Cockroach Tarpon Fly |
By Jason Akl
The Cockroach fly pattern is not a mystery to serious salt-water anglers. Developed by legendary fly tier Lefty Kreh, this fly has accounted for many trophy tarpon being landed over the years and is still just as effective today. The cockroach fly can be used in both clear/ dark waters, and when sight or blind casting. This is a true must-have for any serious Tarpon trip.
The Cockroach pattern is one of the true classic saltwater flies that imitates many different types of food sources for tarpon. The sleek profile and darting action mimic many of the smaller bait-fish found on the flats. But at the same time, the barred grizzly hackle tail and bucktail collar represent shrimp, small lobster and other crustaceans. Tarpon patterns range anywhere from one inch to over a foot in length. As a general principal to follow: the bigger the fish you are chasing the bigger the fly should be. These super-sized predators need a food source that makes it worth chasing after. A big tarpon cannot afford to expend a large amount of energy chasing after a bait-fish if the prey is too small.
Tarpon are known for their enormous bucket mouths that seem to be made up of bone on top of bone. If there is any time you want to spend money on a quality hook it should be for tarpon flies. A heavy-duty hook shank and extremely sharp hook point are a good start towards getting a hook-set that will hold, after that the rest is up to you.