A sit-down with the owner of XFlats Lodge, Jesse Colton, to discuss the southern Yucatan fisheries of Xcalak and Chetumal Bay, the challenges of owning a saltwater lodge, his personal obsession with permit, and how to build a career in the fly fishing industry.
If you’ve recently picked up a fishing magazine or are active on fly fishing social media, you’ve probably seen Jesse Colton in ads and materials for Howler Brothers, Bajio Sunglasses, and of course his own business venture, XFlats Lodge. Jesse is a career fly fishing guide from the Rockies who originally got his start in Colorado’s Vail Valley. After falling in love with both the flats fishing and the culture of Xcalak – a small fishing village in the far southern reaches of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula – he purchased an existing hotel and opened XFlats Lodge, an operation that has very quickly gained a reputation as one of the hottest and most productive permit destinations in the Caribbean. For this first episode of a two-part series, we recorded on-location at XFlats Lodge, where we had the chance to sit down with Jesse to talk about his history, what it’s like to run a lodge in the Caribbean, who should visit the Xcalak fishery, and what the area has to offer for anglers. We also discuss the history of the community, his connection to the village and the people of Xcalak, and why the fishery has become so well known in permit fishing circles.
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