Over the past month we’ve heard a bunch from Bruce Chard about how to present flies to permit. We got an introductory pep talk, details on presenting flies to feeding and cruising fish, and tips on when and how to set the hook.
We’re wrapping up our mini-series today with some thoughts on weather and stealth, and a quick little graduation speech.
Thanks to Bruce for the master class!
Weather and Stealth
Permit are very weather-sensitive. Your awareness needs to be equivalent to the fish’s awareness as far as weather goes.
If it’s calm, the fish are on high alert, and the angler needs to act accordingly – keep deathly quiet, stay super low, keep your line low – take every possible preventative measure possible to be super stealthy.
When it’s blowing 25 you can’t see them very well but they can’t see you very well either. In these conditions you can, and should, put it on their head. Lots of permit anglers say that it’s easier to catch them when it’s windy – but that’s because they get 5 shots at 1 fish, where they might get 1 shot at that fish if it’s dead calm. I’m not sure they eat the fly better when it’s windy – I just think you get more shots in there because the fish are less spooky.
All in all the reason that permit fishing is so difficult is that the anglers don’t see the fish the whole time. Not being able to see the fish well is the #1 hindrance to catching them.
Everything we’ve covered goes beyond just locating the fish – we have to recognize whether they’re feeding or cruising, see how they’re acting, know which direction they’re pointing, and realize when and how to set the hook. All these skills hinge on seeing the fish well.
What’s the #1 way to get better at seeing the fish? Spend more time on the water!