- Price:$9550 — 7 NIGHTS, 6 DAYS FISHING
- Fish Species: PERMIT, BONEFISH, TRIGGERFISH, TARPON, AND MORE
- Seasonality: MARCH – EARLY JUNE
- Location: GUANAJA, HONDURAS, AND FARAWAY CAYES
GUANAJA AND FARAWAY CAYES, HONDURAS
Anglers travel to Roatan on direct flights from DFW, Houston, Miami, or Atlanta. They are picked up by helicopter and flown 20 minutes to the lodge on Jones Caye, Guanaja. After one day of fishing on Guanaja, the helicopter flies the group 1.5 hours to the Faraway Cayes. After four days fishing at Faraway Cayes, the process repeats in reverse.
TARGET SPECIES ARE PERMIT, BONEFISH, AND TRIGGERFISH
Both Guanaja and Faraway Cayes are loaded with permit, bonefish, and triggerfish, but at Faraway Cayes there is little human presence. It shows in the fish behavior. The permit are not dumb or easy to catch — they are permit after all — but they own the flats and congregate in skinny water. Tarpon, big barracuda, jacks, and other reef and blue water species are also available.
THE SEASON AT FARAWAY CAYES IS MARCH THROUGH EARLY JUNE
Anytime from March — early June is prime. The Faraway Cayes are only fished four days per week and the operation takes one week off per month, barely scratching the surface of the fishery.
If you are a permit junkie with a taste for adventure, Faraway Cayes are in your wheelhouse. It is worth the trip just to experience such a wild, pristine reef/flats environment. The bonefish and triggerfish fishing is excellent as well.
7 Nights / 6 Days Fishing / shared room and boat
Additional expenses include but are not limited to airfare to Roatan and gratuities. See RATES for details.
You the client don’t pay a penny for our travel services! Our destination recommendations, organization, and pre-trip planning services are completely free of charge – and oftentimes less expensive than booking direct with a lodge or outfitter. We can assist with every question, concern, or special request related to your adventure at zero cost!
The Faraway Cayes of Honduras is a permit fishery so remote it is not on Google Earth. The only way to get there is by helicopter. It is full of fish, as one would expect in a pristine flats environment in the heart of the Caribbean.
Fly Fish Guanaja has solved the logistical riddle of running a first class fly fishing operation so far out. But the season is short, and space limited on the heli, making this program very exclusive. Only a few very lucky anglers will be able to experience it firsthand.
Beyond the Horizon, the feature film in the 2018 Fly Fishing Film Tour, tells the story behind this brand new program. 2018 is its first official season, after an exploratory 2017 season. The results so far have been a permit fisherman’s dream come true . . .
The journey to the Faraway Cayes begins in Guanaja, and so does the story. Guanaja is one of the Bay Islands of Honduras, just east of the island of Roatan. Steve Brown, a guide from Colorado, founded Fly Fish Guanaja about a decade ago. Guanaja is a legit permit and bonefish fishery in its own right, and the lodge on Jones Caye is one of the coolest fishing lodges anywhere.
After operating on Guanaja for a few years, the guides began regaling Steve with reports of “cayes to the east” that were covered up with fish. So Steve figured out the most practicable way to get there (by helicopter), checked it out and confirmed the mind-blowing reports of fish. Eventually he also dialed in all the other logistics required to run an operation out in the middle of nowhere, and began offering the Faraway Cayes trip in 2018.
The Faraway Cayes camp is over 150 miles east of Guanaja. There is no permanent human presence, with only an informal fleet of Honduran commercial fishermen passing through the area seasonally, primarily harvesting lobster and snapper. No flats fishing had ever taken place there until Fly Fish Guanaja explored it in 2017. Now a select few anglers get to experience it for themselves. What they will find is excellent permit, bonefish, and triggerfish fishing, and a wild adventure with no other fly fishermen for hundreds of miles in any direction.
Fly Fish Guanaja has designed an ideal program to fish the Faraway Cayes with plenty of style, and awesome accommodations, cuisine, and other amenities given the ultra-remote location. Best of all is the schedule designed to keep the flats pristine and unpressured for the foreseeable future. The program only runs from March until the first week of June. The Faraway Cayes are only fished four days per week, with an entire week off every month. That totals less than 50 days fishing per year — a fraction of the traffic of any other permit destination.
