Tarpon Toad Fly Tying Instructions

Tarpon Toad Fly Tying Instructions
The Tarpon Toad is a saltwater fly pattern used for tarpon, bonefish, permit and many more species. The original pattern was developed in Georgia by Gary Merriman and it used a rabbit strip to create action. The original remains effective but the pattern has been refined by using marabou for the body. The Tarpon Toad is tied in several different color patterns and is used in different sizes if you know the species you will target. It is also used as a general saltwater fly for almost any species.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Size 2/0 5180-121 Owner SSW hook
  • Danville 210 denier white thread
  • Died chartreuse marabou feathers
  • Died yellow rabbit strip
  • White poly-yarn
  • Black or chartreuse lead eyes
  • Head cement
Step 1
Wrap the tying thread on the front half of the hook, and continue the thread towards the bend in the hook. Tie two full yellow marabou feathers at the bend in the hook to create the tail. Secure the tail by making the first two wraps of thread loose, and make several tight wraps. Wrap the tying thread one third of the way down the hook shank.
Step 2
Tie the yellow rabbit strip just behind the tail, and make four wraps towards the eye of the hook. As you wrap the rabbit strip, use your fingers to stroke the fur toward the bend in the hook. Once you have made the four wraps of rabbit, use several strong wraps of tying thread to secure the rabbit to the hook shank. Use your scissors to cut the tag end of the rabbit strip.
Step 3
Tie several clumps of poly yarn in a fashion that resembles spun deer hair behind the rabbit. You will need at least 3 to 4 clumps to create the head of the fly. Use your scissors to trim the head with a flat bottom and an oval shape.
Step 4
Tie in black or chartreuse lead eyes ahead of the yarn head by cross-wrapping the center bar of the eyes to the hook shank. Once the eyes are secure, wrap the thread around the hook shank just behind the eye of the hook. Use a whip finisher to finish the fly, and cut the remainder of the tying thread.
Step 5
Apply head cement or zap-a-gap to the thread head and the thread that has secured the lead eyes. Allow the head cement to dry, and the fly is completed.

Tips & Warnings

You can vary the color of the fly to your personal preference. Pink, chartreuse, white, orange and black are commonly used colors. You can also add several strands of krystal flash to the marabou tail to create a flashy fly.
The tarpon toad is relatively easy to tie with the exception of the poly yarn. Tie the yarn in a spun deer hair fashion or tie it in a wing style. Both methods require you to trim the yarn in an oval shape.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Colorado-mountain-adventure.com. Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.