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The Marlboro Fly Fishing Show 2018

I’m a third of the way through what I call the, “100 Days of Insanity”.  From around December 1 till April 1 I work almost every day focusing on my shows and speaking tour.  Its constant travel with long drives, planes and hotels to deliver fly fishing seminars, casting demos and speeches (of course a tiny bit of fishing).  It’s the preparation that goes into my talks and seminars that’s the most work.  But it’s a small price to pay for all the great fishing I get to enjoy the rest of the year.  To be honest, I love meeting folks and entertaining so the “100 Days of Insanity” should actually be called “Winter of Fun”!

 

This Friday through Sunday, January 19-21, I’ll be at the Marlboro, MA Fly Fishing Show.  I’ll be giving a wide range of presentations and casting demonstrations.  When not speaking I’ll be at my booth with my fish coffee mugs, beer steins, prints, decals and likely decorating a fly box with my art.  Be sure to stop by and say hello!

 

Here’s my schedule for the weekend:

 

Friday

11:00 – Casting Pond – “Casting in the Wind and the Double Haul”

3:00 – Release Room – “Warmwater Fly Fishing – Bass, Pike, Carp and More”

4:30 – Authors Booth

Saturday

10:00 – Casting Pond – “Fly Casting 101”

11:00 – Authors Booth

3:30 – Catch Room – “Streamer Tactics for more and Larger Trout”

Sunday

2:00 – Authors Booth

2:45 – Catch Room – “Fly Fishing Saltwater – Bonefish to Billfish”

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

First Fish of 2018 Well Worth the Wait

My last six fishing days of 2017 ended in skunks and yesterday, the first day of 2018, started with a skunk.  Today I had to get on track.  Steve Berry, Gentry Smith and I headed to some urban Phoenix ponds where we always catch fish.

 

Photo by Gentry Smith

The last time I fished here was in 2014.  Steve and I along with other longtime Arizona friend, Cinda Howard, crushed this place catching koi, common carp and grass carp in the same day.  But it was immediately obvious that today would be different.

 

On Tuesday before I got to Phoenix they experienced rain and a cold front.  The waters of these ponds were chilly.  So cold that many of our hot weather loving carps were lethargic and some of the resident tilapia actually froze to death.

 

The conditions didn’t keep us from trying.  There were a few koi and common carp lingering.  I tried various nymphs.  But I nor Gentry could convince any of the slow-moving fish to eat.

 

 

 

 

Steve on the other hand managed to fool a few.  He stuck a koi which slipped off before I got a photo and he caught a couple small common carp.  Steve had the perfect combination of the right fly (some egg looking thing) and a knack for hardly moving his fly.

 

By midafternoon things had slowed even for Steve.  I was pulling my hair out.  I couldn’t catch a fish.  We were hungry so Steve suggested we hit a drive through and move to another place he and Gentry had heard of but never fished.  I hated the thought of a new place this late in the day.  What if the new place was a bust?  It would be my eighth skunk in a row.  But the boys were eager to see the new canal so off we went.

 

Traffic slowed us and we didn’t get to the new spot until 3.  This canal was wide and shallow.  The water was clear and at the start we saw no fish.  We walked a half mile and just as we were about to give up a lone grass carp of about 20lbs cruised by.  Though I made a cast this was not a feeding fish and he fled when my hopper hit the water.

 

We walked further and the water got deeper.  Then there they were.  A few oversized koi, grass carp and plenty of common carp.  This was my last chance.  The January sun was lowering fast.  The clock was ticking so I tied on a secret crayfish pattern that’s bailed me out on a tough day of fly fishing for carp more than once.

 

An hour went by.  In spite of all the carp around it became quickly apparent they weren’t feeding.  Undoubtedly these carp also were affected by the colder than normal water temperature.  My eighth skunk in a row seemed very real.  It was a crushing thought that I couldn’t get out of my head.  But then it happened.  Thanks to my never-ending determination, I hooked up!