The Faraway Cayes are part of a massive reef system stretching for hundreds of miles offshore of Honduras (and eventually into Nicaraguan waters). It is not continuous, but cut through with channels, and with blue water separating sections of reef. The depth is variable, with deeper flats comprising the majority of the terrain, but with plenty of cayes, sandbars, turtle grass flats, and other shallow structure on the back side of the solid coral. The shallow water is clustered in select areas along the reef, often separated by long distances in between.
These are not the endless ankle-deep flats of the Bahamas. But that topography presents a tradeoff most fly fishermen will take. Vast flats can mean hours and miles of poling or wading without any action. More circumscribed flats often concentrate the fish; this is true at the Faraway Cayes (and Guanaja as well). The shallow turtle grass is full of permit, and lots of triggerfish. The sandy patches hold huge schools of bonefish.
Faraway Cayes and Guanaja are home to permit of all sizes, all the way up to jumbo. Even though they have experienced no fishing pressure, they are not dumb or easy to catch. They are permit; smart, selective, and tough to fool, anywhere they live. Wild creatures in any pristine environment are attuned to anything new or different. The Faraway Cayes are quiet and empty. The permit there are not used to the sounds of outboard motors, the crunch of a push pole or footsteps on the flats, a fly slapping the water — so they notice these things. But if it were easy, permit would not be so rewarding or surrounded by such mystique.
While Faraway Cayes cannot deliver dumb fish, it does offer lots of opportunity. During the right tidal periods, permit tail all over the skinny turtle grass flats. On tides not conducive to tailing, they hunt by hiding underneath eagle rays as the rays cruise around slightly deeper flats. The fish hiding under rays will follow and eat flies aggressively. It is a wild and unique sight to suddenly see a permit materialize where there was only a ray, chasing down a rapidly stripped shrimp fly.
Under normal conditions, anglers will have encounters with dozens of fish tailing and cruising the skinny flats for part of the day, and plenty of additional opportunities at fish in other scenarios (with rays, for example) the remainder of the day.
The Faraway Cayes and Guanaja also boast large schools of bonefish of all sizes, with fish of similar size tending to school together. They are usually easy to locate, since the ultra-shallow water is limited. The bonefish of Guanaja can be challenging and selective. At Faraway Cayes, while the bones are not always actively feeding when they are encountered, they are generally very willing to eat.
Some of the bonefish are trophy sized — much larger than elsewhere in Central America. With coral fringing most of the flats, landing the big ones is another matter. Sometimes the biggest fish are solitary, but often they are with schools, so part of the challenge is getting the grandaddy to eat when he is surrounded by hundreds of other fish. All this is to say that anglers targeting bones will have a heyday in the Faraway Cayes.
Both Guanaja and Faraway Cayes boast lots of big triggerfish. Unlike in many locations, these triggers will actively chase and eat flies. They are not pushovers, and it takes a well presented fly to avoid spooking them. It can also be difficult to set and keep the hook home, since triggers have teeth and hard mouths. However, they are a good-sized fish that tails on the flats, provides a challenge, and will expose your backing in seconds when hooked — what more could you ask for?
Triggers frequent the same water as permit and will eat the same flies, and thus require no time out from permit fishing. They are great targets of opportunity and we consider the fishing for triggers a huge bonus in both Guanaja and the Faraway Cayes.
Tarpon, snook, huge barracuda, jacks, snapper, sharks, and other reef and blue water species are present at Guanaja and the Faraway Cayes. These species each have their unique qualities and provide variety for anglers who like to mix it up.
WADING VS. POLING
Typically, the fishing at both Guanaja and Faraway Cayes is split about half and half between wading and poling the skiff. Anglers chase tailing permit, bonefish, and triggerfish while wading, and fish from the boat for permit under rays and when the tide has the permit cruising the slightly deeper flats.
The wading usually takes place on turtle grass flats or shallow reef. These areas have plenty of coral rubble, rocks, conch shells, etc. and thus require high quality wading boots to protect your feet. However, the bottom is hard and the flats are relatively small, so it is fairly easy and the wades are typically pretty short.
The guide team assembled by Fly Fish Guanaja is impressive. At Faraway Cayes, the guide to angler ratio is 1:1. That means each angler has his or her own personal guide while wading (typically about half the time). It is a great system for maximizing fishing time at Faraway Cayes.
