April Vokey tells the story of a permit angling experience to be proud of.
For most anglers, a once-in-a-lifetime fly fishing experience to the flats of Alphonse Atoll in Seychelles begets thoughts of pristine blue waters, white sand and fish that may have never seen a hook before.
For fishing ambassador April Vokey, it was part of her bucket-list adventure to check the venerable Indo-Pacific permit off of her list as a fly angling foe.
Vokey, a natural-born Canadian from British Columbia has circled the world in the quest to boat or beach every one of angling’s treasures where fly fishing is concerned.
Included herein is her story, along with the Fishbrain data, as it relates to putting the permit on your own bucket list and checking it off as well!
“It took me years to catch my first one, and it happened on the flats of Belize,” Vokey said. “It wasn’t long after when I visited the Seychelles and learned of the famed Indo-Pacific permit—similar to their Atlantic relatives, but stamped with a glorious yellow sheen.”
She flew across the globe from Canada to Alphonse Atoll, chasing them for a week while passing up opportunities for giant trevally, triggerfish and other prized species.
“Again and again I waltzed with them,” she said. “They led left and I followed. They moved right and I stepped along with them. They’d dip down to observe my fly, and I’d hold my breath hoping for a connection. They teased me for six solid days, and for six solid days, I hoped my luck would change.”
Vokey has become patient throughout her experience, which is nothing short of impressive. Not only is she the host of Shorelines with April Vokey, but she also founded Fly Gal Ventures at the age of 24. While some anglers may have turned their attention elsewhere after six days, she knew she had to keep on.
She then spotted two permits cruising the flats and hopped out of the boat, wading over as quietly as she could. As they turned to her, she crouched low to avoid being seen, made a cast and then squealed as one ate her fly.
Vokey says the permit is one of the trickiest fish to target, mostly due to weather conditions. She says sunny weather makes the pursuit much easier, but there are many factors.
While fishing for them in low light can work, she tends to have to rely on what she calls “nervous water” to be able to see what direction they’re heading. She also warns that a high sun or white clouds can make the glare really hard to see through, and that wind can make it very difficult to cast.
It’s not only weather that plays a role, though, as she noted even birds above will spook a fish.
“The permit has enormous eyes, so tricking them into eating your fly is also something to consider,” she said. “Factor in few chances and the pressure of making the appropriate cast, and what you have is a tricky fish to catch.”
Her imitation of choice was a small white crab fly and a sandy-colored fly line. But, more importantly, she credits the Fishbrain app for helping her determine the most ideal conditions and times to catch the permit.
Okay anglers, you can stop saying that you wanted to know more!
We’d like to give a big thanks to April Vokey and Fishbrain for sharing this wealth of information!
And speaking of Fishbrain, here is the data they shared with us that will help you on your permit pursuit:
Top 5 places where permit were logged:
Ascension Bay, Mexico
Turneffe Atoll, Belize
Key West, Florida
Andros Island, Bahamas
Top 3 places where to find them:
Photos courtesy of April Vokey