Tarpon Fly Fishing in Mexico

Like many people suffering from winter ‘cabin fever’ I yearn for a sunny break during this dour time of year. This February my better half and I had the chance and some spare time to do it. On my fishing ‘bucket list’ is the dream of sight fishing for tarpon among the mangroves. So taking advice from friend a Rutland Water Fly Fishing member Frank Daley, a little island off the gulf of Mexico was chosen.

Beautiful sunset over a tropical Mexican seascape

Beautiful sunset over a tropical Mexican seascape

Many of us are in the same boat, going on holiday with the wife is never a fishing holiday, but I was lucky enough to pack the fly fishing equipment for a couple of hours here and there. I found myself out fishing for baby tarpon and bonefish….

Giant tarpon of 100lbs or so migrate to this area in the Summer, but baby tarpon can be found here all year round and are generally as spooky and as tricky to catch as their larger brothers and sisters.

Day one in cloudy and rainy conditions we sped across the ocean at 30 knots towards the mangroves which was over an hour away. The guide and I saw many pods of baby tarpon, often up to 15 or more milling around looking for food in the shallow water. These guys can spot a fish which to me looked like a stick on the bottom. Maybe after 20 years fishing here I will be able to spot them as well as the guides… Maybe!

The idea is to sneak up on them, without the engine, gently punting along the mangroves trying to spot them and if you see some, to generally cast around 3 feet in front of them with accurate and light presentation. The fly is best left to sink for a few seconds then a gentle strip to lure the fish into following. It’s almost like a one on one hunt. You and the tarpon… Just when you think it’s ignored the fly, there’s an almighty tug, which sends shock waves through your body!

You must set the hook immediately. No that’s not good enough. You have to set the hook as soon as you see the fly disappear as to wait for the pull is often too late. Strip strike with the fly line, not the fishing rod and point the rod at the fish till it’s firmly hooked. Then the thing goes ballistic.

The ratio of actually landing a silver king is 6:1, with many anglers jumping more than they land. Personally, I managed to boat three on this first day.

Robb Waddington getting stuck into his first Tarpon - on an Airflo Bluetooth nano rod.

Rob Waddington getting stuck into his first Tarpon

Day two and three were a disaster, two frustrating blank days with many fish missed and lost! Water temperature were lower than usual, causing the fish to go off the feed according to the guide anyway! What to do, call it a day and admit defeat? Or have just one more day? If you knew me, the answer was obvious… And what a day it was! With a low tide many of the areas we fished previously were almost dry land so we concentrated on the deeper channels of around 3-4 feet deep. As luck would have it so did the tarpon and we spotted fish continuously. I was casting at fish most of the day with frantic instructions from the guide… “12 o’clock, cast! 9 o’clock long cast!, 1 o’clock short cast!

I was recommended the Airflo Bluetooth Nano fly fishing rods by the Fishtec customer service team, along a matching chards tropical punch fly line – and to be honest, together, they performed brilliantly – punching out accurate casts even into a strong head wind.

The best fly of the trip, the Tarpon candy.

The best fly of the trip, the Tarpon candy.

Rob Waddington looking very happy with a nice baby tarpon

Rob Waddington looking very happy with a nice baby tarpon

I have to go back! The trip ended on a high, I have caught the tarpon bug and there’s some unsettled business with a 40lber that I’d jumped… Or maybe I’ll go in the summer sometime, after the real big fish!

I am a Rutland water based fly fishing Instructor and fishing guide, if you’re interested in a days guided fishing please get in touch.

Casting with Style | Chris Price

casting with style fly fishing instruction

Casting with style!

Chris has a well-established fishing career casting flies in some of the most envied places on earth, after some of the most prestigious fish. Addicted to fly fishing since his early teens, Chris first picked up a fishing rod some 20 years ago.

Name:  Chris Price, Casting with Style
Website: www.castingwithstyle.co.uk
E-mail: chris@castingwithstyle.co.uk
Phone: 01495 231899
Qualifications: Salmon and Trout APGAI, MCI, THCI
Instruction: River, Lake, Reservoir, Saltwater
Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Guided Fishing: Yes
Instruction for Corporate Groups: Yes
Onsite Shop: No
Fishing tackle provided: Yes
Accommodation: Can be arranged

Fishing the small waters around Wales and Southern England, Chris produced some great personal achievements, only to move on to larger still waters and rivers in pursuit of Wild Brown Trout. Having travelled around the UK, fishing the crystal clear chalk streams of Southern England, to the Salmon rich rivers of Ireland, Chris has extensive knowledge of how fish feed and behave hopefully giving you the edge on a guided day.

Chris holds both Salmon and Trout APGAI qualifications and can provide one to one or group tuition of the highest standard. He also holds the American FFF (federation Fly Fishing) – MCI (master casting instructor) and THCI (Two handed casting instructor) qualifications in both salmon and trout.

