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Hello fellas,
In Feburary/March 2018 I'm going to Cuba. I'm planning on spending a month and a bit backpacking ect. I am highly renowned among experts and novices as a Master Salmon flyfisher man, and have earned the nickname "Springer's Bane" back in Scotland... only joking, but i enjoy it a lot. I was thinking about getting into some saltwater flyfishing, mainly targeting bonefish, whilst I'm there.
I'm extremely poor and cannot afford Guides/boats/companies etc. so I was wandering:
-where exactly any decent flats/mangroves I could dip a fly for bonefish etc. (for free/without paperwork)
-if it is even legal to fish without guides etc. (I've heard so many rumours about this one).
-any specialist gear needed? (I've got strong single handed salmon rods + reels)
-Any relevant or important info
I'm sorting out accommodation as i go plus I have a spinning rod. fishing isn't the priority of the trip.
I've done tonnes of research, just need clarity but any help appreciated!
 

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Where do you plan on going in Cuba? I have been there four times, Varadero, Santa Maria, Cayo Coco (twice) and Cayo Guillermo. Of all those places, Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo we’re best for DIY fly fishing for Bone Fish. There virtually nothing in Varadero. There is some good fly fishing off the beach in Santa Maria for Bar Jacks on top water poppers, but for anything else you will need to hire a boat. There are however lots of flats and beaches to fly fish in the Cayo Coco and Guillermo area. I’ve done so in both. Sounds like your salmon rod will be fine but you may need to get yourself some saltwater fly line for the warmer climate. Regular fly line will not work that well in the hot temperatures. You will not need a fishing licence. The Hotel Sercotel Club in Cayo Guillermo is a cheap basic all inclusive and makes for a good base camp. Plus there is a huge DIY flat right in front of the resort.
 

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Agreement with Wongchez.
I honeymooned at the Blau Varadero and travelled with LRF gear. I did catch small Jack Crevalle and Blue runners ( good sport) and one morning at dawn, waist deep in water, a large Cuda followed my little surface lure to about 3m from me! Certainly woke me up!
I also fished the opposite side (mangrove channels) and looked promising but strong on-shore winds forced me to fish the beach.
Pedalos are available and designated to each hotel. Anglers are allowed to take gear on them.
We went to the dolphinarium ,which is about 30-40 mins from Varadero marina out to sea,on a little man-made island. Of course the rod was set-up as wivey swam with dolphins!
You will have a great time and the Cubans love their fishing.
Tight Lines.
 

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if you are staying longer than a month you will have to extend your tourist visa.
if your in coco/Guillermo that will mean going to immigration in ciego de avila.
if you don't speak Spanish you will need to take someone with you who does.
just a heads up on that.
that area is by far the best place for diy.
have caught fish on the coast road around playa larga and giron but that is miles away from coco.
up to about 2 years ago you could get a day on the flats down there for 250 cuc.
but since the americans have started going to fish cuba in numbers using a loophole its more than doubled.
dunniesky alex yordan etc still offer a reasonably priced guided day if you are based in coco/Guillermo.
think that works out about 250 cuc [£200]. worth doing. if you can cast a fly rod you will catch bonefish.
 

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I will be going to Manzanillo in Feb. anyone do any fly fishing there? Also I am going back to Cayo Guillermo, Cuba in April, anyone know if guide, Orlando Gonzalez Alvarez is still around after hurricane Irma, he's not answering his emails.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info lads! I'm planning on heading to the Jardines del Rey (cayo guillermo, coco, Romano etc.) plus Santa Maria.
I understand that the Avalon club only runs operations in Jardines de la Reina, Isla de la Juventud, cayos largo and cruz? And they are no-go areas in terms of DIY (without paying)..... So, are there any other cayos/flats/ that arent run by Avalon?????????
cheers anyway
 

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Joss, anything around Cayo Coco and Guillermo is fine. There is a huge flat with a ship wreck just south of the Melia at Cayo Coco, a flat right in front of the Hotel Sercotel Club formally Villa Cojimar at Cayo Guillermo and also a large flat just west of the Playa Pillar at the North end of Cayo Guillermo. I don’t know of any at Santa Maria, but there some pretty good fishing right off the beach in that area for Bar Jacks and Barracuda. Check out my review on Trip Advisor titled “Fishing Santa Maria Cuba”
I was in Cayo Coco last year in January and fished all of those flats and some in the Romano area with no problems.
 

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There are plenty of reports and guidance in the world forum of WSF. I'd say that Feb-March is possibly the worst time of go for bones on the flats as the water is at its coldest then and you also get cold fronts - extended periods of wind - that knock everything dead on the flats for up to a week at a time. If you do get a long hot settled spell the water will warm enough for a few bones to come on to the flats but when I've gone to Coco and Guillermo in March it's been tough. More realistic prey will be jacks and cuda.
As Wongchez says, the fishing isn't controlled in Coco and Guillermo. If you have a car, there is a beautiful deep channel winding through the extensive flats between Coco and Romano which good-sized snapper, jacks and barracuda run up and down into the mangroves, and there are bones and cowfish on the flat itself. Pretty much all of that coastline is either flat, mangrove or limestone platform and decent fish can pop up at any time. If it's a mild winter big (100lb-plus) tarpon stay in the mangroves.
Cayo Santa Maria and the surrounding areas have sold their fishing rights, and the road and bridges are patrolled, but there are so many isolated beaches and mangroves that it's an unenforceable ban. CSM is not as prolific as the Jardines del Rey, but when I stayed there large shoals of sardines ran along the sandy beaches and jacks, cuda and needlefish happily took the fly.
 
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