 

The way the eat occurred was I saw a school of common carp raise from the bottom.  I could see more than their backs.  I could see their eyes clearly.  Rather than pick one individual, I cast in front of the entire school and began stripping my crayfish.  They followed and that’s when I went tight.  A massive common carp thrashed with several violent headshakes then my line peeled off the reel.

 

Though I finally hooked up, the next predicament gleamed heavily.  Where I stood on the banks of this canal to the water was a good six feet.  There was no way to land this fish on this side of the canal.  On the other side however, where Steve was wisely fishing because he’d crossed at the highway bridge, there were steps to the water.  The only reason I wasn’t with Steve was because the setting sun was in his eyes.  I felt I needed to see while he was comfortable fishing blind.

 

Photo by Gentry Smith

The good news however was that I already had a plan.  There was rickety fenced off bridge 50 feet upstream from me.  As my carp took off downstream I loosened my drag and ran upstream.  I hopped the fence and scurried across the treacherous bridge.  Soon I was on the other side.

 

The carp had me deep in my backing.  My 5-weight Winston LS was bent to the hilt.  I ran downstream along the canal reeling in the slack as fast as I could.  I caught up to my carp and got half the fly line on the reel.  Steve was now by my side and said, “Currier, you know you’re a maniac right?

 

 

Photo by Gentry Smith

I laughed at Steve’s remark and started putting the heat on my carp.  At first, he seemed so heavy I felt helpless.  But things started to give.  Five minutes later I got him to the surface.  He was tired and I eased him near the steps into the canal.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Gentry Smith

These steps were small and steeply angled.  I wasn’t too confident I’d be able to pull this carp landing off without a net.  I cleaned my pockets handing Steve my wallet and phone.  Then I took off my Simms pack and started down.  The carp was so hefty that I realized I needed two hands.  I handed Steve my rod when I had the fish close.  I grabbed my 3X tippet and gently slid the carp to me.  I put my right hand under his belly and in one quick move lifted him to my chest which turned into a bearhug with a carp.  I had him!

 

This was an awesome specimen of a common carp.  He was long and tremendously obese.  He was well behaved and Steve clicked of pics as did Gentry with his long lens from the other side of the canal.  After a minute of admiring him I crept back down the steps with the carp under my arm like oversized football.  Even when I put him back in the water the carp remained relaxed.  Then in one swift flick of the tail he was gone and I had Phoenix canal water from head to toe.  I’ll take it any day.

 

At last I’ve broke a long drought of catching my targeted fish.  When you target the hard ones, this can happen.  But I promise you, it builds character, mind endurance and probably a few fishing skills along the way.  We reeled it in under the last light on Camelback Mountain.  The urban fishing setting was actually quite beautiful.  I love this Phoenix Arizona urban fly fishing!

 

Tomorrow morning I fly home to unpack and pack.  Next week its back east for the Marlboro Fly Fishing Show.  I hope to see you there!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Humbled by Grass Carp

When I come to Phoenix to do fly fishing presentations I always add a couple days for some urban fly fishing.  Phoenix has an elaborate canal system through the city and its neighboring suburbs along with manmade lakes and ponds.  Each and every one of these waters are home to carp.

 

Lucky for me, I also have a good friend, Steve Berry, who likes to chase the carp when I’m in town.  He takes a few days off and we fish.  Along with us this trip is a new friend, Gentry Smith.  Gentry led the way today through the shopping malls bringing us to a canal where he’s seen a lot of grass carp (also known as white amur).

 

Grass carp are one of my favorites.  Unlike the common carp and mirror carp that have a diet ranging from crayfish to algae, grass carp focus on vegetation.  You’d think – ok I’ll just pile some green marabou on a hook and toss it out there, but grass carp are far too intelligent for that.

 

The flies I like are foam bodied hoppers in either olive or chartreuse in sizes 4-8.  I think more than the fly pattern, landing your fly gently within 6” of the grass carps face is critical.  They’re attracted to the splat and usually do an immediate investigation when the fly lands.  Often times they swim past the fly and follow the leader up to the fly line then up the line until they see you.  It makes you feel pretty dang stupid especially when they flick their massive tails, splash and turn and vanish into the deep.

