MONDAY PHOTO: SCOF OutpostFL

Is it starting to bother anyone else, how much Steve gets to fish since moving to the land of the leisure suit? This aggression will not stand.

–  Dave

FRIDAY PHOTO: SCOF CANOE – maiden voyage

Here at SCOF OutpostFL we (I) have been cleaning up and fixing up an old Mohawk canoe. There is a lot of water here to explore and some out of the way spots have no real access points…but a canoe doesn’t need much.

The fist trip out was slightly screwed by a North wind shift, but still a good maiden voyage. Good things are gonna happen.

And Louis even got a little video….

BENCH PRESS: Tarpon Toad Variation – Rick Worman

As SCOF is getting ready to split ourselves into two locations (to better serve you?) we thought you might like a sample from our new South/South location….. and our newest contributor – Rick Worman.

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The tarpon toad is one of the most effective flies ever developed for enticing the silver king. Since its creation it has been tied in many different variations but the original blue print remains the same. Combining natural materials with some of today’s synthetics make this a relatively easy pattern to tie that is highly effective. The fly has a great profile and when stripped properly the natural movement triggers some amazing eats. I prefer to use this pattern while sight fishing strung out fish in clean water.


Materials: 

Hook- Gamakatsu SC15 size 1/0 
Thread- Chartreuse Flat Waxed Nylon
Eyes- Medium black bead chain
Tail- Chartreuse Marabou/ Chartreuse Cross-cut Rabbit 
Body- Green EP Tarantula Brush


Step 1– Begin the thread wraps just behind the hook eye.

Step 2– Tie in the bead chain eyes and continue the thread wraps to the bend of the hook.

Step 3– Tie in the marabou tail using a nice single feather.

Step 4– Tie in a strip of the cross-cut rabbit making sure the fur is pointing towards the rear of the hook.

Step 5– Palmer the rabbit strip forward making two nice wraps, secure the rabbit strip and trim off excess

Step 6– Tie in the tarantula brush.

Step 7– Palmer the tarantula brush forward making nice even wraps, tie off the brush right behind the bead chain eyes and trim off the excess.

Step 8– advance the thread in front of the bead chain eyes and build a even thread head, whip finish and cement.

Step 9– trim the tarantula brush body to desired shape.

For information about booking a trip with Captain Rick Worman in the Central Florida area visit his website:
www.flatlineguideservice.com  or call 321-525-3893

SCOF History: ALL LAID UP

 

 

By all accounts March has been lights out in the lower keys for tarpon. As I sit here pondering how I will beg, borrow and steal my tarpon days this year, please enjoy a little tarpon ditty from the vault. Joel Dickey is the man as far as we’re concerned and Steve will fight anyone that  says different.

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ALL LAID UP By Joel Dickey Photos: Joel Dickey Southern Culture On the Fly Issue No. 3: Spring 2012


Tarpon…. What can I say?? No other fish stirs the imagination or excitement more than this silver plated behemoth. Pick up any fly fishing magazine any month of the year and somewhere inside, someone qualified or not will be yapping about tarpon. Well, true to every other magazine, I’m going to do just that. Except I’m going to write specifically about my favorite type of tarpon. What kind is that you might ask? Laid up tarpon. Every year I field phone call after phone call wanting May and June dates for the tarpon migration. Sure, it is a fascinating spectacle to watch schools of a dozen to as many as a couple hundred fish march down an oceanside flat (many times over white sand), then working yourself into position to present your fly to said platoon of fish. I guess I would have been more suited to fight in the octagon in the UFC because in I prefer the one-on-one competition. There’s nothing like poling a backcountry flat and seeing 100+ lbs of sheer strength and wild instinct suspended in gin-clear water. Laying in wait to ambush an unsuspecting baitfish, crab or shrimp. Upon spotting a laid-up tarpon, the sequence of events that follows is a chess match of fly angler versus fish that can’t compare to any other type of fly fishing. Your opponent? A “chess master” who possesses sheer instinct and up to 50 years of experience. Make a wrong move— too long a cast, too short a cast, land the fly too close—and checkmate. Game over. All you can do is flounder in a pool of frustration as he waves goodbye with a powerful thrust of his tail. However, make a perfect cast, strip the fly to get the instinct to switch in your favor and the result will be a memory that brands into your brain forever. As the fish turns and approaches your fly, it’s unbelievable how everything slows down to a crawl. Your senses, if allowed, start to betray you. The feelings in your legs disappear. All you hear is a slight buzz and what sounds like a test of the Emergency Broadcast System ringing in your ears. All you can focus in on is the biggest fish that the majority of fly anglers will ever see zero in on your fly. Then, as the mouth opens, gills flare and you watch your fly disappear into a black abyss, don’t freeze. Striiipp… As the line tightens, you get a jolting bitch slap of adrenaline that for most is too intense to bear. To this day, I can still hear the gills rattle on the first large tarpon I ever jumped in my life. As I said before, it is seared into my memory forever. One of the greatest parts about fishing for these dinosaurs is that unlike fly fishing for other species of big game, it all happens in less than eight feet of water. It’s all visual. From the time you spot the fish ‘til the time he succumbs to the fight and lays up next to the boat, you see everything. If you pay attention, you can even see the expression on his face and know what he’s thinking. The best times to fish for laid-up tarpon is mid-February through the first week or two of May. Of course this can change by a couple weeks either way depending on the type of weather the good Lord above is dealing out that year. For the past couple of years, I have been fishing for tarpon as early as late January. Keep in mind though that these fish are highly in tune with what goes on with the weather, especially at the first of the season. Cold fronts that rumble through will knock them in the head for a few days, so come with an open mind and a lot of patience if you ever decide to fish early in the season. Most of all, come with a humble attitude because you will get humbled. Quickly. When you do get humbled (and I promise you will), always have a short memory, because when the fishing is hot, your next shot at the greatest game fish on the fly will be just a few short yards down the flat.