Join us as we dive deep into fly fishing Belize with Damien Nurre, the guiding force behind Blue Horizon Lodge, renowned for its world-class fly fishing and unbeatable local guides.

Show Notes with Damien Nurre on Fly Fishing Belize. Hit play below! 👇🏻

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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fly fishing belize

Episode Chapters with Damien Nurre on Fly Fishing Belize

1:35 – Damien Nurre shares his journey from being a snowboarding enthusiast in the Midwest with no knowledge of fly fishing to becoming deeply involved in the sport. His curiosity was sparked at the University of Montana, where his roommate’s passion for fly fishing influenced him. Damien’s first fly fishing experience was on the Bitterroot River, and despite only catching one fish, he was fascinated by the process.

This interest led him to become a fly fishing guide in Oregon, manage a lodge, and eventually move to Belize to work at Turneffe Flats, focusing on managing and running the fishing program. Later, he was approached by the parent company of Blue Horizon Lodge to evaluate the lodge’s business performance. After a thorough assessment, he was asked to manage Blue Horizon and other lodges in Southern Belize since 2018.

5:43 – He details his progression into guiding on the Deschutes River, starting by purchasing an outfitting business from Num, alongside Chris O’Donnell. After parting ways with O’Donnell, Damien partnered with Full Line Field Outfitters, where he took on a significant role. Eventually, he seized an opportunity to buy a property and launch his own business, Deep Canyon Outfitters, focusing primarily on trout fishing camp trips along the upper Deschutes and steelhead fishing in the fall.

7:03 – He shares his experiences when he joined Blue Horizon, particularly focusing on Lincoln Westby, a well-known and elderly gentleman associated with the lodge. Despite having heard negative opinions about Lincoln from competitors and facing initial apprehension, Damien’s interaction with Lincoln completely changed his perspective.

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9:19 – We dig into the unique aspects of Blue Horizon Lodge, particularly emphasizing its exceptional guide staff. Damien highlights that, unlike other fishing lodges, their guides share meals and happy hour with guests, fostering a deeper connection beyond the fishing experience. If you also want to experience their top-notch guiding service, join our ongoing Belize School giveaway at

fly fishing belize

12:00 – Damien emphasizes that all their guides are local Belizeans. Belize has a unique regulation requiring tour guides to be naturalized citizens, which involves living in Belize for a calendar year and passing a comprehensive guide school course. Lincoln stands out at 83 for his enthusiasm and skill in guiding, despite having some health issues. Lincoln is portrayed as a mentor to younger guides, ensuring the continuation of quality guiding. Among the guides, Dan is highlighted as one of the top requested guides, having dedicated himself to fly fishing and becoming well-known in the community for his expertise, especially in catching permits.

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“BH Guide Dan knows where to find the permit!” (Photo via:
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18:06 – We talk about the unique fishing opportunities at Blue Horizon, focusing on catching permits. Damien explains that while permits are universally challenging to catch, Blue Horizon offers a distinct advantage due to the consistency and number of opportunities anglers get to catch them. On average, it’s realistic to expect about 10 shots at permit each day and more during good conditions. The fishery’s shallow waters make the experience visually exciting and more challenging, as permits in shallow waters tend to be more wary.

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He also highlights the benefits of fishing during the summer months, noting that while the popular season starts in mid-February and goes through early June, the summer offers more solitude and less pressured fish, making it his favorite time to fish. Despite fewer anglers, the quality of fishing remains high, with a good chance of catching migratory tarpon in addition to permits. Bonefish are available year-round, providing a nearly guaranteed catch.

21:49 – Damien walks us through the logistics of visiting Blue Horizon Lodge, highlighting the lodge’s unique location and the journey to get there from the US. Travelers can fly directly to Belize City from several major US cities, then take a short commuter flight to Placencia, where a driver from Blue Horizon picks them up for a boat ride to the lodge. Their area is characterized by hard coral flats, deep channels, and abundant marine life, making it ideal for permit fishing and snorkeling.

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26:05 – We talk about Damien’s experience working at Blue Horizon since 2018 and how it compares to his previous fishing activities in Oregon. Damien describes the fishing in Belize as significantly different, emphasizing it as more of a hunting game that requires stealth, precision, and understanding the cautious nature of fish like permit, which are notorious for inspecting flies closely before often rejecting them. Despite these challenges, Damien highlights the similarities between the two experiences, notably the joy of being immersed in nature and escaping the routine of daily life.


