So Close to the Super Grand Slam

by | Nov 7, 2019 | fly fishing Ascension Bay Mexico | 2 comments

fly-fishing-Ascension-BayThis tennis elbow thing is a real drag.  I can control it enough to cast through the day with Advil but trying to get a full night sleep without it waking me at 3 AM is a different story.  After a 20 minutes of icing before breakfast this morning it was time to suck it up and hit the flats of Ascension Bay with Jerry and Pato.


permit-flyfishing-guidesWe had huge wind last night.  It howled and shook the palm trees wildly.  Furthermore the day began overcast and our ability to spot fish was tough.  I wasn’t expecting to hit the flats.  But when your guide is Pato and he wants to start the day poling the flats for permit – you smile and grab your crab rod.




permit-fishingJerry took the bow first.  He’s not as into the permit hunt as much as Pato and I.  After 15 minutes of poling the flat Jerry got a shot.  It was a cast to nervous water and a wake.  Jerry has trouble defining nervous water from all the rest – a common thing with folks.  He smiles and looks back at Pato and I almost every time and says “It all looks nervous”.   This permit got past us without seeing the fly.


Bauer-Fly-ReelsJerry handed things over to me after that permit cruised by.  I felt lucky and hopped up there and wasted no time ripping line off my Bauer RX 5 as fast as I could.  The key in permit fishing is be ready.  And I mean ready all the time.


After my line was free from the reel I launched a practice cast.  I recommend this.  If you shoot it all pull more line off the reel.  I cast as far as I can then pull off another 5-10 feet of line.  I may not be able to cast this much but the weight of the extra line works as an anchor for the line I’m shooting.  It keeps if from blowing around.



photo by Russel de la Harpe

Readiness paid off.  As soon as I was situated I spotted nervous water at 11 o’clock.  The disturbance was far away but I pointed my rod to it and Pato poled that direction.  Guessing by the way the water quivered there were at least four fish.  We weren’t sure if they were permit but then up popped a tail.


permit-fishWhen the tail popped Jerry saw the black sickle shaped fin.  He confidently said, “Jeff you got this”.


Holly cow I thought to myself.  Does Jerry know how often things go wrong when casting to permit?  But then I took my own confidence and said out loud, “Yea man.  Ten more feet and I’m casting.  One of these bad boys is going down!”



My window came and I chucked a wide-looped side arm cast of about 75 feet.  Side arm and an open loop helps the crab fly land softer so less likely to spook the permit.  My cast was good and landed a foot in front of the lead fish.  One strip and the permit was on!


Just because you hook a permit doesn’t mean you have them.  The hardest thing is clearing the line from the boat deck on a windy flats day without it catching on something or rapping around your foot when the permit screams off.  But I prevailed and soon the reel spool was spinning and before I knew it the permit was 100 feet deep in my backing.


permit-fishing-Jeff-CurrierAny permit puts up a good fight and this one didn’t disappoint.  I had my new 9-weight Alpha+ rod and I used its strength and bent it deep to tire my fish.  Two good runs over the first 5 minutes and then I was taking control.  After ten minutes I landed the respectable 12 or so pound permit.


Currier-flyfishing-permitIt’s a good feeling to boat a permit before 9 AM.  When I went to release him I just held on to the tail and admired the slick fish.  They have a giant tail that makes them so fast and strong.  Then I looked into the dark eyes.  Amazing.  All I can say is they are amazing creatures.  Finally I was finished and one kick and the permit was gone.


bonefishingJerry gave the permit scene about a half hour and there were no more.  We were surprised because sometimes when you see one they keep coming.  Then it was time to get a bonefish fix.  We went to a small flat near the mangroves and caught a bunch.


snook-fishingShortly after lunch things got calm.  The wind came to a complete stop.  Pato poled us into a lagoon where it was possible to find any type of fish.  I was in the bow and my first target was a substantial snook.  He was nestled in the mangroves like usual but when my fly slapped down a foot away he came out for a look.


snook-on-flyIt first seemed like a “look” was all I was going to get.  I stopped stripping and my fly sank to bottom in the sand.  Fish can’t stand this and he charged over for a look.  On my next strip he was on.



Snook tug hard as mentioned on the one earlier this week.  What I didn’t mention is that snook jump as well.  Every snook you hook gives you at least a few gill rattling leaps.




Jeff-Currier-snookI got this snook in and went over the side for pics.  He was a good one, every bit of 10lbs.  I really really really like snook fishing and this is the best I’ve experienced in a few years.


The calm was the calm before the storm.  Minutes after I released the snook a furious wind kicked in.  Then the rain started and although we stuck a few of Pato’s pet bonefish on the way back to the lodge, it was game over.


Ascension-BayWe had an impressive day on the flats today – a permit, bonefish and hefty snook.  One of the most sought after feats in saltwater fly fishing is to catch these three fish and a tarpon and you have the “Super Grand Slam”.  I was so close that after dinner I went down to the light on the lodge dock.  Sure enough there were two tarpon lingering.  I had my chance, first cast one of them charged and hit my popper.  I missed him!  Ugg!


fish-decalsWe’re back after it in the morning for our last day.  Should be fun.  Our goal, tarpon and snook. . . .


Be sure to visit my webstore for “Gifts for the Angler that has Everything”.  And if its stocking stuffers you’re in need of don’t forget my beautiful decals that you can order online!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Dan

    Super cool! Tennis elbow sucks. I get it as well. The elastic compression braces on the market really help me. I think I got mine off Amazon.

  2. Jeff

    Thanks Dan. It does suck bad – especially when this is your job and life. I am addressing it hard this weekend. I will definitely be buying a brace.

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

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!