My wife and I spent last week in Tarponville. The owners, Jim and Anne, made us feel like family the whole week. They were very knowledgable of the area and it was a great time sitting around the dinner table and talking with them. The staff was very friendly and attentive as well and we had a great time with them. The food was prepared Carribean style and was great. We probably ate healthier than we have our whole lives. The staff told us to feel at home and to help ourselves to anything that we needed. The beer was always cold and ready.
Our room was cleaned and our bedding was changed daily. It was nice to just sit on the front deck and relax with a cold beer after a day of fishing. The sea was about 40 yards from our front door and it was calming to watch and listen to the surf every day. This was my first time in a jungle atmosphere and it was awesome, although being from Alaska it was hot at times. Every morning we woke up to the Howler Monkeys and I prepared for a day of fishing. My wife also went on a jungle hike with the lodge manager, Dolphi. She was able to photograph monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, frogs and numerous other flora and fauna.
Now to the fishing. The first 3 days it was kind of tough fishing. Anybody that knows anything about Tarpon knows that they are highly migratory and can be here today and gone tomorrow. I caught a few jacks but we just weren't seeing any tarpon. On about the third day we started to see tarpon around the boat but they just weren't on the bite. On the 4th day of fishing, my last, we had about 30 minutes of fishing left and my guide, Delly, said that we were going to Gandoca to give it one more try. I have to admit that at that time I thought that I wasn't going to realize my dream of catching a Tarpon on a fly rod.
We arrived at Gandoca and and I let loose a cast and let my fly sink a bit and started stripping the fly. First cast and all hell broke loose. Fish on! The Tarpon jumped 3 times and cleared the water by about 4 feet. As the fish took off there were at least another 12 Tarpon jumping around. The bite was on! The fish then made a run that was beyond belief. It went so far into my backing that I thought that he might spool me. I told Delly that we have to chase him but he was already on it. We were able to get almost all of my line back when he took off again. He proceeded to do this 4 or 5 more times. Now, I've caught Halibut and King Salmon but nothing that was even close to being this powerful. After an epic battle we could tell that the fish was beginning to tire. I started to put more pressure on him and I was able to get him to the boat. I asked Delly what time it was and he said it was 12:45. I hooked him at 10:45. A 2 HOUR battle!!! Delly was able to grab the leader and ease the fish to the side of the boat. We were just about ready to put our hands on the fish when the fly just popped out and the fish was gone. I slumped over, totally spent. I have never been that worn out in my life. I'm sure that I was about 2 minutes away from heat exhaustion but I was ecstatic. Finally, a Tarpon on a fly rod!
We've only been back to Alaska a couple of days but we've told some of our friends about our trip and we may have a couple people that want to do that trip so we may be going back to Tarponville again next year.
- Also Known As:
- Tarponville Hotel
- Tarponville Hotel Manzanillo
- Tarponville Costa Rica/Manzanillo