June 12, 2010: Keith Reed from Anchorage Alaska joined me for 2 nights and a half day of Tarpon fly fishing beginning at 1:30 am on the night of June 12. Keith brought his son 10 year old son Gray who wanted to see the awesome tarpon. We fished 4 hours and Keith got 6 tarpon to bite the fly, he hooked and jumped 3 of them and released none. We had fun and Gray loved it.
June 13, 2010: Keith and I went out at 11 AM and fished the flats for four hours, we saw 4 schools of tarpon which gave Keith the opportunity to cast to quite a few fish. He did make several real good casts and had one Tarpon eat the black and purple Tarpon mouse, unfortunatly the fish came off quickly.
Later we went back out at 2:00 AM and Keith jumped 6 Tarpon and had several wound up to the leader. We had a great time and Keith will be back next year.
June 14, 2010: Tom Bruhn from Harkers Island NC is here for 2 nights of Tarpon on fly fishing. We fished from 3:00 AM through 6:00 AM and the fishing was pretty good, Tom jumped 5 Tarpon, caught two nice fish one 90 pounder and another one was 110 pounds. I am now taking a nap, we will fish one more night and then I will be heading home on Wednesday. I love this job, wish you were here, more reports to follow.
June 16, 2010: Tom Bruhn from Harkers Island, NC, and I woke up at 3:00 AM after a nap, after cleaning both boats and my rental home in Marathon in the Florida Keys, and then towed the skiff to the boat ramp. By 4:00 AM we were looking for Tarpon, Tom hooked his first at 4:20 and fought it for 25 minutes before releasing his first Tarpon of the night. As the sky began to get light in the east, Tom Jumped and fought another big Tarpon, this one pulled the hook before we could get the release. By 6:00 AM it was light so we put the skiff on the trailer after Tom jumped two and caught one (110 Pound) Tarpon on fly.
After I washed the skiff and hooked it to Tom's truck he hit the road at 7:00 AM, heading home, while I cleaned up the house, finished packing, hooked onto the "Fly Reel", and left the Keys at 10:00 AM. I drove to Jacksonville Florida the first night, and then left the next morning and drove for 10 hours, arriving home here in North Carolina at 4:00 PM last Night. I have lots of work to do today, getting my home cleaned and ready for the arrival of my Mother who will be home next Monday. It will take me a few days to get settled in and then I will begin getting local and world wide fly fishing reports coming as soon as possible. I love my job, more reports soon.
Greetings from my last week of fly fishing for Tarpon in the fabulous Florida Keys:
June 10, 2010: Tonight Tom Gilmore and Joe Darcy from New Jersey joined me aboard "Fly Reel" at midnight when we headed out to Tarpon Destination X where the Poons were eating crabs and shrimp. Joe Darcy hooked a large female (120 pounds), which jumped 6 times and ran off 200 yards of backing during the first 20 seconds of the battle, then that fish ran 1/2 mile to a bridge where we maneuvered through the pilings without cutting the line on barnacles. 20 minutes into the battle Joe wound the leader into the rod tip which constituted a release, and then when I reached for the leader to release that 120 pound Tarpon, she surged, jumped and spit the fly back at us.
Tom Gilmore hooked, jumped and released the next fish which looked to be about 105 pounds, Tom and Joe are now in full big fish fighting mode and the bite is on. During the next 3 hours the tarpon were eating on the surface and we jumped and fought quite a few Tarpon. At 4:15 Am when the current stopped moving and the Poons stopped eating we headed home, Joe caught one for four jumped while Tom managed to catch two nice Tarpon on fly from 4 jumped during this 4 hour charter.
June 11, 2010: Tonight we had a very large thunder and lightning storm over Marathon to Big Pine Key. That storm sat right over my secret spot so we had to wait for an hour before heading out to feed my Silver King. After two hours of fly fishing for Tarpon, while dodging thunder storms, both Joe and Tom had jumped one Tarpon each. The storms returned and we headed back to the dock, by the time the cell had moved on the current had died and the Tarpon stopped eating.
During three charters, 10 hours of fly fishing for Tarpon, Joe Darcy and Tom Gilmore had jumped 19 Tarpon, they caught and released a total of 6 Silver King on fly. Both anglers had a great trip and are already planning to return to Tarpon World, next year. I love my Job, wish you were here, stay tuned fro more reports in the near future.
June 8, 2010: Fished as a guest angler, aboard a friends boat out of Key West, from early this morning to early this afternoon, near a wreck 36 miles off of Key West. There were two fly anglers aboard and we chummed up a good mixture of fish. We caught some Kingfish up to 20 pounds, several Jack Cravelle, and some Black Fin Tuna. The seas were calm and these fish ate flies real good in the chum slick, I really enjoyed myself.
At 10:30 PM I met Ross Knightly and Philip Moran from the UK, at the dock where I have "Fly Reel" moored. There had been quite a few thunder storms in the area and the weather was unsettled, we hung around the dock for 45 minutes and then the guys decided to pass on the trip due to safety concerning the lightning in the area. Philip and Ross left to head back to their hotel to prepare for their trip home. As usual it was lots of fun fishing again with Philip, along with his fishing buddy Ross, as a team they Jumped 20 Tarpon on fly with a total of 6 released in their 16 hours of fishing over 4 nights. Although the conditions were tough we caught some Tarpon on fly and had a great time. I look forward to fishing with Philip and Ross again in the near future.
June 9, 2010: My friends Tom Gilmore and Joe Darcy from northern New Jersey, arrived this evening for 3 nights of fly fishing for Tarpon. Joe had not yet experienced the awesomeness of a Tarpon on fly while Tom had caught Tarpon up to 60 pounds in the past. I picked up Joe and Tom at the Ranch House Motel at 11:00 PM and headed to the Marina where we were going to board "Fly Reel" for our evening of fishing. There were lots of Lightning, thunder, and rain in the area, we watched the radar on my compute rand then finally boarded the vessel at 12:30 AM to look for Tarpon.
After a short 5 minute "Tarpon School" Tom and Joe began to present their flies to my poons, at 1:00 AM Tom Gilmore hooked, fought, jumped , landed, and released his first Tarpon of the night, an 80 pound Tarpon. Next Joe hooked a big (120+) Tarpon which jumped 6 or 7 times, ripped off 400 yards of backing, and then spit the hook back at Joe. Between one o'clock and four o'clock, Joe jumped 5 big Tarpon on fly while Tom Jumped 4 and caught 3 males in the 65 to 85 pound range, We had a great night of fly fishing and saw some awesome jumps, like this one!
Stay tuned for more fly fishing reports from paradise, I have 6 more nights to fish before heading home to NC, the Tarpon fishing here is still awesome. I love my job, wish you were here!