 

The three of us had a ton of those reactions today.  But we also had a number of grass carp eat the fly.  I stopped counting how many times my fly was eaten at around ten.  But utter disaster however, of all those grass carp that ate my fly, zero of them actually got hooked!

 

Grass carp will test you.  They like to nudge the fly with their nose a few times.  Then they like to nibble on it.  With my flies that means chew on a rubber leg first then bite the foam.  Somehow, they do all this and manage to avoid the hook.  Often watching this process is too much to take and you set the hook prematurely pulling the fly away.  The grass carp spooks and you stand there scratching your head.

 

No doubt everything that could go wrong went wrong for me today.  I set too soon.  Waited too long.  Set when things were just right but nobody was there.  Honestly, I believe I had 15 or more grassies eat my fly and I never did more than sting one for a second.  Its an empty feeling when you miss three trout in a row but missing 15 of a difficult to fool fish like a grass carp – you want to jump in the canal!

 

Steve and Gentry were having a similar experience.  It wasn’t just me.  But persistence always pays off.  Usually for me but today it was for Steve.  We saw a grass carp rising in a place where he could only be reached by a risky balancing act.  Steve spotted him first so it was him that had to go for it.

 

Normally when a friend puts themselves in such a position you want them to fall in for a good laugh.  But not here.  Getting out of a canal could require a rescue so on this occasion I was nervous watching.  But it all panned out.  Steve didn’t fall in and he hooked our one and only grass carp of the day.

 

This was by no means the grass carp of dreams.  Grass carp can reach sizes of more than 60lbs.  But on a fly rod and on a tough day like today – a grass carp is a grass carp and Steve avoided the skunk.  Gentry and I on the other hand left with our tail between our legs.

 

I haven’t been so frustrated in a day of fishing in as long as I can remember.  Watching these fish eat my fly over and over and setting the hook and feeling nothing but air was brutal empty feeling.  No doubt I’m stuck in a fishing jinx.  If you read my permit fishing story in December than you know today was the 7th day in a row where I didn’t catch my targeted fish.  Tomorrow I’m in desperate need of a slump buster.

 

My speech tonight for Arizona Flycasters Club went fantastic however.  Tonight, I entertained with my PowerPoint presentation, “Saltwater Fly Fishing – Bonefish to Billfish”.  This was a bonus gig that came to play after I spoke last night to Desert Fly Casters.  I enjoy giving presentations so if you’re a member of fly fishing club that hires speakers, please keep me in mind.

 

Revenge on the carp starts first thing tomorrow!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Back to Phoenix

Its life in the fast lane from now till April.  I always move fast but during my show/speaking tour season it moves crazy fast.  Today I escaped the big storm in Idaho and caught an early flight for Phoenix.  Though the reason was to deliver my PowerPoint presentation, “Four Seasons of the Yellowstone Trout Bum”, to Desert Fly Casters tonight, I’ll be fly fishing for grass carp on Thursday and Friday with my friend Steve Berry.  After Steve fetched me from the Phoenix airport he took me to see the Chicago Cubs new spring training facility.

 

I never stopped moving from 3 AM in Victor, Idaho this morning till after my speech and returned to Steve’s house tonight.  It was a draining 22-hour day.  But it was also a great success and over 120 members of the Desert Fly Casters were well entertained.

 

A funny thing came up at my gig.  There were folks from the other Phoenix fly fishing club, Arizona Flycasters Club, attending.  When I was done they asked if I was free to speak to them tomorrow night.  Yes, I am.  So, after fishing tomorrow it will be back to the microphone.  Now it’s time for some desperately needed sleep before yet another fun filled day.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

The Games Have Begun

Thanks to everyone who came to the Denver Fly Fishing Show.  That was one of the best shows ever and Granny and I appreciate all of you that made a point to say hello.  My hand is sore for drawing fish on so many different things including a few hats.  I hope those that caught my presentations enjoyed and perhaps even learned a thing or two.

