A passion for Permit

We had the honour of hosting Permit fishing guru and author of the highly acclaimed book ‘A Passion For Permit Mr Jonathan Olch and his wonderful fishing partner Jeremy. Jon has spend years writing and compiling the most in-depth 2 part book that covers every species of Permit across the globe, their habitat, feeding patterns, how to fish for them, behaviours, feeding/breeding grounds, interviews with the top guides around the world etc etc. It is a fascinating read and something every Permit enthusiast, whether they are novice or expert, should have on their bookshelves.permitv1-2Their ultimate goal of the week was to not only to see this newly fly caught species but hopefully to land their very first Trachinotus Africanus as well. The tides for the week were just right and the first day produced many shots at tailing feeding fish. But permit being permit they were not going to make this an easy task. Day 2 and Jeremy was up first, putting out a long and accurate cast his line went tight and he set the hook. Sadly it didn’t last very long, within the first run the permit managed to spit the hook.

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The next few days the guys saw and had shots at a number of schools of fish but to no avail. I am sure it’s why anyone with a permit addiction keeps coming back for more…..we just all love the punishment.arabian fly sport fishing, arabian fly, fly fishing, oman, southern oman, permit, T.africanus, a passion for permit

The end of the week came rushing round all too quickly and we were sad to see Jon and Jeremy leave us but look forward to having them back again next season…..I feel there is a definite score to be settled for both men!

To find out more and to order A Passion for Permit go to:  www.apassionforpermit.com

For info on our guided trips in Oman look us up at: www.arabianflysportfishing.com

Or email us at: info@arabianfly.com

 Photo Credit: Jonathan Olch

Some highlights from Dec/Jan

We have had some great inshore sight fishing over the winter months here in Southern Oman.Big schools of bluefish (sometimes 100+) have been hugging the beaches. Which makes for some great sport on the lighter rods with their aggressive eats and aerial displays when hooked.

The large spot pompano has also made a few appearances. One of the most beautiful fish and very under estimated fighter.

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Permit, Bluefish, Oman, fishing, fly fishing, Arabian Fly, Arabian Fly Sport Fishing

Permit, Bluefish, Oman, fishing, fly fishing, Arabian Fly, Arabian Fly Sport Fishing

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The T.Africanus have been giving our clients the two finger tail. With the guys having some great opportunities at some big schools of tailing and flashing fish. Unfortunately none came to the net.

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The kingfish have been around in good numbers on the deeper reefs. Stripping fast sinking lines over bait balls and reefs have produces a number of theses speedsters.

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Unfortunately we have been unlucky on the sailfish front. Managing to raise and hook quite a few. After getting a few jumps in they have been throwing the hooks. But the dorado and tuna always seem to be around which makes quite good consolation prizes.

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Lazy Sails and devious Dorado

arabian fly sport fishing, Oman, fishing, fly fishing, arabian fly, dorado, mahi mahiThe last week here in Southern Oman the water clarity has been exceptional with clean deep cobalt blue oceans, perfect conditions for offshore so we concentrated our efforts there.  The numbers of aggressive dorado are increasing rapidly…almost to the point of frustration, especially when you have just rebaited your teaser only to have it ripped apart by a pack of hungry bright green devils. If they carry on like this I fear that catch and release may turn into catch and punish, with a few ending up on the dinner table!

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We were very optimistic after landing the first marlin on fly in the middle east a couple of weeks ago and subsequently raising another 2 more Marlin at the end of last week. One was too lazy to play and just hit the teaser a few times, but the other one came in hot, lit up and angry. Brandon teased it in perfectly and as he stopped the boat we made the switch but he completely ignored my fly and disappeared. He was a monster, his sheer size and aggression alone left me with the shakes.

We have also been seeing quite a few of my nemesis fish…the sail fish, jumping and free swimming…taunting me! One afternoon while trolling, the teasing rod started screaming. Brandon grabbed it and managed to wrestle it away from the fish. Out of the deep blue appeared not 1 but 3 beautiful sailfish, desperately vying for a tasty nibble. Boat stopped and the teaser out I cast my fly….this must be it, this must be my chance, it was a sure thing…right??? One after the other they came around and slashed at my fly, right at the back of the boat. It was like watching puppies squabbling over a new toy bone. The following few seconds were a blur with me trying desperately to set the hook and failing miserably as they played a game of fetch with my fly. Their beautifully lit up bodies circling and bumping each other, it was almost comical! Alas they grew bored and as quickly as they had appeared they disappeared back into the deep blue ocean….B***er

The following day was much the same. We came across a free swimming sailfish, lazily gliding down the swell towards us. They are so graceful and beautiful to watch on the surface as their tails slice through the water with such ease and agility. Upon seeing us his nose went down and off he slunk to the depths…ughhhh

arabian fly sport fishing, Oman, fishing, fly fishing, arabian fly, striped marlinThe afternoon was much more eventful with us landing 3 beautiful and extremely acrobatic Dorado. Heading for the teaser with a huge bow-wake like a torpedo and exploding at the back of the boat, their green and yellow bodies shining like a light bulb. But boy do they protest when hooked and they certainly do not like being held for photos. I had a rather delightful fish slap across the chops causing me to subsequently launch said fish back into the ocean…..not without a gleeful cheeky smirk from him on departure….I will get my revenge!

