Leading up to the Superfly, I fished with Justin Rea for two days. We started on Tuesday, and here’s what happened:
We started early, and Justin had tarpon and bonefish on the brain. He found a school of small tarpon early, and while they didn’t show at first they woke up as the morning wore on. We had a number of shots, and before moving on we had hooked a few small tarpon, jumping only one that broke a hook when it took to the air. When the fishing slowed, we left for a nearby area and spent the next three hours chasing another group of tarpon. This time, however, the fish were all sizes. I caught an 80 lb fish, jumped a few more, and then poled Justin to a fish. We stopped when the tide did, and had lunch.
After the second spot, we found another group of small tarpon somewhere else and hooked one that managed to shake the hook before it could bury. At this point the clouds had moved in, and the fishing was starting to look finished, but Justin had a spot that we could find some lobster and happened to have a mask and fins for me to use. It’s worth mentioning that I’d never done this before, and had a great time tickling a tasty dinner into the net.
After that we finished early and decided that the next day would be about permit and perhaps bonefish.
We left the dock at 7 AM, and Justin had a spot for bonefish that turned out to be worth the effort. I had four or five shots into schools of septic-tank sized bonefish, tiger striped and tailing away in the morning light, and while many times my fly was in the zone we never got a bite. After our second fly change (just before the third) the fish stopped pouring towards us and we left to look for a permit.
Our first two stops yielded nothing, and based on this Justin took a long run to find us some targets. At our next stop, as soon as we settled in to the flat, a group of three very large permit appeared. I got off cast into the group, and at least one of its members seemed interested but never committed. As soon as this shot finished, the clouds moved in. Justin wanted to move with the light, and while we thought this a solid idea we elected to stay for a few more minutes to see what happened next. As it turned out, it’s safe to say we are both glad we did.
Within two minutes, and single fish appeared off the bow. My first cast was short, but when the second one landed the permit spun around and got behind the fly. Justin guided me in: “strip….STRIP….dropit….STRIPHESGOTIT” and that was that–with a bathroom-mirror-size flash and a head shake, the fish cleared to the reel and Justin started the motor as I picked up line.
The fight was fun, though not particularly eventful, and soon the same net that was catching lobster the day before was holding our permit. We all posed for pictures, though one of the participants was likely less willing than the others:
After releasing the fish, we continued to look for a permit. We found a few, though with the cloud cover it was hard to see them and we only had one decent shot before we called it a day.
I’d like to thank Justin for a great capture, and it’s always great to spend a day on the boat with someone as talented as him on the platform.
Read on to part TWO of THREE for the following day with Aaron, featuring another permit and a slam.