Permit on Floating Crabs

Australia is home to some amazing flats fishing, particularly in the northern part of the country. My wife and I had been living on the road for almost two years fly fishing our way all over the place and ticking off many of the things on our fishing bucket list.

At the top of that list was catching a permit on the flats. We’d had seen permit at a couple of places on our trek north but hadn’t had any good shots. It is widely known here in Australia that to find the best permit fishing, for the big badass flats dwelling Anaks, you have to drive to Weipa near the tip of Cape York. That’s pretty much as far north as you can go in Australia. Trouble was that our large blue van/house “Kevin” was definitely not suited to getting us there.

We decided to take a calculated risk, and 15 horrifically bumpy, dusty hours later, we found ourselves cruising the flats, fly rod in hand looking for glowing yellow tails, and mooning silver flashes.

Permit flats

Not only can you catch a big permit in Weipa, but these beasts will also rise to a floating crab like a big brown trout in a river.

Since we did not have a chance to stock up on tying materials before our spur of the moment trip, I fashioned some floating crabs from an old pair of gifted flip flops that had been taking up room in our van for sometime before we headed up the coast to the permit flats.

Permit flip flop fly

I’m not quite sure how to properly explain the sight of that bouncy water with yellow tails poking out and swirling about moving down the flats, but when that big awkward shaped head and gazing eye came completely out of the water to suck down that old flip flop crab, all the thoughts of that endless bumpy dusty road disappeared as quickly as the line went tight and the backing disappeared from the reel.

This is not an uncommon occurrence either, these fish just love to feed off the top. We’ve been in Weipa for over a month now and have enjoyed some of the best flats fishing imaginable, it was absolutely worth the logistical nightmare to get here. The fishing here is a fly anglers dream.

We have a full cast to land clip on our YouTube channel below:

Article and photos from Lubin Pfeiffer, be sure to check him out on Instagram at @thefullscale_fishingadventures and check out his Youtube Channel here.


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