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Fly Fishing Indo-Pacific Permit

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 Information about Permit

  • Diet Carnivores
  • Length 82cm
  • Weight 22lbs

Finding Permit

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

searching for permit

Best flies to catch a Permit

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

  • Alphlexo Crab

    This fly has been revolutionary in terms of landing Permit! It is extremely realistic in size, colour and even texture. When targeting Permit, these are absolutely crucial to have in your box.

    available On Island
  • Avalon Shrimp

    This is a legendary fly that has been around for years, and there is a reason for this - it works! It has an incredible action in the water as it gets stripped along. It can be tied in various colors and sizes, making it a diverse fly to be used in different water environments.

    available On Island
  • James Sand Prawn

    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 are a dominant feature, acting as a great trigger to attract and entice a Permit to eat it. A must-have in any Permit-enthusiast’s box.

    available On Island
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Best rod to catch Permit

Fly fishing is an art form that not everyone can master. It takes skill, patience, determination and knowledge. The right rod will take you a lot closer to landing the catch.
  • Thomas and Thomas Exocette

    9 weight, 9 foot. This is a fantastic rod as it loads the line easily making for a quick cast. Its firm butt section has good pulling power when needed and a soft tip section to make accurate casts.

    Available On Island
  • Scott Maridean

    After a big RnD push, this rod has been superbly developed to handle most conditions. Its lightweight but at the same time packs a great deal of power when needed.

    Available On Island
  • G-Loomis Cross-Current

    9 weight, 9 foot. This rod has been around for a very long time and there is a reason for that. It’s indestructible.

    Available On Island
fly-fishing-indo-pacific-permit (2)

Best Tides for Permit Fishing

Like all flats fishing, the tide plays a massive roll when targeting these 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.

Catching a Permit on the fly

After seeing your Permit, your first task is to fire off a quick prayer to the fishing gods. Permit have not obtained the reputation of being the fish of a thousand casts, for no reason! These 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.

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.

All Permit 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!

Permit Gallery

Some of the big ones that did not get away.
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"They are like the golden trophies of fly fishing" - Keith Rose-Innes

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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 Atoll


    Alphonse Atoll

    A dream destination for any fly fisherman, Alphonse Atoll in Seychelles is renowned for its expansive sea flats, which provide easy wading and world class fishing.  The atolls are regarded as some of the most pristine, untouched islands in the world yet Alphonse Atoll is just a 60-minute flight from Mahé.

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  • Cosmoledo Atoll


    Cosmoledo Atoll

    Cosmoledo Atoll is just a stone’s throw away from the world heritage site of Aldabra, often referred to as the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean. Its ecosystem is pristine with saltwater flats and a huge variety of fish species, attracting fly fishermen from around the world. It is home to a newly built eco-camp, dedicated to the atoll’s conservation.

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  • Astove Atoll


    Astove Atoll

    The home of the biggest giant trevallies in the Indian Ocean, this island in the Seychelles offers superb fly fishing in a shallow lagoon surrounded by sheer drop-offs. Just over a thousand kilometres from Mahe, this atoll forms part of the remote Aldabra group of atolls. Uninhabited since 1969, this atoll has seen very little human presence which makes for a wild and unique experience.

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  • Poivre Island


    Poivre Island

    Poivre Atoll offers the best of both worlds with stunning flats and arguably one of the best jigging and popping spots that the Amirantes Atolls have to offer. Known for record breaking Dogtooth Tuna and some of the best Indo-Pacific Permit fishing in the Seychelles, Poivre offers the ultimate challenge for any game fisherman worth his salt.

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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 worlds 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
  • Unrivaled professional guides
  • Some of the richest fishing grounds in the world
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Let us craft unbelievable fly fishing experiences for you ENQUIRE NOW