Giant Jungle Tarpon of Costa Rica

The anchor digs into the comfortable muddy backside inflicting the boat to swing right into a seam about 50 toes from the place the final tarpon rolled. A myriad of rainforest creatures categorical themselves within the lush habitat round us as we scan the gladiator ring and revise coiled fly line. Nothing is extra awe inspiring then the howler monkey troops roaring at each other in unison throughout the river, and a primordial sense of  ‘we’re not alone’ creeps over the boat as an enormous tarpon crashes behind us in an try to eat a foot lengthy tropical gar skipping frantically out of the water. Evidently, we’re in the best place.

Yearly hundreds of grownup tarpon migrate south alongside the western Caribbean from as far north as Florida. Ancestral reminiscence prompts a few of these majestic giants to stay in Costa Rica’s coastal waters whereas others proceed to journey some 300 miles up Nicaragua’s Río San Juan to Northern Costa Rica. On the time of the tarpons’ arrival, seasonal rains flood the immense lagoons  to create an inland sea surrounded by volcanoes and rife with different primeval creatures like tropical garfish, sawfish, and freshwater bull sharks. This assortment of archaic predators is right here to harass the quite a few species of baitfish swept into the lagoons by the heavy annual deluge.

Fly Fishing Costa Rica TarponWe trepidatiously look ahead to the subsequent strike as each couple of minutes the floor of the river opens as triple digit tarpon slurp the baitfish flushing out of a jungle creek becoming a member of the primary system. The plan is to hit the fish developing in singles, doubles, and triples on the nostril as they feed, and as one more aggressive topwater take ensues a big orange fly stripped throughout the crater disappears into the mouth of an enormous tarpon.

Fly Fishing Costa Rica TarponTime stands nonetheless because the fish discovers his mistake, and with a number of highly effective hooksets an abrupt realization results in response as 6 toes of tarpon and water spray by means of the air and down river. In contrast to shiny ocean fish, the jungle tarpon have gone by means of a metamorphosis to match the tannic waters, and watching such a golden brown beast gone airborne framed towards the verdant foliage is actually an encounter with a creature from one other time.

Fly Fishing Costa Rica TarponThe chase is on. Anchor dropped, we use the boat to corral the beast away from branches and undercut banks as we do what we will to remain related between soar after catastrophic soar coupled with digging broadside to carry with the rivers mighty present. Lastly we attain a stalemate a number of bends downriver in a slower pool, and a scientific battle of inches brings the yelping and yelling crew to muted tones of pensive stress. Whereas the fly appears to be like to be nicely positioned the hook appears impossibly small now compared to the mighty fish’s head.

Fly Fishing Costa Rica TarponAn hour passes and with a tiring fish floating boat-side we choose to go for a seize. With the river completely over it’s banks there are not any seashores usually used to strand such heavyweights, and when two arms lastly hook up with the tarpon’s decrease mandible each angler and captain go plunging into the neck deep weeds to cradle and launch the fish.

All of the whereas, tarpon have been diligently looking lined up in a series of flashing gold and silver alongside the riverbanks. As our caught fish regains power and pushes again into the turbid water, a distant aquatic explosion signifies just one factor – time to do it once more.


For more information about tarpon fishing in Costa Rica, contact Launch Fly Journey.

First revealed in This Is Fly Journal October/November 2014

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