Tag Archives: fly fishing for permit

Flyfishing for Permit at East End Lodge Grand Bahama

 

Jim Klug photo

East End Lodge is a beautiful place on the far eastern corner of Grand Bahama.  This is the more secluded part of the island a good hour from the bustling city of Freeport.  Wil’s and my comfortable room was a mere 100-feet from the dock where we boarded our flats skiffs this morning.

 

 

Jim Klug photo

Today was our last day of the Yellow Dog Flyfishing Ambassadors Summit and all four of us Ambassadors (Jako Lucas, myself, Wil Flack and Oliver White) had separate boats with our own photographer.  Once again my boat mate was Jim Klug.

 

 

 

 

Our guide was Walter and I’m sure at first Walter rolled his eyes as we boarded his skiff.  Klug entered the boat with about 400lbs of camera gear.  While doing so he shot me and Walter a glance and said, “Let’s go get a permit boys.  I need some permit pictures.”

 

If you read this blog than you know the permit has been no less than cruel to me.  Most recently in St Brandon’s Atoll where I got my butt handed to me by the yellow Indo permit while my less experienced buddies each caught one.  I love the fact that they succeeded but the fact that I couldn’t get it done was far beyond annoying.  Klug was full of vinegar I wasn’t so sure.

 

Jim Klug photo

While we looked for permit everything else was fair game.  At the very first flat we stopped at Walter thought he saw a school of permit.  I knew it was too good to be true, especially when one of these so called permit devoured my fly.  It turns out it was a hard pulling horse-eye jack.  We have no photo because I lifted him from the water by the leader in a quick effort to save him from a lemon shark.  My 16lb tippet (perfect for a crab fly for permit) snapped.  Luckily the horse-eye hit the water running and escaped the shark.

 

Jim Klug photo

We continued our permit quest only to find a huge school of bonefish.  What the heck we thought.  Let’s catch a few.  Klug launched his drone to photograph the pursuit from above.  There have been lots of sharks all week and this school was huddled tight together because there were a handful of lemons around.  Twenty minutes of casts directly into the school and we couldn’t hook a single one.  I guess being scared to death hurts ones appetite.

 

Jim Klug photo

Finally a permit chance came.  I learned quickly that Walter was the permit guide for me.  He was calm and the first thing he told me was to relax.  He said wait for a 60 foot cast.  I can cast much further than this but my accuracy is better at 60 feet than at 80 and it’s easier to watch the permits reaction from the closer distance.

 

Jim Klug photo

Walters approach made good sense.  What Walter and Klug didn’t know however, was that in my hands was my new 7-weight Boron III X that has been lucky all week.  A 7-weight is considered way too light for permit.  Normally I’d have my 9-weight Winston in hand.  But I felt for me that more than the best rod, reel and line set up, I needed luck.  I kept the secret to myself.  Made a good cast.  Got a look from the permit but then he took off.

 

Most good permit anglers try to land their crab fly a few inches in front of a permit.  The idea is that the permit has little time to think beyond – “There’s a crab and it’s getting away” – and they eat it.  I agree with this technique but like any angler, don’t always make that perfect cast.  I got two more opportunities but felt that I could’ve made a better cast.  It was time for a Kalik beer.

 

 

Gerhard Laubscher photo

Permit number four was with a school of about six.  I haven’t cast to a “school” of permit in years.  It always seems to be extra spooky individuals.  Sure enough as we approached the school moved away at a rapid pace.  Walter poled after them the best he could but getting a cast looked grim.  But then one fish stopped, turned and came straight for the bow of the boat.  I thought he sensed us and was coming in for a confirmation to alert all permit in the area.  But he stopped again and ate something off the bottom.

 

Cooler than I normally am around permit, I launched the cast that Walter, Klug and myself were waiting for.  My crab splat less than a foot in front of the permit.  Like often happens, the permit spooked but only ran about 15 feet then turned and came back.  I gave my crab a four inch twitch then stopped.  POW!  This permit dipped and lunged and ate my crab.  I stripped gently to make sure he had it and went tight then strip set and all hell broke loose!

