Tiny Whipray Caye may look like a slice of Belizian heaven with its schools of bonefish and abundant permit, but look beyond the swaying coconut trees, the gorgeous sunsets and the deserted flats and discover a family pulling together to reconstruct a shattered life, raise a troubled boy and even get some casting practice in.

Words: Brian Irwin

Julian Cabral is a hardass. The 45-year-old man has spoon-shaped fingernails, palms rough as 40-grit sandpaper and square teeth that look like old Chiclets. He’s been guiding the flats off the coast of southeastern Belize for more than 20 years and doesn’t make suggestions or give pointers to his clients. He’s directive, foul-mouthed and bossy. I learned this quickly when I nailed a tailing permit in the head, launching it off the flat. “That cast was shit,” he spat, rolling a damp cigarette between his yellow teeth. “You really screwed it up.”
That’s his style.

Subscribe to start your collection of the world’s best flyfishing publication.


The FlyFish Journal Mailing List

We respect your time, and only send you the occasional update.