Fly Fishing the Yucatan – Report

Here is a great report from some Canadian friends who ventured to the Yucatan to try their hand at some saltwater fly fishing.  When reading the report, keep in mind they are new to the game…….I believe this is their second trip anywhere fishing for flats species.

I heard from Nick Denbow their guide as well……Everything said is true!!!!!

“We went to the Yucatan Peninsula Mexico this April to fly fish in and around Mahahual.

Accommodation is easy to find and there are plenty of restaurants to choose from.


On Rod’s recommendation we booked guide Nick Denbow about 2 1/2 months prior to our trip. Look him up on You Tube. He is a very friendly guy with a wealth of knowledge that he shares as you fish.

We did a trip to an interior lagoon off his John boat, where Phillip hooked a Tarpon on his third cast which Nicke estimated at over 50 lbs. It took 25 minutes to land, jumping in the air doing high flying maneuvers four times!!  What a magnificent fish.

There were literally a dozen more jumping around the lake as they seemed to like the overcast morning.   In the heat of the day they vanished, preferring to stay deeper.

Later in the day I hooked a huge snook that took off down the cenote in the middle of the lake.  Since I was running out of backing Nick had to  follow the fish with the boat.

When it finally came out of the cenote we were all excited to see it was over 30 pounds.


Not bad for the first time tarpon and snook fishing.

The next day we changed it up and did a beach fishing trip with Nick. We waded in the surf and shallows, and landed a large number of bone fish.

Then Nick pointed out a “different” fin  cutting through the surface of  the water, one cast and Phillip was fast to a 12 pound permit.

With the coaching of Nick and him wading in the water up to his neck he tailed the fish.  Following a 30 minute fight, it was picture time.


After releasing the permit, Nick pointed out that we had landed the “Super Slam” in two days.

We DIYed for 5 more days around the beaches of Mahahaul and caught many more bonefish.

Thanks to Nick for showing us were to go, how to rig up and what to look for.  We encountered the wind that the area can experience but even though the water was stirred up we could still find plenty of fish on the ocean beaches.


We had a great 10 days and are sure to return again.”

Debbie and Phillip Smith
B.C. Canada

Flyfishing for bonefish is my passion. Over the last twenty years I've waded flats throughout the world and honestly can't wait to see the next one. Of the 3-4 months I spend in the tropics each year I divide my fishing time between lodges, independent guides and self-guided.
  1. Dave Lock Reply

    Great report!
    When’s the new book ready?

  2. Ken Hall Reply

    Hi Great pics, yes I like the idea of a destination where you can avail of a Guide for a day or so, then self guide for the rest of the trip on a budget. Kind regards Ken.

  3. Bryan Sapp Reply

    Good information – thanks for passing along.

    I’m actually heading to Cancun with a group on 2/4, and was wondering if it would be worth sticking around a few extra days to chase some permit and bones. I’ve fished the flats in Akumal before in October, but I had a guide. How’s the fishing in the Winter? Does it generally require a guide to get on some fish? Thank you

    • Rod Hamilton Reply

      Hi Bryan. There is some very good fishing out of Cancun and worth a day or two for sure. But it does require a guide. Good luck

  4. Rand Reply

    Looking on google earth at the area around Mahahaul and can’t see any lagoons. Were you fishing just off shore in front?

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