Tuesday, April 30, 2013


For those who care to know (I doubt that anyone actually does) but the Scott ST is the same fly rod as the STS. Scott added the second S kinda midstream, so the first rods produced were labeled ST and the later rods were labeled STS. Nevertheless, they are the exact same rod and may be the best tarpon rod out there.

Why all the commotion, well call off the search, we located an STS 9011/3 on eBay and executed. It is currently on the way. So the search for the old Scott ST is over.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Scott ST 11 wt

This is a message in a bottle so-to-speak, does anyone have or know someone who has a Scott ST 11 weight in good condition and is looking to sell it or would think about parting with it.  Its an old model.

Feel free to let me know.

Final Numbers

I went 3 for 5 and Dad went 1 for 5. Not bad on the fly rod and we blew a bunch of shots early. Unfortunately, no big ones but believe me when I tell you 60 pounds of tarpon is plenty of fish. The triple-digit fish will be on the docket next time.

Our last day ended with fewer shots than the first two days but we executed our casts and presentations and each brought one to the boat.

Dad got a "little" one that would go 30 pounds and because the battle was a little less chaotic I was able to get a video. Hopefully, I'll be able to load it soon. I only got a portion of the end of the battle but I still captured two cool jumps!


1. The backcountry tarpon game is all about accuracy and I intend to ramp up the practice before the next trip - a hula-hoop and red paper plate should do the trick. The game requires putting the fly in a hula-hoop at 40-50 feet more often than not. Although the backcountry scene doesn't require long casts, as with all saltwater fishing, the ability to load a rod is helpful.

2. Tarpon in the woods don't seem to differentiate between fly patterns. Although we did not experiment, I'd bet the old adage applies - dark water dark fly.

3. Modern "fast-action" fly rods may be good for casting in a yard but they're not good for fishing (did some side-by-sides). I'll post a good-old rant later about this one.

4. Don't worry as much about "strip-striking" as people say. It's more important with other fish. I am not saying don't strip-strike. What I'm saying is that, in this case, the strike is not some extra action. With these tarpon, and presumably others, you want to keep stripping with the rod tip low. When the line gets tight hold on and keep it tight until the fish forces the line out of your hand and I mean hold it until you physically cannot hold it any longer. When they eat they get mad - the hooking process doesn't take very long. This is hard to explain if you haven't experienced it, but essentially if you keep the line tight they will hook themselves. That technique, as opposed to a deliberate strip-strike, was more effective (although it beat the crap out of my hands - don't use shark skin without gloves!) Also, down playing the strip-strike helped avoid the dreaded trout set.

5. Strip slow.

6. The trout set guaranties failure.

7. Over the years I've noticed that freshwater fisherman tend to under estimate the strength of their leaders myself included. If you tie good knots, a clean piece of mono can do serious damage.

8. Tarpon are the greatest fish on the planet with no equal.

Also, we observed some regular snook activity in places where we hadn't seen them since the kill awhile back - a great sign for Dad this summer and a better sign for the future of the fishery.

Great trip with just enough memories to keep me going until next year.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Final Tarpon day of 2013

We got beat up on day two. Dad had five eats but couldn't get the hook pinned. Then, we let a few shots at some BIG poons get away from us. Seeing those big fish in shallow water give chase is truly amazing. There is no doubt tarpon are the best fly rod fish in the world. Big, fast, strong, happy to eat a fly. You can find them on the beaches, in the woods, laid up, rolling and gurgling . They are exceptional fly rod quarry. Day 3 of 3 is about to begin. I've got the bow. With my curse finally broken, my tarpon nuclear winter over, it's time to focus on some of the big girls. We've seen about a half dozen fish that would clear 150. They may be out of my league but I'd sure like to find out. I guess we shall see.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Caught First Tarpon on Fly

And one more. Two more days of fishing. Tarpon are insane. I may not come back. Pictures to come. Our first meeting - I waited 20 years to meet her.

Game Day

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Couple from our spring steelhead trip

Not sure what the current conditions are but with all the rain and cooler temps I'm thinking there will be a lot of fish in the rivers and they may be sticking around for a little while.

Although these fish were taken on the doorstep of our calendar spring we still faced winter-like conditions.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Dear Winter

You're being very selfish. Spring has been patiently waiting for playtime and you keep hogging it. Old man winter, I beg of you, hang it up until next year my friend. There is lots of fishing to be done and we need every warm day we can get!