Email a Friend Tarpon's Tasty Treat
By Tyson Pardue

I was fishing in the Marqueses out of Key West, and my buddy and I were having a hell of a time getting bit. Our frustrated guide finally commented that the only color we hadn't tried was green. The typical rusts/browns/purples/oranges hadn't worked. I did have one fly that I had tied in bright Chartreuse Grizzly - and reluctantly pulled it out. The guide said "what the hell, sometimes when they are over grass they like greenish flies - and that has a little green in it. Its on the guady side - but nothing else is working - tie it on". So I did. First cast, fish on. Couldn't think of a better name so we dubbed it the "Tarpon Tasty Treat". I've used them on my annual Tarpon trip ever since.
Tarpon's Tasty Treat
Step 1 Put the hook in the vise. This example is with a Tiemco 911S stainless, but I often use Owners if I have them. Tie in a ball of thread on the shank of the hook, behind the hook point. This ball will keep the tail hackle spreadout, so you don't get a closed-tail tarpon bug.
Tarpon's Tasty Treat
Step 2 Take a stiff neck hackle feather and strip all of the webbing off of it. You should be left with just the quill. Cut it back to about 1" long. You are going to tie this in over the back of the thread "bubble" you built. This quill will then keep the hackle tails from sticking together or crossing. These first two steps are strictly to keep the bug from fouling as it is fished. The last thing you want is to get that perfect cast, in front of the biggest tarpon of your life, and have your bug doing the Sharon Stone...get it?
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Step 3 You are going to tie in two neck hackles on each side of your bug, one over the top of the other. From the side you only should see one neck hackle, not a scissor effect. These images show a scissor effect because the camera is at an angle to the side of the fly. Pay attention to the fly's symetry as you don't want the fly to tilt or spin in the water while it is being stripped.
Tarpon's Tasty Treat
Step 4 You can tie in a slight bit of flashy material, in this case it is pearl mirage flashabou. Keep in mind that a little flash goes a long way...Tarpon can be very spooky.
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Step 5 Grab two webby chartreuse strung chinese schlappen saddles and keep them married close together as you secure them to the hook's shank, directly in front of the neck saddles. Tie in a collar, pulling the fibers back with each wrap so that the schlappen lays back down over the hook shank and tail feathers. Keep in mind that less overall material will have more movement in the water. Tie in two more saddles, olive in this example, and wrap them as you did the previous color. This second saddle is typically sparser than the first portion of the collar.
Tarpon's Tasty Treat
Step 6 Tie off off the second saddle and build up a tapered cone shaped head, in traditional Tarpon fly style. Whip finish the fly, mix up some 5 minute epoxy, and carefully brush it on the thread head. Rotate the fly so that the epoxy doesn't sag as it dries. Allow the epoxy to dry completely. Stick on some prismatic tape eyes and add another layer of epoxy, this time include the eyes in the coverage. Again, turn the fly so that the epoxy doesn't sag. You now have yourself a bonafied Key Lime Pie. Use it with pride.

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Click photos to enlarge
Tarpon's Tasty Treat
Products for this fly:
Tiemco TMC 911S Hooks
Strung Schlappen
Flashabou, Mirage
Uni Big Fly Thread
Z-Poxy (5 min.)
3-D Molded Stick-On Eyes
#1 Metz Neck
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