Indian Ocean Chronicles: Day 100-N-Some, but Who’s Counting Anymore?

Permit Don't Suck.

Things that Suck… & Don’t.

Barjack the Angler
Permitatious Flat
Indian Ocean
June 4, 2011

I am wrecked, this place is gonna be hard to get over when I finally have to leave. Scratch that: impossible to get over. The wind is supposed to drop to 15knot’s tomorrow… PERFECT! I will have the big rod in hand for GT and only swap for milkfish/big bones/or permit… if I am lucky enough to see any of them. But that’s all in the future. Today is Saturday…

Things that suck on a Saturday:

  • Up at 0600 hrs expecting to go on a boat charter only to get the dreaded phone call of cancellation: wind is kickin’.
  • Too much wind to go on a charter.
  • Casting cross body all day as not to hit myself in the head (for a second weekend in a row).
  • Seeing a GT and not switching rods fast enough.
  • A monster bone eats your fly and you don’t hook up.

Things that don’t suck on a Saturday:

  • Catching a nice bonefish that is chilling in no water and tailing!
  • Catching a PERMIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…

Okay so I want to see some old water I used to fish and Ben agrees. Initially it’s looking like a bad call; the first hour is intermittent clouds, heavy wind, and low tide. Of course, no fish spotted. Tide starts to roll in, clouds clear and I see a GT! I’ll distill the experience for you: giant trevally + me switching rods = epic fail. I Switch back, start walking again and Ben sees a big bluefin trevally, does the rod swap with style, gets some shots and a follow, but no love. I continue down the flat, and I see a tail in no water, I’m thinking, golden [trevally]? Nope: it’s a big ol’ bone with shoulders on her. I go through the usual bonefish thing and finally land her. I should have got a pic; she sure was pretty. I’ve really taken bonefish for granted the last few months, what with all the golden trevally, bluefins, permit, assorted coral-munchers, snapper, and, of course, the mysterious and coveted GTs.

I keep on walking and see another bluefin, this one with its back out of the water rooting around. I drop a cast near and it turns out to the reef. WTF? Ten feet behind him another tail pops up: PERMIT—and not just any permit. This is the biggest permit I have ever seen! Anywhere. Heart pounding, I start fogging out the glasses and have to pull my buff down. I get the angle, let a cast go, the fish turns the wrong way. Strip back in wait, walk, cloud, sun, there: tail, cast. The permit rushes at something, tails hard and glides off the flat. I just stand there as minutes pass, then there he is riding a wave in. The wave closes out, he tails, and I drop a 50-foot cast that lands perfect! Twitch, he sees it, long slow strip, he’s behind it, let the fly drop, he’s half cocked looking at it… sloooow strip he does that permit-style look at it from the left swim around check it out from the right thing and then he’s right there, two rod-lengths away! I pop it he tips up! I strip but the line won’t move—the leader-fly line connection hit the tip guide! He slowly turns and glides off—doesn’t blow out, just leaves, casually, like he was heading that way anyways. £#¢K! My mind is racing: why didn’t I see that coming? Why didn’t I just hold the line and step back rod point the rod at him? Surely the fish would have spooked and hooked itself. Right?

Luckily I didn’t have time to torture myself long. Less then a hundred yards down the flat I find myself surrounded: permit all around me! I stand there momentarily confused before I snap out of it and shoot a cast to the bigger fish on the outside. Of course, I dodn’t quite see them all so end up lining a few. They spook, circle back, I drop another cast and get a follow. Nothing. Cast again, get an eat; I suck! School spooks. I turn to the smaller inside fish. They’re still tailing so I drop a cast, strip and two start to follow, one on each side. Both fish are amped but won’t commit. I give a slow twitch then a long strip and stop. Both permit do the same damn half-cock up on it, but still won’t eat. Come on you, bastards. Long strip, one tips up, I come tight, and hear the sound of backing clearing the guides! A few minutes later I flag down Ben and he snaps a few.

All of a sudden it’s over—tide ripping in, waves beating me, fish gone. Sadness sweeps over me with each wave. I hate the end of the day, especially when it comes at three in the afternoon. Why is there no high tide spot to fish?

No worries. Tomorrow’s Sunday and we got a pass to go to the Plantation. Plan is to drive out there with bikes, (way too many) fly rods, (not enough) water and food at 0730 hours. We’ll park, ride the bikes for an hour and 40 or so minutes, drop them hike another 40 minutes to get to the famed Barton Point. ETA 1030am, Low Tide 1104am, gate closes at 1730. Should be epic.

Pre-hydrating and signing off,
BarJack the Angler

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