Well I finally got a day off in the midst of all this tarpon hoo-rah. It’s a good season to be here… winds are fairly light, and the clouds are not getting in the way too much of seeing giant pods of tarpon.
These tarpon can be found anywhere from the Marquesas through the Florida Keys and all the way up the coast of Florida. They are migrating and they are eating. The name of the game now is tie the right fly to tantelize them and make them turn and eat it. I have personally ended up at the vise almost every night tying something new and slightly different to entice these prehistoric creatures to eat.
So many anglers visit the Keys during tarpon season with the quest to land one of these giant fish. Some are small, maybe 20 lbs. and they can get as large at 200lbs. Many anglers forget that we can’t just catch these creatures, we have to hunt and get the fish to eat. Particularly in fly fishing, the best advice to any one coming to the Keys to fly fish for tarpon is to practice. When you think you have the double haul down and you can punch it out there fifty feet in front of a fish, practice some more. It all changes when you are casting at a moving target and the wind is not in your favor and the boat is moving and… well you get the idea. Believe it or not, your guide really, really wants to catch fish too! I am a fisherman because I love it and I love to see my anglers year after year come back striving to do better at fly fishing.
So my day off is filled with tying flies, fixing anything on the boat that needs fixing, and holding down the couch.