The Belize River Lodge rests quietly on the lush, green banks of the Belize Olde River, only 3.5 miles from the mouth of the river – the entrance into the Caribbean Sea and classic Flats fishing. The beautiful historic mahogany lodge is situated amidst an abundant tropical setting. Balmy breezes rich with the sound of bird song drift among the private cottages creating a naturalist's paradise. Relax and delight in the Belizean hospitality and the delicious combination of fine Belizean-Creole cuisine. The Belize River Lodge is a tried and proven world-class fishing lodge in continuous operation since 1960. It was the first fishing lodge built in Belize and was known as Barothy's Caribbean Lodge Ltd; then Keller Caribbean Sports Ltd (KCS); and since January of 1987, Belize River Lodge. BRL specializes in some of the very best saltwater fishing in all of Belize. Also offering customized eco-tours for non-anglers looking to have a tropical vacation or the angler wanting to get to see a little more of Belize. Conveniently located, Belize River Lodge is a short and easy trip to the fishing flats. Sight fishing the FLATS is their specialty, and variety is the main attraction. BONEFISH, TARPON, PERMIT and SNOOK are the main species caught by fly fishing and/or spin casting anglers. About 75% of the guests that stay at BRL are fly fishers, both men and women, many of who are in pursuit of the much coveted "Grand Slam".
Fishing is from 23' fiberglass Panga skiffs, usually two anglers to a skiff with an experienced professional guide. The coast of Belize is a complex system of river mouths, creeks, lagoons, flats, small cays, mangrove islands, and the Barrier Reef. This is a very large area with a great variety of fishing conditions, fish species, and scenery. Game fish species generally found in this area include Permit, Bonefish, Tarpon, and Snook.
Central Belize, where Belize River Lodge is located, is a year round fishery offering both saltwater fishing and river fishing. Year round, you can get into Tarpon, Permit, Bonefish and Snook, however, depending on your interests; there may be a better time frame to target a specific species.
Fly fishing for Bonefish is year round. They are very plentiful. Bonefish within this ecosystem vary from 2 to 8 pounds, with the majority being approximately 3 lbs. As a note, Bonefish are considered to be one of the most powerful fish, per pound, for its size.
The explosive Snook can be found in sizes of 5 to 25 pounds. Snook fishing is also good year round, however, low tides make casting to these fish easier, so November thru April are the most optimum months if you only want to cast to Snook.
Tarpon, the silver king, is one of the most acrobatic fish sought by saltwater anglers. Tarpon are categorized in two categories, Tarpon and large Tarpon. Belize has a resident population of large Tarpon, however in the spring and summer, migrating Tarpon visit the area waters, making for larger numbers of these big fish. While you can land large Tarpon year round, the bigger Tarpon are mainly found in the months of March through early August.
Tarpon from 5 to 80 lbs are found along the mangrove cayes, along the Flats and in the rivers. The Tarpon areas of Central Belize are diverse making for very good Tarpon fishing and a year round fishery.
The Belize coast is known worldwide for its Permit fishing flats. When fishing from the Lodge or the live-aboard, Permit range from 5 to over 30 pounds. The best time to fish for Permit is when there is less wind, usually the months between April and September (or whenever your schedule allows). Permit fishing is very weather dependent and any day of the year can be good Permit weather. To land a Permit is considered by many the ultimate fly fisherman's trophy!
A Typical Day Saltwater Fishing
Coffee or Tea on the Lodge Verandah, conversation, check tackle and equipment. If you are a birder, this is a great time to get out your binoculars and enjoy BRL's many wild tropical birds.
Breakfast, then after breakfast, back to your room, grab your gear, and go to the dock where you will meet your awaiting guide.
Guides are ready on skiffs at the dock, a few minutes for guides to check your tackle (especially if guests are changing guides daily). Then you and your guide can determine where and what to fish for that day based on weather and target species. Your BRL guide will help you tie or select the right leaders, lines, shock tippets and flies for the areas you are concentrating on for that day. Note that your first morning will take a few minutes longer for initial set up of equipment.
7:30 – 8:30 am:
Leave dock for fishing areas – can be flats, reef, mangroves, creeks, lagoons or river; usually a half hour to 40 minutes running time (as close as 20 minutes away).
During the Day
Most of the day is spent hunting or casting to fish, checking out many different places, such as flats, channels, mangrove shorelines, etc. The guides will usually pole or paddle during fishing most of the day with each angler taking turns on the bow, if there are two anglers to the boat. It is primarily sight fishing: casting to tailing, rolling or cruising fish or casting to fish held up under the mangroves or casting to mudding spots. There will be some blind casting to areas that guides know hold fish. The guide will motor to other areas during the day always with wind, tide, light and species in mind.
Sometime about midday, depending on fishing, the guide will find a cool, shady spot for lunch (usually under an overhanging mangrove). Lunch is prepared by the Lodge staff and consists of a delicious boxed meal of sandwiches, fruit, chips & dessert and is packed in a cooler with an assortment of soft drinks, beer, water, etc. Many anglers catch a power nap at this time and then plan for the afternoon. The afternoon fishing continues and the skiff heads for the Lodge, getting back around 5:00 to 5:30 pm. All boats should be back in the river before dusk. Rods & reels are rinsed at the dockside and stored in a convenient rack near the main Lodge, safe from screen doors and ceiling fans.
