Tarpon fishing at Silver King Lodge, Costa Rica

I have just about recovered from the endless delays and missed connections James and I suffered on our recent excursion to Silver King Lodge in Costa Rica, thanks to the bungling inefficiency of American Airlines, and would strongly advise travellers to avoid flying with them at all costs if there is an alternative?!

I won’t bore you further with the details of our two unwanted and unscheduled nights in hotels in different parts of the world; instead I’ll get straight to the sport. It would be nice to report that the fishing and weather were great but sadly, adding insult to injury, neither came up to expectations! We suffered almost endless thunder, lightning and the sort of ‘stair-rod’ rain that only seems to occur abroad, losing virtually two days of action and having to come in to escape dramatic lightning storms on at least two occasions. Presumably because of these very unusual (almost unheard of) conditions in September/October, the baitfish did not seem to be in the river mouth as they normally are, and consequently neither were the tarpon in any numbers. The average catch for the week seemed to be one or two fish boated per angler, and poor James only hooked two tarpon, both of which jumped off almost immediately – hard going for the lad after my tales from last year!

Tarpon fly fishing Costa Rica

My smallest tarpon!

 

I lived up to my ‘Lucky Green’ reputation, boating four tarpon between 100 and 150lbs and two 30lb jacks, which, in the circumstances, proved to be a good result. I believe the best of the week, which tells you how tough it was! Against all this, the hospitality, food, accommodation and service at the lodge left nothing to be desired, and the rum and fruit smoothies and ‘coco-locos’ prepared by the ever smiling bar-lady, Yvonne, helped in a big way to drown our sorrows.

30lb Jack on Fly

My first 30lb Jack

Fly fishing for Jacks in Costa Rica

My 2nd 30lb Jack

Although the fishing is basically back-drifting in coloured water, as opposed to sight-casting, when one of those silver monsters grabs that fly and hurls itself six or seven feet into the air, it is electrifyingly exciting, and their searing runs are unforgettable. I used my 16-weight T.F.O. fly rod, which in no way felt too powerful, even for the jacks, both of which stripped off 100 yards of line after being hooked, and I was well pleased to get them.

Also two of the Finnish guys fished on for a further three days after we left, and one of them, Mikko, boated a fish estimated from its measurements at 210lbs – quite possibly a world record for a fly-caught tarpon?

Mikko Record Tarpon Costa Rica?

Mikko’s Record (?) Tarpon

Would I recommend a visit there, or go again myself? The answer to both questions is a definite: “Yes”!

Mike Green About Mike Green

Although a bit of a pike fanatic, Mike Green has been fishing in the UK and abroad for most of his life, catching coarse, sea and game fish in the UK, Canada, Alaska, New Zealand, Asia and Americas.

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