A memorable fish.


I was scrolling thru some old photos and came across this pic. This was probably the funnest permit I have ever seen caught on my skiff. This was during the Maverick owners tournament in September several years ago. I had the pleasure of having Charlie Johnson and Skip Lyshon in the boat. Charlie was on the bow and he is an incredible fly caster. He also knows how to feed fish which is a very rare skill. We were in the hull number one of the Maverick HPX-S and the conditions were pretty crappy. We ran north from Islamorada and sat off a flat on the Oceanside waiting for a break in the clouds. The tide was high and I knew the fish were there. I idled out in deep water because I didn't want to disturb the flat until I knew we had good visibility. When we finally got a short window of visibility we took it. I poled up on the flat and there they were over a prop scar that they love to swim in that flat. It was a group of four or five 10-12 pounders. As we were about to make the shot the big boy appeared. One cast and the Cortland full clear fly line came up off the deck in a knot as it often does if there is an opportunity. The big perm actually swims up sucks down the fly and spits it while Charlie is untangling his line. He recovers and fires a second cast to the fish and amazingly he eats it again and we are off into deep water and deep into the backing on a 10 weight G Loomis crosscurrent one piece and a Tibor Riptide Reel. The fly we were throwing was a small tan crab pattern with light weight dumbbell eyes. On permit in this scenario where they are hovering on the edge of the flat I like this fly. It sinks slower allowing the rubber legs, maribou, and feathers to pulse and look very life-like. The battle was total chaos like most permit fights. He took us way off into the rough Oceanside waters and then back onto the flat where we eventually landed him. In the last seconds of the fight the hook pulled from the fishes mouth and snagged him in the anal gun. At that moment the fish flipped and I dove after him to get my hands on him. That was a great day with the best guys in the skiff industry.