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FLY FISHING BY DESTINATION FLY FISHING BY SPECIES

Lodges

Avalon Fleet II

Avalon Fleet II

Tarpon Bonefish, Permit, and Tarpon

Avalon II is a brand new state-of-the-art vessel with 10 state rooms, that will start operating since April 2014.

 

The atmosphere was conceived and designed to provide our guests with an experience of a lifetime.  It is air conditioned with private bathrooms. 

Its overall capacity is 20 passengers and 9 crew members. We suggest between 10 and 16 anglers for optimum comfort. The design and interior decor give the yacht a touch of intimacy, refinement, a sense of warmth and simplicity. The boat has the perfect balance of substantial exploration capabilities and a unique and noble style. It guarantees all our guests a pleasant, exciting and exclusive voyage through Jardines de la Reina. 

 

 

Maps

Location

 

General Information

The Republic of Cuba is an archipelago in the Caribbean Sea, close to the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico.

The country consists of the main island of Cuba, the largest in the Caribbean, the Isle of Youth, and some 4195 islets and keys.

It is the Greater Antilles group, lying 145km (90 miles) south of Florida. A quarter of the country is fairly mountainous. West of Havana is the narrow Guaniguanico mountain range, rising to 750m (2,461ft), divided into 2 main parts: Sierra de los Organos in the westernmost part of the island and Sierra del Rosario in the east. The Central part of Cuba is located the Guamuaya, rising to 1,100m (3,609ft.) encircling the port of Santiago and next largest to Garnma and Guantanamo provinces, are the rugged mountains of the Sierra Maestra, the highest peaks being 1974 meters. A quarter of the island is covered with mountains, forests of pine and mahogany. 

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Accommodations

New exclusive accommodations with personalized service in the ``Gardens of the Queen´´.

Avalon Fleet II has 10 deluxe cabines, with 10 private bathrooms Each room includes air conditioning and heat controls, electricity plugs, as well as storage in drawers. Each room has panoramic windows to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Caribbean beaches. 

There is a spacious and comfortable combination lounge, dining room and bar area on the boat deck. In cabins and common areas there are electric sockets available for you to plug in your personal items (220 volts and 110 volts).

Photos

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Cuisine

Cuban cuisine is a fusion of Native American Taino food, Spanish, African, and Caribbean cuisines. Some Cuban recipes share spices and techniques with Spanish and African cooking, with some Caribbean influence in spice and flavor. This results in a unique, interesting and flavorful blend of the several different cultural influences, with strong similarities with the cuisine of the neighboring Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. A small but noteworthy Chinese influence can also be accounted for, mainly in the Havana area. During colonial times, Cuba was an important port for trade, and many Spaniards who lived there brought their culinary traditions along with them.

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The Fishing

The main species are: tarpon, bonefish and permit.

Tarpon

They are marine monsters, allow you to find and to fish specimens running from 40 to 80 pounds average. In recent years various fish have exceeded 100 pounds...

The King of Silver has an insatiable appetite, and gets very violent. Tarpon take with power, and show stamina and acrobatic qualities that make tarpon a formidable adversary on a fly rod. 

Fishing Tarpon or Sabalo, as it is known in Cuba, can be divided into three categories: Baby Tarpon (those that they weigh up to 30 Lbs), Medium Tarpon (those that weigh 30 Lbs up to 80 Lb) and Monster Tarpon (those of more than 80 Lb and sometimes can surpass the incredible mark of 200 Lbs). Obviously, the last category is hunted hard, but unfortunately these behemoths are much less common. 

When nearing a school of Tarpon, holding an 11 or 12 wt. rod, legs shake and a matchless sensation of adrenalin invades the body, as you anticipate a battle with one of these marine monsters. Sighting and casting accurately play a major role as the angler must reach the school of Tarpon that swim slowly in a circle within meters of the boat. At all times it is important to control one’s nervousness and to never feel intimidated by the presence of these extraordinary beasts. The beginning of the road to success is to strip strike the fish precisely and firmly. the violent reaction of the Tarpon when it feels the fly in its mouth is going to send him skyward. so you have to bow to the king to keep that line slack and then hold your rod low and keep him under control - easier said than done. 

It is a difficult sensation to describe with words.

Bonefish

This combative species allows the fishermen to be initiated into flats fishing...

