Archive for November, 2009

Permit on Fly: Part One

I wanted to re-publish this blog I wrote in 2009 because it is as important as ever to catching Permit!!!!!!

S.S. Flies permit crab by Peter Smith

S.S. Flies permit crab by Peter Smith


Capt. Michael O'Brien with a nice permit

Capt. Michael O’Brien with a nice permit

underwater Permit

Permit or Trachinotus falcatus is probably the hardest flats fish to catch on fly.
Below are some images of the fish and the flies we use to catch them.  The most important part the game is making a quick and accurate cast.  A good angler can get the fly to the target with only one or two false casts.  Permit are spooky and have great eyesight.  We look forward to days with a little wind which masks the noise of the fly line in the air and allows for multiple casts a fish or group of fish.  I recommend that anglers practice their casting out on the lawn prior to their Key West flats fishing trip.  This practice will pay big dividends in fishing success and can mean the difference between going fishless or adding an achievement of a lifetime to your trip.

We train ourselves to see fish swimming under the surface, mudding, tailing, and floating.  There is nothing in the angling world that compares to seeing a school of large permit with their tails popping up out of the water as they move up a flat feeding.
Sometimes we hear a splash from a permit that has just tailed so hard it tipped over.

The rod of choice for these fish is an 8, 9, or 10 weight depending on the wind or lack there of.  A saltwater reel with a good drag like a Tibor and 300 yards of backing are a must.  Use a nine to twelve foot leader.

Feeding the permit is a learned art and only time on the water and your guide can help you with this ability.  A good angler does not just make a great cast to the fish; he or she actually sells the fly.  By selling the fly I mean that the angler reads the permit’s actions toward the fly and moves it or lets it drop to entice the fish to react and EAT.

Tight Lines and fish boatside,

Capt. Michael O’Brien

Art Show and Benefit at Lilly Pulitzer

Captain Michael O’Brien is pleased to announce two exhibitions of his Wave and Fish photography at the Lilly Pulitzer stores in Boca Raton, Fl and Key West, Fl.  The Boca Raton  Town Center store is partnering with the Surfrider foundation and will donate a share of the profits from the sale of clothing and O’Brien’s art to benifit the Surfrider Foundation in Florida and their ongoing battle to protect our beaches, the water quality and the waves.  O’Brien wil be showing images of both wave photos taken over the past several years as well as images of tarpon, permit, and bonefish.  All of Capt. Mike’s fish photos were shot in and around Key West on the flats and backcountry.  These fish were all caught while fly fishing either by clients or by O’Brien himself and photographed under water.

The Boca Raton show will be Dec. 5 and the Key West show will be Dec. 12, 2009.

Permit fishing West of Key West

Permit fishing West of Key West

Key West Backcountry: Permit fishing

sup in the keys: tarpon on fly

sup in the keys: tarpon on fly

November 4, 2009
We fished out East today and had good tides but were chased off the water by

some nasty storms.  Looks like the kiteboarding will be good for the next few days.

Key West Fall Fishing: Permit, Bonefish, and some Tarpon

There is no better time to fish Key West than the fall.  Fall fishing in the Lower Keys means less people and less pressure.  The temperatures are a bit cooler than the summer making it an ideal time for fish to come on the flats and feed.