Kay Fly Fishing Lodge offers visiting anglers access to a number of productive fishing areas that include Ascension Bay’s vast, open flats, tidal lagoons and coves found along the shorelines of its many small islands, as well as the inland mangrove lagoons and river system. While renowned for its amazing permit fishing, Ascension Bay and its neighboring waters are also home to a thriving population of bonefish, a considerable number of snook (known locally as robalo), and tarpon (aka sabalo), which reside in and migrate through the region, providing another splendid, year-round target. In addition, anglers here regularly cross paths with barracuda, several members of the jack and snapper clans, triggerfish and other species.
Widely considered saltwater fly-fishing’s holy grail, permit (called palometa in Mexico) are usually top of mind for the guides, all of whom are bonafide permit hawks. Nevertheless, they will adhere to the angler’s desires and adjust their fishing itinerary and tactics accordingly. Discussing your options before leaving the dock will help iron out the best possible game plan.
At Kay Fly Fishing Lodge, you can expect two guides on every boat. The more seasoned usually skippers the panga and does the poling, the other helps with fish-spotting and aids anglers with any necessary rigging and fly line management.
While much of the fishing in the region is done from the bow of the panga propelled by a guide with a push pole, wading is a possibility—and often encouraged— in certain spots. In fact, it’s pretty common for the angler and an accompanying guide to slip over the boat’s gunwales to stalk sighted permit more stealthily on foot. Proper wading footwear is, therefore, highly recommended to ensure good footing and protection against any jagged bottom structure.
Fishing days begin shortly after breakfast, at around 7:30 am (time adjusted slightly based on seasonal daylight hours), when you’ll either board your boat at the beach, right in front of the lodge, or follow your guide to a protected lagoon (a 5-minute walk) where the boats are kept when a strong, onshore wind dictates it. Boats return at about 4:30 pm, after the full day on the water.
Like other operations in the area, Kay Fly Fishing Lodge uses the 23-foot super pangas typical throughout the coastal regions of Mexico and Central America. The boats are seaworthy, spacious and efficient, don’t require a big outboard to carry the usual load of two anglers and two guides, plus they also float shallow and boast comfy seats, gunwale rod racks and a broad casting deck at the bow.
The lodge tries to keep a couple of fly outfits to lend guests in the event their gear is misplaced or damaged during the trip, and usually has items like leaders and flies available for purchase. But given the remote location, it’s often difficult to promptly restock and replace or repair tackle, so it’s best to bring your own gear and at least one spare rod and reel, as well as plenty of flies, leaders and other essentials, like a rain jacket, flats-wading footwear and polarized sunglasses.