Tag: Permit on a fly


Playa Blanca = Playa Permit

Just got back from another successful trip to Playa Blanca.  The last four trips  have been very good and the Permit fishing seems to be getting better and better.  We had an excellent group of 14 anglers and as always the lodge and staff were excellent.

17 Permit were caught for the week which was impressive as not everyone was fishing for permit.  There was some great Tarpon and Snook fishing and the Bonefish were plentiful and tailing.

I loved hearing the stories during the week of several people holding the Tarpon Fly in hand on 50lb shock, while in search of baby tarpon, seeing a Bonefish, throwing the Tarpon Fly at the Bone and watching him eat it on 50 lb shock!!

Says a lot about the area in which we were fishing.

Heading back at the end of March.  Some Permits shots from the group!!

Early morning, new fly!!





Grant Wood with 1 of 2, his first congrats Santiago!!!!

Austin Watson's first permit that ended with a Grand Slam!!!!

Jon Fenn, with 1 of 4, his first as well Congrats Jon!!

Don Watson with a great fish!!!!

Chuck Moos with a fine Permit

Jim Hickey with a nice sickle fin!!

The Fall Classic Crew!!!! (In order left to right) Jim Finley, Bill Egan, Mike Dawes, Alex Maher, Don Watson, Sara Cart, Austin Watson, Ben Cart, Jon Fenn, Dale Endris, Grant Wood (Santiago), Jim Hickey, Chuck Moos, Susie McDowell


























Doug Barnes Photography – Playa Blanca

It always amazes me watching someone do something extremely well.  I do not know much about Photography, but I try and dabble here and there and learn what I can.  Doug Barnes knows a lot about Photography, he has been doing it his entire life and his work speaks for itself.   Last April I was amazed again at how impressive Doug Barnes is with a camera.  Dougy is a true professional and joy to be with, we have a great time in Mexico together.  So as promised here are a couple of shots that Dougy took on our trip, they speak for themselves.


































































Playa Blanca 2011- Swimming Jaguar?????

We had another great week at Playa Blanca in April, the weather cooperated for the most part, cookie cutter clouds each day with high winds, but it could have been worse.  While there were many highlights during our week and a lot of firsts in the permit and tarpon department, the main highlight was missed by most but caught by a few in a back country lagoon. A swimming Jaguar?????????????

yes that is a jaguar

Simply Amazing!!!!

The Jaguar was witnessed by Bob and Ian Markstein on the final day of our trip. It should also be mentioned that not only did Bob and Ian witness the Jaguar, it was there first trip on the flats!!! While they both landed numerous Bonefish and Tarpon, Ian managed four permit and a grandslam as well!!!!!!! Time for a lotto ticket?  Another great trip to PLaya, make sure to check in to see some of Douglas Barnes of Now Picture This work on the next entry.

Sara Cart with her first permit on the Fly!!!



Ben Cart with a nice Tarpon



Ian with one of his four permit on the fly!!!!


Uh Oh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Got Em


March Merkin 2011














Just back from the March Merkin where the weather was a little different than 2010.  By the end of the tournament we were in shorts with bright blue skies, a nice change from the down coats and wool hats in 2010.

The Goods

Another nice part was that Capt. Don Gable and I won!!  Each day we were able to find a willing fish to cooperate.  We had a bittersweet ending as we were both convinced that we needed two fish in the boat on the last day, and we had a big fish come unbuttoned in the final hour.  After we learned that we had won, this fish was soon forgotten.  Jon Ain and Capt. Doug Kilpatrick came in second place and  Douglas Behrman and Capt. Kevin Guerin came in third.

Thanks to Jon & Shirley Ain for putting on a great event that seems to gain in popularity each year as well as raise a large amount of money each year to be donated to the Bonefish Tarpon Trust (would like to see a P in there some day) as well as the Don Hawley Foundation.

It was great to see everyone and as always there was plenty of laughs and frustrations about the rubber lipped bastards.

Can not say enough about Capt. Don Gable who put us on the fish and made it all possible, truly a team event and I am lucky to have Capt. Don as my teammate and good friend.

