Our Bonefish and Permit fishery here in Costa Rica is truly virgin territory. The fish in this area have seen little to no fishing pressure for the past decade and we will proceed slowly in our expansion of this area. You will depart Tarponville by shuttle very early in the morning, as early as 4:30am, headed to meet our local captain located less than 30 minutes away. You will board his boat and head first to the flat for a 3 hour walking and wade session. You can expect to see tailing permit almost immediately as you begin your walk on the flat, so be ready! You will be casting to fish in 12 inches to 3 ft. of water during this time and need a fly selection to cover both of these areas.
After your walking session you will board the boat to pole the flat and surrounding area in water from 1ft to 6 ft. in depth. Have a couple of deep diving crab flies for this time. We have seen some true Grande permit during these sessions and being prepared and ready is key to your success. Your morning will end around 10:30am and you will board the shuttle back to Tarponville for lunch, siesta and return to the tarpon fishery for the evening session.
Rod/Reels- We recommend 8-9wt rods for our permit fishing. Most fish average 8-12 pounds and fish of the 15-20lb class are caught and seen. You will want a strong enough rod to keep the fish from darting into the coral or to turn the fishes head away from any danger that he can get tangled in and brake you off. Reels should be a mid- large arbor with a reliable drag and capable of holding a minimum of 150 yards of backing.
Lines- (fly lines, backing) A floating line matching the weight of rod with a presentation taper or a quick pick up line is recommended. Most fish you will cast are tailing or cruising fish while wading the flat on foot. Once in the boat and fishing higher up off of the water, you will have shots at deeper cruising fish. Backing should be 25- 30 pound (heavier is fine) and a minimum length of 150 yards.
Leaders/ tippets- Tapered leaders of 12-16lb test in 9-12ft length. I recommend starting out with 16lb and dropping down to 12lb if the fish are not responding. Have tippet in both 12 and 16lb to replace cut off leader or to add length to your leader for presentation.
(Keep a few Tarpon flies and a Tarpon leader available should you come across Tarpon on the flat. Bring a 10wt to leave in the boat or leader up you permit rod and go for it!)
Below is a list of fly selections to cover you for this fishery. If you have flies that have worked for you in Mexico, Belize, Florida and the Bahamas – bring them – they will work here too.