Fly fishing for permit is one of the biggest challenges
in fly fishing. The fish are extremely spooky and very picky when it comes to eating
flies. You will get far more refusals than takes even when you get the fly in the right
spot with out spooking them.
If you ever decide to pursue these exciting fish
give me a call and I will steer you in the
right direction. We have two places in
our roster that boast the best permit fishing in the world. Belize has a good mixture of bonefish and tarpon thrown in and Mexico's Ascension Bay, Xcalak also has grand slam possibilities.
Table of Contents
1.Three Permit on Three casts
2. A Few of the Best Permit Flies
Permit of Ascension Bay
The flat was knee deep with a white sand bottom and stretched out as far
as I could see. I had been wading the flat for two hours searching for bonefish. The light
was good and the wind was light but the best I could do was get a glancing shot at a
couple of fish with out even a look.
I glanced to the right at something
that caught my eye, and stared into a spot where the wate
r just looked odd. The
surface had a little different ripple to it, I must be crazy it's nothing. Then a black
sickle shaped tail stuck out of the water like a neon sign and my heart yelled
"permit" Now that I knew what I was looking for I could make out 2
fish slowly feeding on the edge of the flat about 100 feet away. Now the trick would
be to tie on a permit fly with my hands shaking a little more than I thought was
appropriate ( luckily no one else was witness to this) I chose a cream colored
Turneffee Crab and tied it onto the 8 pound tippet.
They were zig zagging along the edge of the
flat but definitely heading to my left. They were about 120' straight ahead.
I decided not to cast but instead waded quickly to my left, the bottom was smooth
and noise free and the fish continued to work the edge with an occasional boil just to
keep my shake level at the right pitch. I went about 200 feet parallel to the edge
and then turned out towards the edge. The fish were now 150' feet away but headed
right at me. This was perfect. When they reached the 100 foot mark I threw my eight weight
about 85 feet on target. I would let the fly sink to the bottom and assume the fish will
continue there general path and swim over it. As they came closer they zinged out to
the right away from my fly, my choice was to pick it up and cast to a new spot or to hold
the course. I knew i should hold the fly and wait but it was painful knowing the
fish were in range. As one turned momentarily in the right direction I gave the fly a good
strip hoping the motion would attract the permit. Well it did and the permit raced
the remaining 6 feet to my fly and snatched it as I gave it a second bump. As the
line tightened it took the fish a second or two to figure out what was wrong and the two
fish in unison bolted to the deep water. 150 yards into my backing the fish started
running a huge circle around me with neither of us gaining an inch. The broad sides
of these fish make them feel much heavier than they are. I started to win the tug of war
and the fish started in towards me with a little too much speed. I worked the large
arbor as quickly as possible panicking that I had lost the fish, but it was still on and I
had the fly line back. Once it decided this t
actic wasn't working it raced for the
horizon again, this time making it about 100 yards before slowing.
I looked to the right and sure enough there
was a large school of permit coming down the edge of the flat right at me! The mix of
wanting to land my fish and cast to the new ones was a new feeling. Wisely I decided
to be patient with my current fish and spent the next 5 minutes coaxing to my hand. I
released the 10 pound permit and watched it swim away. As I looked up the edge of the
flat, another group of sickle tails was heading at me. The entire process repeated
it self again and yet again. I made three casts and hooked three permit. I tried to
remember what I ate for breakfast that made me such an incredible permit fisherman! Rest
assured that I was humbled the rest of the week with the normal cast to a permit, watch it
spook, cast to a permit watch it refuse the fly, look at a permit watch it spook, or
spending an hour stalking a huge permit in 18 inches of water that was making a 6"
wake only to have it disappear into thin water!
Permit fishing is a lot luck and a lot of
patience. I was lucky one day, and I will always have the imag
e in my mind of unhooking
the first permit only to see the next school was in range.
Favorite Permit Flies
Table of Contents:
1. Del's Merkin
HOOK: Heavy #3/0 to #8.
THREAD: 6/0 monocord.
TAIL: Four or six hackle points and a few strands o
f Krystal Flash.
BODY: Stiff acrylic rug yarn, such as Aunt Lydias Rug Yarn.
LEGS: Rubber leg material.
EYES: Dumbbell eyes.
Place the hook in the vise, attach dumbbell eyes to the top of the hook shank. . With
the hook in the upright position in the vise, attach a tail of four to six hackle points,
with two or three hackles pointing out on each side. Add a few strands of Krystal Flash.
Turn the hook over in your vise so that its point is up. Attach a short piece of acrylic
rug yarn so that it is horizontal to the hook. Secure the yarn with several thread
X-wraps. Tie on a short piece of white, rubber-leg material by crisscrossing the rubber
with your thread. Build the body by adding more yarn and rubber-leg material, making sure
you pack the materials as close as possible to the previous materials. You should end up
with six or eight legs. Complete the body with yarn and secure the thread in front of the
dumbbell eyes. Trim the yarn and the legs to the desired length. Use a red or black
permanent marker to color the tips of the legs. DO NOT USE CEMENT permit can smell it!!
| Fly Pattern Recipe
||Deer Body Hair and unknown body material
||Round Rubber Legs