 

Jim Klug photo

As my backing crackled through the guides of my Winston and the handle of my smooth sailing Bauer Reel spun at a blurring pace, Walter yelled with excitement, “What rod is that?”

 

7-weight!” I hollered back, “Don’t worry guys, I got this!”

 

Though we had to chase this beautiful permit, in less than 15 minutes I was out of the boat and tailing the fish of the week.  There has perhaps been no better time for me to execute catching a permit.  I’ve always wanted to catch a permit in the Bahamas.  And I had Jim Klug there to photograph us!

 

 

Jim Klug photo

Klug doesn’t mess around.  The second I hooked this permit he rang the other boats in order to have all camera crew there for the catch.  This lovely permit will likely be one of the most photographed in history.  Finally, after looking him eye to eye and head to tail, I let the permit swim away.  Spectacular!

 

Jim Klug photo

I didn’t catch another permit nor did anyone else.  That’s pretty normal – one and done when it comes to permit.  In fact I knew another was out of the question so Walter, Klug and I hunted specifically for barracuda and shark with my 9-weight and a popper attached to wire.  Cudas are hard to catch these days.  They wise up to anything humans toss at them and keep their mouths shut.  But not this cuda.  Yet another great fish on the last day!

 

 

Jim Klug photo

Leaving Idaho five days ago in the middle of a beautiful summer as our rivers were beginning to take shape for the Yellow Dog Flyfishing Ambassadors Summit seemed like an awful idea.  But H2O Bonefishing and East End Lodge proved it wasn’t.  My fishing these last four days here at Grand Bahama has far exceeded my expectations.  So much that I’ll be back sooner than later!

 

Next in line should be less than 40 hours away when I take Granny for an evening on the Rizzo River.  Stay tuned!

 

A special thanks to Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, H2O Bonefishing and East End Lodge for making this incredible flats fishing trip possible!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Never Underrate Florida Keys Bonefish

blog-Nov-2-2015-1-simms-photo-shootA common occurrence on any photo shoot is that on the last day you scramble to get pics you haven’t gotten yet.  The shorter the length of the shoot the longer the last day photo list is.  I’m in the Florida Keys on a two day shoot with Simms modeling new product.  Simms has some very cool stuff to release in the next few months especially in the world of footwear.  But as expected, the first half of today was modeling rather than fishing.

 

blog-Nov-2-2015-2-tarpon-fishingI knew what I was getting into beforehand.  I came down excited to see and try the new Simms products, enjoy the company of friends I haven’t seen in a while, the 80° heat and of course I crossed my fingers for a few hours of good flats fishing.  This afternoon the few hours of good fishing came to fruition.

 

For starters, Capt. Bruce found us tarpon.  But the few we saw were hugging bottom on a deep flat, very hard to see and had that “I’m not so hungry” attitudes convincing us to move on after less than an hour.

 

blog-Nov-2-2015-3-flyfishing-the-flatsNext we hit a favorite permit flat during the perfect incoming tide.  I took off wading and in the first fifteen minutes I saw seven and got one excellent shot.  The chance came as close as you can get to hook up.  Due to the circumstance of light wind and a heavy crab fly that could easily spook a permit on its splash, I led this fish about ten feet.  The big black-eyed fish saw my concoction sink and surged for it.  The permit tipped and tailed over my fly sending my heart to a flutter, but rather than pick it up, he stared for what seemed like an endless amount of time.  I felt the need to twitch my fly and unfortunately it sent the round fish fleeing.

 

blog-Nov-2-2015-4-flyfishing-permitThe other six permit I saw consisted of a two pack that disappeared before getting in range to cast and a three pack that were spooked before I had any chance.  And last a monster permit that was speeding as though spooked but I got my crab in front of him anyhow but he continued on by without a look.