 

The minute the show ended last night Granny and I hit the road and drove all the way back to Idaho.  A 9 hour drive after an exhausting show probably isn’t the wisest thing to do but when the roads are clear of bad weather from Denver to Idaho you take the opportunity.  Last year wasn’t fun.  After maneuvering through hundreds of deer and elk herds we got in the door at 2 AM.  But I drank my coffee this morning overlooking the back yard.  That’s worth it to me because I don’t get many chances to do that in the winter.

 

I finished unpacking and closing the books on the Denver Fly Fishing Show 2018.  As I unpacked one bag I packed another.  Wednesday night I’ll be speaking to Desert Fly Casters in Phoenix, Arizona.  For those of you in the area be sure to be there.  On Thursday and Friday I’ll be fishing with my pal Steve Berry for carp on Phoenix’s urban waters.  I can’t wait!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

The Denver Fly Fishing Show 2018

It’s time to give the fish a rest.  Its show time folks.  Starting with the Denver Fly Fishing Show this week on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I’m ready to rock my entertaining PowerPoint presentations, teach fly fishing seminars and give casting demonstrations.

 

I’m looking forward to the next three months.  I see many of my friends and get to meet many of you folks that follow the blog.  Take a minute to check out my entire winter tour schedule and if you live near one of these events block it off and come by for a visit.

 

In Denver I’m one of many speakers that include friends Phil Rowley, Landon Mayer, Gary Borger, George Daniel and more.  Between my presentations you’ll find me at my booth.  I’ll have my famous fish coffee mugs and beer steins including several new fish on them.  I’ll be signing my books and DVDs and be sure to check out my long awaited new fish decals.

 

I’ll have an assortment of black Scientific Angler fly boxes and the usual Cliff fly boxes with my fish art on them.  If I do say so myself, the black ones are stunning.  For these I use paint pens.  They’re more work but the fish light up on them like they are electric!  If you come by and don’t see the fish you want – request it.  I love a “fish art” challenge any day.

Also, feel free to Contact Me in advance to have a box ready for you with any fish at any of my winter shows.

 

Here are my seminar and demonstration times for this weekend at the Denver Fly Fishing Show.  Click on the presentation titles for full details.

Friday

12:30 – Strike Room – “Trout Bumming the World”

2:45 – Authors Booth

Saturday

10:30 – Release Room – “Streamer Tricks for More and Larger Trout”

12:00 – Authors Booth

3:15 – Pond 2 – “Casting in the Wind and the Double Haul”

Sunday 

10:30 – Release Room – “Fly Fishing for Carp – A 20lb Fish near Home”

12:00 – Authors Booth

3:15 – Pond 1 – “Casting in the Wind and the Double Haul”

Hope to see you there!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

2017 In Review

2017 was a heck of a year.  It started with nearly 75 straight days of show life.  Nine years ago, when I switched my career to fulltime art and speaking professionally about fly fishing, I wasn’t sure it would work.  But it most definitely has.  This year I gave more than 40 seminars throughout the US and continue to do my art when home.

 

The travel was far from all work.  After the winter show season ended the world travel schedule fired up.  This year I fished in seven countries.  In April I went to St Brandon’s Atoll which belongs to the country of Mauritius.  Mauritius is an island nation located in the southern Indian Ocean as far from Victor, Idaho as you can travel.  I went with a couple friends from home and met up with my South African friends.  Mauritius celebrated my 60th country fished and I added three new species to my list.

 

The other countries fished were Mexico, Portugal, Bahamas, Canada, Costa Rica and Belize.  The Bahamas became my 61st country fished.  Each adventure had highlights but the standouts were:

 

In Portugal I played a role helping the USA Masters Fly Fishing Team to its first ever World Championship Medal.

 

On our Yellow Dog Ambassadors trip to the Bahamas I landed my biggest permit.

 

The most amazing experience of the year involved a polar bear and some oversize char in the Arctic of Ungava Bay in Nunavik.

