Ascension Bay Final Update

It has been an eventful few days since you last heard from us here in Mexico. Our first two full days of fishing this trip were amazing, so it was only fair that our third day slowed down a bit. Thursday presented us with some adverse conditions. The winds picked up making casting a challenge, and high clouds rolled in making it difficult to spot fish. In order to alleviate these conditions we decided to go after the big bonefish that inhabit the sheltered lagoons that makeup the southern rim of Ascension Bay. We ended up bringing in much fewer fish that day, but the overall size of the fish were much bigger.


Friday saw better fishing conditions return and our group took advantage of the weather window. Two boats decided to chase migratory tarpon and Permit, while the third boat opted to go for bones. The bonefish boat absolutely crushed! They managed to haul in well over a dozen fish to the boat and had great action all day long. The other boats had a mixed bag of results, as is common when going after such tricky prey. One boat had several good shots at Permit and tarpon, but couldn’t get the hooks to stick. As is often the case with permit, you can do everything right and perfect, but the key ingredient always seems to be luck.

Big Permit

Our third boat apparently had luck in spades. At the first location they checked out they spotted a good sized school of Permit and set about stalking the fish. One good cast, an eat, and a good hook set, and a Permit was on the line! The fight was intense and it took about one hour and 10 minutes to land the Permit that weighed nearly 20 pounds!  This truly was the fish of the trip, and a fish that will be long remembered and probably never forgotten. The third boat even capped off the day by landing a beautiful tarpon right off of the town beach just before the end of the day. We could not have asked for a better way to end our guided fishing days.


Yesterday we spent the morning and early afternoon on our service project.  We ventured just north of town to a popular local beach which is frequently used for picnics, family gatherings, and fishing.  It happens to be located at the point where the offshore reef rejoins the coast, and as such, large amounts of garbage from everywhere wash up on shore.  Over the course of the four hours we actively spent cleaning up the beach zone, we managed to remove hundreds of pounds of trash from the beach. Almost all of this trash was plastic.

After our service project we went back to the lodge to enjoy a lunch and a traditional Mexican siesta.  After our nap we headed out for one last round of fishing on an amazing flat just west of town.  We stalked bonefish on the flat until sunset, with nearly everyone at least hooking into a bonefish on their own!

The last day is always bittersweet. It’s tough to leave such an amazing place, but it’s awesome to be coming home to our families. This trip was an amazing experience that I’m sure none of us are going to ever forget!

Tight Lines!
Charlie Parr

Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions was started in 2010 as a graduate thesis for my Master's Degree in Environmental Conservation Education at NYU. The operating premise was simple - by coupling amazing wilderness fly fishing camps for teens with environmental education and service learning we can help inspire future generations of fly fishing conservationists. We have been growing our unique list of trips and experiences ever since.

When it comes to choosing a summer program for your teen the options are endless. For the teen who loves to fish, be outside, and has a strong sense of adventure we have made the choice easy. We are the leader in teen fly fishing adventures and are dedicated to providing the best backcountry fly fishing experience with opportunities for teens to engage in leadership training, community service, and backcountry camping.


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Will Lillard, Founder/Director/Guide

Contact Us

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Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions
2540 King Road
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768

(828) 577-8204