Day 11 – (17 December 2013)

I struggled to sleep last night.  My slightly skinnier frame seemed not to handle all the adrenalin too well.  The focus had shifted to getting Theo onto perms, and getting some better DSLR pics of fish feeding and presentations.  We’re geared up and back on the reefs.  They’re gone.  Not a fish in sight.

“sorry dude, they’re not here”

Theo casting in a bait ball

Theo casting in a bait ball

The mystery of the disappearing permit.  The sea is up.  We’re hoping that wasn’t it and that the green water hasn’t arrived again.  Its early in the day, and we decide to head back to location one.  After 11 days the promise of fishing without boots was too good to ignore.

We chase some Pakistani coffee and Pepsi and then start the drive.  Camp is set up, conditions are anything but perfect.  The sea isn’t massive but its messy, I’ve been told this isn’t good.   Its two hours before sunset when we head out.  In the rough seas the setting sun should give us good visibility into the little surf break.

We find a few fish.  They’re here.  They’re hungry.  They’re shallow.  Theo is getting some frantic Permit instruction.  I drop the rod in favour of the Nikon.  Permit presentation euphoria ensues.

No cigar yet.

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Day 12 – (18 December 2013)

The sea is even rougher this morning, but we’re past worrying about that.  Theo and I immediately spot two fish.  I guide him onto them, presentations are good but the permit are typical.  I break off ahead.

Ten minutes or so later I see what I think is a fish riding the wash back into the shore break.  I sprint in, get down and have a look in the turbulent surf.  There he is.  He’s two sets back now, heading slightly deeper.

I run a bit further ahead and drop the big velcro crab a few meters ahead.   The back wash causes a perfect break of clear water, and for a few seconds its surf fishing perfection, and my crab is in the zone.   What happens next will be etched into my memory forever.  The fish is sitting high up in the water column, third set back.  Depth is about 4ft there. He spots the fly, and accelerates so hard that the water explodes behind his tail.   I know whats about to happen.  I don’t want to miss the take and go for my triggerfish retrieve.  Basically holding both hands straight and walking back slowly, just keeping tension on the line.  In the clear bit of backwash he’s perfectly visible, and head butts the crab into the sand so aggressively that you could actually hear it.  Water boils in the 3ft or so of surf before exploding up.  Im screaming Jako Lukas style

“OOHHHH MMYYY F$$$$CKKKK DID YOU SEE THATT FASKOHFSAFSOAIJRAOSIUER PERMIT TAKE!!!! PHOWAAAARRR!!!!”

The fish immediately heads for the horizon, and then horror.  My fly line wraps around my spool.  Default.  I sprint into the surf, and manage to unwind it.  He’s still on.  Shew.  I’ve never had a permit fight like this.  The fish is running up and down the back line, trying to time a break over the sand bank on the back line.  I can’t risk that.  I chase around and eventually Theo gets to me.  He filming.  Im screaming.  Its much bigger than anything we’ve seen and bigger than I expected, which explains the fight.  Theo attempts to tail the fish once or twice before instinct eventually kicks in and I grab him.  Victory.

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look at that girth!

look at that girth!

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Three permit in my last three casts.  What are the chances.  Considering the gap between my last permit and these spanned 3 countries, with at least 500 presentations to 80 or so fish… maybe pretty good.

Some fight pics:

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Pulling Hard

Pulling Hard

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Permit Headstand

Permit Headstand

The nose in sand trick they try

The nose in sand trick they try

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Victory!

Victory!

The rod goes down.  Its just camera from here on.

(this afternoon continued in next post)