June 6, 2010: Philip Moran and Ross Knightly joined me aboard "Fly Reel" at 8:30 PM and we headed to one of my secret Tarpon feeding locations. The wind and seas were dead calm, the water temperature was 94 degrees, the air temperature was near 90 degrees, and the Tarpon were rolling all around us. Both Ross and Phillip had jumped one fish each when a thunder storm arrived at 10:40 PM and we sped to the dock to get out of the lightning. We decided to call the night off as the weather was pretty bad and we decided to put it off until tomorrow.
June 7, 2010: Today I fly fished with Jon Ziarnik on the flats between Marathon and Big Pine Key, in hot calm weather with 92 degree water temperature. Jon and I fished from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM and during the first 2 hours we saw no fish. At 1:00 PM we found a school of happy tarpon swimming in a daisy chain in 16 foot of water. Jon made dozens of great casts to these fish and I tried a dozen different flies and only got one bite during the next 2 hours. We were fried after being in that hot sun all afternoon and we caught no fish.
Tonight Ross Knightly and Philip Moran from the UK met me at "Fly Reel at 9:30 PM to head out looking for feeding Tarpon to cast flies too. Philip was the first to hook a big Tarpon, after it jumped several times that big female raced through a bridge and cut off his fly line. Next Ross jumped and fought a 70 pounder which spit the gook just 10 foot from getting the fish to the boat. The water temperature was between 92.4 and 94.4 degrees and the wind was NW at 5 to 10 knots, fishing in general was relatively slow. Philip jumped and fought 2 big Tarpon which both were lost, while Ross jumped 3 Tarpon and caught none.
Tomorrow the wind is supposed to swing to the east at 5 to 10 knots, this is the so called normal trade winds, which should turn on my Tarpon, , Philip and Ross should have a good night of fly fishing for Tarpon tonight. Stay tuned for more fly fishing reports from the fabulous Florida Keys, I love my job, wish you were here.
June 3, 2010: Philip Moran and Ross Knightly, from the UK, are here to fly fish for Tarpon with me from June 4 through June 8. Philip and his wife Donna have fished here with me before but this is the first time that I have met Ross. Both gentleman have fly fished in salt water extensively, however as most of you know, each time that you have the opportunity to deal with Silver King you continue to learn lots of new stuff about fighting big fish on fly.
We boarded "Fly Reel" and left the dock at 7:00 PM with bright sunshine, 91 degree air temperature, southeast wind at 5 knots, and 91.5 degree water temperature. As the sun neared the horizon there were Tarpon rolling all around our boat, Philip jumped a world class, 100 pound plus, female, at 7:16 PM and after 5 minutes the hook came out. Lots of tourist boats and jet skies were on the water until it got dark so it took a little while before my Tarpon began to eat. during the next 3 1/2 hours Philip Jumped and fought 4 big Tarpon, 2 of them were lost due to bridge pilings, one pulled the hook after a good battle, and the fourth broke off. Meanwhile Ross hooked and jumped 2 Tarpon while using my TFO TiCr 12 weight fly rod, combined with my Mako #9550 Fly Reel, and RIO, Clouser Tarpon Taper fly line, and he released both fish, one 60 pounds and the other was over 100 pounds. At the end of day one as a team we had jumped 6 Tarpon on fly, we caught and released 2 during this 4 hour charter.
June, 5, 2010: Phil and Ross, joined me aboard the "Fly Reel" at 8:00 PM and we headed to one of my secret Tarpon feeding spots. The wind was dead calm, the water and air temperature were both 91 degrees, bright sun, and lots of Silver King rolling all around our boat. Now in nighttime Tarpon fly fishing it works better if you some chop on the water so the Tarpon cant see your fly line and leader, we had none.
The Tarpon were eating crabs, shrimp, pilchards, mullet, and worms, so we used my secret fly that looks, to a Tarpon, like a crab, shrimp, pilchard, mullet, or worm, "This is a very hard fly to tie" (Grin). Ross was the hot rod tonight, he jumped 5 Tarpon and released 2 one small fish 70 pounds and the other about 100 pounds, Meanwhile Philip missed several bites, jumped two Tarpon and Landed a 110 pounder, the last fish of the tide.
After 8 hours of fly fishing for Tarpon, (2 charters) our team,(Philip, Ross, and I ), have jumped 13 Tarpon on fly and Caught a total of 5. Summer is here, the Tarpon fly fishing is still real good, and I am having fun, I really LOVE My job, wish you were here!
Want to catch Albies, giant Redfish, big AJ's, Kingfish, Dorado on fly? I will arrive home in North Carolina around June 20, by early July I will be ready to begin fly fishing coastal North Carolina, we have good fishing during July and August, and then it heats up during September, October, and November, Contact me soon if you plan to join me for some really fun saltwater fly fishing this season, my book is filling quickly.
Casa Vieja Lodge and the fleet in Guatemala came through the hurricane and volcanic eruption with no damage, other than some road damage between the city and the lodge. I still have a few openings for my Sailfish Schools during December 2010, along with January, February, March, and April of 2011. There is also room for 2 more teams to join me and my friends at the second annual Jake Jordan, Invitational, Sailfish, Fly , Challenge on January 10-14, 2011. Contact me soon as this event will be sold out soon! Stay tuned for more fishing reports from Paradise!
June 2, 2010: Bob Worton, from Seattle Washington was in Key West on business yesterday when he called me to see of I could help him book a Tarpon fly fishing charter for today. I told him that I was available for a 1/2 day trip in the morning and we agreed to meet up at the launch ramp at 8:00 AM. I headed to an ocean side flat between Summerland Key and Sugarloaf Key where a few Tarpon were migrating toward the east. Bob is an excellent fly caster and he really enjoyed my TFO TiCr 12 weight fly rod, matched up with my Mako 9550 fly reel, and RIO Clouser WF-12-F Tarpon taper fly line.
During this 4 hour charter we had sunny skies, with 90 degree air temperature, 87 degree water temperature, and variable winds at under 10 knots. We saw at least a hundred Tarpon, Bob made dozens of casts, jumped 6 Tarpon on my Tarpon Mouse fly in black and purple, and released 3 fish between 75 and 100 pounds. This was a fun day of fly fishing for Tarpon, Bob plans to be back for 4 days next year for some serious fly fishing in the Fabulous Florida Keys.
June, 3, 2010: My friend and client Jon Ziarnik from Cudjo Key brought his new girlfriend aboard my skiff today to show her what fly fishing for Tarpon is all about. We left the boat ramp at 9:00 AM and headed to some ocean side flats near Big Pine Key. Sunny skies, 88 to 91 degree air temperature, 88.9 degree water temperature, and south wind at 15 knots, were the conditions this morning. We began to see tarpon traveling east bound almost as we arrived and Jon had casts to tarpon every 5 minutes of our 4 hour charter.
After changing flies several times we settled on a large tan colored shrimparoo Toad fly. Jon's goal was to jump a Tarpon on fly close to the boat, he did, a 115 pound beauty smashed his fly 20 foot from the skiff, jumped 5 times, tail walked, and spit the fly back at us. WE HAD FUN!
