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What size fly for Permit - Key West

kayakerinkeywestkayakerinkeywest Posts: 661 Officer
edited October 2019 in Fly Fishing #1
Size wise, with live crabs, I like to throw something between a quarter and a fifty cent piece (body of crab).  My Kung Fu crab is more like a nickle.  What hook size/fly size would I be looking for to fit in that quarter to fifty cent range.  I want something with a little bit more body size to grab their attention.  Fishing usually in roughly 2-3' light to moderate current.  Thinking Merkin style.  
Youtube - KEY WEST KAYAK FISHING https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkGY6yxE8kogYHKXisMhA2w
All About The Bait Store - http://www.allaboutthebait.com/

Replies

  • greenie-slayergreenie-slayer Posts: 850 Officer
    For permit I like a #4-1/0 but also depends on the hook. That being said my first permit came on a #6 bitters but it was super shallow and very weedy there so you needed a very light fly that didn't sink fast. I would keep the body size between a nickle and quarter. Carry multiple weight varieties for different depths. The 2 flies below should be about perfect size for keys permit. I think they are both right about the size or a quarter. 
  • avmechavmech Jupiter, FLPosts: 1,380 Officer
    Wish I had your tying skills greenie!!!!!
    Joined: Oct 7 2002
    Member #10822
  • sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 685 Officer
    They are fabulously-expensive ($12 - 15), but the Dave Skok flies available from the Angling Company in Key West are your go-to fly. If you can tie ones like them, (they are pretty heavy in general), that's what you want.

    That said, if I knew it would catch a permit, I wouldn't hesitate to buy and throw a $100 fly ...


    Mark

    grace finds goodness in everything ...



  • greenie-slayergreenie-slayer Posts: 850 Officer
    avmech said:
    Wish I had your tying skills greenie!!!!!
    Watch alot of youtube videos and you can tie almost anything. The rest is just looking fancy with sharpies. 

    sunflower said:
    They are fabulously-expensive ($12 - 15), but the Dave Skok flies available from the Angling Company in Key West are your go-to fly. If you can tie ones like them, (they are pretty heavy in general), that's what you want.

    That said, if I knew it would catch a permit, I wouldn't hesitate to buy and throw a $100 fly ...


    I have been seeing alot of guys throwing the skok flies in the keys as of late. Permit must like that 1 claw crab. 

  • kayakerinkeywestkayakerinkeywest Posts: 661 Officer
    Thanks guys.  I will look for something in the 1/0 to 2/0 range.  
    Youtube - KEY WEST KAYAK FISHING https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkGY6yxE8kogYHKXisMhA2w
    All About The Bait Store - http://www.allaboutthebait.com/
  • greenie-slayergreenie-slayer Posts: 850 Officer
    Thanks guys.  I will look for something in the 1/0 to 2/0 range.  
    The top flies i posted are on a 1/0
  • kayakerinkeywestkayakerinkeywest Posts: 661 Officer
    I picked these up in 1/0 and 2/0.

    Youtube - KEY WEST KAYAK FISHING https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkGY6yxE8kogYHKXisMhA2w
    All About The Bait Store - http://www.allaboutthebait.com/
  • sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 685 Officer
    As you know, greenie, people who tie their own flies ... tie flies to catch fish.
    Professional tiers tie flies to catch fishermen.
    Usually / hopefully, those are the same two things.
    Often they are not.
    All fishermen catch fish with the flies or lures they cast, and fishermen cast what they believe in.
    I have never caught a single fish on a gold spoon, barely any on a bucktail jig.
    Of course, I have barely-ever believed in or cast either of those two lures.

    When fly fishermen in the Keys. or guides, hear that others are catching fish with Skok flies ...
    they then start casting mostly Skok flies. And so Skok flies are the ones catching fish.

    And so on.

    PS; Kayakerinkeywest, those eyes don't look heavy enough to me.
    But, you may be casting to fish in shallower, or more-quiet situations than I have.