 

I fished extensively throughout the US.  Granny and I had great fishing at home in Idaho that included my Henry’s Fork Marathon and some superb Blackfoot Reservoir carping.  And we never miss our annual overnight float on the Nunya.  We also enjoyed our annual smallmouth trip to New Hampshire and added a bonus trip in November for the monster redfish of the Louisiana marsh.

 

I made two trips back to Wisconsin – one on the ice and the second was my first trip troutfishing the Driftless area.  There was August on the Manistee in Michigan.  A speaking engagement at the Fly Fishers Club in Oregon led to some epic chinook salmon on the fly.  There was my weekend in Pennsylvania with Joe Humphries and Jerry Arnold.  And last but not least, in November I spoke in Texas and in turn caught my first ever, smallmouth buffalo.  2017 ends with nine new species for my list.

 

While 2017 was one of my best years ever there’s no reason not to believe 2018 could be even better.  I’m an angler.  An optimist.  And I always aim big!

 

I look forward to the 2018 winter speaking tour and lots of great fishing days.  Hopefully there will be visits to new places and if there’s one major goal on my mind – its catch the yellow permit on my return trip to St. Brandon’s in May!

 

Thanks everyone for following the blog.  And thanks to my fantastic sponsors that make my life possible.

R.L. Winston RodsYellow Dog FlyfishingYetiSimmsBauer Fly ReelsScientific AnglersCosta SunglassesKate’s Real Food

Will I ever get a beer sponsor?!?!!!!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Permit Win Again

My return to Belize has been great.  I enjoy spending time with friend Wil Flack and it’s been a pleasure meeting his friend Tayler Brothers.  Wil’s new Belize Permit Club is fantastic.  We’ve been eating well.  Enjoying refreshments at night.  The only downer is that the permit fishing has been arduous.

 

Wil Flack and I have been chasing permit and nothing else.  This little blue runner stole the fly from a permit on the third day but he’s been the only fish in the boat.  With the exception of yesterday, conditions overall have been the toughest I’ve ever experienced on the flats thanks to cloud cover, 50° temps and steady 25 mph winds.  Toss in how sick I was the first three days and yikes!

 

There’s been no backing down.  Wil has poled the flats ten hours a day through the wind and I’ve bounced and balanced from the bow.  Neither of us has let our guard down for even a minute.  It’s a crushing shame I’ve had four permit on and lost them all.  It’s very unusual for me to be beaten so badly by a fish but welcome to permit.

 

Tayler Brothers Photo

We made a long run north to new flats today.  Wil wanted to fish here all week but the wind didn’t allow for it.  This morning was dead calm.  You might think of this as an advantage but unfortunately permit gain the edge yet again.  In saltwater fly fishing its windy most of the time.  When it’s calm, flats fish, especially permit become wearier than ever.

 

Tayler Brothers Photo

Honestly, regardless of our new disadvantage, I welcomed the calm day.  My ears have been ringing from the gales of December all week.  And when you looked across the flats it was stunningly beautiful.  Best of all we could also see a few permit swimming from a mile away.

 

Tayler Brothers Photo

The permit were spread out in groups of two.  The closest two were whirling with their fins and backs out of the water.  Their dorsal fins weren’t straight up like when feeding and their tails didn’t tip.  Like yesterday they looked tired and full.  Nonetheless, we snuck up on them and I got a two good cast to them but there was no interest at all.

 

Tayler Brothers Photo

The lack of interest from the permit continued through the dead calm hours.  We saw quite a few but they either spooked quick as expected or they ignored the fly.  At lunch time we received a gift from the fish gods, light wind – perfect flats fishing conditions.

 

We pretty much stopped eating when the breeze started.  Not only did we want to capitalize but we also saw a line of clouds on the way.  As we hoped we found more permit.  Most weren’t impressed with our flies but there was one.  I got one more chance.  A decent sized permit followed and then surged for the fly and pinned it on bottom.  I strip set hard, felt a tick but he wasn’t on.  No doubt he felt me though because he spooked off like he knew.