For more info on fishing in Oman contact us at: info@arabianfly.com

Or check out our website: www.arabianflysportfishing.com

I’m seeing Stripes

With the season coming along well we decided to give the Africanus a rest this week and head offshore for some pelagics. The red tide has finally dispersed leaving a clean deep blue ocean, perfect for trolling the drop off. With plenty of bait around we knew it would be an exciting few days that lay ahead of us….and we were not wrong!!!

The first morning we had nearly made it to the drop off, which is only 15 minutes from the marina, before we saw tails. A school of 5 to 7 brown sickles slicing through the water right in front of us. Now most people who know me know that sailfish DO NOT like me, at all! I have hooked and lost plenty, I have fished for billfish quite a few times and have landed Black marlin and a Striped marlin on fly, but no Sailfish! So I was somewhat unprepared and unbelieving when Brandon started to shout ‘Saily’ get your rod ready.

Turning the boat towards them and coming past them with the teaser all I could do was stare in bewilderment. I have never seen free swimming sail fish before and they were awesome, graceful yet determined and they moved with some speed. I clutched my rod and tried to look prepared as we edged in front of them. I watched as they sped up, turned off course and their fins disappeared below the surface….within seconds the teasing rod started to scream. I could see a long dark brown wand waving back at us from behind the teaser like a windscreen wiper battling with heavy rains. Boat in neutral and teaser out of the water, he shot, lit up like a christmas tree towards the boat searching for the teaser. I botched the cast too early and he turned onto my fly as I popped it through the water, grabbed it but I didn’t manage to set the hook……a few choice words ensured!

We carried on for the next hour in silence, Brandon shaking his head and me kicking myself….maybe I should just pretend it was something else next time!!! By the afternoon however my worries had disappeared as a plethora of Dorado had appeared. These beautiful bright green and yellow fish are awesome to target on a fly rod. The rush of seeing them charge the hookless teaser from up to 50 meters away like  bright green torpedoes gets your heart racing. Once hooked a display of angry ariel acrobatics ensures which is a spectacle to be seen. These fish are tricky to net as they don’t like the boat and you have to get pictures quickly as they are especially not keen on being held.

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Day two and again we came across a free swimming sailfish just cruising on top of the water as we reached the drop off. This guy however was not so keen to play with us and slunk back to the depths almost immediately. I jokingly made a comment that maybe I would have more luck if we went for Marlin instead….Brandon wasn’t amused!  We trolled till lunch time raising a few Dorado and some Tuna along the way. The sea was flat calm and deep blue, perfect for sailfish. I was just relaxing,drifting slowly into a lovely dreamy sleep on the front of the boat whilst trying to even up my vest tan (not a very sexy look) and Brandon started shouting…

“BILLFISH….get ready”

No time to get dressed again I threw on my hat and glasses and grabbed my rod ready.

There he was, only this didn’t look like a sailfish, a thick black bill was waving agressivly back at me from behind the teaser and I could see glimpses of his bottom bill too.

Brandon stopped the boat and started teasing it towards us, all I could see were electric blue pectoral fins and lit up stripes slashing aggressively at the teaser. I put out a long cast and popped the fly through the water, he turned back and at great speed lunged for my fly. As its bill broke the surface I could see the anger in his eyes and the piercing blue lights along his body.

“Set it, Set it” shouted Brandon.

I set the hook and held on for the ride, in seconds I was half way through my backing and my heart was racing. The following moments where a blur as he threw his body into the air shaking his head, trying to dislodge my fly, stunning ariel acrobatics followed by bursts of speed, all I could do was to hold on, watch, oh and pray. ALOT!arabian fly sport fishing, Oman, fishing, fly fishing, arabian fly, striped marlin

arabian fly sport fishing, Oman, fishing, fly fishing, arabian fly, striped marlinThe following hour seemed like a lifetime as we battled with each other, gaining and subsequently losing fly line and backing. Towards the end he decided to get clever and kept turning and swimming under the boat round and round in circles. I was fading fast, and not a word had been spoken on the boat, accept to instruct each other as to where and what this monster was doing.arabian fly sport fishing, Oman, fishing, fly fishing, arabian fly, striped marlinTime stood still and all I could hear was my heart beat in my throat. As I tried to position him along side the boat Brandon grabbed the leader, easing his head up and grabbed the bill. We erupted, the first striped marlin to be landed in Oman on a fly rod! Quickly swapping places I grabbed his bill and stared deep into its dark brown eye which was flecked with electric blue, his dorsal and pec fins were still lit up as well. It felt like he was giving me the once over, his huge eye checking me out intently,  then the boat and the situation in general, as if he were sarcastically congratulating us on winning….well this time anyway!arabian fly sport fishing, Oman, fishing, fly fishing, arabian fly, striped marlinA few quick pictures and we started to cruise slowly to breath him. He was still nice and fresh and his tail was gently swaying in the water. I knew he was ready to go once he started biting down on my fingers so with one final push away from the boat I watched as he slunk off back to the depths of the ocean, without so much as a wink goodbye!arabian fly sport fishing, Oman, fishing, fly fishing, arabian fly, striped marlinAnother epic day on the water here in Southern Oman and one I will not forget quickly.

