Double Permit Grand Finale in Belize!

by | Jan 22, 2021 | fly fishing for permit | 8 comments

tarantulasI wasn’t expecting a good day based on the way it started at 4 AM.  We were going for a very early departure to the flats if the weather was good.  And it was.  That part was glorious and because of it we went all the way to the reef to permit fish.  But when I went downstairs to fetch my Yeti coffee cup, sort of dazed like anyone waking up at 4 would be, I was quickly startled.  A spider of legend was on the door!


It was the red-rump tarantula.  It’s only the second one I’ve seen in my years in Belize, but evidently they are common.  They live in burrows so whenever there’s a ton of rain like we had this week they push for higher ground.  This big boy happened to work his way up the screen porch door.  Though alarming looking, they are harmless.


BelizeWe boarded Wil’s skiff well before 5 AM.  The birds were singing.  There was hardly a breeze and the sky was full of stars.  Though we squeaked out a decent day on Wednesday, today was THE day for spotting permit.  Furthermore, we were headed to the reef and Wil hadn’t fished it since November.


saltwater-flyfishingIt was peaceful when we arrived at Wil’s first spot.  The sun was rising.  There were puffy clouds and the wind was light.  You could actually hear birds and waves for the first time all week while fishing.


We hit a few of Wil’s favorite flats and then made it to the reef.  Belize’s reef is beautiful but other than a blue runner and a few more yellowtail snappers caught purely by accident, like yesterday, the permit weren’t around.



photo by Bryan Gregson

Wil worked us further north as the day went on.  The wind remained light and the sun made it easy to see on the flats.  After a week of gray overcast days and bad light, we could finally see the beautiful blues and greens that come with flats fishing in Belize.


permit-fliesIt was around 1 PM that we got on some permit.  I say some – there were plenty.  We had a school drifting in about 8 feet of water.  It was my turn on the bow and Wil poled us in range.  I started with a Pato Crab.  I got a few good casts but no luck.


fly-castingBecause its our last day, Tim and I made a plan to rotate after each good permit cast.  He got up there next with his crab fly.  The permit were moving and slipped out of sight.  It didn’t take long to find more however.  It turns out there were two schools swimming around.  They were finicky though.  Tim’s crab didn’t work either.




For my next turn Wil had me tie on a Squimp.  A Squimp is a shrimp pattern and its much lighter than my Pato Crab.  These permit were floating near the surface and our thought was that the crab flies were sinking too much.  Wil was right, it took me all of about five casts to the school and I was hooked up.


The permit school didn’t exactly bolt when I hooked up.  In fact, most of them lingered around the boat as if wondering what happened to their friend.  Wil and I both yelled to Tim, “Double up!”


We didn’t have to ask twice.  By now my permit had hit backing and I’d maneuvered myself to the back of the boat to do battle.  I was out of the way of Tim’s opportunity to cast.  Wil poled.  I fought my fish.  And Tim was getting shots.


permit-fishI’ve described the fight of a permit twice this week in the blog already.  It can get intense.  Sure enough my fish was causing me havoc.  Before I knew it I was back up in the bow crawling on my hands and knees keeping my rod as low as possible not to get in Tim’s way.  But my permit was being a pain!


Just as I escaped a close call with my fish pulling my tip under the boat, Tim hooked up with another.  Now I could stand up and fight my fish properly.  He was getting tired but of course Tim’s was headed to Mexico full throttle.


flyfishingA longs story short, Tim and I each landed our permit.  A double permit catch is about the rarest fly fishing catch there is but thanks to the fantastic guiding skills of Wil, the “boys from Victor, ID” had done it!


It was nearly 3 by the time we took some photos and release our two beautiful kings of the flats.  We took a ten minute break and each crushed a Belikin.  Then we poked around a few more flats for a half hour.  But deep inside, we knew are day was done and we were happy for it.


Belize-Permit-ClubIt has been a fantastic week down here in Belize with my longtime pal Tim visiting my other friend Wil Flack. Wil has a great gig down here in Southern Belize and all I can say is that if you want to catch permit on fly, the Belize Permit Club is and excellent place to give it a try.


permitIts back to the good ole USA tomorrow.  I’m sure its cold in Idaho and I’ll be missing Belize within 48 hours.  But a trip to break up winter is a wonderful thing and spring isn’t far away. . . . especially because I’m headed to Baja in ten days anyhow!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Tad Einloth


    Wow – those are some fish!



  2. Jeff

    Thanks Tad Quite the day!

  3. John Redhouse

    I,have only caught one permit on a fly and it was when I was bone fishing in Summerland key ,Fl. Wind was blowing,water was getting a “straw” color. I had caught three bones while setting in this same spot.wind was picking up. My guide Tim Carlile said let’s move. I said: “one more shot “. Side arm sling getting under the wind. Second or third short “jerk” ,my 5wt. Winston with my Ross stopped, THEN ,WOW, I looked at Tim and said,What? “You have a permit on.”Well, an hour later, racing thru “crab pots,and on a 10# leader, finally saw that giant silver side permit.
    So,so lucked to land that fish and on my own creation bonefish fly. Tim weighted him, 27#’s
    Sorry to be so “wordy”,
    Like to see you again in Portland Or. Also, I love my Permit Glass.
    John Redhouse

  4. Kevin Garrigan

    Livin’ the dream Jeff!!!! fair play to you!

  5. Janet Holmes a Court

    Wonderful ! It must have been so exciting ! well done !

  6. Jeff

    Thanks Janet!

  7. Jeff

    Unreal story John. That is a BEAST of a permit – let alone on a 5-weight!!!

  8. Jeff

    Thanks Kevin!

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Contact Jeff

I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!