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LAST 2 SPOTS AVAILABLE - ZAPATA 2020

Bonefish flats of Zapata, Cuba

I love the Zapata Peninsula and our trip there aboard the yacht Georgiana. This is an adventure that I host several times throughout the year because of both the quality of the fishing, and the entire experience aboard the yacht with our Cuban hosts. Our group of 8 is still lacking 2 people……and YOU could be one of them! Here are some things to consider that make this trip stand out:

  • The price is about the most economical for a fishing trip to Cuba, at $4699 per person

  • Travel here is easy. Fly to Havana, then travel 3 hours overland to join the yacht

  • ALL species of flats fish live here….ALWAYS. Bonefish, resident Tarpon, Permit, Snook, Jacks, Snapper and Cuda are all on our list

  • ALL anglers get 3 days fishing on their own, in a single skiff! (3 days in a double as well). This means way more fishing time per person than in an other destination in Cuba

I would love to have you join me. Here are the details:

Dates: February 22-29, 2020

Price: $4699 per person (does not include flights to Cuba, Visa, $100 conservation fee, and staff gratuities)

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DUO IRIS COMPETES ON TV

Many of you who have been to Cuba with me, have gotten to know my talented friends Javier and Dayami of Duo Iris. In fact, many of you fell in love with their music listening to them perform in their family apartment in Havana. Well, they were chosen to be part of a national competition in Cuba, that seems very much like a combination of THE VOICE and AMERICAN IDOL. Scroll through this video to about the 8:00 minute mark to see them interviewed, advised on performing, and then the performance itself.



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Great New Cap Now Available

Super cool new trucker available. Imperial just added his new cap, and as soon as I saw it I ordered some. Looks great with my Cuba logo. Available now on my products page.

New “North Country Trucker”

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FINALLY! CFO Products Now Available On Line

Wow, setting up a commerce page is a lot of work! In any case, those of you who have been to Cuba know that good souvenirs are difficult to come by. SO, why not choose a great Sunshirt, Cap or Tee Shirt with our great Cuba logo?



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CAYO LARGO HOSTED, APRIL 18-25, 2020

The flats around Cayo Largo are unsurpassed in their beauty

The flats around Cayo Largo are unsurpassed in their beauty

Every year for the past 4 years, I have hosted a group of returning clients in the Spring or early Summer to Jardines de la Reina. In that zone, we have concentrated on Tarpon fishing. This past year, guests liked the idea of exploring another fishing area in Cuba. As it turns out, our Cuban outfitter partner is offering a slightly new trip that I just returned from exploring. I have secured a week for this great trip in April of 2020.

In the past, all guests fishing this area had to do so while staying in resorts on the island of Cayo Largo. This worked well, but did limit each days fishing due to long travel times to and from more distant fishing zones. Furthermore, the outfitter had no control over the quality of things like meals and lodgings, as they were having to use resorts co-owned by the Cuban government and foreign corporations. Now, they are offering the use of the yacht Aggressor which alleviates both of those issues.

Our home for the week, the Aggressor yacht

Our home for the week, the Aggressor yacht

We will have six full days of fishing from Aggressor. We will meet the boat on the Bay of Pigs after a three hour drive from Havana, and will make three different moorages during our week. This will allow us to stay in the far Western zones where we will concentrate on Tarpon fishing, then moving to other zones where the habitat is more suited to Permit and Bonefish.

