I recently had the pleasure of fly fishing for tarpon.
In mid June I also had the pleasure of getting married. So, being a fisherman and never leaving my rod at home it would only seem fitting that we take a honeymoon where fishing can be done. Hello hot, humid, smelly Key West. I have always wanted to try for tarpon but never thought I would get the shot.
We flew into Miami and drove the 4 hours to Key West. Pretty cool drive with fishable water all around. I even saw a woman in a thong bikini fishing, cross that one off the list too! Onward to the fishing part… Capt. Will Benson picked us up at the hotel and we headed out of the harbor. After about a 30min boat ride I was instructed to stand up and ” hold the rod with one hand and the fly in the other” Yes Sir. After getting used to the 13wt fly rod I made my 6th fishable cast and WHAM! Tarpon on. Instantly, and I mean instantly 300 yards of backing gone. The fish ran west with my fly line and stopped. I reeled and Will chased in the boat. About 1/2 hour of this and the fish was landed. Capt. Will Benson estimated that the fish was 120lbs! I still can not believe that I did this on the 6th cast. Off to the shallows. I made a few casts for bonefish with no luck. Spooky fish, but then out of nowhere came this permit that chased my fly all the way up to the boat. Heart pounding and hands shaking
I stripped and twitched the crab pattern with the greatest of ease. Nothing. Back out to a bit deeper water and saw loads of tarpon cruising. Hooked one more and lost it in mid air. It was a perfect end to a crazy month of wedding planning.
Ben Zander PFF, Sound Fly Fishing