The guides not only know the water and fly fishing, but have that passion, enthusiasm, and good humor that separates good from great guides. They all speak good English, in addition to Spanish and Honduran Creole. They are awesome both to fish with but also just to hang out with around camp.
Most anglers bring their favorite permit and bonefish rods. However free loaner equipment is available at both Jones Caye and Faraway Cayes (Douglas rods and Orvis reels). This helps to pack light for the helicopter, with backup rods staying at home. The loaner rods can be used in case you break your primary rod(s), or in case you decide to try your hand at species like tarpon or big barracuda.
CAPACITY / LIMITED FISHING PROGRAM
The Faraway Cayes program is set up to keep the flats as wild and pristine as they were before the operation began. Capacity is typically four (but occasionally five) anglers per week. The season is only three months long. There is a break for one week each of those three months. Fishing only takes place four days per week on the “on” weeks; on a 7 night / 6 day trip, anglers fish Guanaja two days and Faraway Cayes four days. This adds up to less than 50 days per year total.
Clients spend four nights at Jones Caye and three nights at the Faraway Cayes camp (see Sample Itinerary for more details). Both go way above and beyond the customary amenities for a fishing lodge, the main difference being that Jones Caye is a permanent lodge while the Faraway Cayes camp is more temporary.
Jones Caye is a near-perfect fishing lodge with an awesome vibe. It is a private caye located on some of the best flats on Guanaja. It has a large, covered, wrap-around deck that hangs over the flat. Tailing bonefish, triggerfish, and marauding jacks are almost a constant sight, while permit can be spotted from the deck on the right tide. The caye itself is wooded (except for a the heli pad), shading nearly the entire island and offering seclusion. The main lodge has a large room with dining area, living area, bar, and kitchen, all made with beautiful local hardwoods and decorated with style. The lodge is tricked out with a television, sound system, and very good wifi.
One bedroom is connected to the main lodge, one other is connected by an outdoor covered deck, and two more are located in a separate building. There is no a/c, but there are ceiling fans and constant ocean breeze making a/c unnecessary. Each bedroom has a private bathroom with towels, soap, and shampoo provided. Fresh water and electricity are brought by pipeline from Guanaja. Drinking water is furnished in each room and in the main lodge. The pillows and linens are nicer than most fishing lodges in tropical locations. The rooms are fully furnished with reading lamps and cabinets for clothing and gear. Awesome daily laundry service is free of charge.
Skiffs are kept at a boathouse that includes a rack to wash rods and plenty of space to rig up before going fishing. Stand up paddleboards and kayaks are free for guests to use. A ping pong table provides entertainment, especially when the wind is swirling!
The cuisine is delicious, starting with full breakfasts including eggs several ways, fry jacks, bacon, beans, fresh fruit, pancakes, toast, juice, and more. Boat lunches are typically wraps, empanadas, or sandwiches, and anglers also have the option to eat at one of several excellent restaurants on Guanaja that can be accessed by boat. Appetizers such as conch fritters are served at cocktail hour. Dinners are of course the main event, with entrees of lobster, fresh caught fish, shrimp, pork, and chicken. The bars are stocked with red and white wine, local beers, rum, vodka, tequila, gin, and whiskey.
FARAWAY CAYES CAMP
The Faraway Cayes camp is less permanent but almost as comfortable, with its own unique style. Even though it is called a “camp” it is a far cry from camping. There is a full bathroom with shower and, like Jones Caye, offers free daily laundry service. The kitchen turns out excellent meals with dishes similar to, and often even better than on Jones Caye, due to the access to a wide variety of uber-fresh fish (lobster, cobia, wahoo, tuna, etc.).
The caye is used for lobstering during other parts of the year, and the huge stacks of wooden lobster traps give it a quirky feel and are used as building blocks for the kitchen and dining area. They also provide a raised foundation for the yurts used as bedrooms. The yurts are decked out with comfortable mattresses on lobster trap frames, ceiling fans, lamps, chairs, drinking water, and the sound of wind whispering through palms and waves lapping right outside. Hammocks are positioned well to overlook the flats around the caye, which are filled with bonefish, permit, triggerfish, jacks, and more — right up to shore.
