There is nothing more impressive than feeling the line come tight and watching a 100lb Tarpon come rocketing into the air or tail walking across the water with your fly in its mouth! This is why we call these fish the “Silver King”. Nowhere in the world are your chances of landing a Tarpon over 100lb or hooking into a tarpon of 200 pounds more likely than Tarponville. The Tarpon fishery here at Tarponville caters to all levels of fly fisherman from the beginner to the expert, form blind casting to sight casting.
This is Costa Rica, there are no captains yelling at you here, leave that for the Keys! “Pura Vida”.
Your day of Tarpon fishing will begin with breakfast at 6:30am followed by meeting with your captain at 7:00am for a short panga ride the the Sixoalo river mouth which is about a 20 min ride. Keep your eyes peeled as the Tarpon can be seen feeding on bait or rolling anywhere between the lodge and the river mouth. Once you are in the area of the river mouth the captain will scout the area looking for sign of Tarpon (rolling fish, bait, birds and boils). You return back to the lodge at 11:00am for lunch and a “siesta” and return to fishing at 2:00pm.
Water depths targeted are 5 – 20 foot deep with the color line being the top 4 feet of water. This allows us to fish intermediate tarpon lines and even floating lines on the calm conditions. When the tides start to turn and the fish turn on the “feed” button, be ready, they will eat any fly you put in front of them and this can last up to an hour.Note: Our fishery is located on the open ocean side of the rivermouth subject to swell and unprotected wind.
Rod/Reels- We recommend 12-14wt rods for our adult Tarpon. 10/11wts are fine for smaller fish, but once you get into a tarpon over 100 pounds, things change, prepare to have your mind blown.... You will want a rod with stiff action and a lot of fighting power. We want you to be able to really give it these fish once they are hooked and a good rod can help assist. Reels need to be strong, in good shape, and have a reliable drag system and be capable of holding a minimum of 250 yards of backing (we recommend 300). Common things that break on reels are the drag itself, handles, and knobs. Make sure that all of the components of your reel are in good working order prior to arrival and that all backing and line has been properly spooled onto the reel.
Lines- (fly lines, backing) Starting with the fly line, our fly line of choice is an intermediate sinking fly lines. Full sink intermediates, floating intermediate, or intermediate shooting heads will all get the job done (I am a fan of a full sink intermediate.). You will want the fly to sit 2-4ft in the water column, depending on the drift, an intermediate line does just that. Next is the backing, you can get away with a minimum of 30# dacron backing but we recommend a minimum breaking strength of 40# (our backing of choice is Hatch premium braid, 68#) and at least 250 yards of a good quality backing (300-400 recommended). Pack extra backing incase you get spooled or damage your backing due to knots or tangles (AGAIN, make sure that your reels are spooled by a professional on a good reel spooling machine or have been double checked prior to arrival).
Leaders/ tippets- You have options here.. You can build your leaders or you can buy pre-built leaders. Tarpon leaders can be confusing with all of the differnent knots and different types of material that can go into them. Keep it simple, purchase pre-built leaders and have leader building material and tippet in case you run out or need to try something different. Our fishery does not require any fancy or secretive type of leader. Mono-filament leaders are just fine, but if you are looking for the edge, try some flouro leader as well. A class leader of 20-22 pounds is just fine with a bite/ shock of 80-100# (100# preferred) is the best. Follow that up by bringing some back up tippet and leader material and you will be all set!!
Below is a gallery of fly selections that fish well for our Tarpon fishery. All patterns from Traditional Style Tarpon flies to baitfish patterns will work. A few things to keep in mind when choosing your flies: Hook quality - Make sure the quality of the hook can hold up to the size fish you will encounter (90-120lbs), Color - have a variety of light and dark colors in each patterns/ stick with dark colored flies for the off colored water, Size - go with the larger size fly option (3/0 instead of 2/0) and trim the material to make smaller patterns, this will give you a bigger hook with a smaller pattern option.
EP Tarpon/Baitfish Flies: