Originally Posted by kentuckytroutbum
I've fished a lot of the islands in the Carib. for bonefish, tarpon, & permit so I think I have some experience that can share.
You'll be fine with an 8wt with WF8F line. For flies, you'll need some crazy charlies, gotcha's, etc. Also, I'd have some some Deceivers, merkel crabs, etc. Talk to your guide before you go, so you can stock up. Most guides tie their own, or order a bunch on line to last throughout the season. Few fly shops to speak of. Also a mid arbor or large arbor reel will be a plus with 250 to 300 yards of backing, because the fish will RUN.
You want to fish the flats on a incoming tide, because bonefish & permit will follow shrimp & crabs into the skinny water. You cast to bonefish by sight fishing. Patience will be your virtue in the turtle grass. Permit will be a little bit further out in slightly deeper water on a sand bottom. You cast when you see their tails, and cast ahead of them to allow the fly to sink to the grass and then do short strip retrieves, and then wait. You want to imitate a nervous shrimmp thats trying to get away slowly and not become dinner. Look for cuts or small channels in the flats because that how the fish will come onto the flats.
Look for "nervous" water. It will be a small patch of water thats shimmering different that the surrounding flats, and indicates that a school of fish are moving onto the flats. You'll usually see the nervous water before they start "tailing." It will look like water in glass that being lightly shaken.
Before you go, practice casting into the wind! There is always wind, and it goes on-shore during the day. A lot of times, I'll use a side arm cast to keep the fly line low, to minimize the wind factor. Practice till you can cast at least 60 feet in the wind. You'll need it.
Dress for the sun with a good Bimni hat, sun lotion, long sleeve fishing shirt, and a good pair of polarized sunglasses. Take plenty of water & some snacks.
Good luck, and let us know how you do.