I found this excellent history of tarpon flies written by Pat Ford. Some good stuff in here…

-: TARPON FLIES: Past and Present, a reprint from Flytyer.com (megalopsatlanticus.blogspot.com)


My yellow mouse home-tie tarpon fly

hook – Mustad 9175 short shank or Owner Aki 5170 or 5370…3/0, 2/0, 1/0…Gamakatsu SC17 and SL12S are also excellent tarpon fly  hooks.

butt – yellow maribou

tail – stubby yellow saddle, splayed or married (fat base, fast taper hackle..don’t use the long, thin stuff), add a bit of pearl Krystal Flash

head – spun, clipped Mule Deer hair

eyes – bead chain, hollow

  This fly is designed to be fished shallow, just under the surface…great for laid up fish in the backcountry. Tarpon eyes look up…they will see it!

   Have also caught permit and snook on this fly.

   The main thing is…how does the fly look wet?…how it acts in the water is all that matters, not how it looks in your fly box or vise.


As tarpon get harder to fool these days, the trend is to smaller hooks, skinny flies and lighter shock tippets….worms, toads, tarpon mice.