Anyone that fishes for tarpon in the keys should know about the Palolo worm hatch. It happens each year around May/June and the tarpon go crazy. It supposedly one of the best times to catch tarpon down there..but of course, timing is everything. In any case, I went to a tarpon seminar over the weekend put on by arguably one of the best Tarpon on the fly fisherman on the planet, Andy Mill. He indicated that worm flies are definitely one of his top 3 flies and he throws them anywhere he goes regardless if they are hatching or not. This made some sense to me..it could be genetically ingrained in the fish that this worm is food and its need to be eaten.. so none-the-less I tied some up and threw them in a box. After all I don't tie many flies that are mostly red so I kind of enjoyed it.
Here are two variations of a palolo worm fly. The top is a Bruce Chard pattern and the bottom was one I saw on google images. Both use materials that have a ton of movement in the water (marabou on Chard's and rabbit zonker on the other). I thinking im going to swim these. Hell, might as well give them a chance!
Here is another worm pattern I tied up using EP. Not something I saw..yet not something I claimed to have invented. I had the material..and thought I could make an EP Bronzino type fly in the pattern of a palolo worm.
I read some reports online that one of the areas i'm fishing is hot for people using white bait (pilchards). Well, I can match that hatch. Here's a family of pilchards, made with EP, and ready to catch.
Here is a collection of EP baitfish I tied up for my guide. I fish quite a few guided trips a year and I always make sure to take care of the guide. The one these are for has been a guide of mine for I think about 5 years? Its a nice little gift and something they can hopefully put to use.
I'm not entirely sure how I found myself tying this mullet but here it is. Lead eyes (curious if it will suspend or just sink) and some nice grizzly hackle for the tail. Used Cohen's fugly packer, but intentionally did not pack too tight because I want it to sort of suspend and just irritate a tarpon into eating.
Whats up next? Hmm I'm thinking I may tie some more worm flies and some additonal flies for the guide. Time is ticking away for my trip south. 7 days as of today.. (not that Im counting).