Los Roques Bonefish – hosted tripS AVAILABLE YEAR-ROUND
Located about 100 miles from Caracas, Los Roques is a bonefish paradise without equal in the Caribbean. The archipelago is a Venezuelan national park consisting of an array of aquatic habitats to keep fly anglers busy for days on end, including bone-white sand flats, coral rubble flats, barrier reef flats, turtle grass flats and of course mangrove. With all these habitats to choose from, its no wonder the fishing is nothing short of incredible.
On the main island of Gran Roque, immense schools of minnows literally blacking out the harbor create a non-stop feeding frenzy for various seabirds, really chunky bonefish, tarpon, jacks, and even the odd permit. The action is impressive, and a quickly stripped baitfish imitation usually gets grabbed in just a few casts.
Outside of town things get even more exciting. Bonefish are generally big in Los Roques, averaging 4-6 lbs with shots at double-digit fish being pretty common. Wading is the name of the game, and stalking the diverse flats on foot for these solid bones can be epic. And of course there are the world-famous pancake flats, a huge cluster of turtle grass covered mounds coming out of deep water to just inches. The bones are here in big numbers, and seeing entire schools cruise and feed with their dorsals out of the water is something one must see to believe. Get into some deeper water and suddenly the broad black sickle tails of the elusive permit can be spotted. Just like the bones, permit are way above average on Los Roques, and while they are no easier to fool then in other places its not uncommon to see fish well above 30 lbs. If you need a break from wading, jump on the boat and hit some of the mangrove edges for baby tarpon, snapper, and even the occasional snook. There are exotic reef dwellers like triggerfish, parrotfish, and more on some of the outer barrier coral flats, and finally we always carry a 10-12 weight setup rigged for the really large barracuda that appear in almost any of the habitats mentioned and are usually eager to pounce a well presented fly.
FOOD & LODGING
Lodging is in a private oceanfront beach house a 5 minute water shuttle from Gran Roque (double occupancy). Sleep to the sound of waves lapping the reef in front of the house, and enjoy delicious international and local meals cooked by your private chef on the chic front balcony. Some of the ‘pet’ bonefish marauding minnows right in front of the house will make it hard for you to sit still for long. The water shuttle is available at all times, and if you’d like to explore Gran Roques’ restaurants or nightlife its as easy and climbing aboard and arriving by water in style. For anglers interested in true adventure, a 60′ catamaran sailboat has just been added to the mix. Fish the outer reaches of Los Roques by day, and at night instead of making the run back to your private island retreat you’ll head to the fully outfitted sailboat tucked in a sheltered bay and ready with topnotch dinner and accommodation. The next morning the untouched flats will be that much closer to your doorstep. Combination trips of beach house-sailboat allow anglers to experience every inch of the archipelago, mixing luxury and comfort with adventurous exploratory outings, and even a possibility of enjoying a couple nights of sipping rum drinks watching the sun go down at one of town’s gourmet restaurants.
By Air – The tour’s official departure point is Caracas, Venezuela. Anglers will arrive to Simón Bolívar International Airport (CCS). From here the group will catch a smaller charter (45 min) to Gran Roques’ small airstrip, where the real adventure begins.
Even though Venezuela has some history of troubles, Los Roques (pop. ~2000) is miles from the mainland both physically and culturally. The peaceful archipelago has a small population of subsistence fishermen, a world-renowned windsurfing scene, some mind boggling fly fishing, and thats about it. Gran Roque, the main island, doesn’t even have any cars, and one can cruise town’s sandy streets barefoot amongst children playing soccer and fishermen repairing their pangas. That said, more recently the country seems to be at a new edge of a deeper (and much needed) political tumbler, and while we have this hosted trip ready to launch we will monitor developments and make a final decision to run it or delay by one year closer to the dates.
WHAT TO BRING
- 7/8 weight setups for bonefish and baby tarpon, 9/10 weight setups for permit, larger tarpon, barracuda, triggers, etc. plus backup rods, fly line, tippet material, wire leaders, etc.
- A variety of crabby and shrimpy bonefish and permit flies, baitfish imitations, black/purple baby tarpon and snook streamers, and some larger streamers and poppers for barracuda (complete fly recommendation will be supplied for all available species)
- Light wading boots or shoes – some flats can be waded barefoot, but to avoid the risk of a trip ruining coral cut we recommend footwear most of the time
- A complete trip preparation package with all pertinent information will be provided upon booking.
SEASON – YEAR-ROUND BUT BEST TIDES ARE APRIL-AUGUST
- Groups of 4 anglers (2 per flats panga)
- Private house accommodation mixed with sailboat accommodation
- 9 day trip, 6-7 days fishing