Just got back from 4 days at Bahia Honda. Although we lucked out and dodged the wrath of Jeanne, we got enough wind/rain to render the flats unfishable most of our stay (the day we left conditions were perfect - figures!), so we turned to Plan B and fished protected water on the backside. I managed to get some mackerel, snapper and jacks on flies but no luck at all with tarpon. I tried everything I had - Deceivers, Clousers, wide-sides, poppers, crease flies, etc that I thought did a pretty good job of imitating the glass minnows, pilchards and sardines that they were feeding on; zippo. My partners, who had been through this before, had given up any pretext of decency and switched over to more "exacting" imitations, for which they were rewarded with a number of hookups. Although I have my standards when it comes to fishing (nothing but dry flies in Yellowstone), I had never hooked a tarpon before and it sure looked like fun. I finally weakened, drank the Kool-Aide and gave it a try, rationalizing that at least we were still using fly rods, although not in a manner that the folks at Sage or Orvis intended. It was a blast; I ended up catching 4, the biggest about 30 lbs and they all jumped like lunatics. I even got to be pretty proficient at using a casting net, although I did have to do some reef diving to pull it off when I snagged it. I guess my biggest concern was the amount of good Karma I used up by going "natural". Next time we get rain, I'm going to grab every worm off the sidewalk and make sure they are put back in the grass before they dry up.
ps - Now that I got that out of my system, next time I go I'll try and figure out what flies really work.