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Welcome back to the new NEFF. Take a break from Twitter and Facebook. You don't go to Dicks for your fly fishing gear, you go to your local fly fishing store. Enjoy!

A Very Special Fly


New member
I know links to other websites should not readily be posted but I wanted to point out a very special fly that has just become available through a reputable, online California Fly Fishing Dealer.

The fly is call Tanner's Revenge, which I created with the inspiration of a good friend's son, Tanner Hrobak. Tanner was diagnosed with brain cancer and over the past few years has undergone a great number of medical procedures, traveled great distances and met many other children afflicted with illness just like him. Throughout all their ordeals, these magificant children seem to exude hope, compassion and understanding for others and perhaps, most of all, a zest for life in the face of great struggles. The fly is representative of their hope and zest for life in overcoming obstacles and continuing to inspire others through their will and determination.

On a more subdued note, the fly contains great colors that will tempt bluefish, stripers or weakfish roaming around the coast. Farther south it will turn tarpon, snook and sea trout. Whether used as a teaser or as a fly, the selection of materials were prepared taking into account the color, flash and movement of our many coastal baitfish and I have no doubt that many hookups will result by tying on a Tanner's Revenge.

Lastly, but most importantly, The Fly Shop in California has agreed to send a portion of the proceeds from the sales of the Tanner's Revenge flies to the Children's Hosiptal as a donation to all those children in need. Please feel free to check them out and in these difficult economic times if you can order one I know some greatful children who would appreciate the gesture.

Thank you and best wishes in 2009 to all of you and your families.

Further inquiries can be addressed to me via private message.
The Fly Shop in California has agreed to send a portion of the proceeds from the sales of the Tanner's Revenge flies.

I just looked at my The Fly Shop 2009 catalog (received last week) and didn't see the fly or anything written up on it.
The fly is a few pages past the middle divider or ordering page and is on the lower left side of a right handed page. It's also on page 3 of the Tarpon flies section of their online catalog as well.
The fly is a few pages past the middle divider or ordering page and is on the lower left side of a right handed page. It's also on page 3 of the Tarpon flies section of their online catalog as well.

Found it (p.89).

Thank You.
It is a BEAUTIFUL fly, and if I were to get anywhere near tarpon waters, anytime soon, I would gladly buy a few. Good for you and you endeavor!
Thank you for the kind words.

I won't say the fly is particularly complicated, but each material, its color and composition, was tied with both a symbolic meaning and an understanding of coastal baitfish in mind. It is my desire that anglers are provided with productive fly while also being able to benefit the lives of those in need.
Thank you all for your support.

I have just completed an article entitled, " Of Tarpon and Trimuph" and am attempting to get it published in a popular fly fishing magazine. It it really my intent to bring to light the stories and struggles of these children affected by illness and what we as anglers may be able to do to assist them during their times of need. A portion of a $5 fly isnt much, but with the support of enough anglers, and hopefully the media associated with recreational fishing, we CAn begin to make a difference in the lives of many.

Thanks again to all.

Philip Metz
Hey guys, having some problems getting any answers from magazines about the article, but I wanted to share with you what I wrote:


A boy’s heart and a fisherman’s dream

As the sun inched slowly above the horizon, we quietly poled the boat towards a small pod of tarpon. Eagerly sipping numerous baitfish off of one of the many tidal flats that dot the area, I prepared to cast to the magical fish that had consumed so many hours of my sleep. I had anxiously awaited this trip, carefully researching the migration patterns, fishing techniques and feeding habits of my intended target, the silver king. Not too long ago, in a hospital room miles from the coast, a young boy could only dream of the day he would be back on the water chasing his favorite fish, the tarpon.

It only seemed like yesterday that Tanner Hrobak was running around his father’s tackle store, pestering him to close the shop early and take him fishing. Back then it was bluefish, striped bass and weakfish along the New Jersey coastline that tickled his fancy. There were other pursuits that Tanner enjoyed but nothing seemed to delight him as much as grabbing a fishing rod and climbing aboard his father’s boat. The times spent on the water were magical to the both of them but all that would change one fateful day in April with a conversation no parent should have to partake in. Doctors had confirmed that Tanner was sick, not the kind of sick that kisses or hugs could cure, but the kind that required hospitals, surgeries and hours of pain-staking treatments. The diagnosis was cancer and the outlook was anything but positive. The cancer had arrived in the form of a tumor in Tanner’s brain and threatened to choke the vivaciousness that had made him such an energetic and fun-loving boy. The road ahead would be filled with daunting challenges, endless journeys and arduous tasks.

