Presenting Your Fly to Migrating Tarpon

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Keep Your Cool Photo by Louis Cahill

There’s definitely some strategy involved in tarpon fishing.

Migrating tarpon offer the fly angler a great opportunity for a close in counter with the silver king, but you have to play your cards right. Many anglers have watched big schools of tarpon vanish right before their eyes, leaving them to shrug and ask, “what’d I do?”

Often there is nothing wrong with the fly,or the cast, except that it was shown to the wrong fish. Migrating tarpon play a curious game of “follow the leader.” when you see that school coming its tempting to lose your patience and cast to that big lead fish, but that’s not the way to go.

That lead fish is out there on her own, blazing the trail for the whole school. She’s wary and quite cautious, that’s her job. Almost anything will spook her and the school will follow her lead. Her followers however are a different story. Generally male, they are focused almost completely on her. Sound familiar guys? Ever made a bad decision while you were focused on a female?

Those males feel secure because the lead fish is their lookout. If she isn’t spooked they feel like everything is as it should be and if a careless bit of food gets past her they have no problem scarfing it down. Those are the fish you want to target. It’s possible to get many shots at a school of tarpon as long as the lead fish keeps her cool and the more shots you get, the better your chance at a hookup.

Check out the video and our buddy Joel Dickey will show you the best presentation for a migrating school.


Louis Cahill

Gink & Gasoline
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2 thoughts on “Presenting Your Fly to Migrating Tarpon

  1. “Guys I hope this helps” – Sure does!

    What an effective way of presenting this important aspect of casting to a moving school of tarpon. More short, sharp instructional videos of this nature needed. In fact Gink & Gasoline does a great job in this space. I like Bruce Chard’s simulated double haul practice video, simple but very effective. Good one Joel Dickey.

  2. Pingback: 11 Tips for Spotting Tarpon | Fly Fishing | Gink and Gasoline | How to Fly Fish | Trout Fishing | Fly Tying | Fly Fishing Blog

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