    Here is a Skok fly, and a greenie fly.



    Mark

    grace finds goodness in everything ...



  • tarpon41tarpon41 Posts: 293 Deckhand
    This particular fly did not Permit catch this past trip; due to fishing conditions KW everything good but no fish day one day two, bonefish three... plus bonefish tongue parasite...yes the size of a 12 hour tick on a dogs back...hooked it and it pulled out... Aaron removed it from the fly...one Permit spot last hour last day(the environs of your first fish Mark) four close shots two follows but I just did not "fish it" properly...as in should have dropped it...the other dropped it but hung on bottom...close because cloud glare late afternoon sun bouncing off the clouds limited visibility...poling with the current and against the wind ...in the picture notice the glare directly in front of the cloud that's 10-20 vis tops...and no polars cut that cloud reflected glare...I did not tie but I modified, mainly putting the eyes in the proper location when the crab dives. It's the size of a dime.  IMHO a Permit fly must not twist when stripped and must drop/dive with the angle and speed like the real thing... his "one arm bandit" does that so does my modified SS crab..the single claw is perhaps functioning like a keel ...my last Permit (late winter 2018)was caught on my modified fly...but then I've caught them on the early Merkin versions...it what you use with presentation, drop, angle, and timing

  • sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 685 Officer
    I hope it was a fun trip, Tarpon41.
    Those bonefish are really becoming a thing in Key West, and do greatly improve the fun.
    (Obviously) permit are hard to catch ... otherwise who would bother?
    I bet you are already planning your next trip ...
    Take care. Have a nice autumn.


    Mark

    grace finds goodness in everything ...



  • kayakerinkeywestkayakerinkeywest Posts: 661 Officer
    Got the flies in today.  Took them out for a bit of testing.  All cloudy and a bit breezy plus high tide so no good for the flats.  Did try to throw flies at about 20 Tarpon but they were really spooky.  Set up on a flat to test drive the two Permit flies.  Basic drop speed was four seconds to hit bottom at three foot depth.  That was with about a foot of down current drift.  Light to medium light current.  I spot fish specific areas so generally on anchor.  I usually can see them coming as well as know where they will tend to feed.  I usually throw at tailers or fish on an active feeding pattern so I have more time versus drifting/poling looking for fish.  2-3' maximum on the rising tide.  

    Bottom fly is the one I had been using for Permit.  Kung Fu Crab.  I have been catching Bonefish with it, but no Permit hook ups.  Just didn't feel like it had enough body to it to grab their attention.  
    Winds look like they might settle down a bit this week so hopefully will be able to put in some dedicated Permit time.  
    Youtube - KEY WEST KAYAK FISHING https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkGY6yxE8kogYHKXisMhA2w
    All About The Bait Store - http://www.allaboutthebait.com/
  • kayakerinkeywestkayakerinkeywest Posts: 661 Officer
    Got out to test out the new flies.  Made a run out to the backcountry just before low tide.  Ran into two schools of bonefish that were hanging out until the last second before they dumped into the channel.  Unfortunately the wind and current were pushing from behind and I ended up running over both schools.  During prime time rising tide, I saw three more schools and got a couple of good shots.  Got the bite but out of the dozen or so Bonefish in the school and my fly landing in the center of them, a Blue Runner ran through and grabbed my fly.  Bummer.  After the tide hit about two feet, I moved into my Permit flat and had two schools running through.  The first snuck in behind me and I saw them the moment they saw me.  The second school of three big chunkers cruised perfectly in my catch zone.  Got the fly in front and slightly short of their path.  They made a hard turn right at the fly and just did not get the hook up.  Oh so close.  

    I made a video showing the days events plus a layout of my fishing spots and technique.




    Youtube - KEY WEST KAYAK FISHING https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkGY6yxE8kogYHKXisMhA2w
    All About The Bait Store - http://www.allaboutthebait.com/
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