Tarpon fishing on shallow flats often requires a fly that suspends, as tarpon almost always prefer to feed up on prey items. Spinning deer hair is one way to accomplish this, but it requires some time in both the spinning and trimming of the body. I wanted a fly that would suspend but could also cast easily—and that I could tie quickly.
I got the concept for this fly after seeing my good buddy Robbie Powell’s “Shrimp Slurpee” fly. The foam used allows the fly to suspend just below the surface, and you can impart a lot of movement to the fly without it needing to travel far, therefore keeping it in the strike zone longer.
• Hook: Umpqua Back Country, size 1
• Tail: Black marabou
• 2mm black foam
• Black Schlappen feathers
• Green Bead chain (medium)
Step 1: Tie in a mono loop to act as a foul guard.
Step 2: Tie in the black marabou tail, about an inch-and-a-half long.
Step 3: Tie in the medium green bead-chain eyes a little back from the eye of the hook.
Step 4: Trim a piece of 2mm black foam; I use the same length and width I would use to tie a Gurgler. You can trim the rear to make it easier to tie in.
Step 5: Tie in the foam on top of the wraps that secure the marabou.
Step 6: Tie in a black schlappen feather where you tied the foam in.
Step 7: Palmer the schlappen forward all the way to the bead chain eyes. Secure it and trim the excess
Step 8: Fold the foam forwards, and secure it just behind the bead-chain eyes.
Step 9: Trim the excess foam to a point; it should extend just beyond the eye of the hook. Cut any excess foam off after it is secured in front of the bead-chain eyes.
Step 10: Wrap the foam down on top of and forward of the bead-chain eyes. Cover the rest of the hook shank up to the eye with thread and whip finish.
Step 11: Use your preferred UV resin on the thread behind the eye of the hook.
Step 12: Finished fly.