13 more days of charter fly fishing for Tarpon and then I will be home to North Carolina around June 20. I love this job and plan to continue with some awesome fishing at home during the next five months. Please if you are planning to fish with me during 2010, contact me as I am getting booked up during September, October, and November of this up-coming Albie/Giant Redfish/ AJ season. Stay tuned fro more Reports, wish you were here!
Tarpon on Fly Jon Ziarkik Angler, Captain Jake Jordan, Guide
Florida Keys Tarpon Report
May 29, 30, 31, June 1, 2010
Greetings from Tarpon World:
May 29, 2010: Smoot Carter from Virginia/ Harkers Island NC, and Emerson Cannon from Pennsylvania, arrived this evening to spend the next several days with me fly fishing for Tarpon here in Tarpon Land. Smoot's flight was late so the guys arrived late, had a late dinner, and then a nap. I picked them up later and we boarded the Fly Reel for a night time tarpon trip.
The wind and seas were dead calm, the moon was full, the sky clear, and the Poons were eating Palola worms all night. Smoot were sight casting to feeding Tarpon fro 4 hours with some success, the calm seas and bright moon made hooking the Poons hard to feed. Emerson Hooked and Jumped two big Tarpon, both over 100 pounds, while Smoot jumped three Tarpon of which 2 spit the hook and one , a Tarpon of 90 pounds was caught and released. One Tarpon caught on fly from five jumped after 4 hours of fly fishing.
May 30, 2010: At noon Smoot, Emerson, and I launched my skiff and headed out to some ocean side flats near Ohio Key to look for schooling Tarpon, 10 minutes later I found a school (200 Tarpon) of wrong way Tarpon, heading east, which looked like "happy fish". I stayed with those fish for close to an hour polling in front of them many times but after dozens of good casts we decided that these fish were not going to bite. Next I headed to a flat on the ocean side of the 7 mile bridge where we again located an large school of fast moving , west bound, Tarpon. Again these fish were acting wormy, and would not eat our offerings, after many casts at Tarpon we headed to one of my favorite worm bars, to look for palola worms and Tarpon. During the next 4 hours Emerson and Smoot threw hundreds of casts, (worm flies) to thousands of Tarpon, which were eating millions of worms, all around our boat, with only one fish eating our fly, we missed the hook-up!
May 31, 2010, Smoot and Emerson boarded "Fly Reel with me at 2:30 AM and we headed out to Tarpon Destination X for another try at the Silver King on fly. The wind was correct, east at 5 to 10, and the Poons were eating aggressively. Smoot hooked, jumped, and released, his first Tarpon of the night within 10 minutes of arriving. Next Emerson hooked and jumped his first tarpon of the night, a big 120 pound plus fish which after 3 awesome jumps spit the fly back at us. We fished until 8:00 Am and at the end of the charter Emerson had jumped four and caught one 100 pounder, while Smoot jumped five awesome Tarpon and released three, the largest, a Tarpon of 125 pounds, which was caught from a daisy chain at sunrise. Home now for a nap, and then headed back out at 1:00 PM to some flats near Marathon.
Fishing was slow with a few schools swimming through until 5 PM and then the worms began to hatch. Emerson had a Tarpon charge over and ate his fly but could not get tight as the fish swam straight at the boat, a little later Smoot made a great cast and hooked a 50 pound male. That fish jumped several times and then after 15 minutes I grabbed the Tarpon, took pictures, and released Smoot's Tarpon. "Another tough day at the office"!
June 1, 2010: We headed to Tarpon Destination X at 3:00 AM and fished for 4 hours in cloudy skies with scattered rain showers. Emerson Jumped 4 Tarpon on fly and caught one fish which was well over 100 pounds, while Smoot Jumped three and landed one nice fat Silver King. After 3 1/2 days of Fly Fishing for Tarpon, Emerson Cannon and Smoot Carter, jumped a total of 23 Tarpon on fly while the two anglers caught and released a total of 8 awesome Tarpon! We had a great couple of days of fly fishing, these guys are fun to fish with. Stay tuned for more fly fishing reports, I love my Job, wish you were here.
May 27, 2010: My friend (Lucky) Mark Schifrin, spent the last of his four days of Tarpon fishing with me here in the fabulous Florida Keys today, we had lots of fun and accomplished the goals which we set for this trip. We launched my Dolphin super skiff at 11:00 AM and headed to a flat between Marathon and Big Pine Key where we located a school of 400 happy Tarpon, which were on the surface in crystal clear calm water with blue sunny skies.
Mark made a great cast and then a big 125 pound female raced up and ate the purple and black fly (Tarpon Mouse) and the battle was on. Mark used all of his newly learned fish fighting skills to fight this awesome fish from the dead boat and finally after a long battle the fish was boat side and I released it.
We spent the day until 5 PM chasing and casting to hundreds of Tarpon in daisy chains and very large schools. After 5 we headed to the worm bar, Mark wanted to see and photograph the Palola worm hatch. At 6:30 we decided to leave and headed to the launch ramp where we ran into Captain Lenny Moffo with my friend Tony Weaver. They were launching to head to the worm hatch, Lenny had inside information, (Directly from the worms) that they would hatch tonight after 6:30 PM. Mark and I went to the worm bar where we sat and watched the dozens of boats casting to thousands of slurping Tarpon, which were eating hundreds of thousands of worms. (These are the highest numbers that I can comprehend, not billions and trillions as the government uses). Mark got some good pictures and we had lots of fun. Another successful day of Tarpon fishing.
May 28, 2010: Bill Gabory and Mel Edwards from Orange County CA joined me for a day of fly fishing for Tarpon, which might include the worm hatch. We launched at Noon and within five minutes found a school of 200 "wrong way" Poons heading along a clear flat away from the worm bar. Bill and Mel cast every fly in the boat at these fish for more than an hour but they would not eat. Next I ran to a flat where I thought I might find some happy fish, they were there and we again had a big school which would not eat , they were deep, fast, and unhappy, I think due to the worms and the west wind.
I offered a "sure thing" at Tarpon Destination X or the choice to go to the worm hatch with dozens of anglers casting worm flies at crazy Tarpon, they decided to go to the worm hatch. We saw some worms, with lots of fish, and some boats hooking up several Tarpon on worm flies. We had no success and never got a bite, this was my first skunk of the season, but hopefully now that the worms are gone the Tarpon will get back to normal. Bill and Mel are great guys and fun anglers to fish with, I hope they will come back and try it again when the fish cooperate.
Tonight Emerson Cannon and Smoot Carter will begin with a trip to Tarpon Destination X and then fish fro the next 4 days, I look forward to watching these anglers rip some lips! I love this job, wish you were there, More reports to follow.
May 25, 2010: Today; my friend and client Mark Schifrin and I invited my friend, photographer Pat Ford, to join us to take pictures of my Tarpon. The weather was good with east wind under 10 knots and mostly sunny skies, the water temperature was 85.6 and the air temperature was 86 degrees. Pat drove down from Miami and we, launched my "Super Skiff" at noon to head to some flats between Marathon and Big Pine Key to look for a few tarpon to photograph.
