Trip Report: Fly Fishing Ascension Bay, Mexico at Kay Fly Fishing Lodge


Punta Allen, nestled in the Sian Ka’an Reserve, is a unique destination approximately 3-4 hours south of Cancun. Despite its challenging accessibility, the journey is rewarding. The road from Tulum to Punta Allen is an adventurous experience that everyone should endure at least once. This year, we opted to catch a boat south of Tulum to minimize the road journey.

After a few hours in the van, we jumped on some pangas and smoothly reached the recently renovated Kay Fly Fishing Lodge. Kay Fly is a unique lodge as the owners are on site. This is rare to find in destination lodges, and it makes this place special. The food is authentic, often featuring freshly caught fish or lobster, and the margaritas are abundant.

With only two members of the trip having been to Ascension Bay before, introducing the rest to this experience was special. We were fortunate with the weather, facing only two days of clouds and tough visibility.

The guides at Kay Fly are friendly, knowledgeable, extremely hard working, and passionate. A great quality in a guide is that they want you to catch that fish more than you do, and they will work their tail off to put the ball in your court. And these are the types of guides you’ll find at Kay Fly.

The week started strong with three permit landed on the first day, including one caught by Tyler, who achieved his first Grand Slam (permit, bonefish, and tarpon) on his first day of saltwater fly fishing. At many lodges in Mexico, it is tradition to eat a scorpion for your first permit. Tyler faced it like a champ, and after a few chewy bites, he washed it down with a shot of tequila.

Though there were many heated cornhole games that took place on the rooftop palapa, the highlight of the off-water shenanigans was probably scorpion hunting. We went out with Romeo, the owners’ youngest son, and shined UV light on the bushes to reveal the bright glow of the scorpions. Romeo was accurate with the pliers and we made sure to have a well-stocked scorpion cache for future lodge guests.

Despite challenging conditions on a few days, the group seized opportunities and made the best of the weather. Sometimes when you’re caught up in chasing permit, you can easily forget how fun it is to target other species. The group as a whole did a number on the bones and snook, and everyone got their confidence up.

If you have ever been permit fishing, you know how exhilarating it can be at times and how frustrating it can be at other times. Sometimes you do everything right and the permit will follow your fly all the way to the boat before heading the other direction, and other times, when luck plays out on your side, it can be hard to do anything wrong. When the stars finally align and you catch that fish, it creates a core experience, one that is impossible to forget.

On the final two days, clear skies prevailed. Many permit were casted at, some were fed, and several more were caught. Overall, the experience of chasing fish, sharing stories, and enjoying the company of like-minded individuals left an indelible mark. And most importantly, the addiction of chasing permit was shared with others.