 

We ended the day on a beautiful sand flat we could’ve waded it with bare feet.  Instead we did one last photo shoot of some new saltwater wading boots that will be ready for spring.  They’re awesome boots that will replace the OceanTeks.  While I was posing Bruce stayed back at the skiff and along came some bonefish and he nailed one.  That was it.  Brian and Connor hurried up the last few photos and turned me loose.

 

blog-Nov-2-2015-5-bonefishOver the next two hours we all walked the flat.  It stretched a long way and four of us fished with plenty of elbow room while Brian trailed along with the camera.  The clouds faded in and out.  The wind was light and the tide rushed on to the flat.  I saw several bonnethead sharks and some barracudas before my first bonefish.  He was a hefty one and with a passing cloud hindering my visibility he nearly got too close to me before I saw him.  But I lucked out and landed my fly four feet from him and up-current.  I got tight and like swinging a fly for a salmon my fly passed in front of him.  One strip and he was on and on went the classic bonefish fight with a deep run into the backing, followed by another to the backing then a short one before I corralled him.

 

blog-Nov-2-2015-6-key-west-bonefishingI picked up one more smaller bonefish for a total of five amongst the four of us.  This was the best bonefishing I’ve ever had in the Keys and the first time I’ve waded for them in Florida.  We ended the day with one last pole across a tarpon flat followed by a final shoot speeding along in Bruce’s skiff with the new Vapor jackets.  It’s been a very action packed wonderful two days here in the Keys. I reckon I’ll be sleeping on the flights home tomorrow!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing for Permit in Oman – Day 3

blog-April-17-2015-1-camping-on-the-beach-omanGranny and I had a clammy night of sleep our first night camping on the beach in Oman.  We were on cots under the stars in our jungle (lightweight) sleeping bags.  At about 1 AM I noticed we were getting covered in dew.  By sunrise it was so thick we both were drenched from head to toe and it took some time to dry out our bags before fishing.

 

blog-April-17-2015-2-lizard-in-omanKilling the time wasn’t bad.  I made some instant coffee and we sat in the camp chairs and watched the sunrise over the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean.  There were some cool little lizards moving around with a scorpion imitating tail and flock of mischievous goats.

 

blog-April-17-2015-3-ray-montoya-and-peter-coetzeeSoon Ray and Peter woke up.  Ray suggested a permit beach for us to investigate an hour drive away and drew me a map in the sand.  He and Peter headed elsewhere.  We said our goodbyes as we will not see them again until our trip is over and we return to Muscat in ten days.

 

blog-April-17-2015-4-flyfishing-in-omanGranny and I arrived at Rays suggested beach around 8:30 AM.  The lengthy beach is about four miles long and no less than spectacular.  To get here we cut off the main road and took a ten mile washboard dirt track across the desert.  We came to a cliff overlooking this incredible place.  To drive down the cliff was a steep switch back road that dead ends at the beach.

 

blog-April-17-2015-5-local-fishermen-in-omanThere are about fifty pangas up on the beach where we arrived and a few fisherman working.  I think they fish at night so most the guys were sleeping in the shade.  We parked and walked down to where a gentle surf was breaking on the beach.  It was high tide.  Naturally I didn’t walk down unarmed.  I made a few casts.

 

We stood out like a sore thumb and a few of the resting locals sat up to watch.  It didn’t matter how tired they were.  We Americans were probably the most interesting creatures to show up on this beach in years.  In seconds one of them came to us.

 

blog-April-17-2015-6-jeff-currier-permit-fishing-in-omanThe language here is Arabic.  There’s a huge Indian and Bangladesh influence so there’s a lot of Hindu as well.  As for English, not much at all as we’re quickly learning.  Our visitor soon learned we couldn’t exactly have a chat but was delighted that he could have his picture taken with me.  I guess for him it was like seeing a grizzly bear in Yellowstone!

