Boca Paila Fishing Lodge, still one of the greats

Putting it all together in Boca Paila is a trip worth taking.  Located way off the beaten path in the Sian Ka’a

n Biosphere Reserve, Boca Paila Fishing Lodge served as my base of operations for chasing Yucatan Bones.  The spot couldn’t be more perfect.  Every morning, I watched the sun rise over the Caribbean while having coffee before breakfast.  I even had company.  An iguana as big as my leg lived under a palm tree near the patio and would sun itself right next to my table.

The lodge is a great place, and has all the right aspects of a bonefish lodge.  The bar is well stocked and if you go, don’t miss the Margaritas.  I can’t say enough about the food.  Every night, it was something new and fantastic, worthy of the finest restaurants.   I stayed in my own bungalow right on the beach.  The room was big, clean and air conditioned (not that I needed it).  Even though the lodge relies on a generator for electricity, there was plenty of hot water and I never had a problem with power.  Living was good, good digs, good food and great staff. If you want to get good a catching bonefish on a fly, this is the place to go.  One of my main objectives of the trip was to become better at catching bonefish, and brother, after that many shots, misses, break-offs, snags, runs, and finally almost 50 catches, I got the education I was looking for.  My guide Luciano was my sensei and his coaching and fish spotting ability lead me down the path to bonefish nirvana.  Luciano is an example of one of the quality guides at the lodge and has been guiding for a very long time.  He’d seen a lot, and had more patience than I would have had with someone like me.  He put me on all types of fish, permit, bones, snook and a pretty large snapper which we brought back to the lodge for dinner.  These weren’t big bones, but there sure were a lot of them.  Despite their size, the fish weren’t in large schools, so you really had to cast at two to four fish, no flock shooting.    On the down side, there had been a lot of rain for a week prior to my arrival.  This muddied up the water in the lagoon.  Water clarity made the fishing challenging but I still fished by sight.  The lagoon interior wasn’t the clear Caribbean water that I was expecting but the ocean side was pure postcard.  Fishing in the lagoon system offered another benefit, shelter from the ever present wind.  In the back, Luciano always found a fishy spot out of the wind.

Over the course of the week I met some interesting folks.  English businessmen, American educators and Italian winemakers.  All of these folks were far more experienced anglers, but they took me in and we shared more than a few drinks talking about fishing in various spots around the world.  That chance to sit an talk with other more experienced anglers is a big reason to fish at a lodge. SO, to sum it up: Boca Paila, a great lodge with a great fishery.  It’s back in the mangrove lagoon, so no crystal clear flats but some great back country  fishing in a pretty remote spot.

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