Tarpon on the Fly at Night
Well, my old friend Jake Jordan doesn’t use a Gray Ghost for his tarpon fishing, but he certainly takes a lot of big fish on long flies at night. Night fishing for big browns is very exciting. Imagine what catching a 100 pound-plus tarpon is like–especially with the added thrill of sharks that can’t be seen but which are most certainly present. No jumping in to get a photo with the fish allowed.
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May 8, 2011: My good friend Tony Weaver from Anchorage Alaska booked two nights of my extreme night time fly fishing for Tarpon. This year Tony brought along his good friend and fishing buddy Tim Howland from Seattle Washington, Tim had never seen a Tarpon prior to this trip. Tonight the conditions were: 85 degree water temperature, no wind, dead calm seas, lots of sea weed, and plenty of rolling Tarpon. We began fishing at 7:00 PM and watched hundreds of Tarpon slowly rolling all around the boat, we only got one bite before sunset, then Tony hooked, jumped, and pulled the hook on a big female. Later after jumping a couple of fish and breaking the tip off of a Sage 12 weight in the heavy sea weed, I saw the fin of a laid up surface Tarpon. “Cast over there, (Tony), about 60 feet, and slowly strip the fly”, and then a 110# female charged and ate the fly. Tony fought that monster for 2 miles, rolled her on her side on the surface, removed the fly from her mouth, and then after pictures we released this awesome Tarpon. Jumped 3 and caught one tonight!
May 9, 2011: Tim Howland and Tony Weaver met me at “Fly Reel” in the marina at 7:15 PM, for another night of POON fly fishing. Dead calm, lots of sea weed, and thousands of Tarpon rolling on the surface in Tarpon world. Just as the sun set, Tim jumped his first 100 pound+ Tarpon on fly, after the initial jump, Tim forgot to set the hook and the fish spit the fly back at him, (he was shaking)! Next, just after the moon came up, Tim hooked a big male (about 90 pounds), which took 300 yards of backing, jumped 6 times, and settled in for the 20 minute battle, until Tim finally caught and released his first ever Tarpon, of course it was on fly on 20 pound tippet.
Tony jumped two more Poons tonight, and then his final fish of the night, another big Female, ate the fly and was hooked good. Now Tony, who is a world class fly angler, used some new techniques learned tonight from his favorite, old, Tarpon guide, and beat the crap out of this 125 pound Silver King, in less than 10 minutes. We were giggling like little kids as Tony released this awesome Tarpon, it was fun fishing with my good friend again. Tim and Tony fished fro 8 hours of hard fly fishing, they jumped 7 Tarpon, and released 3, the numbers do not tell the story, we had lots of fun! Stay tuned for more fly fishing reports from Tarpon world, I love this job, wish you were here.