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Turneffe Flats Caribbean Fly Fishing and Diving Vactions, Belize - Turneffe Flats Belize

See our list of recommended flies for fly fishing for bonefish, permit, tarpon, and barracudas on the saltwater flats of Turneffe Atoll.  The fly shop at Turneffe Flats is well stocked with the guide's favorite flies.

Bonefishing flies, Permit fishing flies, and Tarpon fishing flies for fishing on Turneffe Atoll Belize.


The flies that work best at Turneffe are different than those used elsewhere.  Our best bonefish flies, for instance, are light size 10 - size 6.  We maintain a well-stocked fly shop to be sure that the necessary flies are available.  Our permit flies are standard sizes from #2 - 1-0 and we still use larger tarpon flies 2-0 to 4-0.

Bonefish Flies

A variety of bonefish flies work well at Turneffe, and the best patterns vary somewhat from day to day. Small flies (6's, 8's, and 10's) work best on our shallow, wadeable flats.

Bonefish flies for the ocean side flats at Turneffe should be unweighted or very lightly weighted. These bonefish are often in only a few inches of water and weighted flies hang up too easily.  Some anglers prefer weed guards and they can be useful in some areas; however, most of our guides feel that the disadvantages often outweigh the advantages.

On deeper flats and particularly around the mangrove islands in the center of Turneffe, larger, weighted flies are preferable. Small crab patterns also work well here.

Some of the better Bonefish patterns for Turneffe are the following:

  • Pops' Bonefish Bitters, #6 and #8 (Olive and Amber)
  • Pops' Egghead Bitters, #6 and #8 (Olive and Amber)
  • To-Dy-For, (a small unweighted shrimp pattern in white and olive)
  • Crazy Charlies - chartreuse, white, pink & brown (unweighted for outer flats)
  • Gotcha, #6 and #8
  • Horror, #6 and #8
  • Baited Breath, #6 and #8
  • Enrico Puglisi's Turneffe Micro Shrimp & Turneffe Micro Crab
  • Various small crab patterns and several other unweighted shrimp patterns


Some crabs from Turneffe.  You can see why the olive and tan colors are preferable.

Permit Fishing - Permit eat live crabs like this tan crab here.
olive crabs are imitated while fishing for permit in Belize

Permit Flies

Permit Flies for fishing in Belize.



Although Del Brown's Permit Fly,  in various modifications,  is nearly always "the crab of choice," a wide  variety of other crab patters work well. 

Generally, larger, heavier crab patterns (#2 - 1/0) are preferred for the deeper flats and smaller, lighter  flies work well on the shallow or  wadeable flats.




Popular permit patterns include:

  • Del Brown's Permit Fly (Merkin),  size #2 to 1/0
  • Enrico Puglisi's EP Crab (#2 to 1/0)
  • Craig Mathew's  Turneffe Crab
  • Various other Crab patterns (#2 and 1/0)
  • Smaller, lighter variations for the shallow flats

Tarpon Flies

Stu Apte style tarpon flies in various color combinations. Dark colors tend to be better in the early morning and brighter colors work best when the sun is bright.

  • Deceiver patterns - various colors
  • Abel Anchovy
  • All tarpon flies in sizes 3/0 to 4/0
  • Barracuda Flies

Various barracuda patterns with 2/0 tandem hooks and wire leaders

  • Saltwater Poppers (#2 to 2/0)
  • Other Flies to Bring
  • Clouser Minnows (#4 to #2)
  • Saltwater Poppers (#2 to 1/0)