First, a quick lesson: when it's time to pluck a tarpon, bonefish or permit pattern from your fly box, three features matter most: the fly's action, how it sinks and settles, and the bait it imitates. Soft materials, such as rabbit fur and marabou, move better underwater and result in good action. Landing noise is important in shallow or calm water, so lightweight hooks, light eyes and soft or buoyant materials will help the fly splash down without spooking fish. As for food, permit crave crabs, bonefish binge on shrimp, but they'll fall for a crab as well, and tarpon forage on a variety of baitfish as well as shrimp and crabs. If you're still staring blankly at your flats fly box, go with one of my favorites below. They may not be magic bullets, but I promise you won't be shooting blanks.