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The Boys head to Belize

The Boys head to Belize

May 11, 2021

 

After a year of little to no traveling, and focusing on our (closer to home) waters, we decided to head further south to put our new product line to the test in Punta Gorda, Belize. We linked up with world-renown fly fishing guides, The Garbutt Brothers, for several days of permit fishing, plus a few other adventures and good times to boot...








Punta Gorda is a small town of around five thousand, consisting mostly of sugarcane and livestock farmers. Located between the mouths of the Grande and Moho rivers and backed by down-right incredible views of the Maya Mountains, it's clear that this place is exactly what the doctor ordered and we're ready to fill that prescription. On top of amazing views and laid back folks, Punta Gorda has another dream-destination trick hidden up it's sleeve: some of the Best Permit Guides on this planet.
 
Pulling up on the Garbutt's Fishing Lodge, you know you're in for something special. After arriving and unpacking, taking in the scenery, prepping our rods, and giving the local rum a few pulls, we retired early to get ready for a slick calm day of searching for black tails cutting through the clear blue water. The next morning, we met up with our guides, got the run down on fly and leader selection (along with an ample amount of trash talk if you were on Yogi's boat), and then headed on out to the permit flats just North of the town.

A few of our great Belizean guides. Clockwise from top left: Scully, Alex, Oliver, Yogi





Even if you haven't had the opportunity to hunt for permit yet, you know the stories. It's exactly that: a hunt. And sometimes, they're down right sneaky, stubborn, and all around frustrating to fish for. On occasion, you can do everything right, and they still turn down the fly with little indication of why. Luckily, our guides were keyed in and patient, and made it happen for those of us willing enough to be patient with them.



 

As great as permit fishing is, a lunch break can be a welcome reprieve from staring down endless flats of greens and blues.



On our first day of permit fishing, we retired to the dock in the afternoon for a few cold ones and some fresh fruit. We were warned what would happen next...


 

Out of their mangrove hideaways, a group of iguanas emerged, hoping to make off with a fresh fruit snack from the group of distracted anglers discussing the day's fishing. Thanks to plenty of heckling from the group and ever so slightly impaired judgment from a day of permit-fishing and Belikin-drinking, Logan decided to provide on particularly large iguana with a refreshing watermelon snack. Little did he know that iguana was built for speed and had a taste for human fingers as well. Queue a chain reaction of events that involved a natural blood-stopping remedy, a local hospital visit, stitches, and an expat explorer with a hankering for local beers and plenty of stories to tell as well. Luckily, there's nothing a little "Jaguar Pizz" — the local rum concoction combining tree bark and intensely flavorful additives — and a good night's sleep couldn't fix.




After an eventful afternoon and evening, the next morning was buzzing with anticipation of another calm day and the talk of getting out to the Belize Barrier Reef. The reef can be found roughly 30 miles offshore from Punta Gorda and is home to pristine grass flats and tailing bonefish in large, undisturbed groups. Several of our guides grew up in the, now dilapidated, houses that dot the small islands across the reef. They fondly tell tales of spending their days diving for lobster, conch, and hogfish and their nights fishing off the docks for mangrove snapper. It seems like just as much of a treat for them to return to a place they consider home as it is for us to experience it. Although, that may have just been the excitement of an easier day's work!







 

One of the many reasons we chose Belize as our Spring destination this year was to change up the scenery. While we have a soft spot for the crystal clear flats of the Bahamas, Florida Keys, and Mexico, Belize offered up similar opportunities with the added scenery of the jungle and the fishing adventures that came along with it. Between howler monkeys overhead and early morning mist wafting off of the river, the rainforest jungle gives off a primordial feeling that's fresh and unique. And while permit called from the flats at the river's mouth, it was worth taking a day to change up the pace in search of river tarpon lurking below.









 

A word from the not-so-wise: you're doing yourself a disservice if you travel anywhere to fish and don't take the time to appreciate a little bit of the local color. Along with our guide, we made sure to find our way into a few of his favorite haunts for a beer and a conversations with the locals...and a few street dog pets along the way.








With plenty of permit and bonefish to boast about, and a few sun burns to care for as well, it was time to head back home....and there's no surprise that these trips always end too soon. But it's all good. If not here, we'll be back out there somewhere again soon.

We want to thank an awesome set of guides for great fishing and even better entertainment. Looking to scratch the permit itch? Go see The Garbutt Brothers down in Punta Gorda.

The Guides of Punta Gorda. From left to right: Victor, Alex, Oliver, Yogi, Scully





Sizing Guide

East Coast Cotton T-Shirts

East Coast Cotton t-shirts offer a fuller, more relaxed cut. If you prefer a modern athletic look, we suggest that you order down a size. Spun, knitted and sewn in the South, Marsh Wear's 100% pre-shrunk Pima Cotton offers a cashmere-like feel that keeps you comfortable and looking fresh.

S M L XL XXL
Chest 38" 42" 46" 50" 54"
Body Length 29" 30" 31" 32" 33"
Sleeve Length 8.5" 9" 9.5" 10.5" 11.5"

 

Pro Blend T-Shirts

Pro-Blend t-shirts are cut slightly slimmer for an athletic fit. If you prefer a shirt with a fuller cut, we recommend ordering up a size. These shirts feature a shrink resistant poly cotton blend for a light, super soft feel that wicks away moisture.

S M L XL XXL
Chest 41" 44" 48" 52" 56"
Body Length 29" 30" 31" 32" 33"
Sleeve Length 8" 8.5" 9" 9.5" 10"

 

Performance Shirts

Our performance shirts are cut to standard sizing in the body and are slightly longer to keep you covered during active ventures. This range of lightweight, full coverage, moisture wicking gear will keep you cool, stylish and comfortable while protecting you from the elements.

M L XL XXL
Chest 22" 23" 24" 25"
Body Length 28" 30" 31" 32"
Sleeve Length 25.5" 26" 26.5" 27"

 

Rutledge Vest & Outerwear Jackets

Our signature Rutledge Vest was designed with the do-it-all sportsman in mind. Sporting a rugged water resistant outer shell and just the right weight of insulation to insure comfort and good times on any adventure. Whether it be a morning cast and blast or an evening oyster roast this vest fits the bill in style.

S M L XL XXL
Chest 42" 44" 46" 48" 50"
Body Length 26" 27" 28" 29" 30"
Shoulder 18" 18.5" 19" 19.5" 20"

 

Hydro Shorts

Our Hydro Shorts fit true to size in the waist and have a narrower cut in the hip and thigh like unpleated khaki shorts. These water submersible shorts are ready for any adventure.

30 32 34 36 38 40
Waist 31" 33" 35" 37" 38.5" 40.25"
Length 18.5" 19.25" 19.375" 19.75" 20.25" 20.25"
Leg Opening 9" 9.375" 9.625" 9.75" 9.875" 9.875"

 

Escape Pant

Our Escape Pant fit true to size in the waist and are a slim straight cut. Constructed of the perfect weight durable nylon with added stretch, so you are ready for any adventure.

28 30 32 34 36 38 40
Waist 29" 31" 33" 35" 37" 39" 41"
Inseam 30" 30.5" 31" 31.5" 32" 32.5" 32.5"
Leg Opening 15.25" 15.5" 15.75" 16" 16.25" 16.5" 16.75"

 

Volleys

S M L XL XXL
Waist 28-31" 32-33" 34-36" 36-38" 38-42"