What is the toughest fish to catch on a fly you ask? This can and will be talked about at great lengths each time I get together with a few fishing buddies. I think everyone has a fish they've always dreamed about or is currently seeking to land after repeat trips to favorite destinations and some mucho dinero.
My choice is a Big Tarpon hands down. Big Permit are very elusive, extremely challenging, one needs about 30 variables to go your way, but big permit just fall a little to a monster Tarpon. I can speak from experience and close call but Permit are just fall short of a big Tarpon on a fly. I have hooked or landed 4 of the 5 listed with a recent trip to Florida where I got worked over by a 140lb Silver king...ouch!! It still haunts me weekly but when I look back at the thrill I experienced from the chase, cast, hookset and fight...I want it even more now!
The Results were pretty close and just as you would have suspected a 10lb Permit and a 100lb Tarpon lead the rankings. Anyone can, -after a few attempts, land a juvy Tarpon or baby permit with some decent guiding and luck. Bonefish, in smaller sizes, are also landed fairly easy in many part of the globe like Turneffe Flats and Andros.
To catch a medium to large size Permit on a fly, sorry shrimp chuckers and artificial guys you don't count in this poll, can be one long journey year in year out. A hundred pound Tarpon can be equally as difficult if not more so. "Statistics claim that to hook a 100lb Tarpon is a 1 in 100 chance, to land this beast is a one in a 1,000!"
Mind you that Steelhead, Musky, big Carp and even Taimen are always at the top as well, but they just didn't cut it in this poll. I would feel humbled by any of these listed so that's what keeps most of us going in the sport it seems. It's thrilling, never easy and something to tweak those skills on each time out on the water. Good luck with your chase and let us know what your favorite might be.
10 lb Bonefish
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