The Bonefish prefers areas of shallow water along the coast. It can be located in depths between centimeters and 2 meters. Normally, it is possible to see them swim in schools of fish with numbers between 4 and 20. This grand specimen has a solitary life. They are fish that reproduce throughout the year in open waters. Nevertheless they return quickly to the coast. They are fish that have a great tolerance to waters with little oxygen since they have a biofunctional characteristic that allows them to do so. 

The Bonefish must be never be fought with extreme force, since this could break the line. The fisherman must control the fight and tire but not exhaust the fish. so he can be released unharmed.

Permit

Every flats angler\\\'s Holy Grail and probably nemesis as well..

To guarantee success when fly fishing for permit is something that we simply cannot do. This wonderful fish is the ultimate flats challenge and many fly fishermen have been taken to school by this wary fish. To cast to, hook, and land a permit on a fly is a true angling milestone and one that most fly fishermen who have fished the salt will eventually aspire to. It is a gift that with patience, agility, modesty, and great humility, a lucky few will be rewarded. 

Fly fishing for Permit is extremely challenging and the odds are often stacked against the intrepid angler who looks to target this fabulous adversary. Wind, sun and the erratic nature of this fish all conspire against fly fishermen in their quest to tail one of these majestic fish. We can think of no other fish that is so difficult to predict, to understand, and worse still, to deceive. What a challenge! 


 

Photos

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Gear and Equipment

Rods:

One Bonefish rod, a 9-foot rod for #7,8 or 9 weight line, we suggest Cortland Precision XC 4 PC 9 feet 8 W/Fighting butt. An 8-weight rod is perfect as many of the bones are in the 3-6 lb. class and there is a lot of wind to contend with. On this rod you will want a good bonefish reel with enough capacity for the line and 200 yards of 20 lb backing. You need only a floating line, we advice the new Cortland Precision Tropic Plus Bonefish 90ft WF8F. Be sure to bring a back up floating line for bonefish. There is some coral on the Ocean side flats, and many flats have small mangrove roots and shoots that the bonefish run through and around and this can shred a fly line.

Bring one back up rod for bonefish in case of breakage.

Two - 9’ #10 Rods, we suggest – since there are so many species of fish in the JDR, it helps to bring two 10 weight rods.

Then you can set one up specifically for permit, and have another set up for baby tarpon or Barracuda. Have individual reels for both these rods. You will want WF-10-F lines for both rods, but it is a good idea to bring one slow sinking line also.

Attach your lines to backing with loop-to-loop connections making it easy to change lines out on the flats. Your 10 weight reels should have capacity for the line plus 150-200 yd. of 30 lb. backing. Our favorite reels are the Cortland Turbine Reel LA-789, or the Precision XC Large Arbor # 3 which has good backing capacity and a strong, smooth drag.

One - 9 foot #11 or 12 line rod for big tarpon, especially in the months of May through July when larger tarpon are present. Our favorite rods are the Loomis CrossCurrent GLX in 9 foot #11 and the Sage Xi2 in the 9 foot #11. For a less expensive rod the Redington CPS or the Temple Fork TiCr-X are good choices.

Reels:

For reels, pick a good tarpon reel with enough capacity for a 12 line and 150-200 yards of 30 lb. backing. A strong, smooth drag is necessary. We recommend the Cortland Embassy 60 or the Precision XC Large Arbor # 4.

Lines:

Free tarpon lines on your big rod, you will want four different lines. A floating line, like the Precision Tropic Plus Tarpon Ghost – Tip 90ft WF11F, an intermediate (slow sink), the same model of the Cortland floating line is also available on Intermediate, and then a fast sinking head like the RIO DC-400 for the big channels which are up to 15 feet deep with strong tidal currents. All should have loop-to-loop connections to your backing. Less experienced casters will often do better with a floating line but the Slow Sinking line is perhaps the best all around line to use in the deeper channels. Out on the shallower flats, a floating line is a much better choice. In addition, is recommendable to bring a 400 grains sinking line, very useful when looking for big tarpons on deep channels.

6 Bonefish leaders -12 foot 1X or 14 lb.

2 Spools of bonefish tippet, 1X and 01X Fluorocarbon. Most of the time the bonefish are not at all leader shy so it is an advantage to use heavier tippet. Also, in the JDR it is always possible to see and hook really big bones in the 9-12 lb. class.

The heavier tippets will allow you to land many more fish and handle them more easily when releasing them.

6 - Permit Leaders 9-12 foot, 16-20 lb. fluorocarbon tippets.

1 - Spool 02X (20 lb.) Fluorocarbon tippet for permit

6-10 - Quick Change Tarpon leaders. OUR GUIDES ALWAYS RECCOMMEND TO MAKE YOUR LEADERS WITH A 60 LB FLUOROCARBON SHOCK TIPPET AND THEN A SECTION OF 80 LB FLUOROCARBON TIPPET, WHERE YOU WILL TIE THE FLY.

Some anglers prefer to use 3 feet of shock tippet so that you can use each leader for several fish or re-tie on several different flies.

Note: You can use a 40lb - 60 lb. shock tippet for the baby tarpon that are under 40 lb. but for the larger fish, go up to 80 lb or they may cut or abrade through the 60 lb, sometimes, a 100lb fluorocarbon tippet will be useful too, so we recommend to bring some meters on this too.

If you are looking a Tarpon record, bimini leaders must be used, this starts with a 60lb section, then a 20lb fluorocarbon tippet, finally an 80lb.

1 - 200 yd. spool of extra 30 lb. fly line backing

1 - tarpon fly stretcher or Zip lock bags for your tarpon flies on Leaders

Spinning fishing equipment:

Multifilament 80 to 120 lb (light fishing) and 50 to 60 lb (light fishing)

Carabiners in all sizes.

Rods powerful tip action between 2,00 mts and 2.1 mts preferably Shimano G’Loomis

Lures, light fishing

Yusuri

Magnum until # 14 (plastic fin)

Sufeebull (150 grs. and 220 grs.)

Hidropensi (all sizes)

Stick bee (all sizes)

Feather Jigs (from 10 grs. up to 200 grs.)

Squid imitation (leaded and pallet)

 

Bonefish Flies:

Bring two to three dozen bonefish flies in various patterns for a week of fishing. You need a mix of very light flies and medium weight flies (with bead chain eyes) to fish in water depths from six inches to two feet. You’ll also need at least a half dozen flies with heavy lead eyes for fishing bones in muds where the water can be 3-4 feet deep. Some of the best patterns are the Tan and Pearl Shrimp, Borski Bonefish Slider, the Kwans, and of course the Crazy Charlie style flies. Pearl Gotcha patterns are also very good. Sizes should be mostly #6’s with a few #4’s and a few smaller #8’s. The bonefish can be selective, so be sure to experiment with various patterns. Most flies should be darker patterns – tan and brown but you also need some very light or white patterns for white sand flats.

Permit flies:

Bring 6-12 flies for permit; avalon permit fly will be a very good option, smaller permit crabs are also ideal for big bonefish. Some of the most effective crab patterns here are the Enrico Puglisi Palometa crabs in Tan and Beige (1/0 and 2) and the Anderson McCrab in size 2. Mantis Shrimp patterns are also quite good, especially when you encounter schools of “floaters”. These should be tied in size 2-4, and light colors mostly white, light tan and olive.

Tarpon flies:

Keys style patterns in size 2/0 are very good on the flats for tarpon in the 15-50 lb. class. The best patterns are the Orange/Yellow/Grizzly, Brown Cockroach, Black Death and a White/Grizzly Cockroach Deceiver. Some of the new Enrico Puglisi patterns have proven to be deadly too, especially the Black and Purple “Peanutbutter” in both 2/0 and 3/0, do not forget to bring the FFTRun Toad in 3/0. Other good Enrico patterns are his White/Yellow, and the Backcountry brown as well as the brown and orange. If you are tying your own, tie all these tarpon flies on the Gamakatsu SC-15 hooks, in either 2/0 or 3/0.

Photos

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Recommended Clothing

6 - Fishing Shirts - quick drying style. At least 2 Long sleeve.

6-8 Cotton T-shirts if you use these

6-8 pr. Boxers or tighty whiteys

2-4 Pr. Light Weight, quick dry wading pants

2-4 Pr. Shorts, quick dry wading style with brief.

8 - Pr. Socks

2 - Pr. Thin wet wading socks for your flats wading shoes.

2 - Flats Hats or caps

1 - Breathable Light Weight Rain Jacket with hood

2 - Belts for your shorts or pants. I should be waterproof

1 - Boat Shoes with sipped soles for wear in the flats skiffs

1 - Flats Wading shoes

1 - Pr. Sandals, flip-flops if you like these for wear at hotel

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Traveling Here

As far as today rules, there is still a foreclosure to Cuba for Americans, but Treasury department of the US gives special licenses for specific institutions to go to the Island. Some american have been fishing there before with this special authoritation.

*contact us for further information

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Package Cost

Contact us to obtain program quote.

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