 

Why not one last heart breaker?  Its permit fishing.  Soon after, the wall of clouds moved in and the dead calm returned.  In a sick way it was beautiful.  But our permit fishing trip was over.

 

 

 

We returned to the Belize Permit Club before dark for the first time in a few days.  We popped some Belikins and I broke out the sharpies and drew on Wils beer fridge.  It’s a permit about to eat Wil and me – par for the course!

 

After a few beers Wil and his gal took us out to their favorite bar and restaurant, Loggerhead.  I had my first ever hamburger that was stuffed with macaroni.  It may not sound good, but with a few more Belikins it was delicious.

 

Getting your butt kicked fishing builds character.  I don’t like it but I’ll live.  Tomorrow it’s the long flight home and I’m happy to say I’ll be home until January 4th when I leave for the Denver Fly Fishing Show.

 

Merry Christmas everybody and thanks for reading the blog!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Broken By Permit

 

Matt McCormick photo

Wil Flack, Tayler Brothers and I had high hopes heading for the permit flats of Southern Belize at twilight this morning.  We hooked three yesterday in harsh conditions.  Today conditions were excellent.  This was our warmest morning, the clouds were gone, and the wind blew at a 10-15 mph – a mere breeze for this week.  But despite everything being textbook, no matter how you look at it, we’re still fly fishing for permit.

 

Tayler Brothers Photo

The first thing to go wrong happened about 3 ½ minutes into our day.  It was no more than 6 am.  The sun was a half hour from rising.  Wil cut the engine to his tricked out fly fishing panga and began easing us onto the first flat.  The only way to spot a fish at this time is to see a protruding tail.

 

Tayler Brothers Photo

I was dillydallying.  A sip of coffee.  A stretch.  A slow reach for my Winston.  I was utterly unready when Wil shouted, “Cast!”

 

I ripped line off my Bauer Reel and spotted several glistening permit tails.  Somehow my short cast was on the money and the nearest permit devoured the fly when it hit the water.  I strip set and hooked him but perhaps I lifted my rod too soon.  A second later the permit was off and he zipped across the flat taking every other tailing permit with him.  A heap of hungry permit gone to start the day.  Dreadful.

 

This immediate hook up was like catching a monster trout at the boat launch in Idaho as you begin a long 12-hour float.  It’s a jinx.  A way to be sure the rest of your day stinks.  And this is exactly what happened.

 

Jim Klug Photo

Perhaps it was the start of the falling tide but after our first cast at 6 am we didn’t get another cast until 11 am.  This is when we found a big permit slowly swimming (more like drifting) across a flat.  It was as if he was sunning himself while sleeping.  We got several good cast and put the fly in his face with absolutely no reaction.

 

We cast to several fish like this into early afternoon.  It wasn’t till late that we started seeing more permit and several schools.  We got some follows but no aggression towards the fly whatsoever.  We simply had schools of sleepy permit.  I think we were the only creature hungry.

 

4 pm arrived and our fifth day in a row without catching a permit came to an end.  Unreal.  Today was one of my toughest days of fishing of 2017. I’d have bet the world that today we’d land two permit and instead we could hardly get any to follow the fly.

 

All you can do is take a deep breath and laugh.  Shooting yourself definitely won’t help.  At least we finally enjoyed some great weather.  I’ll wish for such a day next week when I’m freezing in my house getting ready for show season.  Tomorrow is our last day.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Three Hungry Permit in Belize

There were a couple changes when we woke up at 4 AM today here in Belize.  First and foremost, I felt much better.  Thank God!  Second, when we left Belize Permit Camp dock at 4:30 am, instead of the temperature being in the 50°s like each morning so far, it was 66°.

 

Skies remained hidden beyond a thick layer of clouds and the wind still blew from the north at around 20 mph.  But the rise in temperature was key.  Immediately we saw permit and at 8 am I dropped my fly a foot from a hefty waving permit tail.  Like magic the permit seized my fly but in less than ten seconds of his run, he severed my leader on coral.  Wil Flack reached into his Yeti and handed me an early morning Belikin while I examined my leader and announced, “Progress in the right direction”.

