Wayne with a nice Permit on fly

Rules to live by

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