Two Honduran Navy servicemen are stationed on the caye, offering security. A commercial fishing boat supporting the camp serves several purposes: to store and transport supplies like drink ice, to supply fresh fish, and to ferry anglers, guides, and pangas to more distant flats, making the crossing comfortable. The commercial fishing boat is part of a small, informal fleet off the Honduran coast; being plugged in to this network adds additional security and nearby aid if necessary. The heli is also parked 30 minutes away while anglers are at Faraway Cayes.
Because both Jones Caye and the Faraway Cayes are tiny islands offshore, far from standing fresh water and constantly blown by breeze, they have virtually no insects.
For such a remote operation, travel is remarkably easy. Roatan, the biggest of the Bay Islands, located just west of Guanaja, receives daily direct flights from DFW, Houston, Miami, and Atlanta. After anglers clear customs and immigration in Roatan, they are met by a representative of Fly Fish Guanaja who gathers luggage and takes the group to the helicopter. From there, it is a 20 minute flight directly to Jones Caye, the Fly Fish Guanaja lodge.
From Jones Caye, the group flies straight to the Faraway Cayes camp, which takes about 1.5 hours headed out (into the wind) and an hour coming back (with the wind). On departure day, the group is flown in the heli back to the Roatan airport for the flight home.
Travel to Roatan, Honduras on a direct flight from DFW, Houston, Miami, or Atlanta. The group is picked up at the Roatan airport by helicopter and dropped off at Jones Caye on Guanaja.
Full day of fishing on Guanaja.
The day starts with coffee, then breakfast at 7:00 a.m. Anglers are fishing by 8:00. Lunch is typically taken on the water but there is also the option to eat at one of several restaurants accessible from the water. Return to Jones Caye by 4:00 p.m., relax, have a cocktail and appetizer. Dinner is typically served at 6:00 p.m.
Take down rods and pack gear for Faraway Cayes!
After breakfast, load up the heli and fly 1.5 hours to the Faraway Cayes, arriving around 9:30 a.m. Gear up and fish the rest of the day.
Full days fishing at Faraway Cayes.
As with Jones Caye, breakfast is at 7:00 and the group is typically fishing by 8:00 a.m. Depending on what area will be fished on a given day, the group may travel about an hour in a larger vessel towing the skiffs. In that scenario, lunch is taken on the transport boat and the anglers stay out all day. On days that the group fishes closer to the main camp, lunch is either on the water or back at main camp.
Fish an extended morning/midday session. Then return for lunch, pack gear, load heli, and fly back to Guanaja.
Full day of fishing on Guanaja.
After breakfast, load up heli for flight back to Roatan airport. Check in for international flight home.
When to Go
MARCH – EARLY JUNE
The Faraway Cayes program operates from March through the first week in June, with one week off each month, for twelve weeks of fishing total.
This period of the springtime is generally considered the best time to permit fish anywhere in Central America and the Caribbean, and this certainly holds true in Honduras. Each of these months is prime.
The Faraway Cayes program is not suited for non-anglers, simply because there is no extra room on the helicopter. HOWEVER, Jones Caye on Guanaja is a wonderful private caye with an amazing lodge. A great option for non-angling companions would be to remain on Jones Caye for the 3 nights / 4 days that anglers fly out to the Faraway Cayes.
The lodge provides stand-up paddle boards and snorkel equipment. There is great kite-surfing and SCUBA diving nearby, with companies that specialize in each. Non-fly fishermen can also partake in the great reef fishing in the area.
7 nights / 6 days fishing, based on shared room / boat
7 nights / 6 days fishing, based on single boat / single room for 4 nights / shared room 3 nights
Six days guided fishing; seven nights accommodations; helicopter transportation from Roatan to/from Jones Caye and Faraway Cayes; all meals, beverages, and alcohol; loaner fly fishing equipment; daily laundry service
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
Airfare to Roatan, Honduras; guide and staff gratuities; purchases made at lodge such as flies and branded apparel.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
Tailwaters Travel must adhere to the cancellation policies of the guides, outfitters and lodges which it represents. Fly Fish Guanaja’s policy follows: A non-refundable 50% deposit is required to secure all reservations. Final balance is due 90 days prior to departure. All deposits are non-refundable unless clients can be replaced. Full payment may be transferred to another guest for original dates. No credits or refunds are given for fishing time lost due to inclement weather. Refunds of deposits/payments made on credit cards will be charged a 3.5% service charge to fully compensate Tailwaters Travel for all bank charges incurred. Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgement that registrant has read and accepts the cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses.