“Brutal” is the right word to describe fly fishing for tarpon.
The King of Silver has an insatiable appetite, and gets very violent. Tarpon take with power, and show stamina and acrobatic qualities that make tarpon a formidable adversary on a fly rod.
Fishing Tarpon or Sabalo, as it is known in Cuba, can be divided into three categories: Baby Tarpon (those that they weigh up to 30 Lbs), Medium Tarpon (those that weigh 30 Lbs up to 80 Lb) and Monster Tarpon (those of more than 80 Lb and sometimes can surpass the incredible mark of 200 Lbs). Obviously, the last category is hunted hard, but unfortunately these behemoths are much less common.
When nearing a school of Tarpon, holding an 11 or 12 wt. rod, legs shake and a matchless sensation of adrenalin invades the body, as you anticipate a battle with one of these marine monsters. Sighting and casting accurately play a major role as the angler must reach the school of Tarpon that swim slowly in a circle within meters of the boat. At all times it is important to control one’s nervousness and to never feel intimidated by the presence of these extraordinary beasts. The beginning of the road to success is to strip strike the fish precisely and firmly. the violent reaction of the Tarpon when it feels the fly in its mouth is going to send him skyward. so you have to bow to the king to keep that line slack and then hold your rod low and keep him under control - easier said than done.
It is a difficult sensation to describe with words