Misery on the Flats

by | Dec 11, 2017 | Belize, permit fishing

It was a sunny day on the flats of Belize yesterday but the wind was savage.  The forecast for today was promising.  More sun and finally a drop in the wind to a more workable 10 to 20 mph.  But the prediction was wrong.  We had cruel conditions of thick clouds, 55° temps, 25 mph wind and rogue rolling waves over the flats from our departure at 4:30 AM till our return at 6.


Just to make things worse, the crud I picked up is miserable.  There’s aches, fever, cough, running nose and the list goes on.  I was dying.  But permit fishing is a team effort.  The boys picked me up.  Wil Flack poled his butt off despite the brutal polling conditions and Taylor Brothers, who I’ll remind you is here to film promotional stuff for Wil and his new, Belize Permit Club, stayed on point with his camera.


I did my best, watching for permit while clutching my Winston from the front of the boat.  I had more clothes on than ever before on a flats fishing trip.  Remarkably we cast to three tailing permit in the first hour.  Two of these I fed nicely but they refused.  The third I landed my crab fly on his head and he spooked.  We didn’t see another permit for five hours and we lost sight of him before getting a chance.  Frustrating.


At the end of the day I got my best shot of the trip.  Wil spotted a huge permit over 20lbs cruising over a sand flat.  The big round fish was speeding and my only shot was a long now or never cast.  The wind was behind me so I was able to cast 80 feet.  The fly landed ahead the massive fish by about 5ft.  Normally not close enough but because this fish was moving it was perfect.


Wil had me fishing a shrimp pattern and I stripped immediately.  The permit turned and followed.  My heart dropped and Wil began instruction on how to strip, “Strip it. Strip it.  Long.  Stop.  Strip it.  Stop.  Let it sink. Strip it”.  Its intense – believe me!


There were at least a couple times when it looked as if this permit was eating my fly.  His lips couldn’t have been more than inches away.  But I never felt anything.  Thrillingly, the permit followed all the way to the boat then saw us and spooked.  Invigorating, but not a happy ending to the day.


Permit fishing can be torturous at times – most of the time in fact.  The weather is hurting us bad.  Being sick as a dog makes this more of a struggle.  At least I’m with friends and the three of us are determined to make this happen.  It was a long ride home over rough seas.  Too rough to even enjoy a Belikin Beer during the ride!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


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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!