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Hands down, there is nothing more exciting in fly fishing than watching abig tarpon come flying out of the water with your fly in its mouth.Southwest Florida in the end of May can be your best chance for doing battlewith a silver king. Tarpon seem to wake up early for breakfast, so a predawn boat ride is usually the routine. This morning we arrived inChokoloskee as the sun was just starting to shine. We tied up some looseends, rigged some rods, and dumped the boat in the water as a black pick uptruck showed up towing a bay boat full of spinning gear and painted with allsorts of logos. “Who is this guy?” I said to myself as Roland Martin steppedout of the driver’s side door and jumped into the boat so his guest coulddrop him in the water. We said hello to each other, and I said my usualsmartass comment that was received with a laugh, and Kevin and I went out tofly fish. Our plan was to head south, stopping on the way down in a coupleareas that we have recently seen tarpon on the feed, then finding some newhopefully big fish in some not so well traveled areas in the EvergladesNational Park. The plan was a good one. Our first stop was a shallow covenear the outside and it was loaded with rolling fish from 30-80 lbs. Withinminutes I was hooked up and playing tug-o-war with a 50 pounder. The blackmuddler minnow found its way into the tarpon’s top lip, and the fish waseasily landed after about 15 minutes. The skunk was officially off of theboat, so the decision was made to run south. A 40 minute boat ride down thebeaches and mangroves almost hummed me back to sleep, but when we arrived atthe next spot, I was hit with enough adrenaline to restart a dead man’sheart. 100 pound plus fish were rolling in a corner that wasn’t more than 3feet deep. Big fish in skinny water usually means a hook up as the fly iseasier for tarpon to see when you know there is no chance that the fish willbe deeper than your offering. We snuck in on them and the first cast at thefirst fish yielded an explosive take and a six foot long monster shootingout of the water. The fish went berserk and eventually threw the fly. Iretied my loop knot and instantly had a shot at a big fish laying justbelow the surface next to a tree that was blown in from Hurricane Wilma.Fish number 2 came unglued on my muddler, jumped over the tree, then camerocketing at the boat. I knew that I hadn’t put a good hook in it, so Istripped back as fast as I could, but the fish was gone. Over the next 30minutes, this was scenario was relived 2 more times. These fish are sodifficult to get a good hook set into, but the most exciting part is usuallythe take, and I wasn¹t disappointed in the least. Yeah, so we were boredwith the tarpon, he he, and decided to go catch some of the snook that werebusting bait around the corner. Top water flies, big snook, you know thestory.On the ride back I thought to myself, “I knew this would be a good day theminute I realized that we beat Roland Martin to the boat ramp.”