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Fly Fishing Shaman
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This has been a tough season to chase tarpon on a fly rod, due mostly to weather. But persistence can pay off.

Here's the vid we did on that nice 120lb poon we got on fly yesterday, that I also mentioned yesterday on another thread (Gami hook breaking) and thought I'd post the video in a separate thread.

Sometimes conditions are not ideal and you have to go find them in the "not so ideal places!" In this case, we are not in pristine clear shallow water, but instead, we're out offshore in deeper, darker waters (over 20ft+ deep). I'm with Steve Lewis, breaking in his new Maverick HPX-V 17 and his Hardy 12wt, the right way! ;)

I previously found these fish the day before and we were covered up with fish. That day, I was with another guy I knew named Eric. Eric had lots of shots that day on them, were tempermental, so we got no eats. The next day, I got Steve on those same fish (only fewer fish) and after some good shots with various flies, we were able to dial in on them with what they wanted to eat. Steve made the perfect cast to the right spot and the big female came out thru the pack of smaller males and rolled on the fly and that was that. The eat and the 1st jump was the best part (wish we had that on vid). One big jump and she was off to the races before Steve's girl broke out the camera for some vids.

Now, the day before, Steve had a 140lb poon in the Glades that he fought "text book style," but that fish and him fought each other for 45mins and it finally broke the tippet right at the boat. So to avoid wearing each other out this time, I'm helping him here learn how to put the juice on to the fish in deep water, so we can get her in within a reasonable amount of time. Otherwise it can be a long drawn out battle that will wear most guys out. They don't jump much out in deeper water and do more bulldogging than anything. Steve did a great job and put the wood to that fish and showed her who was boss!! We at least got the leader up to the rod a few times before she finally broke the leader at the boat. So no release by hand, but a well respected battle. :cool:

Steve and his girl threw this video together with what she got. We didn't get much video, but this is what she had without boring people. Great job guys!


Ted Haas
 

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Nice Ted!!
 
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I Love microskiff.com!
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There's been a bunch of yakers live-baiting about 100yds off Siesta lately. They seem to be setting their bobbers at about 4'. How did you get the fly down deep enough for the tarpon to take notice?

Semi-related to this, I went body-surfing around lunchtime today in that nice storm break off Siesta. At the outer edge of the break a smallish (maybe 30#) tarpon rolled about 10' from me. This surprised me as not only he was in so close but also the time of day. Is this normal or was he just confused?
 

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Fly Fishing Shaman
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
There's been a bunch of yakers live-baiting about 100yds off Siesta lately. They seem to be setting their bobbers at about 4'. How did you get the fly down deep enough for the tarpon to take notice?
Intermediate fly line.

Semi-related to this, I went body-surfing around lunchtime today in that nice storm break off Siesta. At the outer edge of the break a smallish (maybe 30#) tarpon rolled about 10' from me. This surprised me as not only he was in so close but also the time of day. Is this normal or was he just confused?
Yes thay can roll all day long. But just because they are up and rolling doesn't mean they'll eat during the middle of the day.
 

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Fly Fishing Shaman
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Yea, I was referring to the fly itself.
Usually, the hook is weighted enough to drag the fly down. Couple that with a complete Fluorocarbon leader system and a intermediate fly line and now you have what it takes to shoot past/beyond the fish while leading them, allowing enough time for the whole system to pre-sink, with a couple of strips to position the fly for a few seconds before they approach the fly. Then when they are near and you start working the fly, it will be up just above their eyeballs within their window of sight so they can see the fly, when they are at those depths.

That's why we try to have 2 rods on-board rigged and ready. One with a floater, with floating butt leaders but FC tippet and bite leader and somewhat of a buoyant fly (or sub surface fly). And the other rod loaded with a full intermediate sink line or an intermediate sink tip line, full fluorocarbon butt leader system from flyline to fly, with a sub surface or fly tied with materials that allow it to sink, for fish that are NOT high and happy. That's exactly what was used to hook that fish in the vid above, after shots at the fish with the floating fly line system.

Btw, Friday, I was out with another buddy and looked long and hard, burning up west central Florida looking for them and ended up only spotting 1 fish taking a gulp of air one time!

