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Colin’s Cuban Report

Guest post by veteran Orvis Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival guide and author, Colin Macleod.

Swapping the monotonous UK winter for the heat and sunshine of Cuba is the stuff of dreams. Better yet when some huge Cuban bonefish await, especially with the new Helios D in an 8 weight to chase them with. The rod performed admirably of course and was a genuine pleasure to fish with. As usual, the bonefish of Cuba did not disappoint and I loved every minute of fishing for them, whether wading through endless, shallow lagoons in search of fluttering tails or casting from the front of the skiff. The Cuban flats are not restricted to bonefish however and many other species call the flats and attendant mangroves home. On cloudy days when spotting bonefish to cast to becomes a difficult affair, it makes sense to focus on the large, predatory fish who find a well-presented fly hard to resist. Barracuda offer incredible sport with their warp speed runs and athletic leaps and always leave a smile on the angler's face.

A variety of Jacks and Snappers lurk around the mangrove fringes, ready to pounce on passing prey and hopefully the fly fisher's fly. These fish fight incredibly hard and produce a fight which lives long in the memory. Word on the street, however, was that Tarpon were present in good numbers on the flats and I decided to concentrate mainly on these enigmatic fish, this trip.

I was genuinely shocked by how many tarpon were encountered and have never previously witnessed such numbers in Cuba. Tarpon proved to be the highlight of a wonderful trip, providing exhilarating sport with countless fish hooked only to leap mightily and throw the hook. The fishing was extremely visual and equally as exciting. Fortunately, a few made it to the boat. I was fortunate to spend 12 days fishing in Cuba, while hosting two groups of anglers on behalf of Go Fishing Worldwide. Next hosted trips to Cayo Paredon and Cayo Cruz in November. 

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