For more info on fishing in Oman contact us at: info@arabianfly.com

Or visit our webpage at www.arabianflysportfishing.com

Cracking the Code

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What a week we have had, with the water conditions clearing and warming up from the previous week here in southern Oman. We are lucky enough to have 2 species of permit, the Trachinotus Blochii and the Trachinotus Africanus. The former being known to most as Indo-pacific permit (or Omani Gold as we call them) and a species we target from shore. The later has been somewhat of a nemesis for us on fly. We have hooked a fair few as have some of our clients and our last client Garreth had landed one on a spinning rod and lost a few but we wanted to land them legitimately ON FLY! All of our research into these fish has come back blank with no record of one being landed on fly!

The week started with 2 travelling fellow fishermen, Johan and his friend Bo who were passing through Salalah. They headed out for a half day on the boat with us to target the Africanus. The conditions were good and we must have seen over 200 of these monsters feeding heavily along the coast line. Cast after cast came back blank and frustrations grew as we switched flies and tried new approaches to no avail.

The next day Brandon and I headed out early on a mission. After a few attempts, casting at some of the largest schools of permit I have ever seen, my knees were like jelly and I was shaking like a leaf from all the adrenalin pumping so I handed over to Brandon. Approaching one of or favourite spots, a sea of silver flashes and tails, some fish were almost a meter in length stretched in front of us. Positioning the boat Brandon laid out a full fly line and held his breath…..nothing. As we drifted he cast, each time landing the fly right in the sea of silver…but nothing. A change of fly and we set up the drift again. A long line landing the fly perfectly in between the large feeding school. Strip strip, bang…the line went tight.

“Have you got the bottom” was the only thing I could think of to say.

“FISH ON” was the reply

No way, my sceptical side and the fact that I was rapidly losing faith in these fish had me thinking it must be foul hooked….but I was in for a surprise.

These fish fight dirty, with bursts of speed that take you out to the backing over and over again. Brandon fighting to tame the beast, I could see the line jumping as he violently shook his head trying to dislodge the fly. Finally he got this silver devil next to the boat but the battle was not over. The last thing this fish was going to do was make netting him easy! Somehow, in a blur, we had him, netted, tagged and ready for a quick picture…it was so surreal to finally see this fish up close with a fly lodged firmly in his beautiful bulbous pink lips. It wasn’t a big one but it was an Africanus!

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My turn…..lets see if this was a fluke or had we cracked the code. As we drew closer I could see the school of frantically feeding fish, their tails waving erratically. First cast was a little wobbly as I still was not sure I had faith in this working. Second cast landed in a sea of silver flashing bodies.

Strip strip, SET…the line went tight and my eyes grew like saucers. I saw the fish turn and eat my fly, then shake his head violently as it pierced his chubby lips but still I didn’t believe my eyes. Off it shot in anger straight out to my backing….bloody hell! The rest was a blur of long burst of speed and me gingerly trying to gain control, I was terrified I would lose him. Violent head shakes followed by full body spins as he tried every dirty trick in the book to get away. Each time he got near the boat another burst of speed and he was away agin. 10 minutes….or what seemed like a lifetime of holding my breath later and he was laying in my arms. I couldn’t believe it….we had cracked the code, a new species of permit targetable on fly…in our back yard! The fish measured 68cm from nose to fork and had the most amazing set of sumptuous pink lips I have ever seen…oh and it was much bigger than Brandon’s hehehehe.

arabian fly sport fishing, Oman, fishing, southern pompano, trachinotus africans, fly fishing, arabian fly

arabian fly sport fishing, Oman, fishing, southern pompano, trachinotus africans, fly fishing, arabian flyNot to be outshone Brandon was up next, landing one more fish before we decided to begrudgingly call it a day and leave these monsters in peace.

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Although we did go back the next morning….just to make sure it hadn’t all been a dream. Nope we landed and tagged another 2 pink lipped mega perms!

arabian fly sport fishing, Oman, fishing, southern pompano, trachinotus africans, fly fishing, arabian flyAn awesome week on the water and one I will never forget. I do hope all the fly fishermen who have permit fever will forgive us for adding a new species to their bucket list….Im just not sorry though at all as these fish are EPIC!

For more info on fishing Oman contact us at info@arabianfly.com

Or check out our website: www.arabianflysportfishing.com