We spent 5 hours aboard my skiff, with me up on the tower and Pat trying to get the correct angle on the Tarpon, while mark cast at some of the fish. Mark made lots of good casts in front of many Tarpon, several of them looked at my secret fly, several more ate the fly, 2 big fish ate the fly and fought valiantly with many awesome jumps, and one 100 pound female was cooperative and came in to pose for pictures before I grabbed her and made the release.
Next we spent several hours just following the 7 or eight hundred, which were migrating on some of my flats trying to get pictures of daisy chains and large schools on light bottom in less than 6 foot of water in the fabulous Florida Keys. We got a few decent pictures, we also had 5 hours of good Tarpon fly fishing, along with a pleasant day in Tarpon World! I look forward to the next couple of days fishing here with Mark Schifrin, he is a pleasure to spend time with, we are having lots of fun, I love my job.
May 26, 2010, Tony Weaver, my friend from Alaska, along with his friend Shaq from Eagle River Alaska, boarded "Fly Reel" at midnight for a few hours of Tarpon Fly Fishing. The wind was dead calm with a few clouds covering the full moon, while the Tarpon were eating shrimp from the "shrimp hatch. Tony hooked the first Tarpon which was a 90 pounder that he fought to the boat for release in about 10 minutes. The fly fishing was good tonight, Shaq caught and released 2 Tarpon on fly while Tony released 5 from 7 which he jumped. I apologize for having no pictures of this but Tony has not sent me any of the pictures which he took. When I receive the pictures which Tony has I will post them on my site, here is a picture of one of his fish from my point and shoot camera.
May 26, 2010: Mark Schifrin and I launched my Skiff at 11 AM and headed to some ocean side flats near Big Pine Key. The wind had changed to west and then northwest and it became cloudy, we spent 2 hours on those awesome flats and only saw a few deep swimming Tarpon. Next a big rain cell closed in on us so we ran to a marina and spent some time in the store having an ice cream cone and talking with other fly Tarpon anglers and guides.
When we returned to the flats where we fished the day before it was like a different world, glare, northwest wind, clouds, and deep running, unhappy Tarpon, flying past too fast for us to get any good shots at with the fly. I forgot about the last Tarpon on fly which mark caught on his first day so we need to add a 100 plus pound Tarpon to his 4 day total at the end of his trip. Next we headed to the worm bar where we looked for worms until 6:30 PM with no worms present and only the chamber of commerce Tarpon putting on a show and not eating. Mark and I quit at 7 PM and had a great seafood dinner at "The Keys Fishery" and then a great, full nights sleep for this old Captain. This morning May, 27, mark and I will head back out for another fun day of Tarpon fly fishing, and then after Mark sees a few worms in a possible minor worm hatch I will send out another report. Oh yea, did I mention that I love my job, wish you were here, more reports to follow.
May 22, 2010: Michael Bates from Tampa fish with me this last night at Tarpon Destination X. The wind was blowing from the north, north, west, at 20 to 25 knots and the water was choppy. Of course Tarpon do not favor North wind however tonight we fished fro 4 hours, got two bites, and released one big (110) female on 20 pound tippet. Michael said that this was the most exciting trip of his life, which made me feel good about my Tarpon.
May 23, 2010: Tonight my friend Tony Weaver from Anchorage brought his friend Shaq along aboard "Fly Reel" to catch some Tarpon on fly. We fished from 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM, in 10 knot east wind with great fishing. The Tarpon were eating my flies real good which allowed Shaq to jump and fight 5 big Tarpon on fly, while Tony jumped 6 and caught 4 Tarpon on fly.
Tonight we never went more than 10 minutes without hooking and fighting big Tarpon on fly, Tony's biggest fish looked to be in the 120 pound class. We had a great time and they will fish again with me in a couple of days.
May 24, 2010: Today my Friend Mark Schifrin began his 4 days of fly fishing for Tarpon with me, we launched at 10:30 AM and fished the flats around Marathon until 5:00 PM. We saw several large (hundreds) schools of Tarpon migrating on these flats, they were spooky in the calm seas and were acting like they do when looking for worms. Mark made quite a few good presentations using several different flies with little interest from the Tarpon. I finally put on a small purple "Tarpon Mouse" fly, Mark put it in front of a large female which charged to the surface and gobbled that fly. Unfortunately when the Tarpon jumped while charging the boat, some slack got into the line and she spit the hook back at us.
After dinner and a short nap we headed back out at 11:00 PM and the Tarpon were feeding hard. We fished for 3 hours and Mark caught 3 large Tarpon and landed all three. Mark asked me to show a technique which I had told him about, so I made one cast to a rolling, feeding, Tarpon, instant hookup on the first strip. I fought that 90 pound Silver King for 10 minutes, from a dead boat, I never let that Tarpon get into my backing. After the 10 minute battle in which my fish jumped 6 times, I wound the leader into the tip top and released that Tarpon. Our score fro the night was 4 Tarpon hooked and 4 Tarpon caught and released.
I am off now to take Mark out to catch some more Tarpon, My friend Pat Ford will ride along with Mark and I today to take some good pictures. I didn't get any pictures from Tony yet and do not have time for downloading my camera now, so this report will show some of Pat's great photography. More reports to follow, I love my job, wish you were here.
May 19, 2010: Today it was cloudy with rain I fished with my neighbor, Bill Harker from Maine, we took the "Fly Reel" offshore to look for Dolphin on fly, we found a few in the morning and caught some little 3 to 6 pounder's on fly. On the way back in as we came over the reef the sun came out and we found a bunch of rays cruising along in 12 foot of water, they were being followed by a school of Cobia and Jacks mixed in. We followed them for an hour picking off Cobia and Jacks on fly using white half and half flies about 4 inches long. This was a good morning of fishing with both Bill and I catching a few Dorado, Cobia, and Jack Cravelle on fly, unfortunately my battery was dead in my camera so I got no Pictures.
May 20: 2010, My friend/client Michael Bates from the Tampa area joined me for his first of three evening Tarpon on fly charters. We boarded "Fly Reel" at 7:00 PM and headed to Tarpon World, the wind was calm and the seas were flat, with rolling fish all around our boat. Michael hooked his first Tarpon on fly at 7:45 and 20 minutes later we released a 90 pound male.
During the next 3 hours Michel hooked and fought 3 more "Big Tarpon" on fly of which two came un hooked, while a very large female, our last fish of the night, jumped 7 times and then came toward the boat. Michael thinking the fish had come off of the fly, raised his rod and then that monster came tight and of course he was tip wrapped, one tenth of a second later that Tarpon snapped the tip section of my TFO TiCr 12 weight fly rod. We fought the fish on the broken rod until she towed our boat under a bridge and broke off due to the Barnacles on the bridge pilings. Total Score : four jumped tarpon one landed on fly.