He says “Passing on my knowledge of Fly Fishing through Guiding and teaching gives me great pleasure.  I continuously develop my skills through CPPD Days to ensure I am always up to date on the latest techniques and styles.”

Bowland’s Fly Fishing

Area of operation:  Lancashire and Yorkshire

fly fishing instruction from Bowland's

Bowland’s fly fishing instruction

It’s amazing how much professional fly fishing tuition will help you improve your fly fishing!

Name: Peter Scholes
Website: www.bowlandflyfishing.co.uk
E-mail: info@bowlandflyfishing.co.uk
Phone: 07506 215 120
Instruction: River, Lake
Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Bowland’s main venue for fly fishing tuition in Lancashire is the wonderful Stocks Reservoir, with access to the 350 acre fully stocked lake. There is a great lodge serving hot meals and drinks as well as toilet facilities, and a fully stocked tackle shop.

Peter can teach you to:

•  Cast further and more accurately
•  Stop tangles and knots
•  Cast to rising fish quickly
•  Learn which flies to use and when
•  Learn how to haul to increase distance
•  Catch more fish!

For a beginner or the more experienced angler, fly fishing tuition helps put you on the right track. It’s so easy to develop bad habits early on and fly fishing tuition from a professional instructor can improve your technique drastically.

Andrew Cartwright Game Angling

Area of Operation: Wales

Fly fishing instructor Andrew CartwrightFly fishing Andrew Cartwright

Situated in the Upper Severn Valley at Caersws, Andrew has been fly fishing for more than 30 years. He is passionate about Trout and Grayling fishing in the upper Severn, Wye and Dee areas and takes an active interest in the conservation and well-being of the Rivers.

Name: Andrew Cartwright
Website: www.acgameangling.com
E-mail: acgameangling@btinternet.com
Phone: 01686 688 196
Qualifications: GAIA
Instruction: River, Lake, Reservoir, Saltwater
Levels: Advanced
Guided Fishing: Yes
Instruction for Corporate Groups: Yes
Onsite Shop: No
Fishing tackle provided: Yes
Accommodation: No

Andrew would like to share share his passion by teaching both children and adults in all forms of fly casting, tying, game angling, spinning and bait casting.

As well as being a fully licensed and qualified Coach Andrew is a first aider, CRB cleared, certified in child protection, member of the Game Angling Instructors Association, Salmon and Trout Association, Grayling Society and Angling Trust. You can find his blog at flyfishinwales.wordpress.com.


Mike Heritage Fly Casting

mike heritage fly fishing instruction

Mike Heritage fly casting instruction

Mike is a Federation of Fly Fishers Certified Master Fly Casting Instructor (FFF MCI for short)

Name: Mike Heritage
Website: michaelheritage.wordpress.com
E-mail: heritageathome@btinternet.com
Qualifications: FFF MCI
Instruction: Fly casting
Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Guided Fishing: Yes
Instruction for Corporate Groups: Yes
Onsite Shop: No
Fishing tackle provided: Yes
Accommodation: Can arrange on request

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Initially my resurgent interest in fly casting was trying to blast a five weight line to the horizon. I still try to do it but since I decided to become an instructor I have developed a more rounded appreciation of all types of single-handed fly casting and it would be my pleasure to help you take your first steps on the fly casting ladder or help you climb even higher by adding a few feet to your existing cast.

Alex FlyFishing

AAPGAI Advanced qualified instructor and BFCC casting coach living in London.

alex titov fly fishing

Fly fisherman Alex Titov

Name: Alex Titov
Website: www.alexflyfishing.com
E-mail: info@alexflyfishing.com
Phone: 0779 647 4195
Qualifications: AAGPAI
Instruction: River, Reservoir, Saltwater
Levels: Advanced
Guided Fishing: No
Instruction for Corporate Groups: No
Onsite Shop: No
Fishing tackle provided: Yes
Accommodation: No

With a passion for fly fishing, Alex has built a great knowledge of London’s fly fishing waters and the best fishing spots. He offers professional single-handed fly fishing and fly casting tuition on a 1-2-1 or group basis. Originally from Moscow, all Russian speakers are very welcome!

Facebook: facebook.com/alex.titov.alexflyfishing

Midlands Fly Fishing

Area of operation: Midlands

steve yeomans fly fishing instruction

Fly fishing instruction with Steve Yeomans

Steve Yeomans is a full time fly fishing guide service endorsed by Orvis UK.

Name: Steve Yeomans
Website: www.midlands-flyfishing.co.uk
E-mail: enquiries@midlands-flyfishing.co.uk
Phone: 07901 744869
Qualifications: IFFFCI
Instruction: River & Lake
Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Guided Fishing: Yes
Instruction for Corporate Groups: Yes
Fishing tackle provided: Yes
Onsite Shop: No
Accommodation: Can arrange on request

Midlands Flyfishing help novice and experienced fly fishers alike to enjoy fishing the fly on river and stillwater. Their fly fishing tuition learns you key skills, while their guide service offers you the ultimate chance to experience fabulous visual fly fishing adventures.