 

We expected good things to continue but the tailing permit chances disappeared.  The only permit we saw were cruisers underwater.  The wind howled and the clouds remained dense.  Sight fishing was a challenge.  Instead of spotting these permit 100 feet out allowing me a chance to cast, we were continuously ambushed at close range – spotting them and spooking them at the same time.  But in permit fishing you keep trying and eventually we got lucky.

 

Wil spotted three big permit 30 feet away and they were oblivious to us.  I saw the permit as Wil pointed them out.  I made the short cast and the largest of the three fish lifted from the bottom.

 

Every so often a fish paints an everlasting impression.  This permit rose to the crab fly like a trout rising to a stonefly.  I could see right down this permits crab-crushing throat.  I set the hook and cleared my line as it sizzled from the deck.

 

Tayler Brothers Photo

Chaos is the best way to describe a hook up with a big permit.  The most dangerous hurdle is clearing loose fly line.  So many times line jumps from the deck and raps on something.  This could be your own feet but most often it’s the butt of the fly rod.  But we survived step one.  In seconds I was deep in the backing and Wil was poling after the permit like an Olympian.

 

While we survived the first dangers of the permit fishing process, now we had to land him by avoiding all the obstacles along the way.  Permit are one of the hardest fighting fish in the sea.  Things seemed well this round.  This permit ran off the flat away from the dangers of jagged coral.  Cheers from Wil and Tayler filled the air.  But I saw a bad development.  This clever permit was making an about face back to the flat.  Back to the coral heads.

 

The permits change of direction forced me to reel like wildfire.  I gained back my backing and once I was straight to the fish again I could see his plan.  He’d run directly through a coral field.  I eased my tension and Wil put down his pole and fired up the engine.  We raced to the scene.

 

The permit was well past this coral and still on.  I flipped my fly line loose of the coral.  I’m sure it was nicked up but my leader must not have touched.  We were lucky, but then the permit, who was now in backing again raged through the next group of corals.  This time he got me.  My line went limp.  “****!”, echoed through the boat.

 

Me and the boys were feeling bleak after that one but agreed, the permit were hungry and there was no time to waste.  It was after 3 pm and our boat rides home had been bad enough this week with the high wind.  We didn’t need to try it after dark.

 

Tayler Brothers Photo

Wil thought it was safe if we left for home at 4.  The problem however, we found a school of tailing permit at 3:55.  Like any sane anglers we ignored the time and went to work.

 

One permit lost is tolerable.  But two in one day?  The reality hurt.  But it could all be forgotten with a miracle here.  These permit were patient.  I got a dozen casts right too them without them spooking.  The tails would go down for a couple minutes but back up they would come and we’d track them down.  At 4:30 I connected!

 

Tayler Brothers Photo

There was coral everywhere.  Things didn’t look good.  The best attack when you hook up around coral is don’t apply too much pressure and hold your rod high.  I had my Winston so high in the air I was on my tippy toes.  It worked!

 

A hectic three minutes of battle went on and this permit zipped away from the coral and headed for the ocean.  Like twice earlier today, we cheered.  I was near my backing and this permit was straight down below the boat in 70 feet of water.  I had my work cut out but I was eager to begin the tug a war.

 

This was a big permit and I took my time.  I reeled my rod tip to the water and lifted a foot at a time.  Five more minutes went by when the horror happened.  The fly came loose.

 

There’s few words to describe the feeling of the hook pulling from a permit.  Frustrating.  Maddening.  Infuriating.  But there are no words for losing your third of the day.  Needles to say, it was a long boat ride home.

 

We’ll be back at it tomorrow.  Hours later I’ve excepted todays bad luck.  But I’m confident for tomorrow.  Rumor has it the sun will finally appear.  We should see plenty more permit.  And now I know I can get them to eat.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

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