Yesterday, no show with the fish till late morning. Big pod of fish, and Steve (in the video) had a chance at a couple of fast shots at them, but between several boats chunking crabs at them and hooking up, spooking the school, as well as a a 12ft hammerhead harassing them, we got muscled off of those fish.

Steve broke another big fish off this morning (this time in shallower waters) with the fault laying on me since my knot I tied the other day for him on the tippet to bite leader on that rod he used this morning, failed. That's what happens when you are tying knots out in the field and not paying close attention to them. I knew that knot didn't look liked each wrap was laid down perfectly, but inside I figured... "it'll work!" Like I keep sayin.... "the devil is in the details when it comes to big tarpon fly fishing!"

But hey, that's tarpon fishing on fly for ya! :confused:

Ted Haas
 

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Usually, the hook is weighted enough to drag the fly down. Couple that with a complete Fluorocarbon leader system and a intermediate fly line and now you have what it takes to shoot past/beyond the fish while leading them, allowing enough time for the whole system to pre-sink, with a couple of strips to position the fly for a few seconds before they approach the fly. Then when they are near and you start working the fly, it will be up just above their eyeballs within their window of sight so they can see the fly, when they are at those depths.

That's why we try to have 2 rods on-board rigged and ready. One with a floater, with floating butt leaders but FC tippet and bite leader and somewhat of a buoyant fly (or sub surface fly). And the other rod loaded with a full intermediate sink line or an intermediate sink tip line, full fluorocarbon butt leader system from flyline to fly, with a sub surface or fly tied with materials that allow it to sink, for fish that are NOT high and happy. That's exactly what was used to hook that fish in the vid above, after shots at the fish with the floating fly line system.

Btw, Friday, I was out with another buddy and looked long and hard, burning up west central Florida looking for them and ended up only spotting 1 fish taking a gulp of air one time!

Yesterday, no show with the fish till late morning. Big pod of fish, and Steve (in the video) had a chance at a couple of fast shots at them, but between several boats chunking crabs at them and hooking up, spooking the school, as well as a a 12ft hammerhead harassing them, we got muscled off of those fish.

Steve broke another big fish off this morning (this time in shallower waters) with the fault laying on me since my knot I tied the other day for him on the tippet to bite leader on that rod he used this morning, failed. That's what happens when you are tying knots out in the field and not paying close attention to them. I knew that knot didn't look liked each wrap was laid down perfectly, but inside I figured... "it'll work!" Like I keep sayin.... "the devil is in the details when it comes to big tarpon fly fishing!"

But hey, that's tarpon fishing on fly for ya! :confused:

Ted Haas
So Ted, I'm doing pretty ok with mangrove snook, beach snook and dock light snook, so it's time to move on to tarpon.

I scouted an area early this morning that I sensed would be good for some juveniles. Sure enough the place was very active with small rolling tarpon concentrated in an area of about 5 acres. This is brackish water, so sight casting won't work, so I figure casting in front of where I see a roll should work; also they appear to be taking bait near the surface making single circular ripples so I figure casting near those ripples is an option.

I also saw some very large single wakes not breaking the surface, too big for mullet; what the hell was that? The water is no more than 5' deep, so I want to use floating line, right? and maybe bring some poppers?

The action fell off pretty rapidly after sunup, by the way.Your usual sage advice would be appreciated.
 

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Fly Fishing Shaman
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Discussion Starter #10
So Ted, I'm doing pretty ok with mangrove snook, beach snook and dock light snook, so it's time to move on to tarpon.

I scouted an area early this morning that I sensed would be good for some juveniles. Sure enough the place was very active with small rolling tarpon concentrated in an area of about 5 acres. This is brackish water, so sight casting won't work, so I figure casting in front of where I see a roll should work; also they appear to be taking bait near the surface making single circular ripples so I figure casting near those ripples is an option.

I also saw some very large single wakes not breaking the surface, too big for mullet; what the hell was that? The water is no more than 5' deep, so I want to use floating line, right? and maybe bring some poppers?

The action fell off pretty rapidly after sunup, by the way.Your usual sage advice would be appreciated.
Early morning and late evenings are usually the sweet time when they will eat. They'll also eat at night, but most folks don't like to do that.

Send me a PM and we can discuss a little further.

Ted
 
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