Tackle and Technique
The tarpon are very large (100-200 lbs) and require 12 weights. Floating lines work best in most scenarios as we hunt the tarpon across the flooded delta, but interchangeable sink tips or fast sinking lines can also be very useful if tarpon are in some of the river’s deeper pools or as the day heats up. Having one of each rigged onboard is preferred so that each fishing scenario can be efficiently handled. On some windless hot days, tarpon sun themselves on the surface of the glassy lagoons. In these conditions canoes can be a great way to stalk the fish and delicately present a fly, and slightly lighter 10 weight floating rods/lines can be a great tool to have. Leaders are pretty standard tapered with shock tippet to 80-100 lbs.
The tarpon feed mostly on various types of minnows and other small-medium baitfish, so large 3-6 inch deceivers and variants of deceivers are highly recommended. The river is stained a reddish orange from tannins in the water, so colors that produce either match this coloration (orange, red, yellow) or stand out against it (black, white), preferably in combination (orange/black/white, red/black/white, yellow/chartreuse, etc). Weighted flies are recommended to break the water surface quickly, and spun deer hair heads helps flies push the maximum amount of water.