Fly fishing gear recommendations for Cancun & Isla Blanca.

Cancun fly fishing and light tackle fishing in Cancun, Mexico ~ Cancun fly fishing gear recommendations.

Fly Rods

The fly rods most commonly used for Fly fishing in the Cancun and Isla Blanca area are 9 ft. single handed fast action rods mainly 8 and 9 weight. They come if different price ranges from 150 up to 1000 dollars. Rods that we offer to our clients include Sage, Albright, St Croix and G-Loomis. Buy whatever you can afford and start practicing at home before you come down so you will get a feel of the rod and are ready to catch some fish.

Fly Reels

Your fly reel should have at least 150 to 200 yards of 20 lb backing and a smooth drag is a must. We use Tibor and Bauer reels down here but there are more economical reels on the market like Gold Cup or Redington just to name a few.


Fly line

The most commonly use fly line when fishing in Cancun or Isla Blanca is a WF Floating line. We recommend to buy a tropical line, not too bright of a color. Blue or Tan or soft Yellow will do just fine. If you plan to fish off the beach a little too, you might want to bring an intermediate slow sinking line as well. Several companies offer a wide variety of fly lines such as Cortland, RIO and Scientific Anglers.


Fly leader

For Tarpon and Snook we use a 9 ft. leader in total length, starting with a 4 ft 20lb butt section followed by a 3 ft 16lb mid section than a 1 ½ft 12lb tippet and a 6 inch long shock tippet of 20lb. We really like Mason hard mono as a leader material as it is nice and stiff so it turns over those big flies and heavy crab flies nicely but you can also buy premade knotless leaders from your fly shop. For Bonefish and Permit we also use 9 to 10ft leaders and taper it down as followed: 3 ft of 20lb butt section, 2 ft of 16lb, 1 ft of 12lb and 3 to 4 ft of 10 lb tippet. Many stores also sell these leaders pre made and knot less just ask for Bonefish or Permit leader. Also we like the Mason hard mono to make our own leaders for the same reason as the Tarpon and Snook leader and another thing is that you won’t get many wind knots in your leader but it’s all about personal preference.


What flies to bring for fishing in Cancun & Isla Blanca

There are many different fly patterns these days to choose from and it can be quiet mind boggling to make a choice of which flies to bring down for your fishing trip in Cancun. We made a small selection of flies that have been proven effective in Cancun, Isla Blanca and Ascension Bay. However this doesn’t mean that other flies won’t work, on the contrary, we encourage you to bring as many different flies as you can. A lot of times when you throwing a fly that these fish have never seen before they might inhale it. With saltwater flies there are no rules and anything goes so if you tie your own flies be creative and as long as the fly swims right and has the right action, it might work. After all, there is nothing better than catching a Tarpon or Permit on a fly that you’ve tied. Here’s some patterns that have worked well for us down here.


Baby Tarpon Flies

baby tarpon flies

Cockroach

this fly has been a long time favorite among saltwater fly fishermen. This fly was designed by pioneer Lefty Kreh and has been effective for many years. It’s a fairly easy pattern to try, we recommend a 1/0 hook and colors that work well down here include brown, white/red, orange and purple.


cockroach flys

Tarpon toad

this fly was invented by Gary Merriman from Fish Hawk Fly shop in Atlanta and is a very light slow sinking fly. It has lots of action due to the materials used and works really well when fishing in shallow water for Tarpon. Hook size should be 1/0 or 2/0 and the best colors are; chartreuse, white, orange, black and yellow.


tarpon bunny

Tarpon bunny

another great action fly, especially the rabbit tail will make it swim very natural with lots of action which is what you want to achieve when fishing for Tarpon. The hook size and colors are the same as the Tarpon Toad.


whistler fly

Whistler fly

designed by Dan Blanton originally as a saltwater fly it has been used for many fresh water species. This fly works really well for Baby Tarpon but is also a great fly when fishing for Snook in Cancun. Recommended colors are white/red, chartreuse/white and orange/brown. Hook size should be 1/0 or 2/0.


clouser minnow

Clouser minnow

all credit for this fly goes to legendary fly tier and fisherman Bob Clouser. If there is one fly that can catch you Tarpon, Snook, Bonefish and Permit, this is the one. Get them on a few different sizes hooks from 1/0 down to a size 2. Colors we recommend you to bring: white/chartreuse, white/pink, brown/orange and gray/white.


deceiver

Deceiver

Another design by legend Lefty Kreh , this fly has proven to work very well for many saltwater species including Tarpon and Snook. Hook size 1/0 and preferred colors include: white/chartreuse, white/red, orange/red and white/blue


Seaducer

Seaducer

This fly is the creation of Homer Rhodes and was developed in the early 1940s as a streamer fly for Snook. Even today Snook and Baby Tarpon still love them. By far the most effective color is white/red but other colors like barred chartreuse, barred orange, yellow/red and brown have been effective too. Hook size 2, 1 and 1/0.


gurgler

Gurgler

This fly is very effective in the summer months when the waters are warm and Tarpon are feeding on top water flies. Hook size 1/0 and 2/0 and colors white, chartreuse and tan.


