Matching the Hatch on the Beach
By the time I walked up the beach access my sanity was hanging by a thread. As I crossed the dunes and caught the first stirring of a light onshore breeze I felt a sense of reason return to the morning. I made my way down the beach to a wobbly driftwood stump and sat down with my coffee to wait on the sun.
My go-to fly for the Mullet Run is a pattern I call the Beach Mullet. It’s my take on Lou Tabory’s famous Snake Fly using David Nelson’s excellent Squimpish Hair for the tail rather than the fussy and delicate ostrich hurl of the original. The spun deer hair head has enough buoyancy to keep the fly suspended near the surface with a floating line or suspended off of the bottom with an intermediate line while providing the profile a mullet imitation requires.
There’s always at least a handful of Beach Mullets in my fly wallet. I usually carry purple and white versions for low light and high sun respectively. Early season I start with 1/0’s about 4” long and progress to 2/0’s about 6” long later in the run.
Conservation Note: If you manage to jump any size Tarpon from the sand this season make sure you give that fish the best possible chance at survival. If there are sharks around, break your fish off immediately. If you manage to get one safely to the beach, don’t haul it out of the water. Wade in, remove your fly, revive the fish and let it swim off. As fishermen it is incumbent upon us to preserve our most precious resources. Let that fish live on in your memories rather than on social media. Keep ‘em wet.