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Permit on Fly - First one my Beavertail BT3

Fished with my buddy Captain Peter Heydon this morning. It started out promising, south wind and warm, we were thinking tarpon first thing. Got to the area and set up a drift with a couple lovely pinfish in tow. Three drifts, saw a couple tarpon roll, marked a few and not a bite. So much for the slam we planned on. Well it makes life easy, we're going for permit on fly.

With the south wind we headed for the Gulf side flats and the beginning of the incoming tide. Several shots at permit in deeper water that were hard to see and bad angles didn't produce anything. Finally the shot we wanted came, a school of 10 - 15 permit moving off to our side but nicely turned toward the boat. Pete made his cast and landed his custom hand tied extra special crab fly in the middle of the school. A few quick strips of the fly line and the fish were all over the fly. The gap was closing quick and thoughts of rejection were creeping in when I noticed Pete make a long strip and the tip of his fly rod start to bend.

Pete raised his fly rod, cleared his fly line from the stripping basket and "there was much rejoice!!" "I got you..." After several minutes of chasing his permit into the wind, they always do that ****, and an ominous nurse shark I staked the boat for him to finish the fight and I got the cameras ready. I quickly grabbed Pete's permit by the tail and hoisted him into the boat. Tons of photos later (God only knows when the two of us we'll get this chance again) Pete released his handsome permit back to the sea.

Captain Mike Bartlett


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