After a shower; drinks, appetizers & fishing stories are shared on the verandah. At 7:00 pm a delicious family style dinner is served and after dinner, relax on the screened-in porch, enjoy an after dinner cocktail and reminisce on the day's fishing. Maybe even find out what the hot lure or fly of the day was and learn to tie it yourself at the fly tying table.
Note: If you enjoy snorkeling, bring your equipment with you, and take an hour or so out of your fishing day and snorkel if you are near the reef. Let your guide know in the morning that you would like to snorkel, so he can plan it into your day.
A day's fishing from the live-aboards is similar to the Lodge's fishing day, except fishing can start earlier, returning to the yacht for breakfast about 8:00 – 8:30 am; going out again and fishing until lunch (about 1:00 – 2:00 pm); then taking a siesta. After, you can go out again and fish till dark. The only change will be if you are moving, as the live-aboard moves during daylight hours. The live-aboard provides for earlier and later fishing, afternoon siestas & shorter runs to saltwater fishing areas. (Please remember that the average guided day is 8 to 10 hours).
Guests stay in the comfortable, well kept Mahogany Lodge, which is located in a setting of tropical greenery and colorful flowers on the bank of the Belize Olde River. This site is a little less than four miles up from the river mouth and is ideally suited for a wide variety of fishing opportunities. This setting allowed easy access to a few different rivers, several creeks, and also very easy access to the flats, mangrove cayes and the Barrier Reef.
Belize River Lodge can accommodate up to sixteen people.
The "Guest House" is a two story mahogany building. It contains four rooms, each with two single beds, private hot & cold showers, ceiling fans, a/c and screened verandas overlooking the Belize Old River.
The "Cottage" is set up for two groups of two or for a family of four. Each room has separate hot & cold showers, ceiling fans, a/c and two single beds. Both are separated by a connecting door and share an open veranda. One of the cottage rooms has a cozy sitting area.
The "Bungalow" has two rooms, each with a queen and a double bed, private hot and cold shower, ceiling fan, a/c, and a large screened veranda, which allows the tropical trade winds to blow through.
All of the Lodge rooms are air conditioned and decorated with a tropical Belizean ambience. When you return from fishing, fresh purified water and ice will be ready in your room, and your bed will be turned down for you during dinner. BRL's accommodations offer excellent service with an old world charm.
From the Belize River Lodge's kitchen comes an excellent combination of the best Belizean, Creole and American cuisine. The Lodge cooks use the freshest and finest ingredients (even coconuts off the trees in the front yard), and along with some old family recipes, create some of the most memorable tasty meals, which will have you asking for a few recipes. Remember, save room for coffee or tea and dessert!
The dining room's claim to fame are the three solid slab mahogany tables, where you can find some of the finest dining and socializing in Belize. Relax and enjoy the atmosphere, and tell a couple of stories yourself. After dinner, you can retire to the lounge or the porch for an after dinner refreshment. Located within this area is a self-service bar and the fly tying table.
Belize River Lodge operates two systems: fishing &/or touring from the Lodge and fishing and vacation cruises from a live-aboard (mothership). Whether you choose to stay at the Lodge or aboard thier lovely motor-yacht, you will surely revel in your ultimate tropical adventure!
The country of Belize is a very interesting and beautiful place to visit with a diverse culture and landscape. Requests from anglers and non fishing visitors wishing to know and see more of Belize have prompted the Belize River Lodge to offer customized half day and full day tours. Relaxing and listening to the sounds of the jungle wildlife is fascinating. Inhale the fragrances of the beautiful flowering plants and experience the natural beauty of tropical Belize. The professional eco-tours are guided by English speaking. They are licensed guides and tour operators in whom we have great confidence and who perform at the highest standards.
The areas of highest interest include: Maya Ruin tours; Caves & Waterfalls; Horseback Riding; Bird Watching; River Trips to see Manatees, Howler Monkeys, Iguanas, Turtles, and sometimes Crocodiles; The Belize Zoo, housing the native animals and snakes of Belize; Snorkeling; Scuba Diving; San Pedro and HolChan, Ambergris Caye; the old and new Capital of Belize (Belize City and Belmopan); Local Villages; Wood Carvers at work; Tikal in Guatemala; and much more.
Half day Belize tours: include guide; transportation; cooler with ice and good drinking water.
Full day Belize tours: same as half day tour, but also includes lunch and soft drinks.
2011 PACKAGE RATES
Valid January 1, 2011 thru December 31, 2011
Belize River Lodge, along with their live-aboard Blue Yonder, offers many packages – fishing, eco–touring and combination fishing and eco–touring. Below are a few sample fishing packages. If you do not see a package that you are interested in, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to quote a different package for you. Also, please note that if you are coming ashore in Belize City for the day on a cruise ship, Belize River Lodge offers a day fishing package that caters to cruise passengers.
Belize River Lodge - FISHING
Rate per person, based on double occupancy
3 Night/2 day Lodge Fishing Package US$1,400.00
7 Night/6 day Lodge Fishing Package US$3,668.00
BRL Fishing Package Includes: Round trip airport transfers in Belize – meeting & checkout services, accommodations, air conditioning in rooms, daily housekeeping, all meals – including a box lunch, soda & drinking water, guided fishing, skiff & fuel, Hotel Taxes & GST tax.
BRL Fishing Package Does Not Include: Airfare to & from Belize, fishing equipment & tackle, Belize Fishing License (US$25.00 per angler, per week), alcoholic beverages, tips to guides and staff, Belize Departure Tax (approximately US$39.25 per person – included in ticket or paid at airport).