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    Indo - Pacific Permit Fly Fishing

    Golden-yellow fins with big, black eyes are the most striking features of an Indo-Pacific permit. Apart from that, they are well camouflaged on the backdrop of white sand, turtle grass, or coral flats. Their body is a silver, almost mirror-like colour that reflects their habitat, making them nearly invisible to the untrained eye.


    “Serious fly fishermen are all aware that catching a permit marks a personal epoch in the sport” – Thomas McGuane

    Key facts about the Indo-Pacific permit

    • Indo-Pacific permit diet Carnivores
    • Indo-Pacific permit length 82 cm
    • Indo-Pacific permit weight 10 kg

    The search for Indo-Pacific permit

    Permit generally like to frequent and inhabit the same particular areas, which makes targeting them easier. The Alphonse guide team has certainly figured out the best spots to locate them throughout the various destinations! Each of the different atolls around Seychelles has its own unique style and approach when targeting permits. Rays act as magnets on the flats, pulling in several different types of species, and permit definitely falls into this category as they are often targeted and caught off rays.

    Best flies to catch a Indo-Pacific permit

    Here are 3 flies that will always be in our guides’ fly boxes.

    • Alphlexo Crab Fly

      An Alphlexo Crab fly has been revolutionary in terms of landing Permit! This fly is extremely realistic in size, colour, and even texture. When targeting Permit, these flies are absolutely crucial to have in your box. A must-have in any Permit-enthusiast’s box

      available On Island
    • Fleeing Crab Fly

      The fleeing crab fly imitates exactly what its name suggests, i.e., a crab that is on the move. It is a simple pattern but highly effective. It can be tied in various colours and sizes. However, the most common colour is barred tan and white with orange rubber legs.

      available On Island
    • James Sand Fly

      A nice, bright fly that draws the attention of a Permit from some distance away. It can be fished by either retrieving it along the bottom or mid-water column. The big eyes of these flies are a dominant feature, acting as a great trigger to attract and entice a Permit to eat it.

      available On Island
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    Best Indo-Pacific Permit Rod Set Up

    Out of all the species we target around our atolls, permit species are the most skittish of all, and it is crucial that a very subtle presentation is made when presenting the fly to them. Once hooked, the battle is still not won and permits fight hard right up to the net, so it’s important that the rod you are using can match the fish’s power and durability. We, therefore, found that either a 9 or a 10-weight rod works best.

    Best Tides For Indo-Pacific Permit


    Like all flats fishing, the tide plays a massive role when targeting these saltwater fish. Generally, the best time to attempt to target permit is over the Neap Tide cycle when the water movement is slower.

    We believe this is because they can feed more comfortably, as opposed to Spring Tides when the water is moving faster over the flats, causing a greater current, thus making it harder to feed as they look for morsels of food along the bottom.

    Making The Catch

    After seeing your permit, your first task is to fire off a quick prayer to the fishing gods. Permit species have not obtained the reputation of being the fish of a thousand casts for no reason! These saltwater fish are extremely sensitive to their surroundings and spook more easily than any other fish. Everything has to be perfect in order to land a permit.

    A Stealthy Approach
    Firstly, your approach has to be stealthy. Your cast has to be deadly accurate in terms of fly presentation, as anything too close will scare the fish, and anything too far will not get a response from the fish at all. If a re-cast is needed, lifting the line off the water too vigorously will again make noise and inevitably result in a spooked fish.

    Permit Fish React Differently To Flies
    All permit to react differently to flies, mostly depending on their mood. Some need to be caressed into eating the fly by specific stripping techniques, others need a few casts or, if possible, a fly change or two, while yet others need no enticing at all as they can very aggressively inhale the fly the moment they see it.
    Once hooked, they fight right to the bitter end and often struggle to get into the net, so patience all the way through the fight is vital!

    Photos of Indo-Pacific permits caught on a fly

    Some of the big ones that did not get away.
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    Past Indo-Pacific permit catches with Alphonse Fishing Co™

    "They are like the golden trophies of fly fishing" - Keith Rose-Innes

    Top saltwater fly fishing species with Alphonse Fishing Co™ Read More


    We choose destinations that meet our anglers’ needs and desires. You can focus on one atoll or combine several for a richer and more varied experience.
    • Alphonse Island

      Alphonse Island

      Two atolls and three islands called Alphonse, Bijoutier and St Francois.

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    • Cosmoledo Atoll

      Cosmoledo Atoll

      One atoll with a vast lagoon surrounded by nineteen islands.

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    • Astove Atoll

      Astove Atoll

      One atoll with an enclosed lagoon surrounded by flats and sheer drop offs.

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    • Farquhar Atoll

      Farquhar Atoll

      One atoll with a vast lagoon surrounded by nine islands.

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    • Amirante Islands

      Amirante Islands

      African Banks, Remire Reef, St Joseph’s Atoll and Poivre Atoll.

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    • Providence Atoll

      Providence Atoll

      One vast atoll with a shallow lagoon, sand banks, flats and channels.

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    Turn your fly into a fish’s ultimate temptation. The Seychelles, with its 115 islands and deserted atolls, ideal weather and warm Indian Ocean waters, is renowned for being home to some of the world’s richest fishing grounds. You don’t even have to venture too far to break fishing records!



    • Home of the world's best fly fishing
    • Unique, bespoke trips to suit your needs
    • Located in the pristine remote outer islands of the Seychelles
    • Luxury accommodation and exquisite food
    • Unrivalled professional guides
    • Some of the richest fishing grounds in the world
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    Latest Fly Fishing Blog Posts

    Read what our expert guides have to say or what fish our guests have been catching
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