The Conch Republic

by Alex Tejeda September 11, 2013

I will make it brief. Headed to a far off land in south Florida with fellow Jackson kayaks pro-staffer Randy for some Permit hunting. The day started with a bonus and minutes into the trip we were surrounded by tailing redfish. Not as egger to chew, as one would think but a nicely laid fly did them in.

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 Randy with a nice red himself

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 The school moved and I keyed into the tails waving at me far in the distance. Seconds later, I picked off another one.

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 After having our way with these fish, we pressed on only to see a monster permit tall up in the air waving at me with excitement. I run over and laid my fly on him a few time but to no avail. The fish move off the flat and we press on. After polling around a beautiful flat, I noticed I was frequently seeing tarpon rolling near me. After blowing out a few, I decide to put the permit hunt on a quick hold. The 9wt came out and I had tied a special fly that I had tied a few days prior to the trip. I knew this fly was going to be a game changer. It is just look that good… Two casts later, I was strip striking as hard as I could while this silver giant was going air born with rage. We did our dance and I was able to land my biggest tarpon on fly off the kayak.

 Day 2

 

 Another beautiful day and miles of gin clear flats. After polling around and nothing in sight I caught a silver flash to my 3 o’clock. As I made my way, I saw a tail… “is this it?” I asked “a permit”… I followed it for some time until I saw an opening I creeped up only to see something I was not to egger to see… I decided I might not cast at it… As I put the rod down and the lure hit the water Mr. Tarpon had other endeavors. it raced over and took my lure and we began the dance yet again… Did not even have to cast and I was hooking tarpon what luck. Still a good way to open the day.

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Another great trip and memories even if I did finally hook a permit only to see it come unglued after a pesky lemon shark attacked it and some craziness ensued.
Big thanks to Randy for his hospitality and fishing stories.
Cheers
-Alex Tejeda

 

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