You’re sitting oceanside tarpon fishing the first week of May in Islamorada. The tarpon are lazily sliding by your skiff as it floats upon a sheet of glass. Not a breath of wind on the ocean this morning and the warm southeast sea breeze has yet to kick in. You’ve got bluebird sunny skies, which is normally a blessing while sight fishing. Today it’s beginning to feel like torture as you can see fish swimming from so far away. It allows enough time for your nerves to buildup, calm down, and then escalate again higher than the original peak all coinciding with the lead fish in the string of chaining tarpon now in casting range. Calm days tarpon fishing on the ocean can separate the men from the boys.
You haven’t had a bite all morning despite watching hundreds of fish swim past you. You’ve tried different presentations and angles trying to persuade the elephant to eat the peanut. To no avail, the fly box comes out and it begins. Am I doing something wrong on the bow? Is my buddy on the back doing something wrong? I know, it must be the fly! The next hour is spent hastily cutting off flies that “aren’t” the right fly and retying the next bug on. You’re now fishing with a 6″ bite section because the fish are pouring and your either too lazy or don’t want to waste time retying a leader. Finally, you get the one where the marabou wiggles just right. Lucky number 7, the fish leans out of the string and rises up to slowly to examine your new morsel. Things are now moving in slow motion as the fish cracks her mouth open and lazily slurps the fly.
As the fish turns its head you feel your line come tight. Like a jolt of adrenaline through your body your nerves are now at record levels. In the blink of an eye, you’re looking at giant boil on the water from the tail kick and see the fishes body exiting the water. Quite the impressive leap from a weight fish. As the fish lands creating a hole in the ocean your more concerned with the line flying out of your stripping bucket. While your focus is down around your ankles which are firmly planted on SeaDek you hear your buddy mumble “He gone.” Like your nerves, the emotional roller coaster goes through very high highs and low lows in a matter of seconds. Your new secret bug is gone and you begin the reel in your fly line an examine your leader to determine the culprit. Haste makes waste and your 16 lb class tippet is chewed through. Lesson learned and while the lost fish is a minor setback, now the passion and adrenaline rushed is ingrained in you and ready for round 2. Welcome to fly fishing for tarpon.
As you sit down to grab a drink, tie on a new leader, and regroup; you realize that the boat looks like a fly bomb went off. Flies which either didn’t seem to work or you didn’t give them enough of a chance lie scattered about. Covered in salt water some end up finding their way into your bilge, some wash under the Yeti cooler, and hopefully, none of them wind up stuck in your foot! The solution is simple, grab a fly pad from Castaway Customs. We make stock ones ready to ship or we can create custom ones to your specifications. Whether you stick them on your console, bulkhead, or under a hatch they create a perfect solution to store and dry out flies. Our CNC laser machines allow us to run the most detailed logos with ease. Running a tournament and need some pads for the captain’s bags? Own a company and want to promote your brand by offering branded fly pads? Own a skiff and want to trick it out? We have all your needs covered so please reach out to us, we love seeing how creative our customers can get and are here to create the perfect solution for your needs.
Keep an eye out for new styles coming soon.