Written by: Steve Hemkens
For the first two days of our five-day trip in Florida with Capt. David Mangum of Shallow Water Expeditions, my buddy Don Rogers worked his way through the learning curve of sight-fishing for tarpon: seeing the fish, mastering the lead, getting the strip, and then combating the Achilles heel of every trout fisherman when they’re on the flats—the strip set instead of the “trout set.”
This week, he came close to touching his first fish after jumping and fighting several, but they always chewed through the leader or jumped off before the magic moment. Yesterday, on day three, it all finally came together. I have never seen anyone so happy or grateful to grab on to one of these amazing creatures. He definitely earned it.
Steve Hemkens is vice president of Orvis Rod & Tackle.