Sunday Classic / 10 Tips For Spotting Permit

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Maybe it’s not your thing but if there truly is a fish of ten-thousand casts, it’s the permit. There is enough to catching permit to fill a bookshelf or magazine rack. It’s a complicated game, but where it starts is simple. To catch a permit, you must find a permit. And to find a permit, the angler must know what to look for. With that in mind, here are 10 tips to help you spot a permit.

Have the right glasses
This is stupid simple but it really is the most important piece of equipment for the saltwater angler. There is no replacement for quality polarized sunglasses. Good saltwater glasses have a rosy color to the lenses. Pass on green or grey. Copper, rose or brown will offer better contrast. A lighter tint to the lens is valuable on darker days and a frame that shade your eyes is a plus. Glass lenses offer the sharpest vision and, unless you have a heavy coke-bottle prescription, that’s what I recommend.

The long, graceful forked tail of the permit is its most distinctive feature. It is black in color and stands out when the fish shows its profile. Often the permit’s broad, silver body disappears completely and it is the black double sickle tail that gives him away. This sight is never more exciting than when the tail is held up out of the water. Called ‘”tailing” this happens when the fish feeds off the bottom in shallow water. This means that the fish is actively feeding and the chances of him eating your fly are good.

The permit’s long, sickle-shaped dorsal fin will often give him away. When the fish is

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Saturday Shoutout / Enter the Dragon

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Watch the video!

Big still water trout feeding on dragonflies is every fly anglers dream.

Soaring, midair eats, crushing rises and surface skimming super sips! What not to love about that. Check out the epic dragonfly action in Patagonia from our friends at Andes Drifters.

If you’d like to experience some awesome Patagonia fly fishing for yourself, there are still a few spots available for our trout and dorado adventure Feb 2-12 2019. Email me at for more info.


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Bob is Confident 

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See more of Bob and the angling art of Andrea Larko on Etsy.

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By Jeff Hickman


I refer to this plague as Speyitis. Just because you can cast all the way across the river doesn’t mean that you should all the time. I know it is fun to throw a long line and its even more fun if you can get yanked way out there. For successful fishing it’s important to read the water and decide if a long cast is important there. Much of the time in many spots the fish is likely to be in the inside soft water. Casting across the seam way out into the heavy current you are wasting your time, not allowing your fly to sink and also not allowing it to effectively swing all the way in below you.

If fishing with sinktips, the question to ask yourself or your guide is

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Tight Quarters Trout Fishing

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(Watch our video that demonstrates this scenario)
If you’ve been fly fishing for a while, you’ve probably become pretty proficient at dropping your dry flies in tight quarters to catch trout that are either tucked in under foliage or holding tight to an undercut bank. What If I asked you to make that same presentation, however, with a tandem nymph rig on a small stream with a strike indicator and split-shot? Could you pull it off with the same percentage of success? If you answered yes, hands off to you, because you are not the norm. I’ve found that most of my clients in this situation lack the confidence and know how to make consistently accurate fly presentations with a heavy tandem wet fly rig.

Below is a video Louis and I shot a while back, explaining how I pull off tight quarter casting on small trout streams. I had my rod rigged with a tandem nymph rig to show you the most important things I focus on when casting to targets in these tight quarters.

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Take It With You When You Go

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By Justin Pickett


Walk the banks of any river or stream that either flows through or borders a metropolitan area and you will find what looks like the contents of a nasty, old, run-down department store that just projectile vomited its inner contents all over the river. However, these problems aren’t limited to those waters surrounded by concrete jungles. Walking along a local stream deep in the North Georgia Mountains last week, I found several pieces of trash left by those who use that wildlife management area to camp, hike, bike, and fish. Unfortunately, it is commonplace in even some of the more remote areas of our national and state lands to find trash as well.

It’s ugly, it’s sad, it sucks, and it’s our fault.

Here in Georgia, the Chattahoochee is the lifeblood of many of the state’s largest cities and metropolitan areas. In the metro-Atlanta area, we rely heavily on its water for everything from drinking water to agricultural, recreational, and industrial use. If we didn’t have this resilient river flowing through the heart of our capital, the many businesses, state parks, jobs, recreational activities, and agricultural resources would be nonexistent. What’s more, our dependence on this river will be a never-ending relationship that is certainly destined to become even more strained than it already is over the next decade and beyond, but here we are…trashing the very thing we depend on the most. It’s a classic case of “give an inch, take a mile”. The Chattahoochee River is giving and giving, and even morphing over time to adapt to our human wants and needs. However, just like you and I, the ‘Hooch has a breaking point when it comes to how much crap we are able to tolerate. Where or when will that breaking point occur? Who knows, but if we continue down the road of poisoning our own blood, we will certainly figure it out. It’s almost become human nature… Take something to its absolute limit, and only when the tipping point is reached, something bad happens and we have that “oh shit, we screwed up” moment will we step in and intervene. We need to do a little better.

