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Talking Tarpon with Tom Evans and Andy Mill

Tarpon are the largest of the “Big Three” species encountered on the flats in the western hemisphere, the others being permit and bonefish. They are beautiful, majestic animals—their silver scales can, at times, appear green or pink or purple, depending on where you are targeting them. The initial “eat” of a tarpon is such an otherworldly experience that it is nearly impossible to describe with words. (The poet, Richard Brautigan, perhaps came the closest to doing so, describing it as “immediate unreality.”) And they are one of the few game species that actually fight back—with spectacular leaps and violent, powerful runs—on terms that are, more or less, equal with that of the angler.

IGFA Fishing Hall of Famer, Tom Evans, 84, has spent a lifetime pursuing the largest of the species on fly. He is, by the book, the greatest big tarpon angler alive, having set seven IGFA tippet class records for the species. (Not to mention a handful of other impressive fly records on billfish.) Two of those records—a 190-pound, 9-ounce fish on 16-pound tippet and a 194-pound, 8-ounce fish on 12-pound tippet—still stand. To learn more about Tom Evans please watch his IGFA Hall of Fame Induction video.

Andy Mill, 69, is, by the book, the greatest tarpon fly tournament angler of all time, with seven total wins (five Gold Cups, a Don Hawley and a Golden Fly). The current IGFA Trustee is also perhaps the world’s greatest ambassador of the sport, as a gear guru and a public speaker, and as the author of the seminal book about the sport and its characters, A Passion for Tarpon.

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