May 21, 2010: This morning I took Bill Harker out to a white spot on the ocean side of Marathon, the sun was shining, and the wind was blowing from the east at 15 knots, which did not bother Bill who is a very good caster. We saw several small schools and 2 dozen singles swim through. Bill made several good casts with no response from the Poons, and then I tied on a small red fly and they ate it. He hooked and released a small male of about 40 pounds, and another 60 pounder and we were back home by 10:30 AM.
This afternoon I picked up Michael Bates at "The Ranch House" motel at 7:30 and we arrived at Tarpon World at 8:15 PM. Fishing seemed slow tonight, although Michael did jump a total of 4 Tarpon on fly. His first fish was a male which was close to 100 pounds, and his second caught Tarpon, our last bite of the night, was a Tarpon of about 70 pounds. This fish only jumped once and fought like a 150 pounder. After four hours of fishing Michael had jumped four and released two Tarpon on fly. We will be hard at it again tonight so stay tuned fro more reports from Tarpon Paradise, by the way, I love my job and wish you were here.
May 17, 2010: My friend Chuck Furimsky, who owns and operates "The Fly Fishing Shows" throughout the united States, came down from Ocean City NJ to fly fish with me for Tarpon, here in Paradise. Chuck has fly fished all over the world however he had not caught a big Tarpon on fly, which was on his must do list, he came to the right place at the right time.
We launched very early in the morning (3:00 AM) and headed to one of my secret spots to look for feeding Poons. On his first cast Chuck hooked a 70 pound male Tarpon and then 15 minutes later we released his first Tarpon of the trip. Chuck followed directions well for a Trout angler and soon he was looking like a pro, during the next 2 hours he jumped a total of 6 Tarpon and released 3 on fly. These were mostly big fish with the 3 he released were 70, 100, and 120 pounds.
After sunrise we went in, had breakfast, took a nap, and then we returned to the water at 10:00 AM when we began polling around on some ocean flats near Marathon. By noon we started seeing lots of Tarpon even in the 15 knot southeast wind with cloudy skies. After fishing with Chuck's Tarpon flies for a couple of hours with no luck, I suggested that we try a couple of my flies. At 3:15 PM after I tied on a small red traditional Tarpon fly, Chuck made a perfect cast to a school of 100 plus Tarpon and a 115 pound female raced up and ate my little red fly and took off for Cuba.
Chuck, using my TFO TiCr 12 weight Fly Rod, combined with my Mako #9550 fly reel, and a Rio, Clouser, WF12F Fly Line, fought this super strong female Tarpon for 1 hour and 22 minutes before landing and releasing this awesome silver king. This ended our first day of fly fishing for Tarpon, Chuck jumped 7 and caught four today, we have one more day of fishing tomorrow.
May 18, 2010: We began fishing this morning just before sunrise and fished until 2:00 PM as Chuck had to drive to Fort Lauderdale to fly home tonight. We fished the flats between Marathon and Big Pine Key, in dead calm conditions wit mostly cloudy skies. During the day we saw at least 1,000 Tarpon traveling slowly in big schools, however they were very spooky and Chuck only got 2 to eat the fly today, both fish were big and both jumped several times before spitting the hook. All together during the two days of fly fishing for Tarpon my friend Chuck Furimsky jumped a total of 9 and released 4 Tarpon on fly, the best fishing trip of his life according to Chuck!
I am fishing the flats tomorrow and hope to find more of these awesome critters, stay tuned for more reports from Tarpon World, I love my Job, Wish you were here!
May 15, 2010: Tonight was the final night for Ken Haupt, from the San Francisco CA area and his brother in law, Dick Stewart, from Alabama, to fly fish for Tarpon with me. We boarded "Fly Reel" at 2:30 AM, ran to my secret spot, where Dick jumped a big female at 2:46 AM. Next Ken hooked a monster fish which jumped 9 times and ran off 400 yards of backing before spitting the hook.
We fished until 6:30 AM in 15 knot east wind with scattered showers, Ken and Dick jumped 14 Tarpon during this charter and Ken released 2 fish one just under a hundred pounds and the other one was close to 120 pounds. During our four nights of fly fishing for Tarpon Ken and Dick jumped a total of 40 Tarpon, and they released 10 Tarpon on Fly. Most of the time that these guys were fishing the wind was blowing over 20 knots and the seas were rough, we had a lot of fun and I am sure that we will fish again soon. Stay tuned for more Tarpon reports, I love my Job, wish you were here.
May 14, 2010: Ken Haupt, from the San Francisco CA area and his brother in law, Dick Stewart, from Alabama, took the day off as the wind was blowing at 28-32 knots and the flats were rough and muddy today. They and their friends drove to Key West and had lunch at Louie's Back Yard restaurant and then met me here for dinner in Marathon. We decide to do the night thing at "Tarpon Destination-X" aboard my 21 foot Jones Brothers vessel "Fly Reel".
We hit the water at 1:30 AM and began fishing at 1:45 AM, Dick Stewart jumped his first big Tarpon of the night at 1:48 AM, after 9 jumps and a 5 minute battle that fish pulled the hook and was gone.
Ten minutes later Dick hooked a 100 + Pound female, and after fighting this fish for 16 minutes he wound the leader into the rod tip, and I removed the fly from this Tarpons mouth and let her swim off.
Next, Ken Haupt hooked a 140 pounder which jumped 3 times and then fell on the leader and broke the 20 pound class tippet. Ken and Dick hooked and jumped at least one Tarpon on fly during each drift for the entire 4 hours which we fished in that 25 to 30 knot wind with rough seas. When we reached the dock at 6:00 AM Dick had jumped 6 and released one, while Ken had jumped 5 Tarpon on fly but didn't get any to the boat.
Both Ken and Dick are getting lots of action here in Tarpon World, they have had very poor conditions for flats, sight, fly fishing, for Tarpon, they are happy for the ability to catch and jump lots of tarpon on fly even though many anglers are not getting out due to the hard conditions. The wind has dropped down to 24 knots and we are planning to fish again tonight, stay tuned for the latest reports on our fly fishing adventures here in Tarpon World. I love my job, wish you were here. This might be a good time to plan your trip to North Carolina to fly fish with me for Albies and giant Redfish during September, October , and November, of this year. I am now taking reservations fro my Sailfish Schools at the fabulous "Casa Vieja Lodge " in Guatemala beginning in December of this year and running up to April of 2011, I will be sending out invitations to the second annual "Jake Jordan, Invitational, Sailfish on Fly, Tournament", in a few weeks, please send an e-mail to me if you have an interest in joining me to fish in this awesome adventure, I look forward to hearing from you.
Jumping Tarpon on Fly May 14, 2010, Ken Haupt, Angler
Keys Tarpon on Fly Report
May 12, 13, 2010
Greetings from Tarpon World:
May 12, 2010: Ken Haupt, from the San Francisco CA area and his brother in law, Dick Stewart, from Alabama, are here for the next 4 days to fly fish for Tarpon with me. We began fishing today at 9:30 AM on flats in the Big Pine Key area and worked our way down the Keys to Sugar Loaf Key. The weather was partly cloudy with water temperature of 88 degrees, along with east wind at 20 knots and gusty, seas were very choppy. I could not find any Tarpon on any of the flats in the back country and it was too rough to fish the ocean side flats, so we took a break at 2:30 PM.