The Chattahoochee is far from being alone, though. It doesn’t matter where you live, your state has a river(s) that is battling the same daily barrage of garbage. Some cities and states are

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4 Leaf Clovers and 20 Inch Trout

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The real estate crash of the mid 2000s was good for something. My buddy Dan and I were having a banner trout season in the very depths of the crash. Here in Georgia, the secret to finding big trout is to get away from public access, where the coolers get filled. Access laws here give land owners the right to keep folks off their water. We are all used to hearing that angler access is a good thing, but here in the south the lack of access is the only thing saving a couple of nice fish. With the market in total collapse, many carefully guarded stretches of water had become vacant and bank owned. Somehow, Dan had procured a list.

One Saturday, he and I were fishing just such a stream, the banks lined with the skeletons of unfinished spec homes and crushing fish in the mid twenty inch range. This is not common. The developers had been feeding these fish in anticipation of a big payoff that was never going to come. With the steady flow of chow interrupted, these big boys were hungry and dumb. Not necessarily “classic trout fishing,” but a hell of a lot of fun.

It was spring and the field was covered in clover. I was picking 4 leaf clovers and eating them.

“What the fuck?” Dan blurted out again and again. “How many of those have you found?”

“I don’t know, you want one? Here.”

I do have one super power. I find 4 leaf clovers. Sometimes at will. Often enough that I can make it look like a magic trick. After a few minutes Dan spoke up again.

“Oh no!”

“What’s the matter?”

“I dropped my clover.”

“Hang on…here you go. The to hang on to this one.”

“Fuck!!! How do you do that?”

Their everywhere man. Just like 20 inch trout.”

He and I have never forgotten that conversation, and there is a lot of truth to it. There is no trick to my finding 4 leaf clovers. They really are far more common than people think, especially in early spring. They are just very good at hiding in plain sight. Having spent my life as a photographer, my eyes my be a bit more tuned in on recognizing patterns but my vision is also pretty poor.

I think the real reason I see the clovers where others don’t is, I believe they are there.

It’s that confidence that gives me an edge. I know they exist, so I spend a minute looking for them, and there they are. I often find several within a few feet, or even inches, of each other. Statistically, a given number of clover in every patch will have four leaves, and if you look you will find them.

Of course, they don’t actually bring you luck, and fortunately you don’t need luck to catch trophy trout. All you need

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Sunday Classic / Fly Fishing: The Popper-Dropper Rig

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Like a lot of kids, I spent most of my adolescent summers chasing bass and bream on the local creeks and ponds in my area. Most days, a single rubber-legged popper tied to the end of my leader, was all that I needed to catch fat bream and the occasional lunker bass. On days when the bite slowed, I’d put down my fly rod and head to the neighborhood pool with my best friend Ryan Evans. It didn’t take long for us to get labeled the Huckleberry Finn boys of the neighborhood. We got plenty of strange looks walking through those pool gates, fishing rods in hand, and both wearing cargo shorts with boxers hanging out the tops. Those dirty looks were well worth it, and we learned to shrug them off, because that pool was the perfect place for us to cool down in between our fishing adventures, and it also happened to be one of the best places for us to keep track of the older females. We learned reflective polarized sunglasses weren’t just good for fishing, they also were great for inconspicuously eyeing the older females, walking by in those skimpy bikinis. It was a time in my life when I was relatively stress free, and I had not yet taken on very many responsibilities. Those were the days.

It wasn’t until I started dabbling in trout fishing that I found a way to improve my warm water popper fishing.

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Saturday Shoutout / Scouting mission

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Trout spey is growing more popular every day.

While swinging flies for trout is a fun game that everyone can enjoy, the world of spey fishing is almost opaque to the uninitiated. Single hand anglers trying to learn the dark art of spey often lose years of productive fishing to confession. Fortunately theres a way to shorten the learning curve and take the financial sting out as well.

Single-hand spey casting let’s you enjoy the fun of spey casting and learn the technique using the single hand rods you already own. It makes a lot of sense to learn the techniques before investing in an expensive two-hand rod but getting a setup that performs like it should is crucial. Otherwise, you’re not having fun and you’re not learning.

The key is matching the right line to your rod. Spey lines are more complicated than single hand lines and intimidating to new spey casters. Fortunately there are some very good, short spey lines on the market these days, specifically for single-hand rods. But which one is right for you?

I ran across this article from Echo on exactly that. The folks at Big Sky Anglers in West Yellowstone took the lineup of Echo Skagit Scout lines out for a test drive and put together a great article on how to dial in the perfect setup for successful trout spey.

If you’re curious about trout spey, and wondering how to get fishing without dropping a lot of cash, this article is well worth your time.


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Bob is a Winner

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Don’t worry Bob, we’re all winners. See more of Bob and the angling art of Andrea Larko on Etsy.   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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