 

blog-April-17-2015-7-beach-driving-in-omanThe truth is, I was working up the courage to drive our rental Toyota RAV4 on the beach.  Ray recommended we drive to the far end and search the surf for permit.  His details were wait for the tide to drop some.  Then plow through the soft part of the beach and get below the high tide mark on the beach.  This sand was hard and easy to drive on here.  Then drive nearly three miles at high speed so we don’t get stuck and park between a pair of sand dunes.  I was ****** bricks but before Granny talked me out of it I took off!

 

blog-April-17-2015-8-granny-currier-camping-in-omanWe nearly got stuck about five times and took on three waves on our drive.  We definitely should have let the tide drop some more.  But we made it.  And the sand dune parking spot Ray recommended was stunning.  The problem however was in order to get the car to safe ground we had to plunge through the soft sand again like we did to get on the beach.  What if we got stuck all the way out here?  Once again we went for it.  Once again we made it.

 

blog-April-17-2015-9-flyfishing-in-omanWhat a place.  Granny and I got out and took a deep breath, looked around and couldn’t believe we were on a backcountry beach in Oman.  We were starving so Granny whipped up a breakfast while I rigged my 9-weight for permit and placed it ready to cast in a chair in front of camp.  Paradise!

 

blog-April-17-2015-10-ghost-crabs-in-omanBreakfast was great as is all Granny’s cooking.  Once stuffed to the gills it was time to head down the beach to look for permit.  These are Indo Pacific permit, similar but different from our Atlantics and this beach style fishing for them is far different than flats fishing for them back home.  Here the permit ride in the breaking waves hunting for crabs then ride the wave back out.  And there are a ton of crabs in the waves.

 

blog-April-17-2015-11-granny-currier-fishing-for-permit-in-omanThe way Ray and Peter described the permit riding the waves they should have been easy to see.  But Granny and I walked and walked and walked and saw zero permit and tons of crabs.  At 1 PM with the sun overhead and visibility excellent, I changed my tactic.  I looked for actual permit swimming normal where the sand of the beach dropped off.  We went a long time again but then I saw one.

 

blog-April-17-2015-12-jeff-currier-permit-fishing-in-omanMy eyes were throbbing from straining them so terribly.  This permit was so hard to see I questioned myself several times.  But it was legit and I launched my first cast.  My crab landed a foot in front of the yellow colored permit and he lunged forward as if to eat it.  Then my inexperience in the surf got me.  At the exact time, my fly line got smacked by a surf wave and the fly got jerked five feet away from the permit.  He looked puzzled then realized something wasn’t right and bolted for the deep.

 

blog-April-17-2015-13-dead-whale-on-beachGranny and I saw a mere four permit today.  As difficult as they were to see I’m sure I missed some others.  But we had no luck.  At 4 PM our visibility diminished so we decided to investigate an awful smell we picked up each time we walked through a certain spot.  The stink was a half-buried dead whale – wow!

 

blog-April-17-2015-14-ghost-crabs-in-omanBetween the sand dunes is so magnificent we’ve decided to camp here with the ghost crabs and look for permit again tomorrow.  We just hope the tide stops where we see the high tide mark from earlier.  The Toyota is as far up on the beach as we can get it without getting stuck.  If high tide is higher than normal we’re screwed.  I’m definitely a bit nervous about it.

 

blog-April-17-2015-15-jeff-&-granny-currier-in-omanWe watched the sunset and prepared dinner.  We intend on eating fish for dinner most of this trip but for skunk days like today we have a few more of the freeze dried meals and the old standby, pasta.  Tonight it was pasta.  I can’t describe to you how bad I wanted a cold beer or a bottle of red wine for this scenario.  But no, we sipped mini cokes.

 

blog-April-17-2015-16-granny-currier-camping-in-omanThis beach, which Granny and I have named dead whale beach, is facing north.  There’s no moon so the stars are gleaming.  Right now the Big Dipper is directly overhead and I’m looking at the North Star and wishing for an Indo Pacific permit tomorrow.  Meanwhile Granny is watching the high tide roll in and getting a bit nervous.  I think we’re good though!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

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