Later that night we boarded "Fly Reel", my Jones Brothers Cape Fisherman guide boat, and headed out to one of my Night Tarpon spots which is located on a flat/channel on the lee side of a Key, which helped knock down the 24 knot east wind. Ken Haupt was the first angler to hook a Tarpon, it was a big female that jumped several times before the hook came out, He caught the next fish that ate his fly, an male fish which looked to weight about 90 pounds. Next Dick Stewart fought a big Tarpon close to the boat and then it surged and broke the tippet while trying to reach a bridge piling. By the time we came in at 4:00 AM Dick Stewart had jumped 2 Tarpon on fly and landed one that looked to be about 110 pounds, while Ken Haupt was the high angler who jumped a total of 8 Tarpon on fly and landed two fish, the largest landed was about 100 pounds.
May 13, 2010: Today we began fishing on the ocean side flats near Marathon, there were some tarpon moving in medium to large schools in that area however the east wind was now blowing steady at 23 knots. We fished from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM in very rough seas and only has several casts which got close to any Tarpon, none ate our fly presentations. This was as hard as any conditions that any angler can have to try to cast to fish in, the chop was 2 to 3 foot and close to uncomfortable.
We headed back out to another one of my night Tarpon spots aboard my big boat, "Fly Reel", at about 1:00 AM and fished until 5:00 AM, the east wind had increased to 25-30 knots and the seas were very choppy even behind that key. Tonight Ken was red hot, he jumped 6 Tarpon on fly , most were big fish, and released 3 fish with the largest being close to 130 pounds. Dick Stewart had a tough night, he caught one Tarpon of close to 110 pounds. We ended the day with Ken and Dick jumping a total of 7 Tarpon and Releasing 4 on fly in hard conditions.
Today, May 15, the east wind is blowing close to 30 knots which is too rough for my little boat to fish on the flats so my guys decided to rest, sight see, and prepare to return to Extreme Tarpon Location X tonight to do battle with my giant POONS. Stay tuned for more reports to follow shortly, I love my job, wish you were here.
May 8, 2010: Rob Grammar arrived in Key West at 11:30 AM from Chicago, rented a car, and met me at the Launch ramp near Big Pine Key, at 1:00 PM. We launched the skiff and then headed to the "Ho Jo" flat , the seas were dead calm with no wind, water temperature of 90 degrees, and air temperature of 96 degrees. I polled around on some ocean side flats for 4 hours, but all of the Tarpon that we found were hugging the bottom in deep cooler water and they were very spooky. Rob and I saw less than 20 Tarpon and got no bites, we headed back to Marathon so Rob could check in to his hotel and get ready for an evening trip. We went back out at 9:00, dead calm, 90 degree water, and no Tarpon to be found, we quit as I held my head low in shame after not getting a fish in the air for the first time this season.
May 9, 2010, Mothers Day: Rob and I fished the ocean side flats near Marathon from 9:30 Am to 3:00 PM, in calm seas with north wind at 10 knots and 87 degree water temperature. We saw more than 1000 Tarpon in schools from 40 fish up to 250 tarpon per school. They were spooky and Rob had some line management problems, however he did hook a beautiful 90 pound male, set the hook, and when the Tarpon took off, Rob had the fly line wrapped around the fly reel, causing the class tippet to break.
We went back out to check out the night fishing at 10:00 PM and stayed out until 1:00 PM, the wind now was blowing from due north (not good for Tarpon) and the water temperature was 89 degrees. After a hard night of fly fishing for Tarpon, Rob had hooked, and jumped, 2 nice, big, female Poons, which one broke the tippet while the other spit the fly after a great show. After day two Rob and I were at Three Tarpon Hooked and none landed.
May 10, 2010: Rob Grammar and I got started today at 11:00 AM, we had sunshine, water temperature of 86.9, and EAST wind at 15-20 knots, (Tarpon like east wind). We fished ocean side flats near Marathon, where we saw more than 1500 tarpon today, even though it was hard polling and casting in that gusty wind Rob got two Tarpon to eat his fly presentation, (Line Control problem) both Tarpon came un hooked.
Now let me tell you that when I told Rob to be ready for action with the east 20 knot wind tonight I was not kidding. We headed to Tarpon Destination X at 11:00 PM and Rob jumped two big Tarpon before 11:15. Fishing aboard my Jones Brothers Cape Fisherman "Fly Reel" in that 20 knot wind was like being in your living room (very Comfortable), Rob then caught the third Tarpon which he jumped, this was a 90 pound male. During the next 3 hours we hooked and jumped at least one Tarpon on fly on each drift. At the end of fishing tonight we were smiling and exhausted, Rob had jumped and fought 13 Tarpon on fly and leadered three of them, tonight should be even better.Rob Grammar hooked 16 Tarpon on fly and released several, he has already booked a week during next Tarpon season. I love my job, wish you were here, Stay tuned for more Reports.
May 3, 2010: John Cooper from Connecticut along with his son Mark Cooper from Utah, are here to fly fish for Silver King with me during the next two days.We launched at 5:00 AM this morning and found some feeding Tarpon shortly after dawn. Both Mark and John got multiple eats with John's big fish breaking the class tippet after a 10 minute battle. Mark jumped and fought two Tarpon but both fish pulled the hook before we could release them. Later that day we poled fro about 5 hours in windy conditions but the Tarpon were scarce and we didn't get any more bites today.
May 4, 2010: Today we fished both a night shift and then a daytime 1/2 day trip, the night trip had lots of fish around however we didn't, get many bites. John hooked and jumped a big Tarpon and fought it for about 5 minutes before the hook came out. Mean while Mark hooked, jumped, and released a Tarpon which looked to be in the 110 pound range. Later in the day in windy conditions we saw a few Tarpon tarpon on the flats however we did not hook anymore that day. Both Mark and John are neat guys and they had a great time, Mark's Tarpon was his first on fly. I am sure that these guys will return to Tarpon world in the future.
May 5, 2010: Eddie Echols from Greensboro NC booked a couple of days of fly fishing for Tarpon with me, not only to catch a Tarpon on fly but also to work on his fly casting. The trip started out with his flight being canceled so he didn't arrive in the Keys until 6:00 PM. At 7:00 PM Eddie and his nephew Jason Green met me at the launch ramp, and we headed out in search of Poons. The wind died, the seas were dead calm, and the Tarpon were rolling everywhere that we looked. We fished for about 4 hours, with Jason jumping two big Tarpon, both over 100 pounds, both fish were lost before we got the leader. Meanwhile Eddie Jumped 3 Poons, and finally landed his first Tarpon on fly, this Tarpon was close to 120 pounds and put on an awesome show for us.