Let me explain the fishing in more detail. This entire archipelago, from the island of Cayo Largo in the east to Island of the Youth in the west, sees an influx of Tarpon in the Spring during their annual migration. When moored in the west, we will concentrate almost uniquely on these fish, pursuing them in channels, interior mangrove-lined lagoons, and along the ocean reef. Generally, these Tarpon will range from 20-70 pounds. That said, there is always the chance for a fish pushing 100 pounds. After our days in the west, the Aggressor will move further east, and we will concentrate mainly on Permit and Bonefish (there are certainly opportunities for some Tarpon here as well), as this habitat is comprised of immense flats bordered by deep water. This is some of the best Permit habitat in the world. Many times, guides are looking for Rays which are often accompanied by Permit. These fish are looking to grab up fleeing prey churned up by the feeding Ray, and they are often very quick to grab the fly. This area also offers spectacular Bonefishing. At times large schools are encountered on the Permit flats. As well, the shorelines can be fished where small groups of Bones can be spotted tailing. On average, these are some of the largest Bonefish found around Cuba, with many fish caught between 5 & 7 pounds.

School of Bonefish on approach

School of Bonefish on approach

After our last day of fishing, we will move near to the harbor on the Bay of Pigs, and then depart for Havana around 10am the next morning. Most guests will plan to spend that night in Havana, while others will opt to depart on an afternoon flight.

I can take 5 guests. I expect some of my regular Cuba clients to quickly join this trip, so I doubt I will have many spots available once a few weeks have passed. We will be sharing the boat with a group from a great fly shop in Central Oregon, and we should have a fantastic time with that group. The Aggressor has 10 cabins, so most guests will have private rooms. All rooms have a/c, and a private shower and bathroom.

Trip Details:

Dates: April 18-25, 2020

Rate: $6900 per person







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TRIP REPORT: CAYO LARGO LIVE-ABOARD

The flats around Cayo Largo may be the most beautiful in all of Cuba

In the past, all guests fishing the area in and around Cayo Largo stayed at resorts on the island. Just this summer, the outfitter decided to try using a live-aboard yacht as they do in other areas in Cuba. The thought was to provide better service, and to allow fishing clients easier access to some of the further away fishing zones since the boat could moor throughout the chain of islands.

I just came back from one of these first experimental weeks, and was joined by 3 other FlyWater customers, and 6 great Argentine guys. Overall, we had difficult fishing, mostly due to extremely warm water conditions. That said, we learned a lot about how this trip works.

The Canarreos Archipelago stretches from Cayo Largo in the east, to Island of the Youth in the west. Generally speaking, the fishing in the eastern zones is more targeted towards Permit and Bonefish, while the western zones have much more Tarpon habitat. This is exactly what we saw. Our most westerly moorage provided amazing amounts of mangrove lagoons, channels, and a section of reef that were ideal for Tarpon. As we moved back to the east, the islands became longer and thinner with fewer mangroves. Here, the flats were immense, and full of schools of Bonefish. This is also incredible Permit habitat, although on this trip we saw few of them.

The Aggressor yacht is very comfortable and spacious, and with one of the best crews I have experience on nearly 20 trips to Cuba. They are simply amazing, friendly, and so targeted towards making your trip the best you have ever had. I was also very happy with the way that the travel and itinerary was arranged, making this a fairly easy trip coming in and out through Havana.

The Aggressor, moored in a Channel surround by Tarpon habitat

The Aggressor, moored in a Channel surround by Tarpon habitat

Below is a short selection of photos from this trip. The first is my pic for the photo of the week…..look closely to see all the Bonefish in front of the angler, Paul!

School in front of the boat!!!!

School in front of the boat!!!!

Dead-calm flat near Cayo Largo

Dead-calm flat near Cayo Largo



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SPACE AVAILABLE.....ZAPATA 2020

For those of you wondering, travel to Cuba is still possible with the correct paperwork. SO, lets go!!! I have several remaining spots for the Zapata Peninsula aboard the yacht Georgiana, February 22-29, 2020. Price is $4699 per person. This price includes travel from Havana, 7 nights and 6 full days of fishing, and room and board (there is a limit on daily drinks). Notable is that all anglers fish 3 days in a double skiff like normal, and 3 days fishing as a single. This means a lot more fishing time per person.

I would love to have you join me! Please reach out with any interest, or any questions you may have.