Through it all fishing seemed to be the farthest thing from anyone’s mind, yet the water and its beauty never seemed to leave Tanner’s thoughts. Miles away from the ocean, at The Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, Tanner spoke to other young patients about the tarpon, snook and sea trout that roamed the waters surrounding his home. He told them how pelicans would beg for scraps and turtles would glide effortlessly along the canal. Somewhere in those descriptions the children were removed from the medical apparatus and painful regiments that seemed to dominate their days. There in the descriptions of a young boy, they too were meandering along the waterways, experiencing all they had to offer.

It was at this point, sitting at my tying bench on a chilly morning, that I thought there must be something that I could do to recognize Tanner, his plight and all the other children stricken with illness. As I thought of all that had transpired since his diagnosis, I grabbed my thread, some marabou and hackle, beginning what would become my tribute to Tanner and his fellow patients. As I thought of the pattern I would create, not only did I want a fly which would be productive, but I wanted to tell the story of these children. I began with a head consisting of light blue thread, representative of the hospital scrubs these patients and their families are all too accustom to seeing. Continuing with a white marabou collar was my hope for better days in the lives of these children. Next I added some red marabou, revealing the heart and determination exhibited by all those affected with illness, followed by a layer of yellow marabou showing the bright demeanor these patients continue to have in the face of great adversity. Completing the fly, I chose a white splayed hackle presenting a breakthrough and victory over illness along with the flash material that represents these children whom are shining stars that inspire us all. I named the fly Tanner’s Revenge, as no illness could seem to deter his spirit, determination and zest for life.

Upon completing of the fly, I contacted The Fly Shop in Redding, California who graciously agreed to produce the fly and send a portion of the proceeds to The Children’s Hospital for the benefit of those faced with battling illness. Fishermen who purchase a Tanner’s Revenge have the opportunity to realize their dreams of a trophy catch on the fly while supporting so many in need. We as fishermen have the ability to make a difference in the lives of others, which is far greater than any catch we could ever have.

Back on the water, as we inched closer to the feeding tarpon, I looked back and saw Tanner and his father sharing a moment that had become all too rare over the past few months. It was on the water where they belonged, doing what fathers and sons seemed destined to do, and as I looked back towards the feeding fish I realized our triumph had begun well before we spotted those tarpon.

Tanner’s Revenge, along with many other great fly fishing products, are available by visiting The Fly Shop at www.theflyshop.com

For those interested in learning more about Tanner Hrobak, the Tanner's Revenge fly or this article, please feel free to contact me at pmjasper@yahoo.com

Thank you all for the encouragement and support.
I know AKSkim but I just wanted to let others on the site know about the basic story behind Tanner Hrobak and children just like him, that dream of doing things like fishing instead of staring at hospital walls all day and waiting for treatments that make them sick to their stomachs. I really appreciate all the sincere thoughts and encouragement since I began the thread. Thanks again.
Tanner is still struggling with cancer and treatments at facilities in Cincinnati and Boston, as well as locally in the Stuart, FL area. On a positive note, he is doing better than when first diagnosed but there are good days as well as bad. That is why this story and the creation of the fly is so important to me.

To you and me, a fly is a fly, a few feathers on a hook, but to Tanner and the children like him, a fly is a glimpse into a world without hospitals, treatments, surgeries and the like. Believe me, I'm not the kind of person to jump on every cause and go recruiting. I also truly respect other peoples decisions to support the cause or not. My thought was I just wanted to get the story out there and make people aware and I really do appreciate people taking the time to review the thread.
I have a suggestion; if you are able to some how get something about Father Edward J. Flanagan into the story, you might get those Irish Catholic people involved.

Or potatos, that always seems to work.
I took the liberty of googling Tanner's name and found quite a number of pictures. I hate to see an innocent child being taken for a ride by cancer. These came from an old page that was dedicated to him, but his current progress can be monitored on Care Pages, which are free patient blogs. Tanner's current blog includes recent photos.

Tarpon fishing? I'll probably never get the chance to do it, but having a few tarpon flies lying around wouldn't hurt...:)


I just wanted to pass this along to those interested in learning more about Tanner's condition and latest updates:

Dear Friends and Family,

I created a CaringBridge site to keep you up to date on Tanner Hrobak. CaringBridge is a nonprofit organization that helps friends and families stay connected.

You can visit Tanner 's CaringBridge site at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/tannerhrobak.

If your e-mail program does not allow you to click on the above link, just copy and paste the address into your web browser's address (or URL) location.

Please visit our CaringBridge site anytime. You can use the site to check in on Tanner , read the journal entries and send us messages by signing our guestbook. When you register with CaringBridge and sign our guestbook, you will automatically receive e-mail notifications each time our journal is updated. Or, you can subscribe to receive these notifications even before you sign the guestbook.

Thank you all for your support and encouragement.

Bruce Hrobak
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