May 6, 2010: Eddie and I poled the flats between Marathon and Summerland Key between 10:00 Am and 3:30 PM in light wind with blue skies and 85 degree water Temperature. In the morning we saw close to 40 Tarpon and had multiple casts however we didn't get the fly in the right place and had several refusals. Later at 2:00 PM we found 3 or 4 schools of Poons with between 20 and 100 fish in each school. Later that evening Eddie hooked a Tarpon which he fought of 25 minutes and got the leader inside of the rod tip fro his second release of the trip.
May 7, 2010: Eddie and I launched my skiff at 7:45 AM and headed to some Marathon area flats. We staked out and worked on Eddie's casting skills for an hour before the first school of 80 tarpon came down the flat heading west toward our boat. I polled along with this school fro more that 2 miles but the sight of all of these monster tarpon within 50 foot of the skiff, along with trying to use all of his new casting skills proved too exciting and Eddie could not get the fly presented in front of a Tarpon's mouth. During the next 4 hours we were on school after school of Tarpon, for the first time this year I can say that more than 1,000 tarpon swam past our boat, what an awesome sight. The seas were flat calm and the fish were very picky, when Eddie got a good cast the fish just swam around the fly. At 1:00 PM Eddie after telling me that he had a great time, and that he was going to continue his casting lessons, decided that he needed to leave these tarpon to get to the Miami airport on time to get home. After catching 2 Tarpon on fly I am sure that Eddie Echols will become a proficient caster and will be hooked on the Silver King forever.
I am waiting for my next client to arrive this morning at 11:00 AM so I can climb back on that tower and work out on my "Bow Flex" (Polling that skiff) and catching some Poons. The water temperature during the last 19 days has gone from 71 degrees to 86 degrees and calm, the tarpons are here big time, looks like a good tarpon season ahead. I love this job, stay tuned for more Tarpon reports, wish you were here.
Night time Taropn doing it's thing, Jake Jordan Photo
Short Keys Tarpon Report
April 30, May 2 & 3, 2010
Greetings from the land of 30 knot wind:
The wind has been Blowing but we have managed to catch a few Tarpon during the last couple of days. I am going Tarpon fly fishing in 45 minutes so this will be short and sweet.
April 30, 2010: Chuck Laughridge and Bart Lewis from NC fished their last night in hard south wind, we fished for 4 hours and my two anglers jumped a total of eight tarpon with Chuck landing 2 and Doc loosing one right near the boat. All together during the windy, rainy, rough three days of fishing Chuck and Bart jumped 29 tarpon on fly and the duo caught and released a total of 9 Silver King. These guys are a blast to fish with, we all were giggling like little kids. See you soon back home guys.
May 2, 2010: John Zuitlik was in Key West on business when he called and found out that I was available for an early morning charter for fly fishing for Tarpon. We met on Big pine key and launched in the lower Keys, it was sunny but blowing at 25 knots and the water in most areas was milky color. I went out to a lagoon which sometimes holds Tarpon and I was lucky to find a few laid up fish. John got to cast to 4 Tarpon of which two ate the bunny strip fly, one jumped off while the other fish (about 120 pounds) was released at 10:05 AM. We shortly after returned to the dock and called it a day, John said that this was his best day of fishing ever, he will return for 4 days next season.
April 3, 2010: John Cooper from Connecticut along with his son Mark Cooper from Utah, are here to fly fish for Silver King with me during the next two days.We launched at 5:00 AM this morning and found some feeding Tarpon shortly after dawn. Both Mark and John got multiple eats with John's big fish breaking the class tippet after a 10 minute battle. Mark jumped and fought two Tarpon but both fish pulled the hook before we could release them. We are heading back out now for the evening bite, it looks like the wind is down to 15 knots and dropping. Stay tuned for more Tarpon Reports shortly, I love my Job, wish you were here.
My friend Chuck Laughridge from Harkers Island NC and Bart Lewis from Morehead City NC are here in the fabulous Florida Keys for 3 days of fly fishing for Tarpon. The first two days have produced cloudy weather with winds from 15 to 25 knots from the southeast which made polling the flats and sight fly fishing for Tarpon very difficult.
Of course when fly fishing for my Tarpon at location "Tarpon-X" at night (when the big Tarpon are feeding) changes the game in favor of my anglers. Chuck and Bart and I boarded "Fly Reel at 1:15 AM on the night of April 28 and headed to Tarpon world.
April 28, 2010: At 1:24 AM after a 5 minute course for Bart covering how to handle the TFO TiCr 12 weight fly rod, rigged with a Mako 9550 Fly Reel, a RIO, Clouser 12 weight "Tarpon Taper" Fly Line, with 20 pound class tippet, and one of my secret "Poon Bug" flies, Bart and Chuck made their first cast of the night. Now we could see (Full Moon) Tarpon feeding on crabs and shrimp on the surface, all around our boat, so they both had targets to present the fly too. Bart hooked his first Tarpon on fly on his very first cast and we were off chasing that awesome fish. The action was red hot for the next four hours, Chuck and Bart hooked & jumped a total of nine Tarpon, with Bart catching and releasing one fish about 100 pounds, while Chuck Laughridge caught and released two Tarpon on fly. We also broke off two more fish to keep them from getting eaten by the big Bull Sharks.
On April 29, Chuck, Bart, and I hit the water at 1:45 AM, it was raining with southeast winds blowing at 15 to 25 knots. We donned our rain gear and began hearing Tarpon feeding in the choppy water. Chuck Laughridge caught the first tarpon of the night and then we proceeded to have red hot fly fishing for the next 4 hours. The rain stopped at 4 AM and the Poons kept eating our flies, each angler jumped six tarpon with Chuck catching and releasing 3 and Bart releasing one big fish. Both Bart and Chuck released Tarpon over 100 pounds, and both fought some 130 pound monsters.
The seas are rough today and the sight fishing for tarpon is really difficult today, Dock Lewis and Chuck Laughridge, still have one more Tarpon on fly trip ahead. So far my Tarpon season has been successful, and I am sure that the flats fishing will improve when this wind dies down and the water temperature comes up a couple of degrees. Stay tuned for more reports from "Tarpon World", I do love my Job, wish you were here.
Bert Owens from Beaufort NC fly fished for Tarpon with me, here in the Florida Keys during the evenings of April 26 and 27. We had a great time hanging around, telling fishing stories, and hooking lots of "Silver King" each night on fly.
On Monday I picked up Bert at the Ranch House Motel at 11:30 PM and headed to the Marina where Fly Reel is moored. At 12:02 after a short 20 minute lesson in how to catch Tarpon on fly at night, Bert hooked his first Tarpon of the night. The wind was blowing from the west at 15 knots and we were one day before the full moon so it was bright out there. The water temperature tonight was 81 degrees and the water was full of Shrimp and Crabs. After breaking off his first fish on a bridge piling, it was not long before Bret caught and released his first Tarpon on fly ever, it was close to 110 pounds.
