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The Backstage Pass

The Two Types of Permit: Atlantic and Pacific

May 03, 23

If catching your first permit on a fly was an accomplishment, consider catching both species—one in the western hemisphere and one in the eastern hemisphere. Yes, that is correct. Two types of permit exist to further embolden the Trachinotus species as the pinnacle of fly-fishing accomplishment.

The Atlantic permit and the Indo-Pacific permit are regarded as the two primary species responsible for inflicting anguish and elation to anglers dedicated to pursuing permit with a fly rod.

But how are they similar and how are they different?

Both are elusive, strong, and will test your mettle. However, they both live in locations ideally catered to adventuresome anglers—Belize, Mexico, Cuba, Honduras, Seychelles, Australia, and some new places Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures are exploring.

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Whether you seek an Atlantic or an Indo-Pacific permit or a unique trip to a place where permit swim, Yellow Dog’s experience can help because few travel agencies have our breadth of experience chasing permit in both hemispheres.

Compared to Indo-Pacific permit, much is known about Atlantic permit. Ranging from North Carolina to Venezuela and throughout the Bahamas, Atlantic permit have been pursued by traveling anglers for multiple decades. Belize, one of the fifty smallest countries in the world and smallest in Central America, is even deemed the Permit Capital of the World.

Indo-Pacific permit range throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Certain destinations in Dubai, Oman, the Seychelles, and Australia boast populations available to anglers. Unlike their more muted colored cousin, Indo-Pacific permit have golden yellow fins, with the yellow hues shading their backs and bellies as well. If an Atlantic Permit were Cinderella, the Indo-Pacific could very well be the maiden the Prince takes from the ball and leaves Cinderella barefoot on the palace steps.

Narrowing the focus even more, three species—Blochii, Africanus, and Anak—of Indo-Pacific permit are all acknowledged by experienced permit anglers. These three all fall under the Indo-Pacific moniker, however, because fly fishing for Indo-Pacific permit is new in comparison to other saltwater gamefish, which species of Indo-Pacific permit live in a specific area is still open for discussion. However, it is most accepted that Blochii inhabit the waters off Dubai and Oman, Africanus swims off the coast of Oman, and Blochii are found in the Seychelles while Anak rounds out the list inhabiting Australia.

Even though the two species cover both hemispheres, they are available to anglers in similar environments—shallow saltwater flats healthy with turtle grass or nearby available coral reefs, providing safety for these spooky fish. Crabs and shrimp are the preferred prey, yet both species often remain cautious when feeding on a saltwater flat. Intimate local knowledge of flats and tides are crucial to being in the right place at the right time to present a fly to an Atlantic or an Indo-Pacific permit.

Catching either fish on a fly, be it for the first time of the fiftieth, is an accomplishment. They may live halfway around the world from each other, but they are neck-and-neck in their lack of loyalty to committing to eating even the most well-presented fly.

Contact us today to begin planning or to learn more.


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