La Pescadora & Holbox Destination Travel Report:
As I navigate this COVID course, the one component of this pandemic that has remained consistent is the unique and different aspects and outlooks. As usual, contemplating the possible trip down to the Yucatan Peninsula was dreamy. Purchasing the plane tickets and committing to the trip was again, unique.
Spending a considerable amount in time in the Yucatan over the last 20 years, I have built some very strong professional and personal ties to the people and area. A new set of COVID questions entered into my consciousness as I seriously entertained the trip. After talking to several guides and lodge owners in Mexico as well as satisfying my own socially responsible ponderings that included testing negative for COVID-19, I found myself headed to the airport.
I flew on Delta Airlines from Jackson Hole to Cancun with stops in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. My kids assured me that wearing a mask for the entire day would not be an issue from their recent experiences in school. Throughout the pandemic, WCA has adopted some serious health and safety protocols that include mandatory masks for all staff and customers in the fly shop. Wearing a mask was something I was used to from our busy summer season. While it was different that daily operations in the WCA Fly Shop, I was extremely impressed by the entire Delta Airlines experience from start to finish. I was equally as impressed as to the protocols in place in the Cancun airport. I felt comfort experiencing the same health and saftey protocols being used in Mexico to those in the United Sates and in our fly shop.
After I passed through customs and immigration, I was directly met by a representative from the shuttle company. We walked to the van and were en-route directly to Punta Allen. It was just myself and the driver. The van was clean and masks were worn.
Upon arrival at La Pescadora Fly Fishing Lodge, it was a sight for sore eyes. The smell of the ocean and smiles on familiar faces were very fulfilling. In hindsight, it was quite the contrast. By in large the Rocky Mountain West has been all systems go since June with health and safety protocols in place. I am sure many would agree the growth in outdoor industry this summer was something we had never seen.
We have been extremely lucky to be in business, mostly due to timing. Not the same for our friends in other destination travel locations. In Punta Allen, business for the most part had been shut down since March. What really hit home was when I asked, “how has the lobster season been going?” Their response was, “there was plenty of lobster but no market in which to sell it. Prices had been driven so low by the lack of demand.” The extremes of the spring/summer geographic differences in the fishing world were stark. That evening we had an excellent meal and shared all our reflections of the prior 7 months.
When I walked into the lodge, I was equally surprised to see an unexpected face sitting at the dinner table, Capt. Shane Smith @permitguide. Shane is a friend with whom I have booked guided fishing days in the Florida Keys! Shane had caught an amazing fish the day before.
Overall, the weather while on the water was very good. Mostly sunny with some intermittent clouds and showers throughout the week. This created an amazing week of permit fishing!
Halfway through the trip there was another excellent surprise. Sandflea showed up a day early! While we had been in consistent phone and internet contact over the past 7 months, it was excellent to see him in person and healthy.
It was hard to leave Punta Allen at the end of the week, but I was looking forward to spending a couple of days in Isla Holbox before returning home. Shane actually switched his flight and came with us! It was excellent to be back on the Island. Holbox is near and dear to me and as well as Sandfleas’s extended family. I was great to see and see some of his guides and catch up. The stark contrast of what was taking place back home compared to what has taken place on the island was ever present. It was very similar to my experience in Punta Allen.
We had some great baby tarpon fishing on Holbox. Due to disturbances in the gulf, the tides were higher than normal. This made difficult to impossible permit fishing conditions. It was very exciting to see some new spots as well as see permit and bonefish were returning to the area!
I had a special week of fishing in Punta Allen and Holbox. We had good days, tough days and and a day in particular of permit fishing where the stars aligned. The amazing sunrises and the indescribable moments of silence and solace from everything will forever be etched in my memory bank. Most importantly, it was very fulfilling to see familiar faces and check in on family and friends during difficult times.
For those who are interested in possibly heading to Mexico for a destination travel fly fishing adventure, we are currently booking trips to La Pescadora Fly Fishing Lodge, Casa & Playa Blanca Fly Fishing Lodge and Isla Holbox Tarpon Club. While traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic is unique and presents some new sets of challenges, it is not impossible. The staff at WorldCast Anglers are here to answer your questions and help you through the process. Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 800.654.0676 to discus your next destination travel fly fishing options.