Looking forward to getting back on the Roller Coaster next year and seeing everyone again.








































All of the permit caught in the March Merkin were tagged for BTT’s Project Permit


Mr. Sandflea Super Slam

I went to spend sometime in Punta Allen with my good friends Careto & Lily after our week at Playa Blanca.  It was nice to be back in Punta Allen, and guess who showed up late (of course) Russo!!



I had the honor of joining arguably some of the best fishing guides in all of Mexico for a day on the water.  These jokers are very good friends of mine and as good as they are as guides, they are even better fisherman!!

Careto, Russo, & Tarantula

Careto, Russo, & Tarantula

Permit came first …….

Mr Sandflea aka Russo

Mr Sandflea aka Russo

Then the Bonefish……..



Then of course “The Tarpon Guide” loses the first Tarpon



But he gets the second one……

Russo gets the Super done!!

Russo gets the Super done!!

Then the Snook

We capped off the day with a sunset boat ride back to Punta Allen, a couple of cold ones and Lily’s fresh conch ceviche……I need to go back


A True Monster

More often than not when fishing for Permit with a Fly, I find myself thinking, “What am I doing?”  I often wonder why my infatuation for saltwater fishing with a fly had to land on Permit.  What I have learned in fishing for Permit with a fly over the past 8 years is how quickly the pendulum swings.  For the most part I think about Fly Fishing as life in fast forward, but when fishing for Permit with a fly it is more like life at Mach speed.

The swing of emotions from thoughts of “this is the wrong fly” “there are no fish here” “how old is my backing” “is my tippet to big”  “what did I just do wrong” “did he eat it” “did I strip right”  “how much money am I wasting” etc. to “oh my god he ate it” “clear the line” “this could be the fish of your life” “I need to land this fish” “the hook is going to pull” “that was incredible” swing in a matter of seconds.

Last week the pendulum swung in the right direction quickly.  After getting wrapped on rocks twice and jumping out of the boat each time to clear the backing, tailing the fish twice only to watch it runs another 150 yards each time because the guide could not hang on to the fish in the water, we landed this beast.  I do not know how much it weighed, the guide thought it was around 37 pounds, but we will never really know.  All I know is that after we landed the fish, permit fishing made sense, for now, until the next refusal and the pendulum swings back to reality.


Back from the March Merkin…….Still Cold

The weather during the March Merkin this year was brutal to say the least.  On Sunday we had water temps at 74 degrees and by Wednesday they were getting down to 64 degress.  Despite the poor fishing a good time was had by all and there were plenty of the normal questions marks that permit seem to leave in your head, they were just amplified by the bad weather.

Congrats to Capt. Scott Collins and Angler Greg Smith for catching the larger of the total two fish caught, and congrats to Capt. Bob Paulson and Angler Mark Hoskin for catching the other.

Pre fishing on Sunday Capt. Don Gable,  I hooked three, fly pulled on one, I f-ed up the other (about 25lb) and broke em off and we got the last one pictured below.  6 or 7 other fish were caught on Monday and then the weather turned.

Thanks to Jon & Shirley Ain for putting on a great event……..Next Year


Off to the March Merkin………………..

I must say the March Merkin is one of those events that I truly enjoy attending each year.   It might have something to do with that fact that 25 anglers and 25 guides all gather to fish for permit, and everyone is as equally sick in the head about permit fishing.  I also think it is a great opportunity to learn more about the entire sport of  catching permit on fly, which seems to be constantly evolving and lacks the resources to learn without spending time on the water.  The guides and the anglers at the merkin are an incredible resource to learn from, and while competitive, the event holds a very laid back manner.

50% of the proceeds go to the Don Hawley foundation, for the benefit of Florida Keys Guides who have experienced financial hardship, and the other 50% of the proceeds goes to the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (permit should be in that name somewhere, right?)

I am fishing with Capt. Don Gable again and we always  have a good on the water together, so hopefully the water warms up a little and those little black tail bastards get happy quick!

“nothing can ruin a good day of permit fishing, like permit” -Capt. Chris Mcreedy