Tarpon Flies ... Not Just Black Deaths
Published by:Author: El Pescador Wed December 31, 1969
The "Black Death" tarpon fly is one of the most productive here in Belize. There are times and locations however, where other flies will do the job and sometimes do it better.
As anyone who has been to El Pescador before knows ... the Black Death accounts for many of the Tarpon we land; and this article in no way should diminish the importance of this productive fly. There are times and locations however, where other flies will do the job and sometimes do it better.
Sometimes lighter patterns work better than black death's. So you should have a selection
On many of our Tarpon flats the bottom is white sand, and in this environment the lighter flies tend to be my personal favorites. Patterns like the Green Hornet, Sardine ( Sardinia ) and the White Angel are great producers. If you are tying your own, you want to make sure you include plenty of flash. The flash seems to be of primary importance. Often this fly seems to be more visible to the fish and they frequently seem to 'see' it out of the corner of their eye and will often change direction to eat.
Another consideration is hook size. While we usually use 3/0 or 4/0 hooks on the Black Death patterns, I have found very good success with 1/0 hooks for these lighter patterns with flash. The smaller hook makes for a fly that you can throw farther and, as we all know, there are times when you get only one shot at a fish, especially if it's moving away and that extra 10, 15, or 20 feet can make the difference between the fish 'seeing the flash' and not seeing it resulting in either success or failure.
While the subject of hooks ( J versus Circle ) will be dealt with in a separate article, the choice is yours. There are advocates of each and you should use the hook that instills the most confidence.