Ocean Active Fly – Salalah, Oman

Fabulous permit fishing

Although southern Oman has some of the largest giant trevally on the planet, it’s the other fishing which gets the fly fisherman’s pulse racing. There are myriad inshore species including queenfish (in jumbo sizes) and various other trevally. However, it’s the two species of permit that really get anglers excited. The finnicky Indo Pacific permit patrol the beaches – very difficult to tempt but hold on tight if you do manage to hook one. Then there are the Trachinotus Africanus; big fish inhabiting a challenging environment amid the shoreline rocks, and the ultimate target if permit is on your bucket list. 

One of the world’s few viable fisheries for Trachinotus Africanus

Salalah is the Omani crown jewel when it comes to fly fishing and is the only destination on the planet where anglers can consistently target the Africanus permit. During the season, which runs from October through to April, anglers are likely to have daily shots at these fish. The Africanus is the ultimate fighter of the permit family, living in shallow rocky areas and feeding on the mussel beds. Hard to target and then even harder to land once hooked. All in swell and current up close to huge cliffs dropping in to the ocean. Their power in the shallows and around the rocks puts them in the category of a GT – there’s a strong chance you will be broken off on the reef. It’s quite an experience!

The boats are custom made 24 foot centre consoles, designed for fishing in southern Oman. Each boat accommodates two fly anglers and one crew member and is light enough to be trailered to where the fish are biting, and manoeuvrable enough to be effective in the shallows. They have fore and aft casting platforms, and leaning posts for comfort and security. We’d suggest a 10# will handle the majority of the inshore species but add a 12# too, in case you end up heading out to the islands to target some of the bigger game fish.

A range of comfortable accommodation

Hawana Salalah is a beautiful resort with excellent accommodation, food, pools and a marina. There are shops and restaurants and the environment is generally very friendly. Accommodation for trips further up or down the coast is more likely to be in traditional Omani guesthouses which offer better access to the more remote fishing areas.

Easy access to colourful sub-tropical region

This area of southern Oman is very different to much of the rest of the Arabian peninsula, mainly because it receives a significant amount of rainfall in the monsoon season in July and August. The effect lasts throughout the year giving the region a luxuriant feel compared to the stark beauty of the rest of the peninsula. There are daily flights from Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha direct to Salalah International airport. It’s just a 30 minute drive to Hawana Salalah.

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