I arrived in Belize City on March 1st, and was greeted by Mike Heusner, owner of the Belize River Lodge. We cruised through the small airport, jumped into Mike’s Landrover, and took about a five minute journey down a small gravel road that ended at a very small crude dock on an overgrown creek. “The boat will be here in a couple of minutes.” he said, as I stood in awe of the jungle surroundings. A short ride downriver in a Panga skiff and we were at the beautiful mahogony lodge. Five boats, five buildings, and nothing but the sounds of birds and the Caribbean breezes. I knew I was in for a true 5 day retreat. I was escorted to my room, which suprisingly was air conditioned, but had no glass windows, only plastic, two beds, a large screened porch with a hammock, and no television. Good thing I brought one of my laptops and some dvd’s. A quick introduction told me that breakfast and dinner were at 7:00AM and 7:00PM respectively, and between meals I would be fly fishing with their senior guide Raul, whom I saw a couple of weeks earlier on an episode of ESPN’s In Search of Fly Water. That first afternoon seemed liked an eternity, as all I could think about was the explosive pull of my first bonefish or tarpon the next day. During that first evening meal, I was introduced to the lodges other guests, an American who lives in Costa Rica, an American that resides in southern Belize, and two guys from Indiana, all of whom were there to get their fly fishing fix. Some great food, good conversation, excellent hospitality, and the best night’s sleep I’ve had in years, and it was time to go fly fishing. I brought 5 rods and reels, but that first morning Raul and I decided that a 9wt. rigged for small tarpon and snook, a 9wt. rigged for bonefish, and a 12wt. ready for the occaisional monster tarpon were all I needed to bring on the boat. During the entire trip, we had some weather issues, mainly clouds and wind, that determined the kind of fishing we would do. The multiple fisheries located near Belize River Lodge, make this the ideal sub-tropical destination. The Belize Old River offers a protected environment for snook and small tarpon, the mangrove cays provide an ideal habitat for large snook and tarpon, and the miles of flats provide a crustacean rich environment for bonefish and permit. Throughout my 3 1/2 days of fishing I was lucky enough to catch fish in each of these environments with a variety of techniques. The majority of the bonefishing was done in less than 8 inches of water from the boat and was very visual, unless the winds whipped too hard or if the sun decided to hide behind the occasional cloud. Tarpon were seen in the river, in the deeper mangrove cuts, and the big boys can even be spotted tailing just like a bonefish in the 3 feet deep mud flat at the mouth of the Belize River. We didn’t see a whole lot of snook most of the time, but on my last day when the tide ripped for an hour, the snook appeared outside of the deep mangrove islands, and positioned themselves to snatch any unsuspecting baitfish getting swept by. Oh, these were not your little estuary 1 year old snook, these fish probably averaged 10 pounds! All in all the Belize River Lodge is one of the best destinations I have ever been to, and it just so happens to sit among one of the healthiest fisheries that I have ever seen. You should definately take a trip there!