Lily Bertram


Years Fishing? 


Who introduced you to fly fishing?

My husband Jose Ucan aka Careto. I learned to fly fish here in Ascension Bay. Learned to double haul and caught all the saltwater species before I ever caught a trout. 

Can you tell us a little about your home waters and the fish you pursue there?

We run Kay Fly Fishing Lodge in Punta Allen, and fish Ascension Bay in Quintana Roo Mexico. It’s home to all 4 species of the Super Grand Slam (bonefish, permit, snook, and tarpon) all year round. 

What’s the height of the season for you?

Our busiest season is late winter-spring. We’re super busy February-May, but we work every month of the year. We’re busiest then cause everyone wants to escape winter and fish in the tropics. 

What time of year is your personal favorite?

I prefer late spring-the summer months, that’s when we see the most adult tarpon. We’ve been seeing more and more every year. And though it’s kind of sacreligious around here, I prefer tarpon over permit. 

What are your favorite travel destinations?

The Everglades, Florida Keys, and Baja California Sur 

What’s on the bucket list?


What do you like most about Thomas and Thomas rods?

They’re lightweight, which is easier for me having a smaller build than the dudes. Even the 11 and 12’s don’t feel too heavy for me to cast all day. 

Which rods do you fish?

The Exocett 10 for permit, and the Sextant 11 wt for tarpon and roosterfish. 

What’s your current go-to fly?

Whatever the guide tells me to use. Always listen to your guide! Spawning shrimp for permit, Tom’s lightbulb for snook. 

Other than fly tackle, what piece of gear do you find indispensable?

Good pliers. 

My favorite thing about running a lodge running a lodge is:

meeting people from different walks of life who all come together and find common ground fishing despite different backgrounds and careers. 

From the angler’s point of view, what do you see as the main value of going on a guided trip?

The main thing is to learn something new. The guides know their waters like no one else. Because of their years of experience and intimate relationship with their home, they share the fishery they love so we see it in a way we’d never see it, without their guidance. 

What can new fishermen expect to get out of a guided trip?

Education! Every guide has a different style, and each and every guide should be able to teach you something new. Listen to your guide! We are only a medium through which our guide fishes. The guide always wants their angler to catch fish just as much as we do, if not more. Practise casting, get to know your gear so you can be the best medium you can be for your guide. 

My favorite thing to teach a client is:

The uni knot! It’s super easy, extra strong, and versatile. Great for tying on a fly in a hurry, and also for building leaders. 

What’s your ideal lunch when on the water?

Fresh fish ceviche, with whatever we just caught. 

What do you actually pack?

Stuff to make ceviche, and sandwiches, always. Cause we don’t always get a cuda or cero mackerel for ceviche. 

What fly fishing blogs/magazines do you read regularly?

I don’t really read too much about fishing, but every night around the dinner table I hear the best stories. And the stories are always much better over a home cooked meal with friends. 

When I’m not fishing you’ll find me....

Herding cats. ;) Between running a lodge, and raising 2 boys, I’m always herding cats.