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THERE ARE PERMIT FANATICS and those who aren’t. I fall somewhere in between. I’m typically in need of quality permit images (aren’t most photographers?) so sometimes I lean toward fanatic. But even then I try to temper my expectations; and when I’m selecting a fly or tying knots or stalking a permit or making the cast, I repeat softly to myself…It’s just a jack...

But it’s not.

Because no matter how hard we try to calm, bargain, and justify, permit have a way of boring into brain matter. And once they’re inside? Well…you can guess how that typically turns out.

Last week I travelled to the Yucatan to fish with a couple of buddies at the famed Palometa Club. While I’ve made many trips to Ascension Bay since my fist visit in 1989, this was my first opportunity to launch from the north shore and the funky little village of Punta Allen.

Dick and Kaye Cameron run a fantastic operation, and their guide staff is by far the best I’ve seen on Ascension Bay. The club rotates their guests and guides, which means that everyone fishes with everyone. This promotes teamwork on the part of the guide staff, quells hard feelings among the guests, and insures that everyone stays mindful of the common goal: catching a bitchy-ass fish that loves real crabs and laughs at fake ones.

I wish I could tell you that we had great weather to help level the playing field, but we didn’t. And don’t be fooled by the placid waters in some of the images below. Those were all shot on lee shorelines. The wind howled for 5 of our 6 days, and along with blasting winds there typically comes massive scuttling white clouds. Lights on, lights off. Despite the conditions, we managed a couple of permit to hand, and between encounters we had plenty of time to discuss whether seemingly rational people should leave their families and fly across oceans and sign up for a fish that is just damn hard to catch.

Yes, they should. And I will again.

To see more from this shoot, please click here.


The Mayans called it Sian Kahn: Birthplace of the Sky


The morning meet-n-greet at The Palometa Club


Heysler selects a tempting crustacean


David Blackbird tight to a bonefish


They like crabs too

SWPF1276 copy

Lunchtime at Isla Iguana


Resident of Isla Iguana


Guide Filiberto and Todd Roebken chasing a cruiser


And discussing another rejection


Some dude napping


Sami releasing a little’un


Guide Carlos and David winding up for the money shot


Flags are raised and drinks are poured…if the damn thing eats your fly…

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