Multi Species Fishing in Southern Oman

by | Dec 12, 2019 | permit in Oman

fish-OmanWith Nick up in Dubai, Sammy and I headed out in Southern Oman today with Nuan, one of Ocean Active Fly Dubai guides, and Amhed, one of Yousef’s boat drivers.  Nuan knows fly fishing but this would be his first day on these waters.  Amhed knows the waters down here but nothing about fly fishing.  I liked our team and relished in the challenge ahead.  Off we went.


Jeff-Currier-fish-OmanOne thing for sure, we all knew where the Africanus hang out and we drove an hour and set up the boat on the rocks that have them.  Fishing was a little more interesting than we wanted it to be.  Although Nuan and Amhed run a boat fine, neither were familiar with how to hold the boat for fishing the rocks.  There were a couple of times where we got too close for comfort.  One unexpected big swell and we could have easily wrecked.  After a few close calls we decided to find a more forgiving area to fish.


Oman-permitI guess a more forgiving area meant another hour boat ride south.  We drove so far that the entire topography changed from what we’d been fishing in.  We went from big dry mountain cliffs to bigger ones with much vegetation on them.  It was amazing how the scenery changed.  It was hands down one of the most unbelievable landscapes I’ve ever fished and no doubt we were quite close to Yemen.


Jeff-Currier-triggerfishThe first fish we landed of the day were the masked triggerfish like the ones we caught yesterday.  These neat little fish are congregated at every rock and are by far the most aggressive.  You don’t catch many because their mouths are so small.  They become somewhat of a pest because they eat all the legs off your crab fly and leave you with a nearly bare hook.  You know I can’t resist any fish however and I nailed four today.


needlescaled-queenfishAt our furthest point down the coast we ran into a school of bluefin trevally.  I see these often in various places but these were the first I’ve seen in Oman and the guys told me they’re uncommon.  The way we saw them is I had a dozen coming hot for my fly and out of the haze of electric blue my fly was intercepted by a much less glorious fish, this needlescaled queenfish.  Dang!


Oman-bream-fishingOur action remained excellent.  I knocked off a new species.  We called this the blacktail bream however I’m torn now that I’ve googled it.  If anyone can help me here and include Latin name it would be greatly appreciated!  They were on today and I caught three of the handsome fat-boys.

Its (Diplodus sargus koschyi) – thanks Ed Truter!


fly-fishing-OmanSam and I also caught an old favorite of mine, the five spot pompano (also known as the wave garrick).  Some say three spot.  The species is confusing to get right too as there are so many similar pompano.  We each caught nice ones.  These guys pull like crazy and eat about any fly you huck out there.


Sam-Vigneri-fishingWhen Sammy hooked his we didn’t see what he had and we were near where Mark caught his GT two days ago.  I was hoping for Sammy as he wants a GT more than anything.  But up came the sharp looking pompano.


Its hard for me to kill any fish but I do like to eat a pompano on occasion.  When Granny and I camped on the beaches of Oman in 2015 we ate a fish of some sort almost every day.  Living off the land a bit as they say!  These pompano about half this size were our “chicken of the sea”.


wave-garrickWhen you least expect something amazing to happen, expect it.  Sammy was relaxing and drinking a coke from the back of the boat while I was guarding the front with my 9-weight.  Because of the odd fishes we were picking up I changed to a heavily weighted orange shrimp pattern tied by my friend Mark Dysinger.  I had him tie me this specifically for fishing over deep sandy bottom water like this particular spot we were in.


I spotted what looked to be three trevally approaching the boat.  There’s not time to identify in saltwater fly fishing, you just cast and cast I did.  It was a good one and my fly landed inches from the head of the lead fish.


Jeff-Currier-AfricanusOn the first strip I didn’t see any of them and assumed they spooked.  But five or so strips in one appeared.  While I didn’t feel anything I saw him do something that led me to believe he ate my fly.  I saw the mouth open and his pectoral fins popped firmly out to the side.  This is the exact pose of a permit when he eats a crab.  They can spit it out as fast as they grab it so I wasted no time and strip set.  “Got em!”, I shouted.


The guys in the boat barely had time to notice I made a cast.  “Got what?” they asked.


My answer was, “I’m not sure if it’s a small GT, a blacktip trevally (I’d caught small one earlier) or possibly a permit”.


Africanus-permitThe area didn’t seem right for an Africanus.  But after the fish wallowed on the surface close to the boat for the first minute, acting as if it wasn’t hooked we identified it.  It was my chance at my second Africanus of the week.


Right then that Africanus took off like a bat out of heck.  He’d go on to own me for the next ten minutes.  It was an amazing fight that like the other day required a lot of down and dirty to maneuver around rocks, fish buoys and chaos at the boat trying to tail him.  But in the end, Nuan made the grab and we added a beast of an Africanus to our already slamming total of cool fishes.


Jeff-Currier-AfricanusNo doubt Nuan and Amhed were the happiest of all of us.  Though it was sharp eyes and swift action that got us that permit, the boys had something to brag about.  They guided a client into a permit.  Nuan was so proud I made sure to get him in the photo with me.


It was 2:30 PM when we released that permit and we were an hour from home.  We exchanged a few high fives then headed back.  Wow.  What a phenomenal day that we’ll all remember for a long long time!


OmanTonight Nick returned with his business partner Trevor Skinner.  Trevor is who Sammy and I hung out with the day we arrived in Dubai earlier this week.  Trevor hasn’t fished down here yet so tomorrow the four of us will head out and see if we can’t fix him up.  Time to celebrate at the Island Bar and Restaurant!


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!