Top 5 First Saltwater Destinations

Dylan Rose | Landon Mace | Anil Srivastava November 29, 2023

For many of us we begin our fly angling careers in our local rivers, lakes or even the neighborhood pond.

As our skills grow and our horizons broaden, it's not long before we begin thinking about bringing the fly rod along on the next family vacation to Mexico. Soon after we find ourselves perusing a glossy Fly Water Travel catalog and the pull of a dedicated saltwater fishing trip that may pit your fly angling skills against a bonefish, tarpon, permit or redfish becomes irresistible. The thrill of seeing a fish as long as your leg swimming within range and presenting a well-placed fly in front of its nose is mind-bending and addictive. It can also be a bit daunting as the time and financial investment in your first saltwater trip can be substantial. You may find yourself wondering, where should I go? When should I go there? What do I need to purchase, and do I actually have a chance for success given my skills? This is where Fly Water Travel comes in and answering these questions is our bread and butter.

Here are our top 5 first saltwater trips. Let us help you find out which one may suit you the best:

Andros South, Bahamas

Bonefish offer a fantastic target for any fly angler's first foray into the saltwater. The Bahamas is widely known for offering some of the most consistent and best opportunities for bonefish found anywhere in the world.

Turneffe Flats Lodge, Belize

Turneffe Flats offers a remote adventure to a tropical atoll with top notch service, dining and accommodations. Schooling bonefish are plentiful at Turneffe and there are plenty of opportunities to chase them while wading which can simplify the process and reduce variables. As well, once you have scratched the bonefish itch, chances at permit and tarpon are also available to level-up your game.

Grand Slam Fishing Lodge, Mexico

Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and specifically Ascension Bay offers U.S. anglers the closest and most well-rounded opportunity to fish the saltwater. Grand Slam Lodge offers a fantastic option to customize the length of your trip to suit your time and financial goals. As well as provide ample opportunities for your first bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, jack crevalle or barracuda.

Christmas Island, Kiribati

For the true adventures among us, Christmas Island is a world away and a prime destination for your first saltwater experience. Its endless hard sand flats are suitable for all day wading and cruising bonefish (in calf-deep water) and are often found inside of 40 feet. Christmas Island may offer the purest expression of fly angling for bonefish found anywhere in the world.

Bay Flats Lodge, Texas

For something highly affordable and a little closer to home, Bay Flats Lodge in Seadrift, Texas and offers fantastic fly angling opportunities for redfish. With plenty of shots every day, top tier U.S. guides, Texas sized hospitality and fish in ranges of only 5 to 30 feet you simply cannot go wrong wetting your saltwater appetite at Bay Flats.

Bahamas, Belize, and Texas

Reach out to Dylan Rose for more information on the Bahamas, Belize, and Texas.


Reach out to Landon Mace for more information on Mexico.

Christmas Island

Reach out to Anil Srivastava for more information on Mexico.