The red sun arose to very docile weather this morning. The lightning strikes from a couple of days ago had set flecks of the countryside on fire. The acrid smoke had begun to transform the sun into a replica of the planet Krypton. A favorable barometer of 30.17 accompanied a relatively calm wind. Air and sea temperatures dovetailed at 85 degrees.
Internally, I had this gut feeling today was going to be a memorable morning to fish Palmetto Cay. As my guide Dermin and I silently drifted onto a shallow part of the flat, I spotted a beast of a permit tailing over the turtle grass in about three feet of water, two hundred feet away. In hand was my Sage 10’ 7 wt. rod, suitable for the calm conditions. At the terminal end of my tackle, I had affixed one of my 6th generation GRC (tan) crab fly creations. In a constant state of evolution, the GRC shell back is indistinguishable from a live crab, its legs flutter seductively as the fly sinks, while the claws rise up slightly in a posture of self defense.
My good friend David Larson had also given me samples of a new fly treatment that he calls ‘Spectrum Response’. The optical effects exhibited on a treated crab pattern as viewed under UV light were very intriguing. Knowing that Belizean permit have consistently shown a strong interest in this fly and with my curiosity surrounding the new fly treatment, my confidence level was high.
I watched this permit tail several more times, each time at a different spot, wandering and feeding in a random pattern. There are few sights on the flats more riveting than glimpsing an animated permit diving downwards to engulf an exposed crab. Pirouetting on its nose, this excited permit exposed its entire forked tail, waving it back and forth eagerly in the exposed air while it savored its meal. The sun disappeared behind a cloud. Of course, it was the only cloud in the sky. A testament to the permit’s inherently distrusting and nervous demeanor, the permit cautiously stopped feeding and seemed to just vaporize. Waiting patiently, the sun’s glow returned in a minute or so, but it seemed longer. Materializing out of nowhere, there was the permit, 70 feet away. What followed was an endorphin rush of rare intensity.