Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tarpon Fly Pattern

In my fishing adventures I have had mild experience with Tarpon. These prehistoric beasts with a resemblance of the jurassic era, boast a skin made of armor and a mouth that would test of hardness of granite. There is a reason they call these fish Silver Kings. On a fishing trip to the Southern Keys of Florida, I had the opurtunity to catch a few Tarpon in their home waters. I wouldn't say that these fish are hard to hook. They do not require near the amount of searching as species such as bass. A good sized mullet with a large circle hook will test the will of any Tarpon's appetite. In my opinion it is the fight these fish pose that makes them the gamefish that they are. Their granite mouth, power, and ability to leap out of the water with stunning aerobatics tests the skill of any true angler. With all this in mind I wanted to come up with a fly pattern that incorporated two iconic traits of classic Tarpon Patterns as well as the durability to stand up to multiple fish. Chances are you will lose more Tarpon then you land and this poses a problem to any fly tier. My idea was to use the rabbit zonker strip tail of the Tarpon bunny with the thick and webby hackle collar of the Classic Tarpon Fly. I increased the durability of this fly and gave it a thicker collar by doubling the amount of hackle feathers on the collar and using them to form a dubbing brush. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of a dubbing brush, let me explain how they work. Using a rotary vise with a secured hook, you are able to lay hackle feathers, dubbing materials, or furs between to pieces of heavier gauge wire. When the vise is rotated a few dozen times while holding the two pieces of wire the materials are twisted together within the wire to essentially form a wire reenforced dubbing loop that resembles a small pipe cleaner. This method, which was brought to America by fly fisherman from Czech Republic, allows you as tier to pack on more material when you need it most. Try it out and see if you can come up with some patterns that could benefit. You may even discover that this method is a replacement for chinnel.

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