Dispatches Vol. 2 – Fly Fishing for Permit in Belize with Joe Moore

Dispatches Vol. 2 – Fly Fishing for Permit in Belize with Joe Moore

Welcome to the second edition of Dispatches, a new series which reports on the Big Sky Anglers crew as they travel the globe in search of angling adventures. Each edition of Dispatches will feature an interview with one of our angling pros while they are on assignment or traveling for fun. Our crew might be hosting anglers in a remote destination, guiding clients on our home waters, or exploring new fishing territory at home and abroad.

This edition features BSA founder, co-owner and head beard-scaper Joe Moore who is reporting from Placencia, Belize – The Permit Capital of the World. This is Joe’s first visit to Belize, and first time fly fishing for permit. Give a listen to what Joe and his wife Molly have been up to, and stay tuned for more reports from the BSA crew.

“Where are you right now?”


Fly Fishing For Permit in Belize

“What is your target species?”


Fly Fishing for Permit in Belize

How are you targeting these fish? Any flies or gear that stand out?”


Fly Fishing for Permit in Belize

What have the conditions been like?”


Fly Fishing for Permit in Belize

What’s one thing that’s happened on your trip so far that you didn’t expect?”


Fly Fishing for Permit in Belize

How do you like Placencia? How’s the Food?”


Fly Fishing for Permit in Belize

“Where are you off to next?”



Argentina Bound

In exactly two months, I will be headed to Bozeman for a flight to Argentina.   Myself and Jonathan Heames are hosting eight anglers for a fishing trip of a lifetime – 10 days of fully guided angling with Pesca Patagonia, owned and operated by our good buddy Justin Spence.  While Jonathan has spent enormous amounts of time in South America as a traveler, climber, angler and fishing guide, I have never left this great continent of North America.  Needless to say, I’m a bit excited.  We are heading down for Argentina’s Fall – streamer fishing and BWO’s will dominate our angling.  For the next two months, my nights will be filed away at the tying bench, preparing for an experience I don’t even understand yet.   Lots of my fishing buddies have been down to South America…….the stories I hear would keep most anglers up at night.  Since I still have over half of my winter guiding season to go, I am trying to get some sleep.

No mas pelota…..mas pesca


Yes, the USA is now out of the World Cup.  We played good enough to win, but our defensive breakdowns and early goals have sent us home.  Honestly, I thought it was a good run for the US side.  2014 is not too far away.  Today’s game of England V Germany was a thriller.  The Germans will win the Cup if they get past this next round.  If they play Argentina it should be THE game to watch……………

The Madison is shaping up and there are rumors of Salmonflies in Beartrap Canyon.  A few folks are fishing the Big Bugs, but dropping a nymph off is working a bit better.  Anyday now, the Salmonflies are going to pop, but so will the hatch of boats.  I am headed to the Missouri for the next week to avoid the onslaught of anglers headed to the Madison for “The Hatch”.  The Mo’ is still high, but clear, and should come down some this week.  Nymphing is still king on the Missouri.  I know Gordon (the good Doc from MS) is hoping for some dry flies…….so am I.  So is everyone. 

South Holston River

One of my roommates and good friends, David Stelling, guides for App Angler and we put in below the dam with brothers Justin and Rhett who both work and guide for App Angler as well. We started out nymphing with a SJW and a BWO nymph. Once we got below the weir it seemed like there was a trout in every seam we fished. The rainbows really got on the worm for awhile, but then things changed and the BWO nymph was the ticket. I got a nice brown about 19 inches up to the net, but he spit my nymph just as I was easing him to the net. While anchored up and nymphing a slot, Justin and Rhett did the short float, just to Jack’s, and spent more time upstream. From the sound of it, they got’em good.

North Carolina – Watauga River

I have been fishing several times since arriving to Blowing Rock, NC for the Winter, but it hasn’t really felt like Winter until today. Finally, we got some snow. The ski hills around here are in need of this snow fall and colder temps. Two days ago, in a rainstorm that lasted most of the day, I fished the Watauga upstream of Appalachian Angler. We tossed streamers most of the time as the river had come up with the rain, but we managed to catch a few good trout and had a ton of follows. I love the look of the Watauga River…..the large boulders and tight casting remind me of the Gallatin River. I am going to float the Watauga in TN next week somtime and will report on that soon after.


Florida’s water is now starting to warm up to a consistent temperature and today I packed my bags to make the long trip home. Bummer. There are several stops along the way and we won’t be in MT until the first of May. Next year, I hope to stay down here until the first June so that I can get a shot at a Tarpon.

Since we are leaving a little earlier than we had once thought, I am going to hunt turkey’s in IL and MO. My Dad has been out scouting the spots over the past few weeks (he also found some nice white tail sheds) and says the turkeys have been very active. Last night he sat and glassed 10 birds on a hillside where we have killed several Toms over the years. There was one big Tom which was all fanned out and strutting. Gobble gobble!!

The mountains around SW Montana have been receiving more snow over the past couple of weeks. Rain in the vally and snow in the peaks. I bet we don’t see any substantial run off until June. May has been very wet the past few years and I would bet nothing changes this year. Expect to have great fishing in April and May on the area rivers.

I friend of mine in Bozeman called and said the BWOs have popped on the Yellowstone, Spring Creeks and the lower Madison. He reported good action on dry flies and nymphs.

The upper Madison above Ennis is fishing pretty well with nymphs and buggers. On warmer overcast days there should fish poking their heads out for BWOs. A few more weeks and there should be some March Browns.