Grand Slammin' in the Flats of Belize

By Henjum, Scott | Chief Executive (U.S.), January/February 2004 | Go to article overview

Grand Slammin' in the Flats of Belize


Henjum, Scott, Chief Executive (U.S.)


Need a respite? Try casting flies at this idyllic Caribbean fishing hub. But don't expect the tarpon to be easy. Just ask Intel's Craig Barrett

TRAVEL

There's a fish at 11 o'clock. About 40 feet. Moving left. Hurry." From the casting platform of our narrow skiff, I whipped the rod back and forth to work out enough line to make the cast into the shallow, sparkling green water off the coast of Belize. Then I dropped the fly two feet in front of the silvery boncfish and followed the guide's next instructions.

"That's good. Now strip, strip, strip."

I lowered the rod tip and brought the fly alive, retrieving line in short stripping motions. I watched as the shadow followed and then inhaled the tan-colored fly with beaded metal eyes. Setting the hook, I lifted my rod and held tight. My Orvis 8-weight bent over. The large-arbor reel started to whir.

Within a couple of seconds, the fly line spooled off the reel and my backing followed suit. The three-and-a-half pound bonefish screamed through the water like a torpedo; there was no chance to slow it down. After two strong, long runs, the fish finally tired. I wrested control and worked the bonefish up to the boat.

In the time-honored tug of war between man and fish, I'd wrestled my way to a victory, but the ultimate fly fishing achievement, a "grand slam," is another story. The feat consists of catching a bonefish, a tarpon and a species called the "permit" on a fly-all in the same day. Naturally, many of the adventure-seeking CEOs and other top execs who travel to Belize are drawn to the challenge.

People from all walks of business and industry journey to Belize every month of the year to cast a fly. Frequent visitors include one of the top network anchors, bankers, doctors, lawyers and a contingent of chief executives. Craig Barrett of Intel once achieved the first two legs of a grand slam while spending a long weekend there. He caught a raft of boncfish and bagged his first tarpon, a "baby" 20-poundcr, on a fly.

"I spent half a day chasing tarpon with my guide and we finally caught up with one late in the day," says Barrett, an avid fly fisherman and hunter. "Landing the fish was very exciting. I was really impressed with the nature of the fight." Someday, he says, he hopes to complete the slam. But that will have to wait: Next up on his fly-fishing itinerary is a trip to New Zealand to target big trout.

There may be no better place to pursue the grand slam than in the bathtub-warm flats off the coast and islands of Belize. The small country on the eastern side of Central America, wedged between Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and Guatemala, lias impressive numbers of resident and migratory fish. Belize is a convenient flight from major air hubs, and communicating with the affable local fishing guides is a snap because they all speak English. (The country was known as British Honduras before gaining its independence in 1981.)

Over the past two decades, Belize has blossomed as a destination for high-end fishing, ccotourism and adventure travel. For a tiny country about the size of Massachusetts, it offers a startling level of natural diversity. The mainland is dominated by the Maya Mountains and their rainforests and jungles. Just offshore sits a string of approximately 200 small islands called cayes (pronounced KEYs). Shallow flats of iridescent blue and green waters, mud flats and lagoons ring these cayes and provide an ideal habitat for fish. East of the islands, one of the largest barrier reefs in the world parallels the entire 175-mile-long country. In some places, the reef is less than a mile offshore; in others, more than 20 miles out.

For visitors with a thirst for adventure and culture, there's much to see and do in Belize. The nation has long been known as a top spot to dive and snorkel the crystalline waters of the barrier reef. Ecotourists also can tour wildlife preserves in the rainforest, explore Mayan ruins, paddle rivers, ride horseback through the jungle, mountain bike and enjoy outstanding tropical bird-watching. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Grand Slammin' in the Flats of Belize
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.