Snook Flies

schminnow

Schminnow

invented by Norm Zeigler it was designed to catch Snook in Florida’s Gulf Coast. Well…we found out that the Snook love them down here in Mexico too. The marabou material gives it lots of action and is a very light fly which is what you need when fishing the shallows for Snook. Preferred color by far: white but also chartreuse and brown can be very effective. Hook size 2, 1 and 1/0.


seaducer

Seaducer

This fly is the creation of Homer Rhodes and was developed in the early 1940s as a streamer fly for Snook. Even today Snook and Baby Tarpon still love them. By far the most effective color is white/red but other colors like barred orange, yellow/red and brown have been effective too. Hook size 2, 1 and 1/0.


whistler

Whistler fly

designed by Dan Blanton originally as a saltwater fly it has been used for many fresh water species. This fly works really well for Baby Tarpon but is also a great fly when fishing for Snook in Cancun. Recommended colors are white/red, chartreuse/white and orange/brown. Hook size should be 1/0 or 2/0.


deceiver

Deceiver

Another design by legend Lefty Kreh, this fly has proven to work very well for many saltwater species including Tarpon and Snook. Hook size 1/0 and preferred colors include: white/chartreuse, white/red, orange/red.


Bonefish Flies

crazy charlie

Crazy Charlie

Invented by Charles Smith from Andros Island in the Bahamas, this has been one of the most effective flies for Bones. Best colors are; pink, tan, white/cream. Small hooks are the norm here from #6 to #2.


gotcha

Gotcha

Great fly and should be tied or bought in several different weights from slow sinking to fast sinkers for deeper waters. Hook sizes from #8 to #2 and colors that work well down here include: tan, pink, green. They can be tied or bought with or without the sili legs both will work as good.


Squimp

Part shrimp part squid this fly has been deadly for many bottom feeders including Bonefish and Permit. Tan, orange, green and brown are the colors of choice and hook size; 2, 4 and 6.


borski

Borski slider

Initially designed by Tim Borski as a Redfish fly has proven to work very well for Bonefish too. Favorite colors are brown, root beer, tan and green and hook size should be 1/0 or size 2.


clouser minnow bonefish

Clouser minnow

all credit for this fly goes to legendary fly tier and fisherman Bob Clouser. If there is one fly that can catch you Tarpon, Snook, Bonefish and Permit, this is the one. Get them on a few different sizes hooks from 1/0 down to a size 2. Colors we recommend you to bring: white/chartreuse, white/pink, brown/orange and gray/white.


Permit Flies

rag head crab

Rag head crab

An old time favorite when fishing for Permit in Isla Blanca, small in size and color Tan with chartreuse tying thread, this fly is killer. Hook size 2 to 6. Olive color can be very effective too.


kung fu crab

Kung fu crab

By Eddie Wyatt is another good one for Isla Blanca and it works well for Bonefish too. Colors; tan, olive/tan, olive/brown with a size 2 or 4 hook.


avalon shrimp

Avalon shrimp

Has worked well in the Cancun Nichupte lagoon as the Permit tend to be larger than Isla Blanca. On average 10 to 15lbs with some 30lb+ monsters roaming around. The smaller crabs seem to not interest them but the larger size Avalon Shrimp gets their attention quiet often. Tied on hook size 2 and usually comes in tan color with some orange.


mccrab fly

McCrab fly

Designed by George Anderson, owner of Yellowstone angler this fly has been working well in Isla Blanca and the Cancun Nichupte Lagoon. The smaller size for Isla Blanca and the bigger heavier size for Cancun. Colors tan and olive are the way to go and hook size 4 to 1/0.


merkin crab

Merkin crab

Last but not least Del Brown’s Merkin Crab. Mr. Del Brown has caught more Permit on the fly than any other angler in his life time with a recorded 513 Permit landed. Needless to say that his Merkin Crab is a must have in your fly box when fishing for these elusive species. Many different colors and sizes are available, down here we recommend you to bring colors tan/with chartreuse thread, brown/tan, olive and hook sizes 6, 4 and 2.


Summary

This was just a rough guide to the flies we’ve been using down here. This doesn’t mean that other flies don’t work, it’s just to help you in the right direction. If you are planning on buying these flies….support your local fly shop or if you are planning on tying them yourself, there are many websites with tying instructions.

Have fun tying them!

cancun tarpon fishing
cancun tarpon fishing
cancun tarpon fishing
cancun tarpon fishing
cancun tarpon fishing

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