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Charlie-Leslie

HISTORY OF CHARLIE LESLIE

 

"Fishing is for people who understand that life as well as angling comes with very few guarantees. All said and weather permitting, It's better to fish today, than to worry about a tomorrow that may arrive with seas too choppy to cast."  

 

Charlie Leslie Sr.

 
 
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Charlie's Story

Charlie Leslie was born to Placencia residents Doris and Liston Leslie in November 1949 in the place known for its beautiful stretches of pristine white sand and beaches. The professional guiding business in Belize can be traced back to the opening of Barothy’s Caribbean Lodge, Ltd. The lodge was founded by Vic Barothy in the 1960’s after he was chased by revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. Barothy’s Caribbean Lodge,LTD. is considered one of the first fishing lodges in Belize. However, soon after he opened the lodge, Mr. Barothy’s health took a turn for the worst and so Fred Keller bought the business.

 

Since January 1987, the same river lodge that Mr. Barothy had opened, and is now the Belize River Lodge. In 1964-65 whereabouts Charlie traveled to Belize City where he began his lifelong career as an apprentice guide. Charlie got his first guiding job with a company called Keller’s caribbean sport ltd. that was owned by Fred Keller. Back then Charlie worked for about a year until one day Fred asked him,”boy, you think you can fish?” Charlie said, “Fred, I come from a fishing background, I know how to fish.” in the 1970’s that was where charlie’s career started as a professional guide. In total Charlie worked for Fred for approximately 7 years and in that time he became one of Fred’s most experienced and respected guides.

 

In the 1980’s, Charlie based his new business out of his house in placencia. He started to make contacts with anglers that he had been fortunate enough to guide in his early days. In time he started to get polite responses from anglers, and started to book anglers. Charlie then began to nurture his clientele. He worked for his own people and that was when I met Mel Krieger who was one of the top fly fishing teachers in those days. Mel brought a lot of students to placencia to teach them fly fishing. Charlie thanks Mel Krieger for teaching him a great deal of his personal fly fishing techniques and the art of the fly rod.

 

With an ear to ear smile, Charlie goes to say,” Mel Krieger then wrote a book name,’ The Essence of Fly Fishing’ and sent a copy of the book. When he opened the book there was a personal note that said, “ the best Permit guide I ever met!.” Another Major influencer that played a huge role in Charlie's career as a fly fishing guide was Lefty Kreh. As Charlie remembers, “ I met Lefty and he was the first guy who put a fly rod in my hands and said, ‘ one day you will need this rod. There were many other encounters with greatness back in  the early days of his career as he aspired to learn the techniques that have secured him a place among the very best anglers as well as fishing guides in the world.

 

In the early 1990’s Charlie got an invitation from the big names of fly fishing like his mentor, Mel Krieger as well as Chico Fernandez and Brian O’ Keefe. They represented top people in  the promotion of fly fishing and indeed were the trend setters of fishing gears as well as apparels. One year at Houston Show, Charlie worked a promotional booth fielding questions about the sport. At the show, he met ‘world class’ distant caster Steve Rayjef. Steve invited Charlie to his casting pool where he was doing demonstrations. Thanks to these Gentlemen for giving me the opportunity that night, I have been able to do what I love to do.”

 

Tarpon
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