The total score after 4 hours of fly fishing fro Tarpon was 8 jumped Tarpon, one lost to big Sharks, and two caught and released. This was a real fun night of Tarpon Fly Fishing for us both.
April 27, we left the dock at midnight and hooked our first Tarpon on the" Black Tarpon Mouse" at exactly 12: 34 AM. Bert did real good but these fish were wild tonight and there were lots of Sharks around, plud the cool north wind slowed down the fishing. Bert Owens hooked and Jumped 5 Tarpon on fly during the next 4 hours, however we never got to release one during this night. We had lots of fun, I really love this job, wish you were here, more reports t follow.
Night Time Tarpon on Fly, Captain Jake Jordan Photo
Tarpon on Fly Report
April, 25, 2010
Greetings from Tarpon World:
Last night John Butler and I had dinner at a new (really good) Cuban restaurant here in Marathon, and then went fly fishing for Tarpon at 11:00 PM. By 11:15 the Poons began pounding the shrimp and crabs on the surface, and then John hooked his first Tarpon. This fish was a 100 pound super hot fish however John made quick work of it and his first Tarpon of the night was released 20 minutes later.
Next John hooked, fought, and Released a small (50 pound) Tarpon before we headed back out to my secret Tarpon-X location. John made a cast, sat down to relax, and then his fly was smashed by a 120 pound Tarpon, which took off for Cuba, and after more than a dozen jumps, we leadered our third Tarpon of the session.
After several more jumped Tarpon and a couple more released, John said that he had enough and we headed to the dock at 2:45 AM. Our total score for the night was 8 Tarpon in the air after eating john's flies, with 5 Silver King caught and released. Another great trip for john Butler catching his birthday Tarpon, Thanks John, I look forward to fishing with you next Tarpon season.
For the next couple of nights I will be fishing with Bert Owens from Beaufort NC, and if all goes well we will be reporting many more Tarpon on fly here in Tarpon world. I really love this job, stay tuned for more fly fishing reports, wish you were here.
April 23, 24, and 25 have been reserved since last Tarpon season for my friend Don Butler from Connecticut and North Carolina to bring his son John Butler from Ocala Florida here to Tarpon World to join me in catching some Tarpon on fly. Now this is an annual trip to celebrate John's birthday and have some fun with my Tarpon, last year on April 17, 18, & 19, John and Don Butler jumped 33 tarpon and released a total of 18 on twenty pound class tippet. This year Don wound up with a medical problem which kept him from flying down however John showed up at 9:00 PM on April 23rd after a 7 hour drive to the Keys.
April, 23, 9:45 PM John Butler and I boarded "Fly Reel" at the marina and headed to destination "Tarpon-X", and then at 9:57 PM John got his first bite but he pulled the fly (Tarpon Mouse) out of the Tarpon's mouth. Then at 10:04 John hooked a 100 pounder, fought it valiantly and then 16 minutes later I let John's birthday tarpon swim off to be caught another day. Next at 10:35 John hooked and fought another big fish, over 120 pounds, this fish towed my boat for over 2 miles and just as the leader came inside of the tiptop (caught fish) a big shark showed up and took a shot at John's Tarpon. That Tarpon jumped, kicked in the afterburners, and ran off several hundred yards of backing before John grabbed the reel and broke the 20 pound tippet which kept that shark from eating my Tarpon. finally at 1:00 AM, after lots of fun, the current died and the Tarpon stopped biting, John had jumped six Tarpon on fly and released three, all were 100 pounds or over. WOW a good beginning to John's vacation.
April 24: Today the wind blew 20 knots with gusts to 25, and the ocean side flats began to get muddy looking, I finally got a new steering helm installed on Fly Reel, and got all of my tackle ready for a good night of fly fishing for Tarpon. John Butler stayed up in Islamorada with a friend from Miami, and they called me after dinner worried about the high wind that was blowing. I said that it might be choppy but the fish should bite, they decided to have a nice dinner, relax, pass on fishing and fish again tomorrow.
I decided to go take a look at 10:00 PM, it was blowing 15 knots, with a medium chop, so I went out to see if there were any Tarpon around location "Tarpon-X"? Guess what, the POONS were pounding the shrimp, I made a cast and hooked up right away, turned off the motor, and fought that 110 pound tarpon to boat side in about 10 minutes from a dead boat. I fished until 1:15 AM and caught 5 Tarpon from 5 bites. Tarpon season has arrived, I look forward to fishing with John again tonight, I really love this Job! Stay tuned for more reports from Tarpon World!
I arrived here in Marathon on April 18, moved into my rental home, cleaned and got my Jones Brothers boat "Fly reel" ready to fish, launched her on April 19, and drove to Islamorada to pick up my skiff. Next I went grocery shopping, turned on the internet, and rigged my fly fishing tackle to begin fishing clients for the following 61 consecutive days without a day off.
By Tuesday morning April 20 at 6:00 AM I was ready to head out in pursuit of the elusive Silver King. Now I had talked with at least a dozen guides , who are fishing every day, to get the inside scoop as to what is happening with my Tarpon. "It has been cold and windy, 25 to 305 knot wind fro the last 5 days, not many fish around" was what I heard. I checked the computer and it called for calm seas with sunshine, and a warm day or two beginning on the 20th, I checked the tides and then put together my game plan and pulled out of the driveway towing my skiff at 6:00 AM.
I launched the skiff on Little Torch Key, and headed over to Parmer's resort to pick up my clients, Bob and Gerry Gram from Bozeman MT and Pine Island FL. Now these folks love Tarpon fly fishing but Gerry gets very sea sick in rough water, it was sunny, calm, and warm so she had no problem. I headed to a flat which I thought should hold laid up Tarpon, the water temperature was 75 and got up to 78 degrees during the day. I poled the skiff fro 8 hours, we saw at least 60 tarpon, has dozens of shots and had 3 different Tarpon eat flies which were presented by Bob, unfortunately each tarpon spit the hook and we did not land a Tarpon today.
The next day we were going to fish the same area however the clouds covered that whole area and we didn't see any tarpon except rolling fish which were hard to see with the clouds. The wind began to blow from the north west at 15 knots so I had to look for calm protected water, with sunshine so we could see the fish. I went in the back country behind sugarloaf key, found lots of laid up tarpon, and had at least 30 shots but the fish were spooky and did not eat.
On April 22, I worked all day doing maintenance on boats and then picked up Bob and Gerry for an evening of fly fishing. We left the dock at 7:00 PM and fished until 11:00 PM, the weather was dead calm and there were lots of Tarpon around. Bob hooked a total of three tarpon, one broke the class tippet, The next was landed, a juvenile of under 40 pounds, and the third was a female of at least 110 pounds.
Just as this Tarpon was released a big Shark showed up but I think that the Tarpon got away. Bill, Gerry, and I had a great time, I look forward to fishing with them again in the near future, I really love this job, I begin fishing with John Butler this afternoon, stay tuned for more fishing reports from Tarpon world.