Fly Fishing Roatan, Honduras.

Fly fishing the flats of the Bay Islands is a unique opportunity to experience fishing in a remote setting. These flats have not seen a lot of fishermen and are as close as a 90 second boat ride! The six rod per week limit will keep these flats fishing well for a long time. Bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, 6 species of jack, barracuda, lemon sharks, snappers, and the unusual black durgon triggerfish will all challenge your fly fishing skills.  Fly fishing is catch and release.

See what Fly Fishing in Salt Water’s magazine editor Ted Lund has to say about the fishing on Roatan.

The “ghost of the flats” can be found in good numbers around the island of Roatan. Most of the fly fishing is done while wading the turtlegrass flats. Anglers can expect to see bonefish tailing, cruising in schools and as larger singles, and mudding in deeper water. Fly fishing for bonefish is consistent year round with the average fish weighing 3-4 lbs, with larger fish approaching 8-10 lbs.

Permit are known as the holy grail of flats fishing because of their keen eyesight and sense of smell, and also their wariness in shallow water. The permit of the Bay Islands are found on the same flats as the bonefish, but also can be found cruising deeper water on the edges of certain flats. Stalking permit on foot is a rare fly fishing experience that is second to none and can only be done in a few places! Permit fishing is year round with the best numbers of fish found February – July. The average permit weighs 8 – 12 lbs, but can reach 30 lbs.

Tarpon are known as the “silver kings” because of their shiny scales, but it’s their acrobatics once hooked that will make you smile. Most of the tarpon are found in the brackish water of the mangrove lagoons and are considered to be baby tarpon. Imagine holding a fish of 40-50 lbs and calling it a baby! Most fish are smaller but there is no mistaking when a tarpon hits your fly regardless of size. Fly fishing for tarpon is year round, with peak season being October – January.

Tides – Tides play an important part of how the flats fish in Honduras. Higher tides associated with the full and new moons mean deeper water and often there are more permit found on the flat instead of around the deeper edges. If there is some wind to push these tides a little deeper, you’ll have landed in permit heaven! These same higher tides make it more difficult to spot bonefish unless they are tailing. Lower tides make it easier to spot those bones, but also easier for them to spot you. The lower tides also push the tarpon out of the depths of the mangroves and it into the deeper holes where they are fishable.


Although most of the fly fishing is geared around the grand slam species mentioned above, there are numerous other fish that will eat a fly. Snook can be found along the edges of the same mangrove lagoons where tarpon are found and can reach 10 lbs. Six different species of jack ,including yellow, horse eye, and crevalle can be found in a number of different habitats. These fish grow large and put up a serious fight! Snappers are found in all shapes and sizes and can spice up a slow afternoon. The most unusual fish found swimming the flats has to be the black durgon triggerfish (shown).  Hook one of these unique fish and hold on!