21 July 2023

SUGARLOAF KEY, Florida Keys — Evan Carruthers of Maple Plain, Minnesota, caught and released four permit to earn 500 points and the title of grand champion angler at the 2023 Del Brown Permit Tournament that ended July 19. The tournament honors the late angling legend Brown, who caught more than 500 permit during his lifetime.


Carruthers and his captain, Will Benson of Key West, Florida, tallied two permit on the tournament’s second of three fishing days, earning 250 points. They added another pair of releases on the final day for the win.


Kathryn “Kat” Vallilee of Key West released three permit and took second place with 400 points. Vallilee fished with Captain Doug Kilpatrick of Sugarloaf Key.


Mike Ward of Spokane, Washington, followed Vallilee in the standings. Fishing with Captain Brandon Cyr of Key West, he caught and released two permit and earned 300 points. Among Ward’s releases was the tournament’s largest individual fish, a 27.95-inch permit.


In the bonefish division, Miree Lee of Big Pine Key, Florida, took top honors with 400 points. Lee’s guide was Big Pine’s Captain Zach Stells.


Twenty-two teams of anglers and guides fished the tournament named for the internationally acclaimed Brown, who is credited with popularizing fly-fishing for permit.



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