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A WEEK ON A YACHT

When chatting with people about the different fishing options in Cuba, some people express that the live-aboard option might not be for them. “I think I would fee trapped on the boat,” is a comment sentiment. In truth, these trips are probably not for everybody. That said, I cannot express just how fantastic they are, how incredible the service is, and how guests feel that they are the only people anywhere in sight. Below is a quick video, showing just a glimpse of a typical week aboard the yacht Perola.

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GARDENS OF THE QUEEN AGAIN!

For the third straight year, I have hosted a group to Jardines de la Reina during the height of the Tarpon season. Again aboard the lovely yacht Perola, new members to the group saw firsthand this pristine habitat, and the many fish that call it home. All guests were, as usual, pampered and catered to by the great staff aboard the boat.

Part of this group spent a week in advance of the fishing touring Havana and the neighboring countryside with me. Some of these photos are included as well. Look out for offerings for 2020…..this is a trip I plan on continuing to offer each year.


Peggy Z wades an unbelievable flat at Gardens of the Queen

Peggy Z wades an unbelievable flat at Gardens of the Queen

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CUBA IS STILL OPEN!

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Some of you will have received this post directly from Fly Water Travel late last week. Dylan does a good job explaining what has changed in regards to legal travel to Cuba, and how travel will continue to be legal for US citizens.

“Fly Water Travel is pleased to announce that travel to Cuba is still 100% legal for traveling anglers.

There may not be another destination in the Fly Water Travel catalog that fields more questions from confused anglers than Cuba. Is Cuba open for American anglers? Are the fisheries really that good? Are flights still going to the island? The easy answer is yes, yes and yes! Although the rules around travel, in-country logistics, and inconsistent outfitting continue to place roadblocks, anglers willing to make the extra effort are most often rewarded by the many pristine fisheries and rich cultural experiences Cuba has to offer.

In the Spring of 2019, the White House let the world know that they would once again be tightening the rules around travel to Cuba. Since that time there have been many questions about whether the new rules would affect the ability for anglers to continue to travel to these amazing fisheries. In early June, the White House and OFAC did officially tighten Cuba travel restrictions. However, the new rules are primarily affecting the cruise ship industries. Individuals and groups of anglers are still able to travel legally under one of two approved categories. The first of these is the provision in the OFAC legal travel guidelines is 515.567 (b) Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic or other competitions and exhibitions. The second is 515.574 – Support for the Cuban People.

The type of trip you take and your final destination will determine which category you travel under. Fly Water Travel is working closely with both major outfitters in the country as well as a specialist in the US to make sure our clients are traveling under the proper licenses.

Once your trip is selected we will providing each angler with step-by-step instructions to complete the process and will be here to support you along the way. Please let us know if you have questions or are interested in traveling to this amazing country in the near the future. We have many exciting  opportunities to visit and fish this remarkable island!”

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A BIG THANK YOU!

A BIG THANK YOU!
On my most recent trip to Cuba, we delivered our biggest and best yet donation to our Cuban primary school. Thanks to the efforts of REDAPT and Bill Colello, we delivered two pristine Macbook Pro laptops, complete with new Office for Mac software. These will help the administrators and teachers at the school greatly. And, thanks to donations from Jeff Perin and The Fly Fishers Place, Kim Alf and Michael Derringer, we also purchased and delivered a new printer with extra toner cartridges. I am elated with the support people have shown, and equally thrilled to be able to help these wonderful students and school staff.

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Principal and teachers, with some of our small group, enjoying this great moment of delivering laptops and printer.

Principal and teachers, with some of our small group, enjoying this great moment of delivering laptops and printer.

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NEW CAYO LARGO OPENING

We just had a cancellation for 2 spots at Cayo Largo. In the interest of getting these spots filled, the outfitter is offering a major discount and a room upgrade at the all inclusive resort. Dates are August 17-25th. Please message or call me if you are interested, and I will fill you in with all the details.


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