Tag Archives: fly fishing

Permits: Giants of The Deep

The Trachinotus falcatus, or the permit as it’s more commonly known, is a large species of fish found in the Western Atlantic ocean. The permit is silvery gray in color, and is distinguished by its forked fins and blunt snout.

Image source: panoramio.comImage source: panoramio.com

The permit can grow as long as 48 inches and as heavy as 79 lbs and is a favorite sport fish in the waters surrounding the Florida Keys. Because of its relatively flat body, it can quickly turn sideways and swim away, even in shallow waters. It is known to be wary of flies and easily spooked by sudden movements. As a result, the permit fish is notoriously difficult to catch on the fly.

In 2003, Brian Eliason of Northern Fisheries traveled to Belize for the purpose of catching his first permit, but failed to catch any. Disappointed, he headed to the Florida Keys to try his luck there. On his third trip to the Keys, Eliason attempted to hook a permit with his Merkin fly with no success. He switched to a Raghead Crab fly and caught a massive 51 pound permit, placing him, and his catch, in the saltwater record books of the International Game Fish Association (IGFA.)

18177Image source: flyofthemonthclub.com

Eliason used a Raghead Crab fly to hook his catch. The fly is patterned after a common crab, one of the permit’s natural prey.

The permit, while edible, is considered a game fish and is usually released after being weighed and photographed, as was the case with his prize-winning catch.

For more articles on the sport of fly fishing, subscribe to this Brian Eliason blog.

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Beyond the bubbling brooks: Where to cast a fly

Fly fishing is usually associated with fishing in mountain streams and local small river systems. While flies are indeed one of the best ways to catch fast-moving upstream fish like trout and salmon, these lures also magnetize other species of fish. In reality, fish of all kinds can be caught using flies from local ponds and slower-moving rivers and even in oceans close to shore.

Effective fly fishing in a given body of water is dependent on an understanding of the fish’s ecosystem and the nature of their environment, which helps pinpoint the best spots to cast the line and the best time to do so.

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Lakes and rivers

Fishers in ponds, lakes, and slow rivers will usually look for pan fish, such as crappie, sunfish, and bluegill. They are best caught in shallow, weedy areas with slow water currents, which are their natural habitat and hunting grounds. They can also be found in certain underwater structures such as piers and depressions and frequent the shorelines during spring, where they breed. They may also find bass and pickerel, which feed on pan fish.

Coldwater fish by nature, trout can also be found in lakes and rivers, though lake-dwelling trout behave differently from their riparian counterparts. They also frequent weed beds but can also be seen close to the surface looking for food.

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Streams

Stream fish are frequently fish of cold water, and include trout and seasonal salmon. When feeding, trout are drawn to eddies and other places where the current allows the food to come to them.

The ocean

Image Source: en.wikipedia.org

Fly fishing works best closer to the shallower areas near the intertidal zone. Shore fish come and go with the tide, along with the bait fish that they prey on. The tides affect what kind of fish anglers will catch.

Brian Eliason, the President of Northern Fisheries, landed a 51 lb permit on a Raghead Crab fly in 2003. Visit this website for more on his company’s products.