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Permit & Saltwater Sight Fishing

Labor Day Trivia

When is Labor Day? In the United States and Canada it's always the first Monday in September. There is no particular significance other than it falls roughly half way between Memorial Day and Thanksgiving. In many other countries May Day serves a similar purpose.

Who Started Labor Day? In the United States, Peter J. McGuire, a union leader who had founded the United Brotherhood of Carpenters in 1881, is generally given credit for the idea. In 1882 he suggested to the Central Labor Union of New York that there be a celebration honoring American workers. On September 5 some 10,000 workers held a parade in New York City. Thus it had it's beginning.

Salute to all workers!

Want to know more about Labor Day?

Permit are Permit

Summer is closing down and fall is around the corner. With it comes thoughts and plans for our annual fall trip to Turneffe Flats Lodge in Belize. Barry is thinking about permit, as he always does if he gets close to saltwater. Here are a few of his thoughts on this holy grail of a fish.

Permit are Permit

I’ve always thought that permit anglers are on the same page as Atlantic salmon and northwest steelheaders. There are many words one could use to describe this group — tunnel vision, focused, disciplined, dedicated, patient come to mind, but whatever the case, one can put in a lot of hours looking for a permit without even making a cast. It’s ok, it’s just permit fishing. I fall into that group because when I’m on the deck of a flats boat I only want to cast to a permit. I never cast to another species, bonefish and tarpon included, because at that moment a permit could show up and I won’t be ready.

It’s interesting to listen to a seasoned saltwater guide’s response when he first spots a fish. If it’s a bonefish, he likely says “Bonefish” in a normal voice; but if it’s a permit he reacts with a hushed quiet voiced urgent command “Permit!” and then the game begins. You are ready with fly line coiled on the deck, your hand tightens on the rod grip, a crab fly pattern hangs from your line hand, and the adrenalin rush starts, like it always does when a permit shows up. The guide’s whispered command might be, “50 feet moving right cast now!” You see the scythe-like dorsal fin breaking the surface, your line is in the air and the crab lands spot on, the permit sees the fly, moves to it, and you stop breathing. Will he eat? Oh, not this time, and you watch your quarry swim away quickly. He knows. You ask yourself what you did wrong but you did nothing wrong, it’s just permit fishing…maybe next time.

This scenario has happened to me time and time again, but somewhere in between, there have been hook-ups and landed fish. I have cast to hundreds of permit in my lifetime but every time I make the cast I’m filled with the same nervous adrenalin. I hope it never goes away, it’s part of why I spend hours looking, hunting and fishing for permit. Each fall Cathy and I host a group to Turneffe Flats Lodge in Belize. Turneffe has become our favorite destination for shallow water fly fishing. It offers a good shot for a grand slam (bonefish, permit and tarpon) and if you’re lucky, a super slam if you also boat a snook, all in the same day. For me I’ll be standing on the deck, my favorite Sage 9-weight rigged with a 15 pound fluoro tippet and one of Cathy’s crab patterns at the ready. Let the game begin. Barry.

(P.S. We have a room or two open for our November 11-18, 2023, departure to Turneffe Flats. Check it out with the link above. It’s always a fun week.)

10 Tips to Master Saltwater Sight Fishing

By: Alex Suescun

While we're on the subject of saltwater, here are some good tips to keep in mind if you're a saltwater angler.

Thank you Alex and Midcurrent.

That's it for this week. We hope you have an enjoyable long holiday weekend. We'll see you next week.

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