By the time a tarpon eats our fly, our composure is completely destroyed, and the act of setting the hook is more like reacting to shock treatment.Rusty Chinnis
**Tarpon Toad: **Also known as the green machine, the Tarpon Toad, in my assessment, is the greatest tarpon fly ever tied, bar none. Thank you, Gary Merriman. Whether it’s because this fly emulates needlefish and pipefish or simply because its tail gives off such incredible action (especially when you wiggle the rod tip while sliding it through the water with a long, slow strip), this fly begs to be eaten. A lot of flies work great on tarpon, but this one demands to get bit. And for me, Mr. Toad has consistently performed effectively year in and year out.John Digsby
Palolo Worm: Why, under a big or new moon in May and early June, is there such a mass exodus of tarpon to the worm bars to engulf the small, scurrying palolo worms drifting out to sea on a late falling tide? The mystery has created speculation for years. Are they an aphrodisiac? Are they protein for fertility? A strong clue may be the fact that, soon after the frenzy, tarpon swim offshore into depths reaching 400 feet to spawn. I don’t know, and I’m not going to debate. I throw the worm all the time, even when I’m miles from the worm bar. My advice to you: Just throw it and hang on.John Digsby
EP Black and Purple: As addictive as sight-fishing for tarpon is, dredging is highly effective, and rule number one with dredging is that you never dredge with anything other than a dark fly. Why not? You can’t see color in the dark. Some might argue that a lighter color fly would work, but in my experience, it doesn’t as well — not even close. It’s a thrill to pull out that intermediate line and, when you least expect to catch a fish, hang a real fatty. There you are, stripping, shaking the rod tip — a couple of quick ones, a long slow one — then a flash of silver — and you’re tight, real tight.John Digsby
Sign up for Salt Water Sportsman emails to receive news of the latest techniques for big and small game fishing and the hottest fishing destinations as well as special offers on behalf of Salt Water Sportsman’s partners.