Permit ! Permit ! 4 o’clock

Posted By Oz on Mar 17, 2011 | 0 comments


Its 4.30 AM and I have just made my way down stairs and made a cup of tea. A few minites ago I  found myself standing upon the bow of a skiff with a Cuban Guide. Two Permit slid their way through the a weed bed swimming from left to right. My guide pointed the fish out to me , although this time these fish were quite easy to spot. My new hunting partner whispered . CAST CAST CAST. I make my cast and my heavy crab fly is launched into its destiny. The fly lands in the water like a small house brick next to a crumpled leader. The fly sits at 11 O’clock to the bow and a Permit tail slowly disappears out of sight at 1 O,Clock.

You know when you are having a bad dream and you pull yourself outwards and into consciousness. Well that’s me right now  having just woken in a cold sweat. So here I am now drinking tea in my dressing gown at 4.30 in the morning. I figured I would stick something on my blog about this dream as it brushes upon a heap of interesting issues and has the makings of a half decent post. Here are a few of my expert pointers on permit fishing. Ive landed 4 now don’t you know. OK you’ve got  me , 3 really as one was hooked up the arse ! Craig at Turneffe said this to me . I wont forget it. ”There are two kind of Permit fishermen. The guy who has never landed one and the expert who has”.

A few tips on how not to fluff the shot of destiny. no pressure or anything !

  • Listen to your Guide . If tells you to take the shot. Take it without question
  • Ignore your Guide. After a few trips to the flats you will start to know that not all Guides are Gods ,some are completely useless. The faster you can figure out your guides brain the better.(When I arrange group trips we rotate the guides around the group to avoid anyone being stuck with the runt of the litter)
  • Practice your shots at home. Every year I say this and every year I fail. EgIts March 17 th and in May I will be Permit fishing in Cuba. I have not picked up a fly rod since November. How am I supposed to handle the most tricky fish on the planet when I am completely out of practice. I need to get some paper plates , lay them out on the grass and practice casting those heavy house brick crab flies.
  • Get the leader right leader. Try turning over a house brick  with any finesse and accuracy. The simple answer is a 20 lb Seguar Tapered leader . These are the best of the best. It is reflected in the price tag but to hell with it  , you just spent 3 Grand on this shot lets make it £3005 and get it right.
  • Don’t believe the hype. So you open the brochure and you see a guy wearing Simms  from head to toe. He is sporting a huge smile and a Huge Permit glistening in the sunlight. The guide looks on with the pride of a new father as he looks upon his latest Permit triumph. perhaps he is figuring how many beers he will be able to drink at the end of the week when he gets that big fat tip. Just remember that these fish are a total nightmare to catch so don’tbe to hard on yourself when it all goes horribly wrong.  50% of the time Permit  look at your fly with total dissgust 50 % of the time they don’t notice it. 50 %  of the time  they sense your presence long before you get to take a shot. (Maths was never my strong subject)
  • Enjoy yourself.This is a joke . Were not here to have fun ,were here to catch a Permit , don’t you know !

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