Location: Some 50 miles off the south central coast of Cuba
Fishery: The Gardens of the Queen is grand slam territory at its finest. This 100 mile archipelago is made up of close to 600 mangrove islands. It consists of white sand flats, coral flats, grass flats and mangrove edges. Pristine habitat for bonefish, permit and tarpon. With no commercial pressure allowed, it’s a thriving ecosystem. Bonefish are plentiful and there’ll be permit throughout the year. Baby tarpon hang out in the mangrove nurseries year round and bigger migratory tarpon stop by from April – June.
Accomodations: You’ll have a choice of 3 motherships to stay on. The main differences between them are capacity and amenities. Ranging from clean & comfortable to super luxurious (aka a waterslide). The staffs are incredible and the food is superb on all 3. When you submit an inquiry Fly Water will reach out with more info to help you pick a ship.
- Breakfast and dinner are served on the mothership
- Anglers can choose to return to the mothership for lunch or have lunch on the skiff
- Guides are given a large area per skiff to fish, ensuring that you rarely see other fishermen
- Guests overnight in Havana, and with an early wake up call board a bus for a 5 hour cross-country ride. After a few break stops and lots of time to view life in Cuba from the window, the bus arrives at the port of Jucaro.
- There, guests either join the boat they will be staying on or a transport boat if staying on the Tortuga, and travel another 3 – 4 hours to the fishing grounds.
- Standard packages here include five full days of fishing and typically a few hours on both the arrival and departure days.
2020 Rates: $3,990-$6,850 (depending on choice of mothership) per person for a 7 night/6 day package.
Included: All accommodations and meals, guided fishing, 10 beer per angler/per week, wine with dinner, welcome cocktail after fishing, 30 drinks (water & soft drinks) per angler/per week, all ground transfers inside Cuba, national park license.
Not Included: Round trip airfare to Havana, fishing tackle, departure tax, personal expenses, taxis and meals in Havana, staff & guide gratuities, $250 required donation to Bonefish & Tarpon Trust.
Capacity: 6 – 20+ anglers
All arrangements are handled by our trusty friends at Fly Water Travel.
- Gotcha – #8, #6, #4
- Bone Appetite – #4 Tan
- Beck’s Sili Legs – #6 Tan, #4 Tan, #6 Chartreuse, #4 Chartreuse
- Crazy Charlie – #8 Tan, #6 Tan, #4 Tan
- Mantis Shrimp – #8, #6, #4
- EP Spawning Shrimp – #6 BC Tan, #4 BC Tan, #4 Tan
- Bonefish Bitters – #6 Amber
- Tailer’s Beware – #6
Cuba Flats Box
- Avalon Permit Fly – #2, #2 Lightweight
- Slater’s Strong Arm Merkin – #2
- EP Crab – #8 Tan, #8 Golden Sand
- McCrab – #4
- Mantis Shrimp – #4, #2
- EP Ascension Shrimp – #6 Golden Sand, #6 Ghost, #1 Golden Sand, #1 Ghost
- Flexo Crab – #2 Sand
- EP Descendent Crab – 2/0 Tan
- Grand Slam Crab – #4 Tan, #4 White
- Big Eye Tarpon Toad – 1/0 Orange/Grizzly, 1/0 Brown, 1/0 Sand Devil, 1/0 Yellow
- Laid-Up Tarpon Fly – 1/0 Chartreuse, 1/0 Tan
- EP Tarpon Streamer – 2/0 Black/Purple
- EP Peanut Butter – 2/0 Black/Purple, 3/0 Black/Purple
- Tarpon Tapa – 1/0 Tan/Brown, 1/0 Tan/Orange
- Tarpon Toad – 1/0 Chartreuse, 1/0 Purple/Black, 1/0 Orange
- EP Back Country – 2/0 Brown/Orange
- EP Mangrove Baitfish – 2/0
- Fast-action 9′ 8 weight for bonefish and small permit, and baby tarpon
- Fast-action 9′ 10 weight for big permit and medium tarpon
- Fast-action 9′ 11 for big tarpon
- Durable 8 weight size reel with smooth drag system and at least 150 yds of #20 backing
- Durable 10 weight size reel with smooth drag system and at least 200 yds of #20 or #30 backing
- Durable 11 weight size reel with smooth drag system and at least 200 yds of #30 backing
- Weight forward tropical floating WF8F fly line, that loads easy, punches into the wind and can be presented softly.
- Weight forward tropical floating WF10F fly line, that loads easy, punches into the wind and carries heavy flies.
- Weight forward tropical floating WF11F fly line that loads easy and punches into the wind.
Bonefish Leaders & Tippet
- RIO Saltwater Leader – 16 lb
- RIO Bonefish Leader – 12 lb
- RIO Fluoroflex Saltwater Tippet – 12 lb, 16 lb
Permit Leaders & Tippet
- RIO Saltwater Leader – 16 lb, 20 lb
- Fluoroflex Saltwater Tippet – 16 lb, 20 lb
Tarpon Leaders & Tippet
- RIO Saltwater Leader – 16 lb, 20 lb
- Fluoroflex Saltwater Tippet – 30 lb, 40 lb, 60 lb
- RIO Tarpon Pro Leaders – 20 lb class/60 lb shock
- Sun protection is critical. Lightweight, quick-drying technical fishing apparel with built-in UPF protection is best.
- Simms ZipIt II Booties are perfect for wading sessions