Tarpon Toad Flies

Tarpon Toad Flies in-stock, no sales tax - ship free over $50.

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Chartreuse/Yellow Purple/Black Orange/Tan Yellow/Orange

The Tarpon Toad fly was developed by Gary Merriman who owns the The Fish Hawk in Atlanta, Georgia. This version used rabbit strip for the tail. Captain Tim Hoover tied some toads with marabou for famed tarpon angler Andy Mill. This version is now more popular than the original.  Toads in the three colors below are some of the most popular flies for big tarpon in Florida waters.  Our Toads are tied on extra strong, razor sharp Gamakatsu hooks.  We understand that all of the shops in Florida are out of Toads.  That's alright. You can get yours from us and save the sales tax.

Florida Report
By Troy Bachmann

3:45 pm and my feet ache and throb from standing on the casting deck of a flats boat for two solid days straight. My eyes feel snow blinded. Searching for Redfish in muddy water is enough to put any man in a straightjacket. The locals say Redfish fishing in Homosassa is the training grounds for experts, and once you master them here; everywhere else is a breeze. Well, there were no master Redfish feathers in this mans cap. Fishing was tough. 

A low pressure system had come in and scattered the fish and muddied the water a day before I arrived. Cade Burgdorf, my friend, dealer, and now Redfish guide said I should have headed for the Keys for tarpon and skipped the Redfish fishing. Well, I consider myself a slow learner and others might say a bit stubborn. The harder the challenge the more I feel the need to overcome it. Homosassa is a good seven hour drive via toll roads to the Keys. I have a tarpon trip booked for the morning with Captain Chris Morrison and feel there is not enough fuel in my internal fish tank to get me there.  

Itís now 4:00 pm and I am calling to cancel the tarpon trip, I have no desire to travel that far in the shape Iím in.  

Chris Morrison promptly answered his cell phone. He was multitasking: poling a tarpon boat while listening to a completely discouraged Redfish fisherman. Chris had scheduled to fish me on his only day off and apparently tarpon were everywhere. His clients were hooking several fish per day. Both my guilt and energy level started to perk. My mind began to whirl. While in college, I often drove five hours from Corvallis to Maupin to swing flies for steelhead on the Deschutes River. Why not tarpon; besides when would I get the next opportunity to cast to giant fish? 

We made arrangements to meet at Chrisís house at noon. He explained to me the tides didnít move the tarpon until after noon and I wouldnít miss much by driving all night to arrive there at 6 am. This was a relief since I had to drive through Miami during rush hour. 

On schedule, I met Chris at 11:30am at his place. We climbed into his truck, launched the boat, and were on tarpon in less than twenty minutes. Now thatís what I call getting your moneyís worth. Casting to tarpon and getting them to eat can be two entirely different realities. You could not justly show up for an afternoon of tarpon fishing and expect to land one of those beasts. Quite the contrary, tarpon are unpredictable, sophisticated, weary.  One has to do everything right in order to trick them into eating a fly. And once they eat a fly, keeping them on the line is a true test of skill, guts and luck. 

The runs of tarpon off of Marathon Key are huge, giant fish ranging from sixty to two hundred pounds plus. Anyone of them you land will be a trophy fish. Chris anchored the boat in a tarpon cruising lane on a flat just outside of town. The strategy is to wait for cursing fish moving East on the out going tide. It wasnít long before pods of big tarpon were headed our way.  

In order to catch one of these giant fish, everything has to be pulled off with precision: spot tarpon, pole boat within casting range, present fly with straight leader, strip very, very slowly, donít spook him, set hook hard down to left or right, fish on, clear line, bow when jumping and maybe youíll land one. Chris told me his landing to hooking ratio is about one fish out of ten. 

Every aspect about fly fishing for tarpon is challenging but equally rewarding. In the eight hours I fished, I presented the fly to fifteen tarpon. I had three follows and refuses, one inhale/exhale and one solid hook up. I landed the only fish genuinely hooked and 7:30 pm. I beat the odds and was ever so grateful. 

Tarpon flies are extremely important. We had changed our fly more than a dozen times throughout the course of the day. Until we matched what the tarpon wanted, we didnít get solid hook ups. The most important characteristic of a tarpon fly is it needs to be in front of the target and pulsate freely. So, with varying light conditions, water clarity and depth, you will need to match the fly to the conditions. For best results the fly has to be presented at least four feet in front of the target. The fly has to sink, hover and pulsate at the tarponís eye level with minimum manipulation from the angler. 
A Tarpon Toad did the trick.

Tarpon Toad Chartreuse/Yellow

Tarpon Toad
The number one color in this series. Very successful on bright sunny days.
Item Description Size Price To Top
12940 Tarpon Toad Chartreuse/Yellow 1 3 for $17.85 Out of Stock
6652 Tarpon Toad Chartreuse/Yellow 3/0 3 for $17.85

Tarpon Toad Purple/Black

Tarpon Toad
The color combination of choice for dark days or colored water.
Item Description Size Price To Top
06653-2/0 Tarpon Toad Purple/Black 2/0 3 for $17.85 Out of Stock

Tarpon Toad
Bright yellow & orange is a sleeper combination for bright days, when the sun is high.
Item Description Size Price To Top
06703-3/0 Tarpon Toad Yellow/Orange 3/0 3 for $17.85 Out of Stock

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