Prepare for Tarpon on a Fly
While recently discussing saltwater fly fishing with a group of freshwater anglers the bucket list for every one of them included coming to Florida and catching a big tarpon with a fly rod. I then asked a couple of questions. What is the heaviest fly rod you ever used and can you cast 50 feet with accuracy in most wind conditions with one or two false casts? Most never cast anything heavier than a 5 weight rod, their usual trout streams were small, often wind protected, requiring very short unrushed casts and they usually false cast multiple times to, “Dry their fly.” How then are they going to use an 11 weight rod with a large bulky fly, cast accurately to an often moving target, difficult to see under frequent cloudy, windy conditions? They stared at me without answering. The videos we see showing an experienced angler casting to, hooking with a strip strike and landing a large tarpon often may take a few days to put together. They must invest considerable time in preparing for a successful trip. This would begin by researching their intended location, talking to local fly shops and some recommended guides and finally getting some good instruction so that necessary practice before the trip will be time well spent. Like many things, it may look easy but isn’t. 
Fly Fisherman Pat Damico charters Fly Guy in lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at and (727) 504-8649.

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