27:30 – Regarding fishing opportunities during August, Damien mentions a high chance of catching the grand slam—permit, tarpon, and bonefish—due to the unique conditions of the summer months. He explains that the summer offers less pressured fish and more solitary experiences, unlike the busier seasons. Mornings might start with tarpon fishing near the lodge, followed by targeting permit, and ending with bonefish, generally considered the easiest of the three to catch. Damien’s enthusiasm for summer fishing underscores the potential for excitement and success in Belize’s diverse and vibrant fishery.

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29:49 – He tells us the criteria for achieving a Grand Slam in Belize’s fly fishing scene, clarifying that it involves catching three out of four specific species—bonefish, permit, tarpon, and snook—in a single day. Catching all four qualifies as a Super Slam, a feat recently accomplished by an angler at Blue Horizon. He also provides insight into the operations and daily routines at the lodge, located on Northeast Key, where guides and guests coordinate based on tidal conditions to plan their fishing outings.

31:32 – Damien explains that the temperature around the ocean in Belize typically stays around 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. He points out that May is the hottest month due to lower wind activity and being the driest month. While temperatures during fishing can get up to 90 degrees, exceeding that is rare.

32:50 – He describes Blue Horizon Lodge as an intimate and friendly place, ideal for fishing vacations with friends. The lodge has five guestrooms accommodating up to ten guests, featuring full-size beds, air conditioning, private bathrooms, and island-wide Wi-Fi, ensuring connectivity throughout.

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36:49 – Damien offers several key tips for anglers heading to Belize, especially those who aim to catch permit, a notoriously challenging species. He emphasizes the importance of casting the fly as close to the fish as possible, aiming for it to land in the fish’s line of sight rather than far ahead of it. Damien notes that direct casting might seem counterintuitive as it could spook the fish, but it often results in a hookup. He advises against panicking if the fish is spooked, suggesting instead to let the fly sit, as the fish might return to its original spot.

Another crucial tip is about the stripping rate; slow and short strips are more effective, especially when using crab flies, mimicking natural prey behavior. Damien highlights that stopping the fly’s movement altogether can be a successful strategy to entice a bite, as it imitates a crab trying to hide. These strategies are grounded in understanding the behavior of the target species and adapting techniques to mimic natural prey movements accurately.

44:28 – He tells us the types of flies that are effective for permit fishing at Blue Horizon, mentioning that while each guide has their favorites, certain flies are consistently preferred, such as the Bauer’s Flats Crabs, Camo Crabs from S.S. Flies, and Contraband Crabs. You can check out their recommended fishing gear and equipment here.

fly fishing belize
“Matching the hatch, Belizean style. Does anybody know this crab pattern?” (Photo via:

46:12 – He encourages exploring the Belize mainland, citing Placencia Village for its accessibility and vibrant community, the Cayo District for its jungle adventures, and the ATM Cave for its historical and adventurous appeal. He suggests Belize as a great destination for families, offering a range of activities beyond fishing, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and relaxing on the beach. With options to stay in various family-friendly resorts operated by Blue Horizon’s parent company, visitors can combine fishing expeditions with family vacations, ensuring a comprehensive experience of Belize’s diverse attractions.

53:17 – He compares Turneffe Flats to Blue Horizon, highlighting that the former is located about 30 miles off the coast of Belize City and offers a different fishery, with a stronger focus on bonefish and good opportunities for permit fishing. Tarpon fishing is available year-round, similar to Blue Horizon, but the best tarpon fishing occurs in summer.

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54:18 – In the conservation segment, Damien praises Craig Hayes, the owner of Turneffe Flats, for his significant contributions to conservation in Belize, more so than any NGO according to Damien. Hayes was instrumental in enacting catch-and-release laws and played a pivotal role in banning gillnets in Belize, known for their indiscriminate impact on marine life. The ban, established in the fall of 2020, allows guides and the fisheries department to remove gillnets found in the water. Damien notes that some guides take the initiative to destroy gillnets they encounter, though this action carries risks.

You can find them on Instagram @BlueHorizonFly.

Facebook at Blue Horizon Belize: Fly Fishing

Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below

fly fishing belize

Conclusion with Damien Nurre on Fly Fishing Belize

As we wrap up, we’re thrilled to invite you to participate in our online giveaway. This is your chance to win a spot at our upcoming Belize School, along with an assortment of gear to ensure you’re fully equipped for the experience. Imagine yourself casting in crystal-clear waters, guided by the expertise of local legends, and perhaps even achieving the coveted grand slam. Don’t let this opportunity slip by—join us in celebrating Belize’s rich fly fishing heritage and making unforgettable memories at Blue Horizon Lodge. Visit to enter!