Clare Carter on Oman Permit
We have spent the last 3 weeks fly fishing and exploring exciting new areas by boat in Oman. With so many thousands of kilometres of coast line and water to discover it has been an absolutely amazing trip for us…
We just couldn’t resist a few days detour to one of our favourite permit locations along the way. It certainly didn’t let us down! We have been spending a lot of time with the locals in each location that we go to, getting to know them and understanding each area and how we can support and work with them. Its important for us to give something back to Oman and its people as well as help to preserve these fisheries for future generations.
As if permit fishing isn’t nerve wracking enough we now had an audience of 4 Omani’s in 2 trucks following behind us as we walked the beach in search of Omani Gold. It wasn’t too long before we spotted our first permit, surfing in and out on the waves gently feeding as it went. I suspect the Omani’s couldn’t initially see the fish as they didn’t have polaroid sunglasses on so they all looked very confused as I dropped to a crouch and started running up and down the beach casting. Trying to focus on the fish and ignore the chatter behind me I gently laid out a cast right in front of the fish. A small wave turned it in to shore and it sailed majestically down in to the shallows.
With it’s huge black eyes wide and food on it’s mind I could see the fish scouring the bottom. Bump… bump… bump… I gently stripped my crab fly along the sandy bottom close to the fish, obviously spotting it, the permit zipped over to my crab, with one quick eyeball of my offering he tailed up on his side and inhaled it. An explosion of water and my line was screaming through my fingers as it furiously headed for deep water.
Im not sure what my Omani friends thought I was doing as I sprinted up and down the beach then in and out of the water gingerly reeling line. I expect the real surprise was when I finally had this beautiful gold and silver trophy in my arms. We took some photos and to their horror set released it back to the water. It took some explaining I must say but I think they finally understood why we do what we do… I’m sure it will make for a great story when they tell their family and friends.
Brandon was up next and boy did he get given the run around. We must have seen and cast to over 14 fish with no takers. Our Omani friends were getting very confused as to why we were not catching. It didn’t help Brandon’s mood when they kept saying that he should let the lady fish as she was clearly better than him as she had landed a permit so quickly. However we all know that permit are permit, sometimes they play ball and sometimes they don’t. So we persevered and as the good light was starting to fade Brandon got his shot, landing his own beautiful piece of Omani Gold and ending the day on a high!
Before we hit the road the next day it was too much to resist spending a few hours on the beach. Today was not my day though, seeing 10 fish all of whom had no interest what so ever in my fly. In fact I had one heart in my mouth moment when I cast out and was waiting as a beautiful permit was swimming dangerously close to my crab only for another cheeky little guy to swoop in from the other direction. My heart was racing, who would win the battle and what luck… 2 permit fighting over my fly. Alas it was just a tease and culminated in them both having a stand off and spooking each other back into the deep. As I gave up and started to head for the car I could see Brandon kneeling in the water and waving frantically. Sprinting down the beach to him I could see his beaming smile from ear to ear… Another stunning permit laying in his hands!
So 3 permit in two days….a worthy detour for sure….now off to new exciting destinations!