Gary Merriman Ties The Tarpon Toad

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Photo by Louis Cahill

Photo by Louis Cahill

I’ve known Gary Merriman for over twenty years and only found out about a year ago that he was the creator of the Tarpon Toad.

The Toad is a great pattern and almost anyone who has fished for tarpon has tied one on at some point. It’s been around for a long time but it still catches fish.

Gary explained how he watched tarpon that followed flies without eating them and got the feeling that it was the action of the fly that they didn’t like. The tarpon patterns of the day would sink fast, then shoot back up in the water column when stripped. Gary was looking for a fly that would track at a consistent depth. When he tied the Toad he gave it a flat body that works like a planer to keep the fly at the right depth.

It’s a simple fly to tie but there are a few important features that make it work. Watch the video and learn from the man who created this great pattern.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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5 thoughts on “Gary Merriman Ties The Tarpon Toad

    • James,

      It’s crazy isn’t it? Bigger is not always better. These days tarpon anglers are tying flies on the smallest hooks they can get away with that still have the strength to battle tarpon.


    • Tarpon are careful eaters. Not as aggressive as you might think. BTW, did you know that it has been shown by genetic research that tarpon evolved from smallmouth? Some people are pretty pissed about that but people are often disturbed by the truth. I think it’s pretty cool.

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