Check out Thomas McGuane's 1969 Sports Illustrated story: "The Longest Silence":
What is emphatic in angling is made so by the long silences—the unproductive periods. For the ardent fisherman, progress is toward the kinds of fishing that are never productive in the sense of the blood riots of the hunting-and-fishing periodicals. Their illusions of continuous action evoke for him, finally, a condition of utter, mortuary boredom. Such an angler will always be inclined to find the gunnysack artists of the heavy kill rather cretinoid, their stringerloads of gaping fish appalling.
No form of fishing offers such elaborate silences as fly-fishing for permit. The most successful permit fly-fisherman in the world has four catches to describe to you. The world record (23 pounds) is a three-way tie. There probably have been fewer than 50 caught on a fly since fishing for them began. No permit fisherman seems discouraged by these rarefied odds; there is considerable agreement that taking a permit on a fly is the extreme experience of the sport. Even the guides allow enthusiasm to shine through their cool, professional personas. I once asked one who specialized in permit if he liked fishing for them. "Yes, I do," he said reservedly, "but about the third time the customer asks, Is they good to eat?' I begin losing interest."
The recognition factor is low when you catch a permit. If you wake up your neighbor in the middle of the night to tell him of your success, shaking him by the lapels of his Doctor Dentons and shouting to be heard over his million-BTU air conditioner, he may well ask you what a permit is, and you will tell him it is like a pompano and, rolling over, he will tell you he cherishes pompano like he had it at Joe's Stone Crab in Miami Beach, with key lime pie afterward. If you have one mounted, you'll always be explaining what it is to people who thought you were talking about your fishing license in the first place. In the end you take the fish off the conspicuous wall and put it upstairs, where you can see it when Mom sends you to your room. It's private.
[Photo Via: Rob McKay]