize.
The overall customer service was over the top. Management and staff were simply amazing. The facilities were attractive and well maintained. Definitely would classify this as a four star resort.
Now for the not so wonderful.
The island is offshore from the small southern village of Dangriga. The open boat ride there was wet and wild, somewhat dangerous, and as little fun as one can have. Sue had a sore back for three days which has never happened before on any of our similar offshore boat trips.
Snorkeling around the island was a dud. Very few signs of any type of fish to see. Kayaking was out due to high winds from the wrong direction. There were a few other minor glitches with the accommodations, but nothing major. The cabana had a few "left out" items, and most of all we missed some kind of information sheet or pamphlet about the resort that gave its history, meal times, and other pertinent information about the place - things to do, etc. Here are a few quickie clips of the resort experience - mostly about the eating.
Let's be blunt about the fishing. It was really lousy, and we worked hard at it every day. We never saw a permit, the few tarpon we did see could not be cast to, and the smallish bonefish lived in a murky bay that could not be waded. Enough said. See the short fishing video for what we did catch.
6/17: Back to our place in Colorado and took a quickie overnight trip starting on the Upper Eagle River near Camp Hale. That part turned out fine when we were able to hook & release a few of the smallish (14" or less browns) that live in that high altitude water. The rest of the day was a dud at several places on the Arkansas and somewhat later on the South Platte near Hartsel.
We returned to Camp Hale and spent a somewhat quiet night sleeping in the camper there. Next morning was too cold to fish right away so we headed home and called the trip over. Here's a small photo of one of the browns we released.
Last Logbook Entry � for previous day
6/21-22: This was our first three day trip to the Gunnison River, usually a dandy from a fishing standpoint. Unfortunately this year's was a complete dud. When we arrived at the stream along the South Bank Road, it looked fine. But right away we noticed the complete absence of any kind of hatch. Not a good sign. And it actually got worse after that.
Rather than dwell at length on the quality of the fishing, let's just say that it was as bad as we've ever seen it. Nothing really worked, either on the surface or somewhere lower in the water column. Yes we did have a bit of luck but nothing worth mentioning positively.
Camping that night was fun as it usually is.
Next day we hiked a couple of miles up the Black Canyon section and had similarly ugly results. Even though we're still in the month of June the river looks like it's already in the "dog days" of August. We left that afternoon and made our way up to Anthracite Creek at the base of Kebler Pass and did have some fairly decent catching there on the local wild rainbows even though this creek is still running too hard from runoff to be barely wadable (roughly 200 cfs.).
Camped that night at our regular spot overlooking the Raggeds and then headed back home the next morning. So we're done with the Gunnison this year, and that's a shame. It's almost always one of our favorite early season go to places. The drought sucks.
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