The first thing to behold when clutching this new two-volume set called A Passion for Permit is the sheer volume of work: combined, these two oversize and hard-bound books, which weigh about five thousand pounds each, total 1,665 pages.
In reality, their combined weight is nine pounds, which, if bundled effectively and pitched accurately enough, could still take that leaned-back, arm-swinging swagger right out of Conor McGregor.
However, these books are more perfectly suited to sit on a desk or next to a chair where they can be devoured slowly by all you masochistic permit freaks sprinkled around the globe. As you probably know, pain and suffering are part of the permit game, but these books may take some of the mystery out of what you are doing, whether that’s right or wrong or somewhere between.
With chapters covering permit anatomy, permit habitat, permit food, best tides and moons for catching permit, essential equipment for permit, choosing the right fly and presenting it to permit and, among others, where to find permit, you can head out on your first permit quest with all the intel you need for success. But it still comes down to you putting the fly right where it needs to be.
Written by Jonathan Olch and published by Wild River Press, A Passion for Permit is one of those must-have titles, which puts it in line with other where and how angling classics, such as Combs’ Steelhead Fly Fishing and AJ McClane’s Game Fish of North America. While the writing won’t knock your socks off, it’s very serviceable.
While Olch’s technical how-to/where-to chapters are immensely valuable, what we found most interesting are Q&A chapters with some of the best-known permit anglers on the planet, including Keys guides Nathaniel Linville and Steve Huff, Belize legend Lincoln Westby, marine biologist Aaron Adams, Cuban guide Mauro Ginevri and Australian guru Peter Morse. These interviews are fascinating and are likely to be indulged multiple times, each reading probably providing another little overlooked dose of wisdom.
Some of us are still looking for our first permit, while you freaks, who I speak of admiringly, may already have tallied dozens of those sickle-tailed beauties. In either case A Passion for Permit should serve you well no matter where on the globe you choose to chase this most addictive fish. Our suggestion: Pull out that wallet and pony up. A Passion for Permit (two-volume set) $150; wildriverpress.com