Permit, what’s the big deal?

This months website theme is all about our love for permit fishing with a fly rod, no, it’s a passion, no, it’s an really a sick addiction! Just ask some of the anglers who do this on a regular basis. Most estimates of how much their addiction costs are hidden from their spouses and denied by themselves. Some of us, although addicted, suffer in silence in our normal lives but search the internet for those who fish for us. Just because it’s one of the most difficult fish to catch with a fly rod doesn’t deter us, no, it actually is the thing that keeps our addiction boiling within us.

There are stories that have been told over time about an angler that showed up to fish at a remote lodge and hits the flats and catches a permit on his first cast, looks around at the guide and asks, “what’s the big deal”? That actually happened to an angler that I guided in the Keys many years ago, as a matter of fact, it was his first time to even fish in saltwater. A school of about 50 permit rose up out of a channel in Jewfish Basin heading directly to us. A simple cast with a standard merkin in the general direction of the lead fish drew an instant eat and the party was on. The two of us who witnessed this crime against all that’s holy about permit fishing nearly threw up. That’s just not fair, it’s not paying your dues.

Lefty Kreh

If your using a spinning rod to catch a permit, you’re playing a different game. In fact, is’t so different that
Lefty Kreh once said, “Throwing a crab to a permit is like rolling a wine bottle into a jail cell.” It’s not that it doesn’t count, it’s just not the same! I once speculated in another article how to grade the types of permit opportunities along the lines of difficulty, with a single permit tailing in very shallow water as the most difficult. That got a 10! Permit schooled up during the spawn in 60 to 90 feet of water being the easiest. That got a 1. All the others were in between and debatable as to the score they would receive. What it all essentially boils down to is that you caught a permit and it doesn’t matter how big it was or how you caught it…..but it counts more if it’s on a fly!

Til next time,

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