Fly Fishing the Run - Gardens of the King
Off the northern coast of Cuba, Cayos de Villa Clara is a part of the archipelago known as the Jardines del Rey or Gardens of the King. Cuba has protected these pristine areas as National Marine Parks — no commercial fishing is allowed other than for lobster. Since September of 2015, the Gardens of the King has been under the operation of Fly Fishing the Run.
Fly fishing for Tarpon
Gardens of the Kings is a famous protected area for fly fishing for tarpon. Resident tarpon are present all year long and range in size from 10-to 80-pounds. Beginning in March, this area begins to see the larger migratory tarpon, and the fish continue to be present through August. These fish can be more than 150-pounds and are a true test of a fly angler’s skills. Depending upon conditions and seasons, tarpon waters range from shallow flats to deeper lagoons and channels. Fish are often sighted rolling in schools, and guides position the skiffs ahead of them for intercepting casts. They are relatively easy to spot in the wide flat areas, in three-to-six-foot deep crystal-clear waters.
Bonefish and Permit Fishing
Bonefish: There are huge areas of flats and mangrove vegetation that can fished by boat or by
wading. The average weight of the bonefish here are between two and five pounds, with some topping the scales at 10-pounds. Bonefish are plentiful year-round on the interior flats and
provide great entertainment for anglers wanting a break from the feisty tarpon, or when tides are not optimum.
Permit: The region abounds in permit, with some weighing up to 40-pounds, and averaging from 25-to 30-pounds. The optimal times to fish for permit here are from March to June and October through November.
Boats: They have new Dolphin Super Skiffs, with Yamaha 70-h.p. engines, that allow access to shallow water, as well as fast runs between fishing spots. The hull was designed with enough deep-V to slice through the waves, turn and handle beautifully; yet with a draft of only eight inches, it’s a skiff the guides can pole on the shallowest bonefish flats.
Guides: Local guides speak fishing English, enough to be understood for fishing. They were born and raised on these waters, and know the ocean and the flats like the backs of their hands.
Five-Star Resort | Iberostar Ensenachos
The five-star resort, located in Cayo Ensenachos, has lush, well-kept grounds and two stunning beaches. The Iberostar has two sides, one is the “Park” side (which is family friendly), and the other is the “Spa” side, which is for adults only. Both sides have swim-up bars, and they both share the buffet in the main building and the on-site à la carte restaurants. For the fishing package, they use the Spa Suites (included in the rate). You may upgrade for an additional fee. Gourmet breakfasts and dinners are enjoyed in the comfort of the resort. You'll enjoy a restaurant-made lunch on the boat. Gourmet breakfasts and dinners are enjoyed in the comfort of the resort. Lunch will be brought to the boats daily from the restaurant.
You’ll fly into the José Martí International Airport (HAV) in Havana, Cuba, on Saturday. You'll be met at the airport by a staff member of Fly Fishing the Run; however, based on restrictions within Cuba, they will not be providing the ground transfer from the airport to the hotel. You'll be directed to a taxi, and they will assist you with pointing the driver in the right direction to your accommodations for the evening. (The transfer from the airport to the hotel is not included in the package.) You’ll stay the first night in Havana at a four-star hotel. (This hotel night is included in the package.) On Sunday morning, you'll depart by overland shuttle for the five-hour drive to the Resort.
8-nights and 6-full days guided fishing
Double occupancy / p.p.
Peak Season: March 25 - June 25
Non-angler companion $1,980.00
Click here for PDF of full pricing.
Fishing packages include:
first night’s double occupancy accommodations in Havana in a 4-star hotel (breakfast included); 7-nights at the Iberostar Ensenachos Resort in a Spa Suite Double Room, all meals, and alcohol at the resort, box lunch and beverages on skiffs, and 6-days guided fishing.
Packages do not include:
airfare, visa, ground transfer from airport to hotel in Havana (may take a taxi or arrange for a ground transfer through Fly Fishing the Run for $150.00 p.p.); fishing tackle, fly rods and reels; a boarding tax of CUC 25 (CUC - Cuban convertible peso) to be paid at airport before leaving, if not included in airfare; gratuities to guide and staff, personal expenses, extra beverages and food other than those stated above, the Marine Park Conservation Fee ($100.00 – may be paid online prior to your trip) and anything not mentioned under the inclusions.
Arrange to have a relaxing massage at the on-site spa. Sail the keys with a tour that departs from the marina in Cayo Las Brujas. There is a dolphinarium in Cayo Santa Maria, a five-minute drive from Cayo Ensenachos, where you can swim with the dolphins. Partake in excellent Trinidadian cuisine and sip on an exotic canchánchara (a traditional cocktail) in La Estrella. Partake in a Cuban food tour, sampling restaurants in Cayo Santa María, in the quaint village of Las Dunas or in lively La Estrella. Explore Cayo Santa María, the largest key in Cayos de la Herradura, in a Jeep. Rent diving gear for a day and dive in the Cuban keys. And, for the cigar enthusiast, there is an option to visit a Cuban cigar factory in local Cayo Ensenacho.