Drew Chicone shows how to tie his favorite crab fly for the tarpon flats.[by Drew Chicone]
WITH THE CONCENTRIC COILS OF FLY LINE PILED NEATLY AT MY FEET, I gently grasped a loop of line and my latest fur-and-feather creation in my left hand. Slight increases in speed interrupted our smooth drift as the guide quietly poled us ahead. Poised and ready for action, I scanned the panorama of glassy, gin-clear water for any evidence of tarpon.
A tennis ball–sized crab caught my attention as it passed the boat in the water beneath my feet. My focus was immediately drawn to the vibrant shades of blues and reds that outlined its legs and claws. Guardedly, the diminutive crustacean floated out of sight, navigating with sparing movements in an effort to remain unnoticed. A confident, ticklish feeling welled up inside me as two lumbering shadows appeared in the distance. With nervous anticipation, I observed the lead tarpon gracefully gulp the crab from the surface.
Locating the hook on my fly, I pinched the delicate marabou and stiffened rabbit-strip claws…